Archive for the ‘employees’ Category

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

LibraryThing still interviewing great PHP hackers

We’ve managed to fill our systems-administrator position. (We’ll tell you about him when he starts on Friday, but I can report he hails from the the Sunflower State.) But we’re still actively looking for 1-2 great PHP hackers. Applicants can be from anywhere, though Portland, Maine applicants get free coffee during their interview.

If you’re interested, check out this blog post. System administration skills are no longer a primary need, but they can’t hurt either.

If you want to test your brain a bit, check out the LibraryThing Programming Quiz. We’re asking all applicants to take it, and tell us how they did.

Labels: employees, employment

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Welcome Kate!

Welcome Kate McAngus (LT member katemcangus), who’s filling the job we posted a few months ago.

Kate is going to be working primarily on LibraryThing for Libraries—doing customer and technical support, and generally making sure Abby doesn’t go crazy.

Kate’s a librarian, with a Masters of Library and Information Science from Simmons College.* She also has a Masters in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of Virginia.

She likes reading, running, yoga, dogs, Russian, breakfast tacos (the only thing Texas has on Massachusetts). Ironically, she’s a vegetarian with the last name McAngus. Kate hails from Austin, Texas and says y’all a lot. Favorite authors include, but are not limited to, Vladimir Nabokov, Eudora Welty, and Tana French.


*Bringing our total number of card-carrying librarians up to… four! (Abby, Chris C, Jeremy, and Kate)

Labels: employees, librarything for libraries

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

LibraryThing is hiring (non-technical)


2007 Halloween book pile winner by member Bluesky1963

LibraryThing is hiring again—a relatively junior position, with room to advance and grow. We’re looking for someone smart and organized to help out with the customer support side of the quickly growing LibraryThing for Libraries.

You must be:

  • Able to write quickly and well
  • Organized as all get-out
  • Able to juggle multiple tasks efficiently and with humor
  • Extremely comfortable with computers
  • Able to work independently and communicate effectively

We’d appreciate:

  • A Library or Information Sciences Degree
  • Experience in libraries or library “industry”
  • Technical skills (HTML, CSS, MySQL, etc.)
  • Customer-service or sales experience
  • Mac lover
  • Love of cheese

Duties:

  • Assist Abby with LibraryThing for Libraries
  • Provide customer support to libraries
  • Attend trade shows
  • Learn whatever we need you to learn
  • Think creatively and suggest improvements
  • Whatever else is needed. We are still a startup so “duties” are fluid.

Location:

Boston, MA or Portland, ME area strongly preferred. If we get enough applications we will probably not look at others–no offense.

Compensation:

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

How to apply:

Email and resume is good. Don’t send a separate cover letter. In your email, please go through the bullets above, explaining briefly how they do or don’t fit you.

Send emails to abby@librarything.com.

[Update, 4/21/11: We're reviewing applications now; further submissions are not being considered at this time. Thanks for your interest!]
[Update, 5/12/11: We've made our hire, look for an announcement soon!]

Labels: employees, employment, jobs

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Welcome Jeremy!

On January third LibraryThing will welcome a new employee: Jeremy Dibbell (member JBD1).

Jeremy is well-known to the LibraryThing community as the leader of the Legacy Library and Libraries of Early America, which he’s been coordinating since 2008.

Jeremy will be taking on our newly created “social media” job. He will coordinate the Early Reviewers program, State of the Thing, LibraryThing for Publishers, LibraryThing for Authors, our Facebook and Twitter presence, and everything else involving member projects and outreach. We’re going to take advantage of his particular knowledge of rare books and historical books, through outreach to these communities and the development of new features for them.

Jeremy’s job is comprehensive and global. He’s here to fix what’s ailing, shut down what isn’t worth it, and organize and create the things that will carry us forward.

Jeremy has two masters from Simmons College, one in Library Science and another in History–the exact same combination Abby has. We stole him from a job at the Massachusetts History Society, where he was an Assistant Reference Librarian, and worked on much of their social media, editing the blog and creating the John Quincy Adams Twitter diary.

We wanted to hire Jeremy the instant he indicated he might be available. I’ve myself have known him for a couple years now, and have developed enormous respect for his intelligence and dilligence. We already have a good working relationship, from Legacy Libraries and other projects. I can’t wait to work with him fulltime.

