Archive for the ‘libraries’ Category

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Libraries We Love

In honor of National Library Week in the US, LT staff got to talking about our favorite libraries around the world. Read all about our favorite places below, and come share your own on Talk.

With few exceptions, all of our favorite libraries can also be found on LibraryThing Local—LT’s way of connecting members to the real world of bookstores, libraries, and book events.

Tim

My family’s personal library. I grew up thinking a family library in the thousands, with a real intent to cover most topics, was entirely normal.

Boston Athenæum. Growing up, one of my best friends was the son of the director, so I spent a lot of time there, and he could take anything out. I particularly remember the day we spent finding all the very oldest and coolest books on magic and witchcraft they had.

Library of Congress. I went to Georgetown, but apart from the Woodstock Theological Library in the basement, it was only so-so and needed more. The LC—arguably the greatest library in the world—was my library and, really, my university too.

Boston Public Library. The BPL is, with the NYPL, one of only a few publics that try to maintain a serious research collection. I did a lot of work there in High School (I was a weird kid okay?). The main reading room is my idea of Heaven.

Beinecke Library. Architecturally, the most gorgeous library I know. I took my son to Yale just to see the library, and it was closed! But I recently made a replica for him in Minecraft. Check out Beinecke on video!


Loranne

University of Chicago Joseph Regenstein Library. My alma mater’s flagship library, and how I got my official start in my career in libraries—shoutout to the Bookstacks Department! “The Reg,” as it’s known on campus, has a foreboding, Brutalist exterior, but inside, seemed to have everything I could ever want. This includes UofC’s Special Collections.

Six Mile Regional Library District Branch. My very first public library as a child. I was hypnotized by the rotating shelves, and I have vivid memories of asking the librarian for more books on sharks, please.

The Choral Library at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. This one isn’t open to the public, and it’s in more or less a closet behind the King’s balcony. It was stuffy, crowded, and I loved it. It had a rolling ladder, just like the movies! My fellow choral office assistant and I mostly had it all to ourselves.

Seattle Public Library. Visually striking both inside and out, and always busy. What’s not to love about “the mothership” (as some of us are fond of calling it)? SPL is really on top of events programming, too: from helping folks with their taxes to speaker series.

Tuscaloosa Public Library. My grandparents’ local library, which has been a great resource for them for years. Possibly my favorite part is that, rather than a perennial book sale, the Friends of the Tuscaloosa Library Bookstore is open almost year-round, and is partly to blame for my home library’s shelves overflowing.


Abby

Mount Holyoke College Library. The building itself makes all sorts of “most beautiful library” lists, but this is where I spent much of my undergrad days, reading, sitting in the stacks in front of the HQ range grabbing books for my thesis, and occasionally napping in my carrel, when I wasn’t downstairs working at the Archives and Special Collections.

Boston Public Library. In the early days of LibraryThing, I would occasionally set up camp and spend the day working from the BPL. The McKim Building is beautiful, the collection itself is vast.

Mattapoisett Free Public Library. This was the library of my childhood, a tiny lovely place, complete with an old Civil War canon outside for climbing on.

New York Public Library. I have written many books—at least in my head, if not yet on paper—that take place in the NYPL.

Cambridge Public Library. My new everyday library.


Kristi

University of Tasmania Morris Miller Library. Many an hour I spent studying in the upper levels of this library, browsing the science collections and using the free internet to research my next weekend trip. It was one of the places I really felt welcome when travelling alone and overseas for a semester.

Newport Public Library. Sadly, this library closed while I was in college (don’t worry, a new cultural center took its place). The library used to be in a pretty little brick building on Main Street in my hometown. I was an avid patron there from 5 years old, and remember cleaning up the grounds with my Girl Scout Troop as a kid.

Beinecke Library. I’ve never been, but I would love to go! Rare books plus beautiful architecture, sourced with marble panels from Vermont? Count me in, please.

Trinity College Library. Another library I’d love to visit. The Long Room makes me think of grand fantasy tales, getting lost in the shelves in a world like Harry Potter’s or Redwall’s, and please say there are track ladders I could maybe ride without getting in trouble?

