Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

July 2017 Early Reviewers

Win free books from the June 2017 batch of Early Reviewers titles! We’ve got 64 books this month, and a grand total of 1,850 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Then request away!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, July 31st at 6pm Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Candlewick Press Faber & Faber USA Tundra Books
World Weaver Press Oneworld Publications Beacon Press
City Owl Press Tule Publishing Revell
Coral Press William Morrow Heritage Books
Harper Perennial Five Directions Press Candlewick Entertainment
Tantor Media HighBridge Audio Ballantine Books
Symmetry Press LLC John Ott Sinful Press
Gefen Publishing House Avery Mirror World Publishing
Akashic Books Eerdmans Books for Young Readers BookViewCafe
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing Apex Publications Dog Star Books
Raw Dog Screaming Press JME Books

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017

The LibraryThing Android App is here!

UPDATE: LT staffer Loranne did some speed cataloging to put the app through its paces. Check out the video!

Meet the official LibraryThing Android App!

What does it do? The LibraryThing Android app mirrors our iPhone/iOS app. Among other things, you can:

  • Browse and search your library overall and by collection.
  • Add books, CDs, and DVDs by scanning barcodes. The barcode scanning is SUPER FAST!
  • Add items by searching by title, author, ISBN, etc.
  • Browse and upload covers, using your Android’s camera.
  • Do minor editing, such as adding books to collections and rating them. Major editing is done by a link to LibraryThing.com.

Free accounts. We’re giving away lifetime memberships to anyone who uses the app. Register for a new account using the LibraryThing App, or sign into the app with an existing account, and you’ll be automatically upgraded.

Check out the app at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.librarything.librarything&hl=en

Come tell us what you think, and join the discussion on Talk. Need help? Check out our App Help Page.

Our Android app has been a long time coming, and we’re pretty happy with it! Many thanks to our members who helped us fine tune things with the pre-release alpha version.

Frequently Asked Questions

What devices are supported?
Android devices running 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich – circa October 2011) or later.

Does it work on wifi? Offline?
Wifi, you bet. Offline, no. This is a much-requested feature, but not likely to come any time soon.

Is there an [other-OS] version of the app?
The iPhone/iOS app is available here. We do not plan to make apps for other systems.

Can I use it on my tablet?
It’s designed for a phone, but will work on your Android tablet, too. NB: some tablet cameras don’t have a built in flash, so you’ll want to make sure you’re scanning barcodes in a well-lit room.

Will you add this feature?
The app will never do everything, but future versions will do more. Your feedback is welcome on this Talk topic.

Problems with the app?
Post any issues you run into on the bug report.

Labels: app, new features

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

June 2017 Early Reviewers

Win free books from the June 2017 batch of Early Reviewers titles! We’ve got 99 books this month, and a grand total of 3,488 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Then request away!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, June 26th at 6pm Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Akashic Books Henry Holt and Company World Weaver Press
Faber & Faber USA Oneworld Publications Apex Publications
Tundra Books City Owl Press Tule Publishing
Revell Prufrock Press Avery
Books by Elle, Inc Eerdmans Books for Young Readers Five Rivers Publishing
NewCon Press Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Marble City Publishing
Open Books Post Mortem Press William Morrow
Poolbeg Press Beacon Press Anaphora Literary Press
HighBridge Audio Tantor Media Ballantine Books
Whitepoint Press Plough Publishing House Sinful Press
Five Directions Press Meerkat Press Orca Book Publishers
NCSA Literatur ForeEdge EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
BookViewCafe Ripetta Press Dog Star Books
Raw Dog Screaming Press

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

BOOM! Add Books Adds 749 Library Sources, 38 New Countries

UPDATE: As of today (May 19th), we’ve reached a grand total of 2,160 working library sources, covering 110 countries! See the updated map at right reflecting our latest stats. New countries include: Ethiopia, Egypt, Bahrain, Nepal, Belarus, Luxembourg, (Northern) Cyprus, and the US Virgin Islands.


Last week we announced six new data sources: Amazon in India, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Spain and China.

Today we’re announcing a far larger advance in sources—a leap from 426 working library sources last week to 1,175 working library sources today! For this, as we will explain, we have LT members to thank.

All told, we’ve gone from sources in 40 countries before, to sources in 78 countries now, covering many new regions and languages.

Entirely new sources total 668, but another 81 were fixed—sources that had died sometime in recent years. Other “working” sources were tweaked, fixing search and character-set problems.

