Posts Tagged ‘LibraryThing’

…you make EVRYTHING sing…

Meh, it didn’t work so here’s a screenshot instead!

Some of my books on LibraryThing

LibraryThing… You make my heart sing…

My Library at LibraryThing

Yep, I was right – I love LibraryThing. Having now managed to create an account and add some books I can confidently say that here is the Thing I like best so far about Cam23. It took a little time at first to get used to navigating around and finding the best way to add records for my books, but a little bit of patience goes a long way and I’ve been having great fun adding books to my shelf and tinkering with the details to get them ‘just so’.

Having explored a bit more, I think I would stick with my initial impressions and say that this is something that works best for small libraries with little resource for cataloguing, and new acquisitions or discrete collections in larger libraries. I agree with Miss Crail when she says that, as an institution if you’re going to go down this road it needs to be done professionally and not half-heartedly. And I can imagine that Girl in the Moon, as an ‘inveterate tinkerer’ could be kept going for several weeks by this site.

I’ve gone for a personal account and added 20 or so books out of the hundreds on the shelves at home – my other half keeps hinting that, as a librarian, perhaps I’d like to catalogue our collection(!). The answer is ‘No’, but this may be just the thing (excuse the pun). I’m not sure that I’d bother to review many of my books, unless I felt particularly moved to – there aren’t enough hours in the day, and I could spend the time reading :-), but I like being able to ‘rate’ the books and it’s interesting seeing the variety of tags that can be assigned to the same book.

On the downside, I find it a little bit irritating that you can’t seem to browse LibraryThing from your homepage – the easiest way seemed to be through the ‘add books’ tab, which isn’t really what I want. And I’m not convinced this widgety thing is going to work when I hit ‘publish’, but both these minor niggles could be entirely due to my own ineptitude rather than anything else.

Overall, a huge thumbs up for LibraryThing! Hurrah!

What’s on my bookshelf?

Clangers, courtesy of diamond geezer's photostream

Well, books for a start. Probably a half-drunk cup of tea, some pictures (both in frames and out of frames), some loose change, several coasters, a Clanger (one that makes clanger noises when you squeeze its tummy), and almost certainly lots of other bits and pieces that I can’t remember right now. It would appear that LibraryThing only deals with the ‘books’ part of the list though – maybe they could add a ‘nicknaks’ widget next…

My first impressions of LibraryThing are very favourable – I like the ethos of its creator, Tim Spalding, who seems adamant that it’s something that should be left to grow at its own speed and who refused to sell out to the first person that exprerssed and interest; I like the collaborative aspect; I like the idea of user-generated recommendations and tagging; and I like being nosey.

Having set aside this hour to create my account and start adding books to my bookshelf, it is fairly predicatble that LibraryThing is currently down. However, I’ve had a look at some library websites that incorporate LTFL into their catalogue dsiplays and think that it’s quite a good way of implementing what many of us talked about in Thing 8, namely integrating user tagging into library catalogues as an extra point of access alongside LCSH.

I can’t imagine larger libraries going wholesale for the LibraryThing thing, but for discrete collections or recent acquisitions it seems ideal. Could it also be used to encourage students to develop their own book collections? Or as a tool for collection development? Perhaps even as a way of managing recommendations? The possibilites are huge, but would require careful monitoring and wide participation for it to work really well.

Perhaps I’ll have a better idea when I’ve explored a bit more – I hope it’s not down for long, I’m keen to get going!

p.s. Things seem to keep breaking just after we start exploring them – is the Cam23 programme systematically trashing the web2.0 world?