Archive for the ‘employees’ Category

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

700 Thank-Yous

After congratulating Loranne and Matt, I want to thank everyone who applied for the job and didn’t get it.

You are superstars

Almost 700 people ended up applying. Many put a lot of work into their cover letters, and I asked almost 100 to complete detailed follow-up questions. I interviewed 10–at two hours each, on average. People gave us a lot of time, and I’m grateful for it.

The applicant pool was amazing, including booksellers, librarians, publishing people and book lovers of innumerable types and talents. We seriously considered everyone from a director of marketing at a red-hot imprint to first-job people who just loved books so much they had to apply. Many were long-time LibraryThing members, many “outsiders.” Each “cut” was difficult. I suspect that most could have done the job, and I suspect hundreds would have rocked it. Deciding on Loranne and Matt was exciting. But saying goodbye to so many great people feels like a loss.

So, thank you for your time, and good luck in your careers. You guys are the superstars of the book world.

And all I got was this lousy t-shirt?

If you applied for the job, and if you’ve read all the way down to this, you may be saying “I applied for this job, and all I got is nice words?” But if you applied, you also know the original job post hid something at the bottom.(1)

Well, not true. You also get a t-shirt. Well, at least the first 100 people to ask will get one. (We might go above 100, but supplies here may give out.) Just email Tim your address, color and size, and we’ll hook you up.


1. About 1/3 missed it.

Labels: employees, employment, jobs

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Welcome Loranne

As Tim wrote earlier today, LibraryThing’s epic search for a “new Jeremy,” ended by deciding we’d take things up a notch and hire TWO people!

Hi, everyone, I’m Loranne Nasir (LT member lorannen)! I’m joining Tim, KJ, and Matt at LTHQ here in Portland. Along with Matt, I’m taking over for Jeremy, as Member Support and Social Media Librarian.

Originally from a small town in Missouri, I went to the University of Chicago, and recently completed a MSLIS at Syracuse University, where I studied everything from cataloging to information visualization. My social media experience includes helping Barbara Stripling with her successful campaign to become President of the American Library Association.

My hobbies include photography, swordplay (épée), wordplay, reading, and gaming. Among my favorite authors are Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Pratchett, and Haruki Murakami.

I’m very excited to be joining the LibraryThing team and moving to Portland all at once. Going forward, I’ll be handling Early Reviewers, contests and games (really looking forward to Edible Books come April!), as well as official Facebook and Twitter accounts.  I was drawn to LibraryThing by the outstanding community here, and while I’ve got big shoes to fill, I look forward to working with and for all of you!

Come say hi and welcome me and Matt on Talk.

Labels: employees

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Welcome Matt

Last month LibraryThing held an extensive, worldwide search for a “Bookish and Social-Media Savvy” employee.

We ended up unable to choose! The job is big, and we wanted to take it up a notch. So we chose two people–a small team devoted to helping LibraryThing members and advancing the site however and wherever it could be advanced. The first is Matt Mason, joining us as the “intern” or “junior” member of the team. (The other is Loranne; check out her blog post.)

Matt (LT member matthewmason) was born in Portland, Maine and grew up in Kennebunk.

This past May he graduated from the University of Vermont with a BA in Latin and Italian Studies.

While at college, Matt wrote his thesis on two fascinating Latin poems composed by Dante Alighieri, and had the opportunity to work within the Special Collections department of the Bailey-Howe Library. He also studied for a semester at L’Università degli studi di Urbino Carlo Bo in Le Marche, Italy, widely exploring humanist Latin poetry and drinking espresso.

Matt’s favorite authors include Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Leo Tolstoy and Roger Lancelyn Green.

Besides reading and translating, he tries to cook and oil paint whenever he gets the chance, and has taken up pottery as a hobby.

Come say hi and welcome Matt and Loranne on Talk.

Labels: employees

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Goodbye Jeremy

Jeremy wins one.

Tim and Jeremy lose one.

Yesterday LibraryThing turned eight, and today we say goodbye to Jeremy Dibbell (jbd1), LibraryThing’s social-media guy and all-around LibraryThing soul.

After nearly three years at LibraryThing, Jeremy is moving on. Next week he begins work as Director of Communications and Outreach at Rare Book School, located at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. We’ve loaned him to Rare Book School each summer he’s worked for us. He’s looking forward to joining the team there full time.

Jeremy is a long-time and much-loved member of the team. He was an early adopter, and became LibraryThing’s official-unofficial head of the Legacy Library project long before he came to work for us formally. Most members probably know him from the newsletter, our Facebook and Twitter feeds, from member-help emails, and for his Talk posts, helping new members and laying out his vision for LibraryThing’s development.

