Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

LibraryThing for Libraries: Randolph County, Bowdoin and Clarement Colleges

Bowdoin College (source)

The Libraries of Claremont Colleges (Honnold/Mudd Library) (source)

Randolph County Public Library, Asheboro Public Library (source)

We just added three new and very different members to LibraryThing for Libraries—a public library system in North Carolina, a liberal arts college in Maine, and a collegiate consortium in California.

The first is the Randolph County Public Library, a system of seven libraries in the Asheboro, North Carolina area. On their blog, the library has described LibraryThing for Libraries as “stunning” and a “quantum leap.” We couldn’t agree more.

Randolph County is also our first public demonstration of LibraryThing for Libraries within what is probably the most widely-used online catalog, the Horizon Information Portal (HIP) from SirsiDynix. Up until now, our live libraries have all used WebPac and WebPac Pro from Innovative Interfaces. As we promised, LibraryThing for Libraries works with any library OPAC, and just great with HIP.

Check out Randolph County Public Library searches for regency fiction or the novel Eragon.

The second is Bowdoin College, located in Brunswick, Maine, just up the road from LibraryThing’s global HQ in Portland. Bowdoin is a small liberal arts college with about 1,700 students. For a small library, they are doing a lot of innovative things and have a good-looking, easy-to-use website. They’ve put in a neat little JavaScript tooltip to explain what tags are that we just might have to steal. Check out LTFL in action here and here.

Libraries of the Claremont Colleges serves Pomona, Harvey Mudd, Claremont McKenna, and several other colleges I couldn’t get into. They’re our largest collection to date, with LibraryThing providing data on over 173,000 of their titles! Reflecting the diversity of the colleges they serve, they have a wide collection of materials, from combinatorics to gender studies. The alternate editions widget is proving especially useful for academic libraries, as can be seen for this translation of the poetry of Catullus.

It’s extremely gratifying to watch how quickly LibraryThing’s data keeps growing. LibraryThing for Libraries was originally envisioned as a product for public libraries, but LibraryThing’s continued growth is making that distinction seem less relevant. We’re now up to three academic libraries, with several more in the pipeline, and we’ve even started working with a couple of corporate/special libraries.

In the three months since our first library started using LibraryThing for Libraries, we’ve gone from 17 million tags and 13 million items to 23 million tags and 18 million items. Every item and tag added to LibraryThing improves the reach and power of LTFL. It’s really cool to be involved with a product that gets better and more powerful every minute of the day.


Photo credits: (1) Bowdoin College photo by Flickr:cybertaur1 (CC Attribution). (2) Honnold Mudd Library by Jarod Hightower-Mills (Public Domain). (3) Asheboro Public Library photo by Flickr: Asheboro Public Library (CC Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0)

Labels: bowdoin, claremont colleges, librarything for libraries, randolph county public library

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