Library Thing

Library Thing

Posted on Friday March 16, 2007 at 12:05PM

You may notice on the right side of the screen several thumbnail images of bookcovers. If you click on the image you’ll be taken to the record for that title. Clicking on the author or title of the book will take you to Northern Lights’ new Library Thing Catalog. Each time you visit the blog now images of books in NLLS’ professional development collection will randomly be generated.

In an effort to market that collection to the people it is intended to serve - you, library managers and staff - I have opened this Library Thing account. However, you will still need to order the books through our TracPac Catalog. Why Library Thing then? Library Thing is much more graphical and will allow you to browse the shelves via thumbnail images of the bookcovers. A feature TracPac has yet to master. And Library Thing is just plain cool.

So if you see something you like - go to TracPac and request it for the next van run.

Feel free to visit our new LibraryThing account and search to your hearts content; However, be aware that I have not yet entered the entire PD collection in the catalog (Mostly just the computer/tech related books so far). You can also try the search box on the blog just below the thumbnails - its actually really cool.

Library Thing is one of the cooler social software applications to appear on the web 2.0 stage. It allows people to easily catalog their personal collections and share those collections with others. You can organize your books by applying “tags” to them. If you play around in our new catalog you may notice that term - “tags.” You’ll also notice that I have tagged each of our books.

So what’s a tag anyway? Are they subject headings?

Tags are like subject headings but they lack the same strict control. Indeed, you can tag your collection anyway you like. So a tag could be the person’s name you lent your book to or the place they are located. For example, you may want to tag your summer home collection with the tag “summer home” or the book you lent to your sister in law with a tag like “usurper,” “she devil” or something a little more polite :). If you tag each book you lend her with the same tag you can easily search for and produce a list of all the books she has (Increasing the likelihood of getting them back - or at least a record of how generous you are). Tags can be added, edited, and deleted easily.

The best feature about LibraryThing, however, is how easy it is to add books to your collection. You can search for and add your books by their ISBN. If you have a barcode scanner you can scan the UPC on the back of your book and add them even quicker.

Library Thing accounts are free to anyone - at least - you can catalog up to 200 books for free. An unlimited lifetime membership is only 25$. Or you can pay on a yearly basis at 15$/year.

Other things you can do with LibraryThing:

  • Write and read reviews
  • Find like minded readers to chat with
  • Get book recommendations (Check out their Book Suggester)
  • Swap and Share Books
  • etc. etc.

Awesome library applications:

  • Setup an account for a special collection in your library and then have random titles generated on your library’s webpage - just like I’m doing. (Call for help with this if you need it)
  • I’m sure there are other uses - maybe someone will mention it in the comments…

Happy LibraryThingin it

Author: Northern Lights Library System


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