We aren’t going to lose him completely. Jeremy will continue on for a few weeks helping us where he can and giving his successor(1) some tips. And he will continue as head of the Legacy Library project. Indeed, as he says, he’ll have more time for it now. I suspect he’ll make his views about the site known too. I doubt he could help it.

It’s not easy to summarize everything Jeremy has done for us. Some highlights include:

  • Sending 10,600 emails, not counting those that came from info@librarything.com. He saved us from drowning, and far exceeded what a run-of-the-mill “social media” manager could have done.
  • Growing the size of the Early Reviewers program from around 1,200 books/month to today’s 3,500 or 4,000/month.
  • Helping to design, troubleshooting and discussing every major new feature in the last three years.
  • Continued growth of the Legacy Libraries program (see an overview here), including the new landing page, most of the Libraries of Early America (1,500+), and a number of wonderful LL flashmobs.
  • Special events, like our edible books contests, and book spine poetry.
  • Playing Santa for SantaThings 2010 (the Book Depocalypse), 2011 and 2012.

Jeremy moved to Portland to take this job, living only a block away from my house and the office. (My wife and my son were particularly grieved to hear he was leaving.) Being in the office gave his advocacy for members and his vision for LibraryThing extra impact. He’s been at the center of every major decision–from features to hires–for some time now. He’d be harder to miss if his contribution was not more obvious in the culture he leaves behind.

Sad as we are, we’re also excited for him too. He’s been passionate about Rare Book School for years–continuing to help out there in the summer was a condition of his taking the job. Charlottesville is a beautiful place. It is also close by Monticello, where Thomas Jefferson built his library. When he left Jeremy gave my son Liam a children’s book about Monticello and Jefferson’s love of books. It is fitting that Jeremy is there now, with his Jefferson-sized library and bibliophilia.

So, from me and all the LibraryThing staff, thank you Jeremy.


1. In case you’re wondering, our social-media job is still open, but closing fast. See the job post.

Labels: employees, employment, jefferson, jeremy dibbell, jobs, legacy libraries

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

LibraryThing is Hiring: Bookish and Social-Media Savvy?

This could be you! (clockwise: ChrisC, Kate, Abby, Tim, Mike, ChrisH; unpictured Seth, KJ, Jeremy.)

This could be you too, and wouldn’t that be great?
(photo by member Bluesky1963)

LibraryThing is hiring(1) a full-time, bookish, social-media savvy employee. We want someone who lives and breathes books, and would jump at the chance to talk to book lovers, authors, publishers and librarians.(2)

This is an anywhere position, but we will favor Portland, Maine people. If you live elsewhere, you’ll be expected to spend time in Portland at the start of the job, and return on a regular basis.

You must:

  • Love books
  • Love people, or at least not hate them
  • Be in tune with What Makes LibraryThing LibraryThing
  • Be deeply familiar with social media and bookish social media
  • Write well and quickly
  • Be hard-working, optimistic, and detail-oriented
  • Able to work and set goals independently

We’d like:

  • A book-world background (librarian, bookseller, publishing, etc.)
  • Professional social-media experience
  • Technical skills (HTML, CSS, SQL, PHP, etc.)
  • LibraryThing membership, familiarity
  • Some useless expertise and passion, to fit in with the rest of the staff.

Duties:

  • Write our newsletters, blog posts, tweets, and Facebook posts
  • Coordinate our Early Reviewers program
  • Assist members with problems
  • Be an active presence on the site, well-known to members and participating in important LibraryThing discussions
  • Suggest and help develop new features and projects
  • Learn, analyze and look for new opportunities

Compensation: Salary plus gold-plated health and dental insurance. We require hard work, but we are flexible about hours.

How to apply: Resume [as a PDF file] is good. Don’t send one of those overboiled cover letters, sent as another damn Microsoft Word document titled “Cover Letter,” but a brief introduction would be good, recapitulating the bullets above and how they do or don’t fit you. Send emails to tim@librarything.com.(3)


1. Jeremy (member JBD1) is moving on and up; he’ll be the new Director of Communications and Outreach at Rare Book School in Charlottesville, VA. It’s a great move for Jeremy–he’s been going down there to help them run the summer sessions for four years now. He’ll continue as unofficial-but-unquestioned leader of the Legacy Libraries project. We’ll bid him a proper good-bye in a later blog post.
2. In another company this might be called a “social media manager” job, but we don’t “manage” our members, we talk to them. We don’t want fake, we want nice but genuine.
3. Please title the email “LTSOCMED [your name].” Also, follow directions–even the ones at the end of a blog post.

Labels: employees, employment, hiring, jeremy dibbell, jobs

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Welcome KJ!

We are very pleased to welcome KJ Gormley (LT member kjgormley) to the LibraryThing team. KJ will be assisting Abby and Kate by providing technical and customer support for our LibraryThing for Libraries products (see the job post).

