#11 LibraryThing

Creating Your Own LibraryThing

Are you book lover or cataloger at heart? Or do you enjoy finding lost and forgotten gems on the shelf to read? Then LibraryThing may be just the tool for you. Developed for booklovers, this online tool not only allows you to easily create an online catalog of your own it also connects you to other people who have similar libraries and reading tastes. Add a book to your catalog by just entering the title — It’s so easy that you don’t even need MARC record training to do it – or connect with other users through your similar reading tastes. There are lots of ways to use LibraryThing. You can even view your books on a virtual shelf, add a widget (see sidebar for sample) to display titles that are in your catalog or install a LT Search box on your blog.

So why not join the ranks and create your own library online. With over 65,000 registered (BTW: LibraryThing also has group forum for librarians users and over 4.7 million cataloged books, you’re bound to discover something new.
Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Take a look around LibraryThing and create an account.
  2. Add a least 5 books to your library.
  3. Blog about your findings and be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalog.


  1. I can’t get the Librarything widget to function in my blog. I’m using wordpress. Any suggestions?

    Comment by Anne :: June 14, 2007 @ 3:30 pm
  2. Anne, I’m not sure the librarything widget works with wordpress.com. There’s a widget for wordpress.org. Some other people were asking about the same thing on the WP.com forum (http://en.forums.wordpress.com/search.php?q=librarything)

    Comment by ilana :: June 14, 2007 @ 5:16 pm
  3. I highly recommend checking out LibraryThing founder Tim Spaulding’s post on “tag mashups”, their version of Boolean searching (http://www.librarything.com/thingology/2007/07/tagmash-book-tagging-grows-up.php).
    I also recommend watching the video of Tim’s lecture at the Library of Congress as part of their “Digital Future and You” series (http://www.librarything.com/thingology/2007/07/my-library-of-congress-talk.php).
    The video is about 40 minutes long. On it, Tim talks introduces LibraryThing, talks about the pros and cons of tagging vs. controlled vocabulary, and calls for libraries to make their databases open to on-line search engines.

    Comment by Robyn Russell :: July 26, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

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