Dead sources accumulated because LibraryThing didn’t have the staff resources, or a good system to monitor and edit existing sources. We now have a new, interactive system for adding, editing and testing library sources. And we have also opened this up to members, starting with a hand-picked set of librarians and library workers with experience handling these systems (z39.50 servers).

We expected we’d get help, but we were astounded by how much. Top honors go to davidgn, who added more than 500 new libraries, and fixed many as well. Members lesmel and bnielsen also contributed considerably, together with LT staffer Chris Catalfo, who wrote the code for the new system. A round of applause for all!

New Sources, New Countries, New Languages

At the top of this post is an animation demonstrating the growth of the sources—initial sources, new countries (red), and finally, where we are today.You can see the individual frames here, here, and here.

You can see big advances in Central and South America, which went from one source in one country to 35 sources in nine countries. Africa went from 0 countries to six, and many were added in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. The countries that already had many sources also grew—the UK went from 44 to 60, Canada from 42 to 106 and the USA from 261 to 544! (The generosity and public-spiritedness of American public and academic libraries in providing open z39.50 connections is truly remarkable.)

Some of the most useful and important new sources are:

North America: Brooklyn Public Library, California State Library, Massachusetts Historical Society (USA), National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (USA), Maine State Library (Maine), Vancouver Public Library (Canada), University of Toronto (Canada), University of Waterloo (Canada), University of Ottawa (Canada), Instituto Politécnico Nacional (Mexico).

South America: Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (Colombia), Biblioteca Nacional Mariano Moreno (Argentina), Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (Peru).

Europe: London School of Economics (UK), University of Warwick (UK), University of Cyprus (Cyprus), Armenian Libraries Union Catalog (Armenia), FENNICA and VIOLA, the national bibliography and discography of Finland, Latvian Academic Union Catalog, Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Portugal), Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain/Catalonia), Universidad de Sevilla (Spain).

Africa and the Middle East: University of Ghana, American University of Kuwait, American University of Beirut, University of Lagos (Nigeria), Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, Sultan Qaboos University (Oman), National University of Lesotho, Ege Üniversitesi (Turkey).

Asia and Oceanea: University of Melbourne (Australia), Okayama University (Japan), National Taiwan University, University of Macao, Africa University (Zimbabwe).

A New, User-Editable Sources System

As mentioned above, the updates were made possible by a new system which allows select LibraryThing members to edit and add library sources. Those members are able to change any out of date connection parameters, which have been a perennial problem as libraries change systems and settings over time.

See the screenshots on the right for how it works.

How can you help?

Post your feedback and questions on Talk. If you have a library you’d like to be able to use in cataloging your books here on LibraryThing, post them on that same Talk thread! Going forward, you can post about it in the Recommended Site Improvements group at any time.

If you’re a librarian or library professional who’d like to help with updating and adding new sources, get in touch with our developer Chris Catalfo (ccatalfo) and we’ll add you to the group Library Add Books Sources Maintenance, which opens up source editing. Because the details are so technical, and there’s some danger of messing things up, we’re making group membership by request only.

Labels: cataloging, new features

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

May 2017 Early Reviewers

Win free books from the May 2017 batch of Early Reviewers titles! We’ve got 83 books this month, and a grand total of 2,165 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Then request away!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, May 29th at 6pm Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Random House World Weaver Press Chronicle Books
Henry Holt and Company William Morrow Prufrock Press
Five Rivers Publishing Prospect Park Books Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Oneworld Publications Recorded Books Open Books
Ballantine Books Tule Publishing Harper Perennial
Bantam Dell Anaphora Literary Press Orca Book Publishers
HighBridge Audio Tantor Media Timber Press
Story Spring Publishing, LLC Everything Goes Media Bellevue Literary Press
Akashic Books Meerkat Press INFLUENTIAL
BookViewCafe Apex Publications Sheffield Publications
Books by Elle, Inc Revell CarTech Books
Tundra Books Prism Publisher

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Happy Birthday TinyCat! (and free t-shirts)

It’s officially been one year since LibraryThing released TinyCat—the smart, nimble, and adorably compact online catalog for tiny libraries! We’re proud to already serve hundreds of small libraries worldwide, and we appreciate all the great feedback we’ve gotten so far.

Here’s just a few of our favorite libraries using TinyCat today:

Folio_logo.jpgFolio Seattle Athenaeum. Seattle’s independent membership library joined TinyCat from the very start. They showcase collections donated by members and in turn provide a vital, bookish space that cultivates culture and community.

Unity Church. One of the many religious libraries joining us early on, Unity Church has a pretty expansive library including their Anderson Adult library, Whitman Children’s library, and coming soon—rare books catalog.

