Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Congrats to Our Edible Books 2015 Winners!

Thanks to all who entered our Fourth Annual Edible Books Contest! Your confections look amazing, and my only regret is the sugar craving you’ve left in your wake. You can check out all the submissions for this year’s Edible Books Contest over in the “EdibleBooks2015″ tag gallery. Without further ado, I present our winners for 2015.

Grand Prize

This year’s grand prize goes to LT member W.MdO, whose assortment of sugar cookie book covers from iconic works like To Kill a Mockingbird and Catch-22 wowed us all. Iced by hand entirely with royal icing, most of LT Staff agrees, these look almost too good to eat. We’d be willing, though, to save anyone else from having the destruction of such masterpieces on their conscience.

In addition to the requisite fame and glory, W.MdO will be receiving $50 worth in books, hand-picked by LT Staff! We’ll also be sending some LT swag their way: an LT t-shirt or tote bag, an LT library stamp, a CueCat barcode scanner, an LT sticker, and two lifetime gift memberships, to bestow as they see fit. Amazing work!

2nd Place

Our first runner-up award (and the accompanying prestige and prizes) goes to LT member powerfulpotentiality, for their truly magical (sorry) cake, inspired by Annie Sage’s fantasy novel, Magyk. powerfulpotentiality’s work is the spitting image of the tome itself, in cake form—crafted as a hummingbird cake (banana pineapple spice cake, for the uninitiated) with browned buttercream frosting. I’d love to know how our baker achieved the shimmer gold effect on the accents!

3rd Place

Second runner-up honors (and prizes) go to LT member gofergrl84, for their impressively faithful reconstruction of the eponymous cake, from Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half masterpiece, “The God of Cake”—if you haven’t read this yet, go do it, now. Complete with looming caricature of the author in the background and marshmallow animals, we can only wonder how gofergrl84 managed to contain the need for sugar long enough to photograph their work. Well done!

Thanks, everyone!

Winners, be sure to check your profile comments shortly for details on claiming your prizes.

Competition was fierce this year—while it was a small batch, the sheer quality across the board submissions really knocked our socks off. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a special shout-out to StJohntheBaptist‘s heartfelt and detailed pop-up cake, depicting the grand opening of their church’s lending library. LT member marcottm made a beautiful, hand-painted Rice Krispie treat castle, complete with a boy and his dragon, inspired by When a Dragon Moves In. The apple pie shipwrecked on an island of marshmallows created by milibrarian was clever and sounds delicious! And—particularly as a fellow cat-owner—morningwalker‘s cat box cake (complete with scoop!) amused me to no end. You are all far better bakers than I. Thanks so much for sharing your talents with us!

Labels: contest, contests, fun

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Welcome Alexander!

Welcome to LibraryThing’s second baby of 2015, Alexander Stephen Krieger (Alex, or Sasha if you’re feeling fancy)! Alexander was born on March 9th—6lbs 5oz—to LibraryThing for Libraries’ Kate Krieger and her husband Adam.

Baby Alex is honored to share his birthday with Tim’s son Liam!

Labels: LibraryThing babies

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Welcome Hattie!

Welcome to Harriet Louise Topper Curtis! Harriet (or Hattie, as mom and dad like to call her) was born on January 6—8lbs., 6oz.—to LibraryThing Developer Mike Topper and his wife Eliza Curtis.

Hattie’s first few months have been exciting! She enjoys mornings, bouncing on a yoga ball, watching people eat with their mouth open, and not letting other people get any work done.

Labels: LibraryThing babies

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

April Early Reviewers batch is live!

The April 2015 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 116 books this month, and a grand total of 3,030 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 27th 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!

Beacon Press Crown Publishing Taylor Trade Publishing
Henry Holt and Company Lion Fiction Ashland Creek Press
Tundra Books Greenleaf Book Group Chronicle Books
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing Flying Heron Books Quirk Books
Crux Publishing Medallion Press John Ott
In Fact Books Bards and Sages Publishing Small Beer Press
Candlewick Press Horrific Tales Publishing Velvet Morning Press
Grey Sun Press Ballantine Books Akashic Books
Prufrock Press EsKape Press Five Rivers Publishing
Open Books Random House CarTech Books
Post Mortem Press Books to Go Now Greyhart Press
Booktrope Recorded Books HighBridge Audio
About Face Press ForeEdge University Press of New England
Dartmouth College Press Brandeis University Press Northeastern University Press
BookViewCafe Cool Gus Publishing Sandra Jonas Publishing
Human Kinetics Plume Dragonwell Publishing
Bellevue Literary Press The Plaid Raccoon Press Algonquin Books
Plough Publishing House Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Chosen Books

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

LibraryThing’s 4th Annual Edible Books Contest

Spring has finally sprung, which means it’s time for our FOURTH annual Edible Books Contest! Members cooked up a delicious batch of literary confections and concoctions last year, and we’re expecting another strong showing for 2015.

