As I’m doing a little bibliography building, I’m thinking that it would be nice if library catalogues could incorporate some of the functions of Amazon.com. For example, the “Customers who shopped for X also shopped for Y” feature demonstrates connections between books that otherwise might go unmarked by the usual uses of metadata. In general, being able to track user behavior and share it with other users (while protecting the privacy of individuals) would lead to a variety of useful functions. It would also be great if you could build a wish list in order to make suggestions for books the library should purchase, and to help the catalogue make recommendations to you and notify you when new books of interest to you arrive.
Have you seen the newest cool function on Amazon? The “Search inside the Book” feature, while not comprehenseive, does fulltext searches. If it could ever be deployed on a larger scale, it could revolutionize research.
Some libraries, ours included, have e-text versions of certain books in the catalogue, presumably searchable like Amazon’s. I’ve yet to take advantage of this function, however.