Monday, August 20, 2007

LibraryThing on My Mind

This weekend at my parents' house, I had several people ask me if there was some sort of service (I think they asked for software) available that would allow them to catalog their books. I'm paraphrasing, obviously, since I don't think my father or my aunt or any of others who were there would actually call this process cataloging. They wanted something that was easier than typing everything in a file.

I pointed them to LibraryThing as a way to create a catalog of their books. If they didn't have a lot of books (e.g., my father has about 100 - 150 golfing books) they would type them in the search box and add them to their online catalog easily.

If they had a lot of books (my aunt is friends with Michael Joncas--yes, "On Eagle's Wings", etc.--and he has hundreds or more of academic religious books) I recommended a life time membership to LibraryThing (on average $25) and a CueCat (available for $15 from LibraryThing) to scan barcodes off books and upload the file to LibraryThing, who then does all the work of creating the catalog. In fact, I'm thinking that now I'm going to do just that myself.

It was a lot of fun, showing this technology to my family. I went a little overboard in showing them what LibraryThing could do. But it really is an amazing service. I've used it in the past to create reader's advisories (like the left-hand-side of this blog if you're not reading this as a feed) on websites. I think it's great to see another service come along that starts with current technology and a help-people-first mentality. I'm curious to see how the LibraryThing for Libraries works out. If I knew more about programming I'd try to work for them!

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