Jeremy will start work on January third, jumping into a lot of open issues and a mailbox that’s already full.(1) On the seventh he’ll be flying off to San Diego with Abby for the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association. If you’re going, be sure to say hi him.


1. How cruel is that?

Labels: employees, employment, jeremy dibbell

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Luke’s bookbuying spree

Hiring good employees is tough. So we try to sweeten the pot a bit. Last fall we offered $1,000 worth of books to anyone who could find us a good employee. Luke, genius that he is, “found” himself.

Voila Luke, holding his gift cards to Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA. Ironically, by the time we got to cashing in his prize, Luke had moved on (a new company and a new state! Now he’s conveniently located near to the fantastic Porter Square Books and, of course, me.)

The bookstore wasn’t quite sure how to handle our request for a $1,000 gift card. Apparently they’d never done that before, and the system couldn’t handle it. So Luke wound up with five $200 gift cards. All the better for sharing.

Labels: employees, luke

Monday, September 29th, 2008

Find LibraryThing a Maine employee, get $1,000 in books

That’s right. Find us a Maine—or anyway within an hour of Portland, ME—employee and we’ll give you $1,000 in books.

We did this once before. It’s how we found John, our Systems Adminitrator. (John found himself, so he got his own $1,000.)

Jobs. We have three potential jobs to fill.

  • Hacker. We’re looking for PHP hacker. JavaScript genius and library-data experience. We hope we get two of those.
  • Graphic designer/user-experience guru. Experience designing for data-rich sites like LibraryThing a must.
  • Brainy, overworked assistant. Smart, flexible, organized, relentless—willing to do both high-level (strategic analysis) and low-level (send-out-these-CueCats) work. The job is non-technical, but you need to be super-comfortable around computers.

Rules! You get a $1,000 gift certificate to Abebooks, Amazon, Booksense or the independent bookseller of your choice. (Longfellow Books? Books Etc.?) 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.

Contact Tim Spalding (tim@librarything.com) for more information, or to send a resume.

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. Void where prohibited. You pay taxes, and the insidious hidden tax of shelving.

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.

Kudos. This blog post samples CreativeCommons Attribution-Share-Alike images from Flickr users boredcollegekid, GoCardUSA, SundayKofax, DBKing (Longfellow statue in DC, not Portland, alas), Man_Pikin and RyanInc.

Labels: employees

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Top ten suggestions


Member lilypadma suggested we hire more people. But finding new good people is hard, so we opted for cloning.**

Just over a week ago* we asked members to come up with their recommendations on “Ten Ways to Make LibraryThing Better.” We promised to pick twenty-five winners, including ten winning answers and fifteen random picks.

Members heard the call, writing 259 answers for a total of 45,000 words–slightly longer than Henry James’s Turn of the Screw. Last week Sonya, Abby, Casey and I got together to work on LibraryThing for Libraries. We took a break on Wednesday to (drink and) read through the answers. We couldn’t pick just ten winners, so I’ve expanded it to 17–32 winners total. We could have easily done 50 more.

The Prizes. Winners get to chose between (1) A CueCat barcode scanner; (2) A LibraryThing t-shirt; (3) First dibs on a LibraryThing Early Reviewers book.

Winners should let Abby (abby@librarything.com) know what you want. If you want the Early Reviewer book, you’re also going to need to change your Early Reviewers picks to select just one book. We’re going to give you an “ER mojo” of a million, so whatever you pick, you’ll get.

The Winners. Random Winners: rfb, maryanntherese, jocainster, Imprinted, circeus, jabogaer, rastaphrog, claudiuo, jjmcgaffey, arnzen, trojanpotato, surly, phoenixfire, sigridsmith

sophies_choice (7): “Let us mark which books are our favourite.” I’m divided whether to make this work like author and venue favorites, or to make it a “collection.”

PhoenixTerran (31): “Update debris and author pages immediately after combining/separating has occurred” A big leap is going to happen here very soon, with the introduction of a more stable “editions” layer. I’m actually doing edition-level calculations in the background today, with an eye to inaugurating the system on a limited basis tonight.

