Friday, November 2, 2007

Thing 11: LibraryThing

Just a few short months ago, LibraryThing staffing consisted of Tim Spalding (founder and developer), Abby (librarian), and a web designer. The number of employees has now more than doubled in size to 7, but it is still astounding how well LT has anticipated user needs and how quickly they implement new features.

I love the ability to search the Library of Congress, as I'm kind of a cataloging freak and I like to use titles with correct punctuation and capitalization, and I don't like the extra work it is to sift through all the duplications when searching multiple locations. Here's where tagging makes a lot of sense to me. It's so simple to organize books into logical categories by adding or removing tags vs. creating separate folders or lists and moving books to them.

My all-time favorite author, and one whose books I enjoy reading over and over, is Georgette Heyer. She is the mother of Regency fiction and a true artist at placing her characters in the period. I can barely stand to read modern Regency novels as there are so many incongruent descriptions and conversations. Anyhow, it's cool to know that there are other lovers of Heyer's works out there. LibraryThing really is a social network unto itself, what with the blog and discussion groups, but it offers a wealth of tools for reaching out to the work at large and for bringing others into LibraryThing.

HCL is waiting for LibraryThing, especially the reviews and tagging pieces, to be integrated into AquaBrowser as enriched content. It's a fact that customers are reluctant to be the first to review or tag a title, but if some are already there, they are more than willing to contribute. The capability to add LT to AB is there, and we plan to take advantage of it.

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