Friday, June 29th, 2007

Find LibraryThing an employee, get $1,000 worth of books.

We need to find two excellent employees, a PHP hacker and a systems/database guy or gal, so we’re offering $1,000 worth of books to each of the people who find them. Think of it. $1,000 in books. What would you buy? Everything.

Rules! You get a $1,000 gift certificate to Abebooks, Amazon, Booksense or the independent bookseller of your choice. You can split it between them. You don’t need to buy books with it (but why do that?).

To qualify, you need to connect us to someone. Either you introduce them to us—and they follow up with a resume and etc.—or they mention your name in their email (“So-and-so told me about LibraryThing”). You can recommend yourself, but if you found out about it on someone’s blog, we hope you’ll do the right thing and make them the beneficiary.

Small print: Our decision is final, incontestable, irreversible and completely dictatorial. It only applies when an employee is hired full-time, not part-time, contract or for a trial period. If we don’t hire someone for the job, we don’t pay. The contact must happen in the next month. If we’ve already been in touch with the candidate, it doesn’t count. Void where prohibited. You pay taxes, and the insidious hidden tax of shelving. Tim Spalding and his family (all his family, Oakes) are not eligible, but if Abby wants to work Simmons or Altay his startup connections, fine. Abebooks employees are not eligible for this (but the internal offer still stands).

Needless to say, we’ll throw in a free lifetime membership, so you can catalog your loot. And you’ll get the satisfaction you helped LibraryThing become everything it could be.

Here are the job announcements:

UPDATE: We’ll take a look at people not in New England, especially for the DBA position.

Two jobs—dream jobs for the right people. We may hire one person or two, depending on what we get. (We’re happy to look at resumes with a mix of talents, or other talents.) Both jobs are located in the New England area, with some potential for telecommuting.


LibraryThing, the web’s largest and most innovative site for book lovers, is looking for a smart and experienced systems and database administrator. We value brains and talent above everything, but demonstrated experience with complex, high-traffic LAMP websites is essential to this position.

  • MySQL. Query optimization, replication, tuning, maintenance, recovery.
  • Systems administration. Linux administration, security, maintenance and recovery. Installation of new hardware.
  • Programming. You don’t need to start out a PHP guru, but you’ll have to support this part of the site.
  • Personal qualities. Speed, intelligence, reliability, high availability, good communication skills and sang-froid.


We’re also looking for a crackerjack PHP/MySQL developer. To qualify you must be passionate, creative, flexible–and fast.

  • PHP. We write terse, losely modular non-OO code.
  • HTML, CSS, Javascript.
  • MySQL. Knowledge of query optimization, replication and MySQL internals a plus.
  • Design or UI talents a plus.
  • Knowledge of social networking, math, statistics, collaborative filtering, bibliographic data or library systems a plus.
  • You must learn quickly and communicate effectively. Skills and attitude matter; experience per se does not.

How We Work

LibraryThing has a somewhat unusual development culture. It is not for everyone.

  • We develop quickly, knocking out features in hours or days, not weeks. We value results, not process.
  • We develop incrementally and opportunistically, assuming that member feedback will sometimes overturn our plans in mid-course, and that some projects will fail.
  • Everyone who works for LibraryThing interacts directly with members.
  • We value initiative and intellectual engagement. You must be able to work alone or in a small team.
  • We are only accepting applications from people within driving distance of Portland, ME or Cambridge, MA. We are currently headquartered in Portland, ME–the second floor of a gorgeous three-family along the Eastern Prom.–but may relocate to the Boston/Cambridge, MA area.
  • LibraryThing is more than a job for us. We work long, hard and usually sober, but not necessarily during “regular” hours. We love what we do. We want someone who will feel the same way.

About LibraryThing

LibraryThing is a social cataloging and social networking site for book lovers. Started in August 2005 as a hobby project, LibraryThing has grown to a handful of employees and some 215,000 members in a dozen countries. Members have cataloged 15 million books and applied almost 20 million tags. We are well known in the library world, and rapidly winning over booksellers, authors and publishers.

Contact Tim Spalding ( for more information, or to send a resume.

Labels: jobs


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