Philtill (160): We all loved Philtill’s ten suggestions, which amount to “Make LibraryThing more like Tickle.” There are dangers to personality tests and statistical correlatons, of course. But we love to play with data, and “tell me about myself” is one of the main reasons people use LibraryThing anyway. So, expect us to take these ideas seriously.

jocainster (28): “Add a link to the book’s main page in the ‘Recently Added’ section.” Abby had to be restrained after reading this one.

parelle (44): Parelle wrote two related suggestions–LT bookmarks and a parnership with Moo Cards. dreamlikecheese focused in on sending cards to libraries and bookshops. This is one area we’re definitely going to look into.

sabreuse (152). “I was at a conference last week where I picked up several new books, but didn’t have internet access all day. And I realized that I want to be able to add books by SMS, the same way I can send photos directly to flickr or add events to my google calendar by text message, both of which I do all the time. I’d love to be able to add new ISBNs to my library while I’m out shopping, or traveling, or tied up away from a computer.”

nperrin (17): “Some ingenious way to link books to books about them. If I’m looking at a novel, I want to know how to find the best criticism of that novel or author.”

usquam (109): “Work with publishers to get better integration of their catalogues into LibraryThing. They should have covers, contents, editions, etc – as per the new ‘series’ area, it would be interesting to see what we have from a particular publisher, and then have them show other editions or titles we might like or are missing.”

susiebright (155): “I loved Secret Santa; it was the hightlight of my Xmas gift giving because it was so entirely unexpected. I think you should offer a ‘Birthday Surprise’ gift program of the same kind. You pick a ‘birthday kid’s name’ out of the hat, and send them a book based on what you glean from their library!’” We’re thinking that BirthdayThing could be hard to arrange, but doing a mid-year (June 25?) Secret Santa sounds fun. This time, members are doing the ordering!

yhoitink (9): “Add the European Library as a source.” Casey is squarely behind this one.

amysisson (87): “a virtual ‘badge’ or ‘ribbon’ (like LT author) for on the profile pages of people who’ve contributed over a certain level(s) of info, such as CK or combining” I’d love to do something like this. I’m attracted to the Barnstar model.

papyri (95): “Provenance, ex-libris (previous owner(s)) info listing (can be done like multiple authors). Possibly including dates and locations. Privacy option for this would be nice.” Sophies_Choice also suggested this be integrated with LT Local. Good stuff.

ssd7 (111) “Cross Source Searching. So, I would like to get my data from the LoC. But I would also like to just punch in an ISBN. These two desires are not always compatible since searching on ISBN’s often yields nothing from the LoC. When a search returns no results why not use the LT database or Amazon to find the title and then research for the user? Or at the very least let me set up a ‘priority’ listing of the sources so that if LoC yields nothing, it will automagically search Amazon.” ssd7 (111) also suggested “Open source the code.” This continues to interest us. No promises.

hegelian (16): “OpenID might be a smarter way to login for some people.”

_Zoe_ (24): “The ability to reset the unread marker at the message you’ve actually read up to.”

zcannon (25): “A widget that works on WordPress.”

TerrierGirl (34): “Could each book’s original copyright year be added to the my library, add to library screens? This would help interested potential readers place each book in time. Also, it would tell a reader when a particular book fell within that writer’s career.” I’ve wanted to do this for some time.

Notes on Method. We decided to leave off a small number of common topics, including collections, author disambiguation, HelpThing, tagging of groups, web links on book pages, more than seven columns, and a Facebook application. They are very much on our radar already. Seeing them over and over again had its effect, you can be sure.

We also left off suggestions for features completed since we asked the question, like better tags, and to avoid new features in favor of bug-fixing. It’s a delicate thing, and not one we’ve always gotten right, I’ll admit. I’ve been on a bug-fixing and performance kick recently.


*That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!
**The person you don’t know is Mike, a local Portland programmer working with us part-time for a few months. Note, I was supposed to be also sitting in the chair—reading Everything is Miscellaneous—but there was a tragic head/butt airspace issue.

Labels: employees, features, fun

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Hello Sonya and Chris

We’re growing again…

Sonya. First a big welcome to Sonya Green (sonyagreen), who is going to be working on LibraryThing for Libraries, our effort to get LibraryThing goodness into library catalogs.

Sonya is taking the job we advertised a month ago; she is, as required, smart, personable, hard-working, organized, techy, a fast learner and libraryish.(1) Her job includes customer wrangling and hand-holding, but also a fair amout of CSS. I’m happy to say she passed our MySQL test, going from zero knowledge to the “if you like X, you’ll like Y” statement in only a few hours. (I’ve interviewed programmers who couldn’t get there at all.)

