Tuesday, June 20, 2006

LibraryThing

There has recently been a lot of talk about LibraryThing. It has got me thinking, why not list my library's titles there. I'm considering adding selected new acquisitions (ones with an ISBN) to an LPI LibraryThing page. It would get our library out there a bit more. It is simple and free. Other pros or cons? Anyone else doing this?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You always have to read the fine print. LibraryThing is free for the first 200 titles. So if you Library has less than 200 titiles, then go for it. But most libraries have more than 200 titles so it's going to cost you some money. Heck my personal collection has more than 200 titles, between books, CD's and DVD's.

David said...

I wasn't thinking of loading our entire collection, only selected new titles. Those with an ISBN, for starters. I think the 200 titles would be enough as a proof of concept, if I kept the list to 5 or 10 a week. If it was found to be of value, then we could spend the $25.00.

Anonymous said...

Anybody know the demographics of who is using LibraryThing? I noticed the most popular books were Harry Potter.

Tim said...

The LibraryThing guy here.

1. The $25 lifetime deal isn't available for institutions. It's $15/year for them.

2. I don't think there would be any broad group of readers for whom Harry Potter WOULDN'T be the top book. Rowling isn't just a best seller, she's an unprecedented cross-generational phenomenon.

That said, only 12% of LT users HAVE a book by Rowling. So while she's a LibraryThing success, she's hardly dominant.

For comparison's sake 5,000 people have a book by Rowling, 2,925 have one by Jane Austen, 2,165 have one by Dostoevsky, and 1,865 one by Eco.

Anonymous said...

I'm playing with LibraryThing to catalog my personal library (a real "busman's holiday" for a professional cataloger!). My problem, if you want to call it that, is that I've got items at home that apparently haven't made it into the LC, Harvard, etc. catalogs -- and certainly aren't in Amazon.com -- so I have to search out more obscure online catalogs to copy catalog from. These are either publications of church bodies or small run 19th century items. Everything out there doesn't come with an ISBN and pretty thumbnail of its cover! I wonder whether the interface wouldn't be too 'clunky' to use as an OPAC.

Anonymous said...

I still think David's point is valid: Why not list some new, select, titles? It really doesn't matter that the most popular book in LibraryThing is "Harry Potter". By tagging the titles using terms others use, there is certainly the potential to reach new people who would not typically be aware of your collection. This is an example of the "Long Tail" model we see in the current library and business literature.

I set up an account for our library with the idea that I could use the book covers, blog, and rss features to feed into a better looking "new books" page than what our current OPAC produces. This was not successful, but I still think there is still some tapping to do with this and OpenWorldCat...