For every bookstore and library event added to LibraryThing Local from now until
January 1 April 4, 2013, LibraryThing will donate up to 15 cents to put books in the hands of the needy.
$0.15 Manually-added event with author and work touchstones
$0.05 Manually-added event with no touchstones
$0.04 Automatically-added event with working author and work touchstones
$0.02 Automatically-added event without touchstones
We’re only going to count events added to real-world bookstores and libraries, and the events must be future events, not past ones. Events can be in any country.
What happens after
January 1 April 4? We don’t know. If it’s a success, we’ll probably keep doing this.
Where Will The Money Go? We need to find a good place for the money to go, and ask for help finding one—or creating our own project from the ground up. Some projects that inspired us include:
- Buy India a Library, which, builds and staffs a library in a poor part of India (see my friend Andromeda Yelton’s YouTube video about it, another friend, Justin Hoenke is also involved).
- One Library at a Time, responsible for creating two libraries in Panama and starting another in Ghana.
- Libraries Without Borders
There must be many more. I’m also interested in South Sudan, where LibraryThing member johnthefireman works.
Come discuss where we should spend the money on Talk here.
Why we’re doing this. LibraryThing Local has been a success, but mostly as a way for members to mark and broadcast their favorite bookstores and libraries.
LibraryThing Local Events originally included some automatically-added events, especially a full event feed from Booksense/IndieBound, but IndieBound eventually decided to stop providing event feeds to sites like LibraryThing after booksellers complained that their events were being, yes, listed on the web. (Really.) Meanwhile, automatic feeds from some other sources foundered on the lack of a good way for members to filter out low-interest events, such as daily storytimes.
All-in-all, events have suffered. The fewer events showed up, the less attractive the events system seemed. LibraryThing members continue to curate and improve the system constantly (with over 4.6 million edits to Common Knowledge, 3.4 million work combinations and separations, etc.), but events have lagged behind.
Meanwhile, LibraryThing has become a profitable company (clap, clap, clap). We’re not wildly profitable, and are spending most of our money on hiring new people, but I feel it’s important to give something back the moment we can do so. Staff and members have long wanted to help build a library in a poor country, or for a disadvantaged population. As someone said, “what you can do, you should do.” We can do this.
But if we’re going to do it, why not get members involved–improving the site for all and “buying into” the charitable project?
The Fine Print. Events added to LibraryThing Local, whether manually or using the Add Events API must be connected to a unique LibraryThing account and conform to the the LibraryThing Terms of Service. The addition of spurious, spam or any other non-events is not permitted, will not count and may result in the suspension of your LibraryThing account. If event quality suffers, we may have to adjust what qualifies. What events qualify is up to our sole and final discretion.
LibraryThing shall determine how the money will be spent, when and where. We are setting an initial, optional limit of $1,000 per member and $5,000 overall, just in case someone figures out how to add 500,000 events we didn’t know existed.
We reserve the right to modify the fine print at any time, and to cancel the program as well.
We are giving ourselves legal leeway here. We want no basis for getting sued. But if we scrooge this up, you are encouraged to excoriate us for it everywhere you can.
Come discuss the feature in general here.
Image of coins courtesy Flickr user freefotouk (Ian Britton).