Tie between America’s Test Kitchen and American Cheese Society. I’m quite partial to libraries centered around food, and I often find myself browsing these libraries’ catalogs and drooling over their books.


KJ


Skidompha Library. This is a sentimental decision, as my mother is the director and I basically grew up in its shelves. They have won several state and national awards for programming, facility, and general awesomeness, but my favorite feature was the heated flooring in the children’s story circle.

Trinity College Library. Can you have an aspiration to just become a library? Because I could do that, here. Book of Kells was definitely bucket list material.


Biblioteca delle Oblate.
I work from my laptop around the world. When I was in Italy a few years ago, this branch of the Florence public libraries, overlooking the Duomo, provided me a sunny view, killer macchiatos (and, uh, wine), and steady/free wifi. Simply gorgeous.

Smith College Josten Performing Arts Library. Worked in this architectural ode to the 1960s in college, shelving music scores among squashy armchairs, becoming conversant in the Cutter Classification system.

Biblioburro. This library travels on braying hoof through a region of Colombia, bringing books to children who don’t have libraries of their own or other access to books. Such an elegant solution, even if the fuel costs are measured in hay and not heating oil.


Kirsten

Bridgton Public Library. I was this library’s Matilda many, many years ago.

North Bridgton Public Library. I lived next door to this library during my freshman year, and spent many hours poring over earth science books for my “Whitney Reports.” Locals will know what I’m talking about. Whitney himself lived just a few blocks away.

Lake Region Middle School Library. Moving to Maine from Puerto Rico in the middle of a school year then skipping a grade didn’t make for the most wonderful 7th grade experience. Thankfully, this library and its wonderful librarian were there. I wish I could remember her name, but mostly I remember her storytelling. She made The Polar Express for me.

San Francisco Public Library. I went to the library two days before I moved cross-country back to Maine to renew my library card. I still can’t bear to part with the physical card, though my e-borrowing privileges expired in 2015.

Tim’s family’s personal library. I’m pretty sure that the book stacks I make every time I housesit are primarily made up of Lisa’s books, maybe some of Liam’s. Tim’s are certainly fascinating to browse the titles, if a bit scholarly for my non-required-reading tastes.


Kate

New York Public Library. As a book-loving kid living in Texas, I dreamed of visiting this library, living in this library. I first made it to NYC in 2010 and was thrilled to meet Patience and Fortitude, and to wander around this marvel for hours. It did not disappoint, y’all.

Boston Public Library. After moving to Boston for library school, I spent many days getting to know the BPL: the collections, the artwork, the history. It still feels like home despite having left Boston four years ago.

Baylor University Armstrong Browning Library. This absolutely beautiful research library maintains the largest collection of the works of and works pertaining to Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the world. In Waco, Texas! I would many times attempt to study in the library only to be distracted by the stories it held.

St. Louis Public Library. This lovely piece of history underwent a complete restoration recently, the results unveiled on the library’s centennial in 2012. I love so much about this space: the stunning Grand Hall, the Graham Greene and Joseph Heller quotes on the ceiling of the stacks, the revamped children’s space. But most of all, I love that my husband and I got engaged here.

Trinity College Library. One day I’ll get there, y’all.


Your Favorite Libraries

Have a great National Library Week, and come share your favorites in the discussion on Talk!

Labels: libraries, library of congress, national library week

Friday, February 20th, 2015

New Feature: Lending (a.k.a. “Circulation”)

circulation-lendingboxWe’ve just released a major new feature: lending tracking, or, as libraries call it, “circulation.”

Why are we doing this?

Regular members have long called for a simple way to track lending. But the strongest calls have come from the many small libraries that use LibraryThing–community centers, classrooms, museums, churches, synagogues, ashrams, health centers, masonic temples, etc. We’ve got a list of some our favorites.

Simple but Strong

Although simple to use, “Lending” was designed to be powerful enough for small libraries. Rather than just a field for a name, it’s a full system, with:

  • Who checked something out and when
  • Due dates and “overdue” status
  • “On hold,” “missing” an custom statuses
  • Summary information by transaction, status and patron
  • Control over what status information visitors see

Here’s a video I made explaining it:

If you don’t want to watch the video, or want more information, here it is in text.

