LibraryThing for Libraries

August 14, 2007
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Room 14-280

Moderators: Kate Sheehan (Danbury Library) and Abby Blachly (Library Thing)

Session Notes

- 4 Libraries worldwide have LibraryThing for Libraries ( - still a new service.

- Does everyone know what LibraryThing is? -- a social cataloging website - connects you to other users based on what books you share. The only info that LT keeps is usernames and password - so they don't know anything about you except what you want to share. Adding books to your library is easy - you can choose from 89 libraries around the world through Z39.50 to populate your library. 6 different recommendation engines working to provide you with recommendations based on your library. Books are combined together with a FRBR type display (entirely done by the users).

- One person felt that the unsuggester was the best service offered by LT - great for book clubs and groups.

- LT for Libraries is LT selling it's data to libraries so they can incorporate it into their catalog.

- Kate (Danbury Library - added it in April of this year. It was so easy - "Copy, Paste, Dance with Joy" - it's that easy. It doesn't matter what ILS you're using.

- LT for Libraries ISBN based - what about pre-ISBN books? Right now it doesn't work with that but there is a plan to use a title/author match. (Abby)

- Easy to use interface for updating how it displays in the catalog. Copy JavaScript and paste it. (with III Kate stuck it into the footer)

- LT for Libraries provides info (tags, other editions, recommendations/books like this, etc) only for titles that are owned by the library.

- Great tool for Reader's Advisory. An attendee says that he uses Danbury's catalog for that all of the time - this led to a 44% increase in web traffic in one year.

- They haven't heard much feedback from patrons - they usually only hear from them if they want to complain - so Kate says "no news is good news." When she shows it to people they get really excited.

- Kate feels that LT for Libraries is better than NoveList for Reader's Advisory.

- The point of social networking is a grass roots operation - and things like Encore from III have a feel of corporations trying to be cool. LT for Libraries has people working for them who know what's going on - and there is no way that we could do this with just our user base - LT for Libraries gives libraries access to all of it's user's data

- Julian Clark wasn't sure how it would connect to the academic library world - it works great for public libraries because of the content. Abby showed Julian that there are academic libraries that can use this tool successfully. Kate has always been surprised at the number of academic books within LT.

- Is there a way to find what the obscure books are? Yes - you can sort your library by the number of others who have the book. You can also see a list on your profile of books that only you and one other person share.

- LT user "moccany" - A museum using LT soley as their catalog.

- LT just announced a deal with AquaBrowser last week

- LT is 40% owned by Abebooks.

- Kate "It's way cheap." - about LT for Libraries.

- There are no stats for LT for Libraries yet - they're waiting to hear from the users as to what they want to see in their reporting module. (right now with all of the presentations and library news - the stats would be skewed to what librarians are looking at).

- Kate about LibraryThing - "Here is a really small group that understand library and listen and come up with ideas in a way that we're not used to getting. Other people know how to do this right - why can't our ILS do this? ... It's such an interesting group of people to work with and I've learned so much."

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