ATK_logo.jpgAmerica’s Test Kitchen. We’re thrilled to see ATK using TinyCat for their staff’s resource library—running through their many tasty collections is sure to give you some great recipe ideas (and a healthy appetite).

To help celebrate our birthday with all of you, we’ll be giving away LOTS of swag during the month of May. Come join the fun:

Sign up for TinyCat, get a t-shirt!* If you haven’t tried TinyCat out for your small library yet, now’s the time! We’ll pick one winner from our new sign ups, every day, to win a free TinyCat t-shirt of their choosing! You don’t even need an organizational library to sign up. And, yes, TinyCat is completely free for personal use.

Join one of our weekly webinars. We host live webinars every Wednesday at 1pm Eastern, for those who want a run-down of how to use TinyCat. Just follow us on Twitter for the link to our next webinar, posted every Wednesday, or head over to our WebEx page and search our upcoming meetings for “TinyCat”. We’ll send a free t-shirt to one of our new attendees every week!

Follow us! We’re hoping to have a surprise item or two in the mix towards the end of the month. Stay tuned on Twitter and in our TinyCat Group on LT.

Come and share some birthday love with us on Talk—adorable cat photos will be gladly accepted. We hope our next year welcomes even more small libraries in need of a great OPAC! Now, we must find cake.


*Right image: one of our stylish TinyCat shirts we’re giving away this month. (LT Developer/shirt model Chris Holland not included—sorry guys.)

Labels: birthday, TinyCat

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Six New Sources: Amazon India, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, and China

We’re pleased to announce the addition of six new Amazon sites to LibraryThing’s cataloging sources. They are:

This is big news, because although we’ve had academic library sources for these countries and languages, Amazon has far more books for most readers, and is always faster.

UPDATE: Books, Music, and Movies

Initially these sources were available for books only. However, we’ve now added movies and music data from all but one of them. Amazon Brazil only has data for books available. Amazon India, Italy, Spain, Mexico, and China all have the option to search their books, music, and movies data.

To use them, go to Add Books, look under “Search where?” on the left-hand side of the page, and click “Add from 1077 sources.”

If you run into any issues, or have other feedback or questions, post them on Talk.

LibraryThing in Not-English?

Many members don’t know, but LibraryThing is available in more than a dozen languages, including ones for the new sources:

All translations have been done by members—an amazing amount of love and effort. Other sites include French, Germany, and our best-maintained translation, Catalan. See all of them.

Labels: cataloging, new features

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Libraries We Love

In honor of National Library Week in the US, LT staff got to talking about our favorite libraries around the world. Read all about our favorite places below, and come share your own on Talk.

With few exceptions, all of our favorite libraries can also be found on LibraryThing Local—LT’s way of connecting members to the real world of bookstores, libraries, and book events.

Tim

My family’s personal library. I grew up thinking a family library in the thousands, with a real intent to cover most topics, was entirely normal.

Boston Athenæum. Growing up, one of my best friends was the son of the director, so I spent a lot of time there, and he could take anything out. I particularly remember the day we spent finding all the very oldest and coolest books on magic and witchcraft they had.

Library of Congress. I went to Georgetown, but apart from the Woodstock Theological Library in the basement, it was only so-so and needed more. The LC—arguably the greatest library in the world—was my library and, really, my university too.

Boston Public Library. The BPL is, with the NYPL, one of only a few publics that try to maintain a serious research collection. I did a lot of work there in High School (I was a weird kid okay?). The main reading room is my idea of Heaven.

Beinecke Library. Architecturally, the most gorgeous library I know. I took my son to Yale just to see the library, and it was closed! But I recently made a replica for him in Minecraft. Check out Beinecke on video!


Loranne

University of Chicago Joseph Regenstein Library. My alma mater’s flagship library, and how I got my official start in my career in libraries—shoutout to the Bookstacks Department! “The Reg,” as it’s known on campus, has a foreboding, Brutalist exterior, but inside, seemed to have everything I could ever want. This includes UofC’s Special Collections.

Six Mile Regional Library District Branch. My very first public library as a child. I was hypnotized by the rotating shelves, and I have vivid memories of asking the librarian for more books on sharks, please.

The Choral Library at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. This one isn’t open to the public, and it’s in more or less a closet behind the King’s balcony. It was stuffy, crowded, and I loved it. It had a rolling ladder, just like the movies! My fellow choral office assistant and I mostly had it all to ourselves.