Come talk to us about it here on Talk.

Where can I find it?

Members who haven’t changed their catalog display styles will find the “Lending” column on style “B.” To add it to a style, go to “Settings.” (This used to be just a “cog” graphic next to the styles.)

circ_bar_1and2

You can find Lending summary information as a mode, together with tags, authors, etc.

circ_bar_1

Here’s how it looks in the catalog. Double-click to add or change a book’s lending status. Although there are a lot of fields, everything is optional. If you just want to track in/out, with no names or dates or due-dates, that’s fine:
circulation-catalog

Here’s what lending looks like on book pages–a little “book-pocket” icon () to edit lending status, and, if the book has a status, an area for showing it.
circulation_bookpage

Here’s what it looks to add a status:
circulation-newstatus

Selecting the “Lending” menu within the catalog () shows you summary and transaction information.
circulation-transactions

There are a lot of options here:
circulation-patronscirculation-statuscirculation-dewey

There’s also a “Lending Summary” section for your home page, available under Home > Books:
Homepage

Thanks. Come talk to us about it here on Talk.

PS: This was a joint effort between myself and Ammar, who did great work, with some help from Chris Holland and others.

Labels: libraries, new feature, new features, small libraries

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Occupy Libraries!

It’s been fascinating to watch the rise of libraries at the various Occupy sites around the world, particularly the impressively-large collection at Occupy Wall Street known as the People’s Library. We reached out and suggested a LibraryThing account for the collection, and the volunteer librarians in Zucotti Park responded enthusiastically.

The OWSLibrary catalog now includes more than 3,300 titles, and it’s quite a rich and varied collection (check out the tag mirror). We’ve got a Talk thread where members are posting the books they share with the library; as of this morning, I share 100 titles with them, everything from E.O. Wilson to Annie Dillard to Strunk & White. If you’re signed into LibraryThing, you can see what you share with the OWS Library here.

The OWSLibrary folks also have an active blog, Twitter, and Flickr presence (they’ve even got library stamps!). Many authors have visited to speak, lend support, and sign books, and there’s now even an Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology.

More than 1,300 writers have signed the Occupy Writers petition in support of the Occupy movement, including Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Junot Díaz and more.

You can read some good coverage of the Occupy library movement in American Libraries, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Wall Street Journal.

On Friday, local librarian JustinTheLibrarian, Tim and I went downtown on our lunch break and cataloged the Occupy Maine library, a small collection housed at Portland’s Spartan Grill restaurant (which also serves a very tasty gyro).

Occupy Sacramento’s library is also up on LibraryThing, and we’ve been in touch with various other Occupy libraries; if your city’s library joins up, we’d love to know about it!

While you may agree or disagree with the Occupy movement as a whole, we think what they’re doing with books and libraries is simply awesome. And we’re very happy to be a part of it.

Labels: cataloging, flash mob, flash-mob cataloging, libraries

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Help libraries damaged by Hurricane Irene

Author Kate Messner posted yesterday about serious damage suffered by the Wells Memorial Library in Upper Jay, NY from Hurricane Irene’s floodwaters. Almost their entire childrens’ book collection was soaked beyond salvage, and they could use donations of money or books to replace the lost titles.

We’re sure there are other libraries out there in the same situation, so we want to help however we can. I’ve set up a wiki page to track needs and how to help, and I’ve contacted librarians at various libraries in the Bahamas and the U.S. reported to have suffered damage from Irene. I’ll be updating the wiki page as I get new information, but others should feel free to add to it, or to email me (jeremy@librarything.com) with updates.

I’ll be sending copies of some of my favorite childrens’ books, as well.

Come discuss on Talk.

Labels: altruism, libraries, love

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

LibraryThing in embassy libraries

Did you know that the U.S. State Department helps organize and maintain libraries around the world? They are set up as Information Resource Centers at embassies and consulates, and as American Corners (partnerships between embassy Public Affairs sections and local host institutions). In Afghanistan, they’re known as Lincoln Learning Centers.