KJ grew up on the coast of Maine and earned her BA in Cultural Anthropology from Smith College. After school, she went to work for the Skidompha Public Library in Damariscotta, Maine, where she worked in the Development department and did technology assistance. She moved to Portland in September, and enjoys watching the sun set over Back Bay from her window. KJ will be joining Tim and Jeremy in working most of the time at LibraryThing HQ in Portland.

When not reading, KJ enjoys writing fiction, making a fool of herself at dance classes, playing ukulele, and sampling the Portland food culture. She is currently reading and watching her way through the collected works of Shakespeare. Her favorite authors are Robertson Davies, Ruth Ozeki, Neil Gaiman, and John Irving.

You can follow KJ on Twitter at @kjgormley.

Labels: employees, LTFL

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Welcome Seth, LT’s new sysadmin!

We are delighted to welcome Seth Ryder (LT member sryder) to the LibraryThing staff. Seth is our new systems administrator, and aside from all the usual system-administrator-type stuff, we threw him into the deep end last week by having him help us out with SantaThing ordering on his fourth day on the job!

Seth grew up in a small town outside Grand Rapids, Michigan. He worked for a large hosting company in the midwest where he spent his time as a Systems Administrator and even dabbled with a bit of quality assurance work for their internal development team. He has also has been doing freelance development for a few small companies over the past three years. At LibraryThing, Seth steps in to succeed Brian Stinson, who left LT for a great job at Kansas State University, where he’s working on his graduate degree in political science.

When he’s not busy keeping LibraryThing up and running, Seth says he enjoys attending concerts, learning about new technologies, reading fantasy books, exploring local breweries with friends, and hacking on personal projects. His favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling, and Brandon Sanderson. You can follow him on Twitter at @sethryder.

Labels: employees, sysadmin

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

New: LibraryThing T-shirts for kids!

We’ve just restocked on LibraryThing t-shirts, and we took the opportunity to add some new sizes: we’re now offering youth sizes XS, S, and M (roughly 2T, 4T, and 6T). They’re available now in the store. Each size comes in black or red (the kids’ shirts are a brighter red than the adult “cranberry” ones). They’re Anvil brand, 100% cotton, pre-shrunk, and can be yours for $15 plus shipping.

We could think of no better way to highlight the new shirts than to allow the LibraryThing staff to show off their cute children (most of whom longtime members may remember from when they were LibraryThing babies). Click on each picture for a larger version. All five are wearing the new Youth Small size.

From left, from oldest to youngest: Tim’s son Liam, 6; Chris C.’s daughter Ellie, 4.5; Chris H.’s daughter Kate, almost 4; Abby’s son Jasper, 3.5; and Chris C.’s son Julian, 1.5.

Labels: employees, tshirts

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Welcome Mike Topper!

Welcome Mike Topper (LT member miketopper), our new developer! He’ll be working on projects both for LibraryThing.com and for LibraryThing for Libraries.

Mike was born and raised in a small city right outside Detroit, Michigan. After graduating from the University of Michigan with degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics, he went on to work for various startup companies in Ann Arbor, New York City and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mike and his wife moved back from Argentina last year and are now restoring a 200-year-old farmhouse in rural Maine. (Mike will be able to come down to LibraryThing’s offices in Portland whenever we want to work together, but he’ll mostly be working from home.)

Mike enjoys hiking in the White Mountains, knitting things for friends and family, reading a lot of epic fantasy books, buying fancy scotch, rooting for the Detroit Tigers and working on his falling-down farmhouse. He has dreams of one day owning a herd of dairy goats.

His favorite authors include Arthur Conan Doyle, George R.R. Martin, Michael Sipser and Kurt Vonnegut. You can follow him on Twitter at @miketopper, and as GeekPride on Ravelry.

Labels: employees

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Welcome Brian!

Welcome Brian Stinson (LT member tabashco), our new systems administrator: the person who keeps the servers running, plans expansions, monitors performance and protects your data.

Brian describes himself as a city kid from Witchita, KS (and writes “Before you ask, I’ve never met Dorothy, and I couldn’t grow some wheat to save my life but the Sunflower State will always be home”). He earned his BS in Computer Science from Kansas State University, where he’s soon to begin a graduate program in Political Science. Brian will be supported by the rest of the LibraryThing staff, who have become much more familiar with the systems side of LibraryThing since John informed us of his departure.

Brian likes C-Span, running, reading, college football, sledding, and listening to campus radio. His favorite authors include Ernest Hemingway, Cory Doctorow, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mark Twain. You can follow him on Twitter at @tabashco.

Labels: employees, servers, sysadmin