A Thing for Library?

Interesting post on Freedman Consulting’s blog entitled Get Control of Your Library. It refers to LibaryThing as a virtual library “which enables users to build their own web-based catalog. At a cost of 200 books for free, as many as you like for $10 (year) or $25 (life)”. Anyone ever used it? For that price, I might use it for my personal collection… especially there is a tracking feature!


  1. I’ve played with it a little bit but am not currently set up with an ID. It is meant for personal collections. It is also a Web 2.0 social application, allowing for tagging, allowing you to see what others have in their collections, and allowing you to see what books, authors, tags and languages are the most popular.

    Back when I looked at it several months ago, the book Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman was the top-ranked book. Since I had never heard of it before, I picked it for my book club to read. We learned it had been a BBC TV series, later turned into a book. It was kind of fun to discover something new in this way.

    The question is, would allowing for tagging and other similar features in our traditional library catalogues make them more useful or more used?

  2. It is very popular, but the tags must be re-typed for each book, which makes it difficult to use, and impossible to edit.

  3. I’m using it to catalogue a small library collection for one of the law firms at which I work. The corporate fee is $50.00, ridiculously cheap! While it doesn’t have the flexibilty of more expensive packages, it gets the job done! You can set your account to private which eliminates some of the social applications. I’ve found entry and editing to be pretty straightforward and for the price, so far I’m pleased.

  4. Are you having to re-type each (subject) tag with each new record, or have you discovered a way to do that more efficiently?

  5. Yes, I re-type tags for each record. Since many entries are for conference proceedings that aren’t shared by other libraries or sold through Amazon, I’ve had to add many books manually. So re-typing the tags has just become part of that process! Using the “tag” tab will bring up an alpha list of tags, but no way to just select to autofill the field. Maybe in the promised LibraryThing for organizations.