Talpa is a free and fast library search tool that blends advanced AI technology with a rich database of authoritative book information.
It has two key features that set it apart from other AI search tools:
- It taps into the natural language abilities of models like Claude and ChatGPT to understand free-text queries, finding relevant results from a library’s catalog based on subjects, tags, characters, and more.
- But it checks every result against authoritative sources like Bowker, Syndetics Unbound, and LibraryThing to weed out false positives and surface real works the library owns or has access to.
This allows more intuitive search while maintaining high accuracy. Users can find books by partial title, topic, cover color/image, and other natural language cues without being misled by made-up results.
How to use it:
1. Navigate to the Talpa AI website and click on the ‘Talpa Search’ button.
2. Enter terms or questions like ‘astronaut stranded on Mars’ or ‘kid with a magic crayon’. You can also search by visual aspects like ‘statistics book with a yellow cover’.
3. Can’t remember the title but adore the cover? Talpa has you covered (literally)! Search by color, objects, or even patterns thanks to thousands of book lovers who tagged covers on LibraryThing.
3. Keep in mind that Talpa excels at finding older titles. Recently-published books might not be as readily available. Results are influenced by your library’s holdings, with non-available items appearing lower in the search results, often displayed with black-and-white covers.