Sunday, October 29th, 2006

1,000 librarians / LibraryThing rumors

The Librarians who LibraryThing group now has 1,000 members. I ask you, can 1,000 librarians be wrong?

Not to bring up an example, but an alert LibraryThinger wrote us about some rumors circulating about LibraryThing, and given out at one of the many recent library conferences. Here are the rumors, and the truth behind them:

  1. LibraryThing was started by Simmons graduate students. False. LibraryThing was started by me, Tim Spalding, and I don’t have an MLS. Some months later, Abby, who has an MLS from Simmons, joined as LibraryThing’s first employee.*
  2. LibraryThing is staffed purely by librarians. False. Of three employees (me, Abby and Chris), Abby is the only librarian.
  3. LibraryThing gets its MARC records from OCLC. False. LibraryThing has expressed interest in working with OCLC, but we do not currently do so. LibraryThing gets its records directly from libraries’ who make their records available through Z39.50 connections. We connect to about 60 libraries and library consortia. The most commonly used of these is the Library of Congress.
  4. Abby and Tim know all the words to Hips Don’t Lie. No comment.

*The second employee was supposed to be a Simmons grad, but it fell through. We’ve found it very hard to hire library tech people. The best ones may not be paid what they’re worth, but convincing someone to leave a secure, 40-hour, sometimes unionized job at a library for a small startup that won’t pay you more, but where you are expected to work 80 hours per week, with no promise your job will be around in a year… well, it’s hard.

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