The Rules

1. Create an “edible book.” We’re defining this broadly, so entries can include dishes:

  • referencing a book’s title or characters (puns are entirely welcome)
  • inspired by a book’s plot
  • in the shape of an actual book (or eBook, or scroll, etc.)
  • takeoffs on the LibraryThing logo

2. Document your masterpiece. At right is the grand-prize winner from last year’s contest, inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. You can see other submissions from last year in the EdibleBooks2014 gallery (and here’s 2013 and 2012). If your creation is super realistic, take a photo cross section of your creation as you eat it!

3. Upload the photo to your LT member gallery. Sign in, then go here and click the “Add another picture” link to add the image.

4. When adding the image, be sure to tag it “EdibleBooks2015.” Yes, those capital letters are important. This will add your image to the contest gallery, and counts as your entry. If your photo doesn’t have that tag, we won’t know that you’ve entered. You can see current entries here.

5. Tell us about your literary inspiration—and how you made it—in the “Title/description” box

DEADLINE: The contest will run for just over three weeks. Add your photos by 6pm Eastern on Sunday, April 19th.

The Prizes

From all entries in the EdibleBooks2015 gallery, LibraryThing staff will choose the following winners:

Grand Prize (1)

  • $50 worth of books from Sherman’s Bookstore*
  • Your choice of LT t-shirt OR tote bag
  • An LT library stamp (your choice of classic, mini, or “clean” stamp)
  • A CueCat
  • An LT sticker
  • Two lifetime gift memberships
  • Great honor and prestige

Runners Up (2)

  • Your choice of one LT t-shirt, tote bag, stamp, or CueCat
  • Two lifetime gift memberships

As always, we will pick a few Honorable Mentions from the batch of entries. The more entries we receive, the more Honorable Mentions we can make—and all of them will get lifetime gift memberships, too.

Have fun, and good luck!

Fine Print: You can enter as many times as you like, but you can only win one prize. Your dish must be made of edible ingredients (no hats, lost-wax sculptures, performance art), and by entering the contest you certify that it is your own creation. Entries submitted to previous LibraryThing Edible Books contests will not be considered. All decisions as to winners and book prize slections will be made by LibraryThing staff, and our decisions are final. LibraryThing staff and family can enter, but can only be honored as prize-less runners-up. Any images you load stay yours, or you can release them under a copyleft license, but we get a standard “non-exclusive, perpetual” right to use them.

Questions? Comments? Post them over on Talk.

*Surprise books will be chosen by LibraryThing staff from Portland, ME’s indie bookstore, Sherman’s! We’ll make our selections based on the winner’s library/wishlist.

Labels: contest, contests, fun

Friday, March 20th, 2015

New Drag and Drop Catalog Style Editing

We’ve updated how you can arrange the fields in your catalog. What was formerly a collection of drop-down menus has been converted to a drag and drop method. Questions or comments? Tell us all about it on Talk.

Test it out and update your catalog styles here!

Here’s what it looks like now:


You’ll still have up to five customizable display styles, A-E as pictured, with a maximum of 14 fields in each style. Now, instead of having to adjust five or six drop-down menus in order to add a field to the middle of a style, or completely rearrange the order in which the fields appear, all you have to do is drag and drop!

You can drag fields over to a style from the collapsible menu on the right side of the page. This menu categorizes various fields according to type/function: “Physical” contains all the options for dimensions of the book, “Classification” features call numbers, Lexile measures, and so on. You can even drag fields from one display style into another, although doing so will remove that field from the original style.

You can reach your Display Style Settings from either the handy little “Settings” button at the top of Your Books, or by clicking the “Settings” that appears in the upper-right corner, just below the site search bar, when you’re signed in and on the LibraryThing home page, or your profile.

Go see it in action and come tell us what you think on Talk!

Labels: new feature, new features, Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

March Early Reviewers batch is live!

The March 2015 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 131 titles this month, and a grand total of 3,545 copies to give out. It’s a big batch, and a great month for non-fiction, in particular. 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, March 30th 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!

