LibraryThing: Libraries of Early America

As someone who worked as a cataloger for special collections – and cataloged the entire library of an important figure in the college’s history – this new project from LibraryThing sounds pretty darn awesome!!

Have you ever wondered what books Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson had in their personal libraries? How about 18th-century Virginia musician Cuthbert Ogle, or four generations of Mather family members? Or the most active female book collector in Virginia during the colonial/early national period, Lady Jean Skipwith?

A new project will make it possible to search, compare and study these and other Libraries of Early America. Using the book-cataloging website, scholars from institutions around the country (including Monticello, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Boston Athenaeum, the Boston Public Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Philosophical Society and others) have begun the process of creating digital catalogs of early American book collections – the project covers anyone who lived in America and collected primarily before 1825.

Make sure to share this announcement with your special collections catalogers! This sounds like an awesome project and I wish I was still cataloging so I could participate ;) (well … only a little)

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SantaThing is so cool!

Somehow I missed this last year, but LibraryThing has announced its second annual SantaThing event!.

SantaThing is Secret Santa for LibraryThing members.

The idea is simple. Pay $25. You play Santa to a random LibraryThing member, and find them up $20 worth of books, based on their library or a short description. Someone else does the same to you. LibraryThing orders the books and pays the shipping, so no addresses are exchanged and no members are stalked!

Very very cool!!

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My delicious bookmarks for 2008-12-07

  • Where is Your Username registered
  • ‡ collaborative sharing and editing of records
    LibLime is developing a new open platform for sharing bibliographic records as part of its forthcoming ‡ project (now in beta at As part of this platform, LibLime is making available bibliographic records via several protocols: z39.50 and SRU for starters, eventually via a REST protocol and OAI-PMH.

More of my links

Information Today, Inc. Holiday Blowout Sale

Now this is the kind of sale that I love!! Stock up on your library related titles at Information Today during their holiday sale:

40% Off All In-Stock Books When You Order Online!

The discount is good on an unlimited number of orders placed during the sale period—and with more than 150 titles available on our websites, there’s something for everyone.

I’m off to browse around :) Thanks Rachel for pointing it out.

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The Tech Static Launches!

A great new site for library techies (and other librarians too) has launched!! This from the press release:

The Tech Static, a new collection development resource for technology titles, published its inaugural issue today.

The need for such a resource became apparent when October 15 marked the last installment of Library Journal’s “Computer Media” review column, which The Tech Static’s creator, Rachel Singer Gordon, had been writing since 2002. This left a large gap in the library literature: no other librarian-targeted publication currently reviews computer books on a regular basis. To fill that gap, Singer Gordon created The Tech Static, a new resource for librarians focusing on reviewing technology-related books.

The Tech Static assists librarians with technology-related collection development. To this end, it contains:

  • Reviews of current computer books
  • Reviews of technology-related titles targeted at librarians
  • Collection development articles (weeding, “must-haves,” balancing a computer book collection)
  • Prepublication alerts
  • Publisher press releases
  • DVD and ebook reviews
  • Announcements
  • … and more!

“I’m pleased to continue providing — and expanding on! — coverage of technology titles,” said Singer Gordon. “Anyone involved with collection development in this area is invited to subscribe to this new free resource.” The Tech Static is available online at; readers can also subscribe via RSS or email.

The Tech Static is also currently seeking writers for technology-related collection development articles.

Contact Rachel Singer Gordon with any questions or comments at

Reviews by LibraryThing

I mentioned that I was waiting to hear more from Tim about the LibraryThing Reviews for your library catalog. Well, Tim has finally posted about it – and it’s even more awesome than I thought.

Tim compares the LibraryThing service to ChiliFresh and shows that LibraryThing is going to give you a far superior number of reviews for popular titles:

Pulitzer Prize winners Chilifresh LibraryThing
2008 The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz 1 review 24 reviews
2007 The Road by Cormac McCarthy 8 reviews 199 reviews
2006 March by Geraldine Brooks 1 review 50 reviews
2005 Gilead by Marilynne Robinson 0 reviews 45 reviews
2004 The Known World by Edward P. Jones 1 review 40 reviews
2003 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides 1 review 120 reviews
2002 Empire Falls by Richard Russo 1 review 32 reviews
2001 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon 1 review 69 reviews
2000 Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri 0 review 27 reviews

When push comes to shove, you don’t need 199 reviews. But Putlizer winners are popular books. When a popular book has 199 reviews, less popular books will have five or ten. Conversely, if Gilead and Interpreter of Maladies can’t get a review, the rare stuff definitely won’t have it.

Read all of the details at Thingology and start convincing everyone at your library that you need this awesome feature :)

Reviews from LibraryThing

I love LibraryThing (and the staff at LibraryThing). They come up with the best tools (aside from the tools from the LibLime developers :) hehe). Anyway, I just got a sneak peak of ‘Reviews at my Library’ from LibraryThing after reading a short post at the Thingology blog.

We’ll be at Internet Librarian in Monterey, CA, Monday-Wednesday. We’re at booth 316, in the boonies, I think.

We’ll be showing off LibraryThing for Libraries and our new “Reviews at my Library.”

We’re going to blog “Reviews at My Library” on Monday or Tuesday, but you can take a sneak peak at reviews in action at High Plains Library District or Los Gatos Public Library.

I can’t wait to read more, but for now you can see the demos linked to above.

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Review: On the Move with the Mobile Web

I have to start this review with a disclaimer. I have a plain old cell phone with no data plan :) That said – I’m thinking of trying to pay off my debt faster so that I can upgrade my phone and get a data plan because of this technology report by Ellyssa Kroski.

On the Move with the Mobile Web: Libraries and Mobile Technologies by Ellyssa Kroski is a quick guide to what mobile technologies are out there, how they can be used, how they are being used and what it means to libraries. Ellyssa introduced me to some amazing things I didn’t know about like 2D barcode scanners on our mobile devices.

What does this mean to libraries? As more and more people switch to web-enabled mobile devices, libraries are going to have update their websites and provide more mobile services. Some examples? Self checkout using your phone, notices sent via SMS and mobile ready websites and OPACs.

This technology report is a quick read and will surely make you wish you had a fun gadget to try out the tools that Ellyssa mentions. It was well worth the read.

I’ll keep you all posted as I make my way toward upgrading to a fancy multi-function phone.

Free Book Covers from LibraryThing

Wow! LibraryThing is full of awesome announcements lately!!

A few days ago, just before hitting thirty million books, we hit one million user-uploaded covers. So, we’ve decided to give them away—to libraries, to bookstores, to everyone.

Learn how to get the covers and integrate them into your websites, opacs, etc.

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LibraryThing is Huge!!

Awesome news from Tim:

LibraryThing has hit 30,000,000 books cataloged! We also recently hit 1,000,000 user-uploaded covers and 500,000 pieces of Common Knowledge data.* Tags stand just shy of 39 million.

Thirty million—more specifically 30,011,748—was the number of books in the Library of Congress, the largest “real” library in the world.

Whenever I have some down time and I don’t know what to do, I go into LibraryThing and contribute to the data there – either common knowledge, or reviews, or covers – whatever I can think of :)

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