Sonya has a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of lllinois and worked at the Millicent Library in Fairhaven, MA. She volunteers at the Papercut Zine Library in Boston, and will therefore be leading any future LT efforts with zines. She knits, bikes, pet kittens, and tries not to tip over her bucket of sunshine.(2)

Sonya is mostly going to do LTFL, but that didn’t stop her from telling us she hates our colors immediately after arrival in Portland, so Abby, Sonya and I spent half the day playing with alternate color schemes. I think she’s right, damn her.(3)

UPDATE: Sonya is excited to take part in boosting the Zinesters who LibraryThing group.

Chris. Christopher Holland (conceptdawg) is finally becoming a full-time, bona fide, honest-to-God, non-contract LibraryThing employee.

Chris, who does programming, has been with us from the start—he pointed out that he was hired the day before Abby(4)—but has always been a contractor. Once he even went away for six months, but he came back.

Chris has been the moving force behind Common Knowledge, the new work pages, the new library searching code(5), non-member throttling(6), and the forthcoming “LibraryThing local.” He is a former graphic designer, a LibraryThing author and lives in Mobile, Alabama. His other projects have included DigMaster (article), an database of field and museum archaeological collections—like LibraryThing, but for old, dead things. (Chris has worked on archaeological digs in Greece, Cyprus, Israel and Mississippi.) He was a founder of the software company ConceptHouse.

Chris is “so LibraryThing” he keeps his own public what-I-did-today, even though the rest of us got fatigued and stopped updating ours.


1. She’s also “super,” but the “inspired” in the photo refers to the burritos of Boloco.
2. Can you tell the last sentence is not in my prose style? I wish I had a bucket of sunshine!
3. Unfortunately, then I installed the new Mac OS, and Photoshop stopped working, so the results of the redesign won’t be evident for a little while.
4. However, Abby had already been working for the pre-LibraryThing company, me, nights and weekends while I was on paternity leave. So, Abby loses battle, wins war.
5. Which, for all the glitches along the way, is now one righteous piece of code. It’s fast too.
6. Small feature; excellent name.

Labels: christopher holland, employees, librarything for libraries, sonya green

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Welcome Felius!

We’ve gone ahead and hired our first full-time, dedicated systems administrator. His name is John Dalton, but you know him as Felius, a LibraryThing member since September 14, 2005—two weeks after we launched! When he bleeds, he bleeds LibraryThing.

John’s mission at LibraryThing is simple:

  • Make things stable
  • Make things fast

John isn’t a miracle worker. A lot of our problems are in code, not systems (ie., blame me)*. Being without a dedicated, full-time “sysadmin” for so long has given him a lot of work to do. And our continued growth is scary. But we’re overjoyed to have him on board, and expect great things.

A few more things:

  • John lives in Tasmania, Australia. Seriously. This presents fewer problems than you might think. Although he’s fifteen hours ahead, everyone at LT works like a maniac, so our work days overlap a lot. And what is to our US and European members late-night maintenance and downtime takes place during his lunch hour.**
  • As we promised when we advertised for the job, whoever discovered our next employee would get a $1,000 book spree. We allowed people to find themself, which is what John did. Don’t you wish you worked for LibraryThing, or at least sent me a note about this guy Felius? He promises to be the first user of our upcoming wishlist feature. Then he’ll get his wish.
  • Favourite authors include Neal Stephenson, Arthur C. Clarke, Neil Gaiman, Bill Bryson and Simon Winchester.***
  • When not watching a dozen terminals or poring over columns of sar output, or reading, John’s interests include spending time with his wife and two young boys, gaming, playing cricket (badly) and occasionally performing in the Tenor section of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

*John is also a programmer, but we’re not going to be calling on these skills regularly. There’s enough pure systems stuff to do.
**Between John in Tasmania, Casey is Seattle and Giovanni in Germany, we can now officially claim that the “sun never sets on LibraryThing.” We can also claim some really complex accounting. John is even paid in Australian dollars, which fluctuate rather wildly against the dollar.
***He and I share Alfred Bester, Clifford Stoll and Paul Graham—right on.

Labels: employees, felius, john dalton, sysadmin, systems adminitration