Friday, February 29, 2008

Thing 14 -- LibraryThing

I spent rather more time on this thing than I might have strictly needed to, because I found Library Thing just fun! Here is a link to the catalog I created of selected books from my personal library:

Link to my library

Above is a link to the books I entered on Library Thing. I would say that, given the total number of users, the books I entered were relatively rare (out of some 367,000 members, 4 of my titles were owned by under 300 others, 4 of them by under 2000, and only 1 over 12,000. I note, however, that Library Thing is edition-specific, so it may be in the case of older titles with various editions that the title holdings may be more wide than they appear). I did check the "talk" section to see if any of my books were mentioned in any of the discussion threads; a couple of them were. I may well go back to the "Time Travel, Alternate History, and Parallel Worlds" thread with my notebook (or maybe logged into my Ta Da list?) to jot down titles--but not until I've finished the 23 things! (This is largely replacing recreational reading.) The option to sign up as a reviewer and put my name in to possibly receive pre-publication titles for review looked interesting as well--another thing to explore later.

I do put a list of selected new titles on the library web site each month, so I did take a look at how Library Thing might be used to do that. Its inclusion of covers definitely adds visual interest and appeal. I would have a few questions before I started using it in this manner, however. I would want to know if the 200-book limit per year for free membership is 200 entries total, or a limit of 200 titles in one's library at a time. In terms of using Library Thing to enter a new book list, I would also want to know the most efficient method for keeping the list current. One way would be to delete the previous entries before adding new ones--though I did not see an easy way to delete an entire library; having to delete an old list x by x would definitely be less efficient than the way I currently enter a new list. Another option would be to tag the list with month acquired and year--but that would create a slight learning barrier to patrons who wanted to quickly find out what titles the library acquired in the current month. Are any of you using Library Thing for your new book lists? If so, how do you enter the titles and keep it current? Something to explore further and consider at any rate!

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