Archive for April, 2013

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Reviews Enhancement with Social Media Integration

We are very pleased to announce an upgrade to our LibraryThing for Libraries Reviews Enhancement—social media integration.

The Reviews Enhancement lets your patrons rate and review items directly within your catalog. But it also comes loaded with reviews to start! You can share reviews with over 200 libraries who also use the service and draw from over 950,000 hand-vetted user reviews written by members. But we’re constantly improving, and we’ve just released the following new features!

Social media integration

  • Sign in with Facebook or Twitter. Your patrons can now login to write reviews in your catalog using their Facebook or Twitter accounts, or they can continue to use the “reviews account” as usual. They will also be able to link an existing reviews account to their Twitter or Facebook login, for easy access in the future. (Simply log into an existing reviews account, click to account settings, and then connect.)
  • Post reviews to Facebook and Twitter. Once a patron’s reviews account is linked, they also have the ability to tweet the review they just wrote in your catalog, and to post it to Facebook. This is great for everyone. The patron gets to show their friends what they’re reading at the library they love—and your library gets fantastic visibility!

The links from Facebook and Twitter drive people back into your catalog, to discover even more of your collection.

Rating without reviewing

Just to sweeten the pot, we’ve added one more feature in here: the ability to rate a book with stars without having to write a review. Some people prefer to just rate, and we’ve made that possible.

How to get it

If your library currently subscribes to the Reviews Enhancement, and you want to make sure your patrons can take advantage of these improvements, you have to do… nothing, unless you want to turn social media integration off! If you’d like to disable this, just log into your LibraryThing for Libraries admin account, and go to the Configuration > Reviews page. At the bottom, you’ll see an option to disable social media integration. Toggle that, and the ability to sign in with and post to Twitter and Facebook will disappear from your catalog.

Learn more. If you’d like to subscribe to Review Enhancements, get a free trial, or just learn more: Email me ( To subscribe, contact Peder Christensen at Bowker—toll-free at 877-340-2400 or email

Come see us at CIL. Tim and I (Abby) are at the Computers in Libraries conference in Washington DC this week—stop by the exhibit hall to see us!

Labels: facebook, librarything for libraries, ltfl, reviews, social media, twitter

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Improvements to Book Display Widgets

We’ve had a fantastic response to our newest LibraryThing for Libraries product, Book Display Widgets. Book Display Widgets were envisioned as a way for libraries to create virtual book displays—to show off specific collections and to highlight particular titles.  Importantly, we also wanted Book Display Widgets to be easy for libraries to create and to update.

And we want to make it even better! We’ve just implemented several new features:


(Note: This is a sample widget. If you were using this in a real library, then each book would link to the book record in the catalog when clicked.)

Our new multi-widget format saves on space by giving you the ability to showcase multiple widgets in one area. Just click header titles to switch between widgets.

Our example above is an assorted collection of types of widgets, but the possibilities are endless. You can imagine this being useful for showing a collection of widgets with new books, new DVDs, new children’s books, etc. Or a multi-widget that displays several different widgets full of staff picks. Or one that shows off all the different nominees for various book awards being chosen this month. Book Display Widgets provide the structure for anything you can think up!

Vertical display

This new vertical display option is great for use on pages with side columns that you want to populate—like on LibGuides, for example.

Two display types now offer the vertical option—carousel and scrolling. We’ve also added in a shelf or no-shelf option for the carousel display (previously it was only available with a shelf background).

Learn more

We’ve made a short (less than a minute, I promise) video, showing how truly easy it is to create a widget.

See our Showcase page for sample widgets in each display style, and to get inspiration.

What do you think? Let us know if you have any other suggestions (email, we’re always open to adding and improving!

Labels: Book Display Widgets, librarything for libraries, ltfl