Archive for May, 2017

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