Looking for a good book? Show some ink.
The Multnomah County Library in Portland, Ore., is giving out book recommendations based on readers' tattoos.
Tweet them a picture of your (G-rated) tattoo, and a librarian will respond with a personalized book recommendation.
The library launched the initiative last summer, with the #Book4Tat hashtag.
Okay, let's have some fun! Got a tattoo? Send us a (g-rated) photo & we'll suggest a book for you based on your ink. Ready? GO! #Book4Tat— Multnomah County Lib (@MultCoLib) July 26, 2016
Shawn Cunningham, the library system's spokesperson, said librarians have given out hundreds of tattoo-inspired recommendations since #Book4Tat started in July. They've been doling out suggestions both on Twitter and on Facebook.
Cunningham said it's a way to remind people about what librarians do best — offer informed, personalized recommendations. ""An algorithm can't do that," Cunningham said of the custom responses.
this is my newest tattoo :) pic.twitter.com/YB3Prhsukk— Sophie Agié 🍒🍋 (@SophieAgie) August 12, 2016
So fun! Here's mine when it was freshly done. pic.twitter.com/pzP6bJzKmH— Katy Werlin (@PastFashion) July 27, 2016
Other libraries around the country and the continent have now started offering tattoo-based book recommendations too, including the public library in Durango, Colo., and the Edmonton Public Library in Alberta, Canada. Cunningham said he's glad to see the idea spreading, with more people interacting with their local library and librarians.
"That's the point of the library," he said. People come in looking for recommendations based on all sorts of things — their interests, their jobs, the last book they read — but what's more personal than a design they've chosen for life?
To see how it works, we gave the #Book4Tat challenge a try, borrowing the tattooed forearm of a co-worker.
If you have a tattoo, you can try it yourself. The Multnomah County librarians are still answering requests — and your local library could start, too.