LibraryThing offers free lifetime status for these accounts, and so far more than a hundred diplomatic libraries have begun to catalog their resources using LT. Just a few of those include:

Other American Corner libraries getting their LT catalogs underway recently include a whole bunch in places like Khazakhstan, Serbia, and Fiji.

Just one of the many different uses being made of LibraryThing around the world!

Labels: cultural library, libraries

Monday, December 17th, 2007

¿Qué hay en tu estantería? (Spanish books)

Cataloging your Spanish-language books just got a lot easier. We already have user-translated Spanish language site, www.LibraryThing.es, our fourth-most popular site. But we didn’t have good Spanish sources.

So today I’ve added 20 Spanish sources, including a bookstore and nineteen libraries.

The bookstore, deastore.com, is an excellent source for recent books, popular paperbacks and cover images, mostly from Spain. Deastore is critical insofar as Amazon, our most-used source, has no Spanish or Latin American site, and few Spanish books. The libraries provide depth, including older books and–although all but one are from Spain itself–books from elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world.

You can add sources to your options here. Here’s the complete list:

  • deastore.com
  • Biblioteca Central de La Rioja
  • Biblioteca de Castilla y Leon
  • Biblioteca Foral de Bizkaia
  • Biblioteca Pública de Avila
  • Biblioteca Pública de Burgos
  • Biblioteca Pública de Palencia
  • Biblioteca Pública de Salamanca
  • Biblioteca Pública de Segovia
  • Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes
  • Congreso de los Diputados
  • Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Universidad de Alcalá de Henares
  • Universidad de Alicante
  • Universidad de Burgos
  • Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)
  • Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Universidad Pública de Navarra

Did you make it this far? The first 25 people to write to tim@librarything.com from a Spanish-language email address (.es, .mx, .ar, etc) will get a free membership. (If you don’t have one, write to us in Spanish.) And for the next few days, if you run a Spanish-language blog, we’ll send you five memberships—to blog or just to give to friends.

Labels: libraries, new libraries, spanish, spanish books

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Hungary! Hungary!

LibraryThing is now open for Hungarian cataloging!

We’ve added two sources—the Hungarian National Library (Országos Széchényi Könyvtár) and the Hungarian National Shared Catalogue (Magyar Országos Közös Katalógus), a 17-library consortium which, if I understand correctly, includes the national library as well.*

We are looking forward to welcoming more Hungarians to LibraryThing. Our Hungarian-language site, hu.LibraryThing.com is at an advanced stage of translation. But we need your help. As we release each language, we realize how critical it is to build momentum. We’ve had success in Holland and Denmark because there were already active Dutch and Danish communities on LibraryThing, and because I knew a good many bloggers in both countries. So far, our Hungarian community has been small (114 members at last count) and I don’t know a single Hungarian blogger! So, if you want this to succeed, spread the word. Blog about it! Tell friends! Stand on a street corner!

Oh, and since you read down this far, how about a free account? The first 20 members who write to me from a .hu address** will get a free premium account. Just send me your member name to tim@librarything.com. If you run a blog in Hungarian, I’ll send you five more to give away to visitors.

*I’d love some clarification on this. We don’t have a bookstore yet—the way we’ve added Bol-Bruna for Dutch, and deastore.com for Italy. We’d love to add one. Update: Apparnetly, The National Library goes on siesta between 23:00-3:00 CET (GMT +1).
**If you’re a native Hungarian speaker in Romania or elsewhere, write me and we’ll work it out.

The flag image above is by Flickr user antenae, and is licensed under the Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Her profile lists here as “24, female, Budapest, Hungary.” Does she want a free membership?

Labels: hungarian, hungary, libraries, magyar, new libraries

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

Rijksmuseum Research Library

After yesterday’s announcement of four major Dutch-language sources, we got an email from someone at the Rijksmuseum Research Library, inviting us to add them too. We were happy to.

As anyone who’s been to the Netherlands knows, the Rijksmuseum (site, Wikipedia) is Amsterdam’s phenomenal art museum. The Research Library (site, Wikipedia) is apparently the largest art historical museum library in the Netherlands, housing some 140,000 monographs as well as serials and auction catalogs. It’s also first art-history library in LibraryThing, and should be useful for bibliophiles with art interests.

Labels: dutch books, libraries