Seattle Public Library. Visually striking both inside and out, and always busy. What’s not to love about “the mothership” (as some of us are fond of calling it)? SPL is really on top of events programming, too: from helping folks with their taxes to speaker series.

Tuscaloosa Public Library. My grandparents’ local library, which has been a great resource for them for years. Possibly my favorite part is that, rather than a perennial book sale, the Friends of the Tuscaloosa Library Bookstore is open almost year-round, and is partly to blame for my home library’s shelves overflowing.


Abby

Mount Holyoke College Library. The building itself makes all sorts of “most beautiful library” lists, but this is where I spent much of my undergrad days, reading, sitting in the stacks in front of the HQ range grabbing books for my thesis, and occasionally napping in my carrel, when I wasn’t downstairs working at the Archives and Special Collections.

Boston Public Library. In the early days of LibraryThing, I would occasionally set up camp and spend the day working from the BPL. The McKim Building is beautiful, the collection itself is vast.

Mattapoisett Free Public Library. This was the library of my childhood, a tiny lovely place, complete with an old Civil War canon outside for climbing on.

New York Public Library. I have written many books—at least in my head, if not yet on paper—that take place in the NYPL.

Cambridge Public Library. My new everyday library.


Kristi

University of Tasmania Morris Miller Library. Many an hour I spent studying in the upper levels of this library, browsing the science collections and using the free internet to research my next weekend trip. It was one of the places I really felt welcome when travelling alone and overseas for a semester.

Newport Public Library. Sadly, this library closed while I was in college (don’t worry, a new cultural center took its place). The library used to be in a pretty little brick building on Main Street in my hometown. I was an avid patron there from 5 years old, and remember cleaning up the grounds with my Girl Scout Troop as a kid.

Beinecke Library. I’ve never been, but I would love to go! Rare books plus beautiful architecture, sourced with marble panels from Vermont? Count me in, please.

Trinity College Library. Another library I’d love to visit. The Long Room makes me think of grand fantasy tales, getting lost in the shelves in a world like Harry Potter’s or Redwall’s, and please say there are track ladders I could maybe ride without getting in trouble?

Tie between America’s Test Kitchen and American Cheese Society. I’m quite partial to libraries centered around food, and I often find myself browsing these libraries’ catalogs and drooling over their books.


KJ


Skidompha Library. This is a sentimental decision, as my mother is the director and I basically grew up in its shelves. They have won several state and national awards for programming, facility, and general awesomeness, but my favorite feature was the heated flooring in the children’s story circle.

Trinity College Library. Can you have an aspiration to just become a library? Because I could do that, here. Book of Kells was definitely bucket list material.


Biblioteca delle Oblate.
I work from my laptop around the world. When I was in Italy a few years ago, this branch of the Florence public libraries, overlooking the Duomo, provided me a sunny view, killer macchiatos (and, uh, wine), and steady/free wifi. Simply gorgeous.

Smith College Josten Performing Arts Library. Worked in this architectural ode to the 1960s in college, shelving music scores among squashy armchairs, becoming conversant in the Cutter Classification system.

Biblioburro. This library travels on braying hoof through a region of Colombia, bringing books to children who don’t have libraries of their own or other access to books. Such an elegant solution, even if the fuel costs are measured in hay and not heating oil.


Kirsten

Bridgton Public Library. I was this library’s Matilda many, many years ago.

North Bridgton Public Library. I lived next door to this library during my freshman year, and spent many hours poring over earth science books for my “Whitney Reports.” Locals will know what I’m talking about. Whitney himself lived just a few blocks away.

Lake Region Middle School Library. Moving to Maine from Puerto Rico in the middle of a school year then skipping a grade didn’t make for the most wonderful 7th grade experience. Thankfully, this library and its wonderful librarian were there. I wish I could remember her name, but mostly I remember her storytelling. She made The Polar Express for me.

San Francisco Public Library. I went to the library two days before I moved cross-country back to Maine to renew my library card. I still can’t bear to part with the physical card, though my e-borrowing privileges expired in 2015.

Tim’s family’s personal library. I’m pretty sure that the book stacks I make every time I housesit are primarily made up of Lisa’s books, maybe some of Liam’s. Tim’s are certainly fascinating to browse the titles, if a bit scholarly for my non-required-reading tastes.


Kate

New York Public Library. As a book-loving kid living in Texas, I dreamed of visiting this library, living in this library. I first made it to NYC in 2010 and was thrilled to meet Patience and Fortitude, and to wander around this marvel for hours. It did not disappoint, y’all.

