Today the State Library re-launched its much loved youth literature website Inside a Dog. The redesigned site incorporates many new functions to make it easier and more fun to share a love of young adult (YA) literature.

The original Inside a Dog site was built by the Library in 2006 and was Australia’s first website designed specifically for teenagers to share their enjoyment of books and reading.

Paula Kelly, then manager of the Centre for Youth Literature said, ‘Young people want to do more than just be passive consumers, they want to play a creative role.’ And so they did – with 60,000 people using the site in its first six months. They read, wrote, shared and got creative about their favourite YA books and authors.

However, five years is a very long time on the Internet. So the Inside a Dog team set about incorporating all the new, interesting and fun things that have emerged online since 2006.

The result is a page that gives users much more control over what they choose to view, post and share. The site navigation is simpler and it is easier to find exactly what you want.

The biggest new feature on the site is the addition of member-run book clubs. If you are you a fan of a particular author, genre, or series, you can now start your own Inside a Dog book club and find other like-minded readers to share ideas, post reviews, or show off your fan art. Book clubs can be either open membership, allowing any of the site’s users from around the world to join and contribute, or closed, requiring permission from the clubs’ creator to join.

Each site member will have their own page, listing reviews they have written, their favourite and recommended books, and the book clubs they are members of. “Star reviewers” will earn privileges, ranging from recognition on the site itself to copies of books to review.

In addition to individual pages for members, each book reviewed on the site will have its own page. Book pages will list all reviews of the book, along with any additional content supplied by publishers, including first chapters, book trailers, and audiobook snippets, and a list of recommendations and related titles.

Recognising the popularity of the site with teachers and librarians, the revamped site has curriculum-linked resources supporting the use of book clubs in the classroom, writing book reviews, and exploring the use of new media in creative responses to literature, as well as information for teachers on copyright and using online resources in the classroom.

Of course Inside a Dog will keep all the good stuff – the news blog, and the popular Writer in Residence feature, allowing readers to interact and join in a discussion with a new YA author every month. The Inky Awards, yearly reader-voted awards for favourite local and overseas book, and the Inkys Creative Reading Prize will also continue.

So there it is –

New dog, new tricks – re-launched and better than ever.

Inside a Dog - new and fresh

Inside a Dog - new and fresh

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