MSI Press Henry Holt and Company Crown Publishing
Taylor Trade Publishing CarTech Books Tundra Books
Lion Fiction Beacon Press Apex Publications
Booktrope Ashland Creek Press Wave Books
Open Books Prospect Park Books Five Rivers Publishing
Cool Gus Publishing Information Today, Inc. EsKape Press
Sunrise River Press William Morrow Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Candlewick Press Post Mortem Press Chronicle Books
Bookkus Publishing Ballantine Books Akashic Books
Medallion Press Harper 360 NewCon Press
Blacksmith Books PublicAffairs Bantam Dell
Bellevue Literary Press Human Kinetics Books to Go Now
Plume BookViewCafe Rippple Books
Recorded Books HighBridge Audio McFarland
Avery Random House Gotham Books
JournalStone Symmetry Press LLC Plough Publishing House
Applegate Valley Publishing Telemachus Press, LLC Oculus Print

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Your Call Number System

I’ve added a feature so members and small libraries can record your own primary call-number system–the one that you actually use, if you use one.


You can then add a new field, “Call number” to your display styles:


You do this here, at Settings > Other settings.

Why do this? Well, a few reasons.

  1. Your styles can include a “Call number” field, which visitors will find easier to understand.
  2. If you set it to Library of Congress (LCC) or Dewey (DDC/MDS), then you can change the “Call number” column and it will change your LCC or DDC.
  3. If you see it to “Personal or custom system” you can add, edit and show your own private call numbers, without bothering to edit another system.
  4. If you set it to one of the many others (Bliss, Cutter Expansive, etc.) you can add your own numbers, and at some point in the future we may be able to improve on that with additional data from library records. If not data, we can at least code the rules for sorting other classifications.

Here are the options. Feel free to suggest others. Note that nothing has been taken away here. You can continue to use DDC, LCC and now a new private call-number system without obstacles.


Come talk about this on Talk.

Labels: new feature, new features, Uncategorized

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Two new LibraryThing Stamps


When we introduced the LibraryThing Stamp for our sixth birthday in 2011, you gave us lots of great ideas for making them better.

After some deliberation, we are proud to introduce two new stamps to the LibraryThing “line.”

The first is a “clean” or “empty” stamp, with space for members to add their initials, date, member name or whatever else they want to add. The design removes the “LT” in the middle and adds a cute “L” banner. It’s 1×1 inch, with a handle, like our “classic” stamp.

The second is a smaller half-inch “mini” stamp, with the classic “LT” look. It’s good for inside, as well as spines and edges. And it’s so darn cute!

The new stamps are $15 and $10, respectively. Check out all of our stamps and other LibraryThing merch in the Store, and tell us what you think about the new designs on Talk.

Happy Stamping!

Labels: fun, LT swag

Friday, February 20th, 2015

New Feature: Lending (a.k.a. “Circulation”)

circulation-lendingboxWe’ve just released a major new feature: lending tracking, or, as libraries call it, “circulation.”

Why are we doing this?

Regular members have long called for a simple way to track lending. But the strongest calls have come from the many small libraries that use LibraryThing–community centers, classrooms, museums, churches, synagogues, ashrams, health centers, masonic temples, etc. We’ve got a list of some our favorites.

Simple but Strong

Although simple to use, “Lending” was designed to be powerful enough for small libraries. Rather than just a field for a name, it’s a full system, with:

  • Who checked something out and when
  • Due dates and “overdue” status
  • “On hold,” “missing” an custom statuses
  • Summary information by transaction, status and patron
  • Control over what status information visitors see

Here’s a video I made explaining it:

If you don’t want to watch the video, or want more information, here it is in text.

Come talk to us about it here on Talk.

Where can I find it?

Members who haven’t changed their catalog display styles will find the “Lending” column on style “B.” To add it to a style, go to “Settings.” (This used to be just a “cog” graphic next to the styles.)


You can find Lending summary information as a mode, together with tags, authors, etc.


Here’s how it looks in the catalog. Double-click to add or change a book’s lending status. Although there are a lot of fields, everything is optional. If you just want to track in/out, with no names or dates or due-dates, that’s fine:

Here’s what lending looks like on book pages–a little “book-pocket” icon () to edit lending status, and, if the book has a status, an area for showing it.

Here’s what it looks to add a status:

Selecting the “Lending” menu within the catalog () shows you summary and transaction information.

There are a lot of options here:

There’s also a “Lending Summary” section for your home page, available under Home > Books:

Thanks. Come talk to us about it here on Talk.

PS: This was a joint effort between myself and Ammar, who did great work, with some help from Chris Holland and others.

Labels: libraries, new feature, new features