Boston Public Library. After moving to Boston for library school, I spent many days getting to know the BPL: the collections, the artwork, the history. It still feels like home despite having left Boston four years ago.

Baylor University Armstrong Browning Library. This absolutely beautiful research library maintains the largest collection of the works of and works pertaining to Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the world. In Waco, Texas! I would many times attempt to study in the library only to be distracted by the stories it held.

St. Louis Public Library. This lovely piece of history underwent a complete restoration recently, the results unveiled on the library’s centennial in 2012. I love so much about this space: the stunning Grand Hall, the Graham Greene and Joseph Heller quotes on the ceiling of the stacks, the revamped children’s space. But most of all, I love that my husband and I got engaged here.

Trinity College Library. One day I’ll get there, y’all.


Your Favorite Libraries

Have a great National Library Week, and come share your favorites in the discussion on Talk!

Labels: libraries, library of congress, national library week

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

April 2017 Early Reviewers

Win free books from the April 2017 batch of Early Reviewers titles! We’ve got 86 books this month, and a grand total of 2,389 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Then request away!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, April 24th at 6pm Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Tundra Books Candlewick Press Akashic Books
Open Lens Beacon Press World Weaver Press
Henry Holt and Company Apex Publications Random House
Petra Books William Morrow Orca Book Publishers
Read Furiously Tule Publishing Raven Reads
Ballantine Books Chronicle Books Anaphora Literary Press
Heritage Books Harper Perennial Bantam Dell
HighBridge Audio Tantor Media The Plaid Raccoon Press
City Owl Press Small Beer Press Open Books
NewCon Press Algonquin Books Books by Elle, Inc
Revell BookViewCafe Bellevue Literary Press
Crown Publishing ForeEdge

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Interview with Brad Stone

Brad Stone, Silicon Valley journalist and best-selling author of The Everything Store, is known for his incisive stories on companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, and even Costco. His new book, The Upstarts takes a look at two of the biggest players in Silicon Valley today: Uber and Airbnb—how they began, and how they’re changing things.

Brad was kind enough to chat with LibraryThing founder Tim about his latest work.

Startup founders are used to crafting descriptions of their company of variable length, from a full deck, to an “elevator pitch,” or just a few insistent words. So… what’s this book you wrote?

Haha. The elevator pitches and the self-styled mythologies are often quite different than the chaotic reality. I talked to absolutely everyone who was there at the founding and gestation of both Uber and Airbnb to piece together the dramatic, often conflict-ridden first eight years at both companies. The tales are messy, fun, and awfully instructive about how to do business in the modern age.

Whom did you write it for?

For anyone interested in business, technology startups, or simply what it took to build globe-spanning juggernauts that have remade how we travel between and within cities.

After covering Amazon, I’m guessing you cast around a bit for the next company or companies to cover. What drew you to the stories of Airbnb and Uber?

The drama of their respective rises. Unlike the tech companies of the past, these startups had to fight battles in every city they entered. The founders had to be politicians, in a way that previous tech CEOs never did. So there was a nice parallel between the two companies, while their skyrocketing valuations and the impact they were having on cities demanded attention. I feel like the story of Silicon Valley goes in eight- to ten-year cycles, and these two companies have undeniably emerged as the enduring franchises of this last cycle.

Honestly, I almost abandoned the book early on—I disliked the companies, the founders, and aspects of their “sharing economy” so much. I didn’t and I’m glad—it’s gripping and I learned a lot. Your account is no hagiography. Did you like your subjects?

I’m impressed by what they accomplished and am a customer of both companies. I’ve stayed in lovely Airbnbs in Paris, South Africa, Brooklyn and elsewhere and met great hosts in all those places. I take Uber and Lyft around San Francisco and frequently when I travel. Do I like the founders? It’s not really my job to like or dislike them. I’m curious about the companies they have built and how they run them.

Your previous book, The Everything Store, chronicled the rise of Amazon. Amazon, and Uber/Airbnb represent two distinct waves in technology startups, with perhaps another, social wave—Facebook, Twitter and, in its small way, LibraryThing, in between. What distinguishes the companies you’ve researched, and their founders. And what unites them?

No one sits in the same category as Amazon. It’s defied all the expectations and allegations of its critics and expanded into an empire that delights customers and frustrates competitors. The founders of Uber and Airbnb are in a way disciples of Jeff Bezos. They are trying to emulate his bold bets on new initiatives, and Uber, I think, has tried to capture its culture of productive friction. But they both still have work to do.

» Read our full interview here!

Labels: author interview