Archive for the ‘librarything for libraries’ Category

Monday, March 10th, 2014

New Feature: Include Book Details in Book Display Widgets!

We are pleased to have added a new feature to our wildly popular LibraryThing for Libraries product, Book Display Widgets: Book Details. Book Display Widgets let you create virtual book displays to show off collections on your library’s website, Facebook page, LibGuides, and more. Clicking a cover image brings you directly into the catalog to that item’s record.

Our new feature lets you include a bit more information about each title, before the jump into the catalog. In addition to the title and author of an item, you can now choose to include publication date, summaries, and more! The Book Detail box will pop up when a patron clicks on an item in the Book Display Widget, and they can choose to go onto the catalog page from there, or continue browsing in the widget.

bdw summaries screenshot

Check it out: Click on a book cover in our Showcase page to view Book Details. You can see it there in a few different types of displays.

Set it up: If you’re already using Book Display Widgets, you can turn this on easily in the LTFL admin pages. On each of your widgets under “Options,” you can choose to “Show Items Details upon clicking.” Simple toggle to “on” and you should be set!

Learn More: Interested in using Book Display Widgets for your library? Email me (abby@librarything.com) with any questions about this or any of the LibraryThing for Libraries products.

Labels: Book Display Widgets, librarything for libraries, ltfl, PLA

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

New Book Display Widget Features: Custom Covers and UPC/ISSN Data-Sources

We are very pleased to announce two new changes to our popular Book Display Widgets product which we think will help libraries of all kinds show off more of their collections!

Custom Covers

Responding to several requests, we have added the ability to use your own cover source in Book Display Widgets. If you have a specialized collection or some unusual titles, now you can supplement our default cover service with your own covers.

Go from this:

To this:

Book Display Widget with all the covers filled in

For more information on how to use Custom Covers in Book Display Widgets, you can see the instructions here or check out our quick how-to video, here:

Image linking to video on how-to use Custom Cover URL feature

UPC/ISSN Data-Sources

Recognizing that not every item in your library carries an ISBN, we have added two new options for data in Book Display Widgets: UPCs and ISSNs. These additions will allow you to show off your video collections and your academic journals with ease!

Screenshot of a Scrolling UPC Widget

UPCs are product codes commonly found on items such as DVDs, music, and video games. Help your patrons discover their new favorite movie!

Screenshot of a Book Display Widget with ISSNs

ISSNs are for journals. You can use these to highlight your robust journal collection to your students!

For more information on using these new data-sources, please see our instruction page or view this quick how-to video.

Image linking to a How To Video on using List of UPCS or List of ISSNs

Labels: Book Display Widgets, librarything for libraries, ltfl

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

NELA and a Hometown LibraryThing Party!

This weekend NELA (New England Library Association) comes to Portland, Maine, for three days of exhibits and talks. We’ll be exhibiting, of course, showing off LibraryThing for Libraries, Book Display Widgets and our other products to librarians around New England. Come visit it at booth 702.

LibraryThing Hometown Party!

And we’ll be partying! For Portland, Maine is also home to LibraryThing, and “Castle LibraryThing” (okay, Tim’s house and LT’s office) is just a few blocks down the street from the Conference Hotel. We’re not likely to see another library conference in Portland any time soon, so we’re doing it up!

And if we’re going to do it, why not invite local booksellers and other members? We’ll even let vendors in. Tim’s lending us his bookish home. There’ll be (real) food and drink, books, music and conversation.

So, if you’re in town for NELA, or just want to party with librarians, bookish people, LibraryThing members (and most of the LibraryThing staff) visit us this Sunday at 7:00, after the reception and exhibition hall closes, until whenever.

Details:

Sunday, October 20
7:00 to whenever
286 Spring Street (Green House)

How to get there:

Exit the hotel, turn left and walk.
Or come by car; there’s on-street parking.

RSVP on Facebook!

Labels: librarything for libraries, NELA2013, portland

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Show off your reviews in Facebook

Our new LTFL Reviews Facebook Pagetab feature lets you display recent reviews that have been written in your catalog right in Facebook—where your patrons are. This is a free update to any library that subscribes to our Reviews Enhancement. Make the most out of the reviews your patrons are writing and proudly show them off!

You can set it to show all recent reviews, or filter by category—show just the “staff picks” or “back to school” category you might have set up.

LibraryThing for Libraries Reviews Enhancement is a great addition to your library catalog—letting patrons rate and review right within your OPAC. You can also share reviews with hundreds of other libraries that use the service, as well as draw from over a million hand-vetted user reviews written by LibraryThing.com members.

The Reviews Facebook Pagetab feature dovetails nicely with the last feature we added: social media integration—allowing patrons to sign in with and post their reviews to Facebook and Twitter.

More: Reviews Blog Widget

a reviews blog widget

While we’re on the subject of showing off reviews, the Reviews Enhancement also comes with a reviews blog widget, which lets you display new reviews anywhere (not just on Facebook!). Try adding a widget to your library’s homepage or blog to highlight the activity in your catalog. See for example the homepage of the Cass District Library, the blog of City of Hayward Public Library, or how the City of Port Phillip Library shows off “recent reviews from our catalogue.” Like the Facebook Pagetab, this feature also comes free with a subscription to the Reviews Enhancement!

Instructions on creating reviews widgets are here.

How to get Reviews in Facebook

If your library currently subscribes to the Reviews Enhancement, it’s quite easy to bring reviews into Facebook. Instructions to get started are here.

If you don’t yet subscribe to Reviews, just let me know if you’d be interested in a free trial! (email abby@librarything.com).

Labels: book reviews, facebook, librarything for libraries, ltfl, LTFL Reviews, new features, reviews, social media, social networking

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Book Display Widgets in Facebook

This new feature allows you to use our fantastic and versatile Book Display Widgets within Facebook. Add a Book Display Widget tab to your library’s Facebook page to easily show off new books, staff picks, featured collections, and more.

Check it out. Give it a try on our fake library Facebook page, here. If this were connected to a real library, clicking on a book would open to that item’s bib page in the catalog.

Set it up. If you already subscribe to Book Display Widgets, this is a free addition! Just read here for how to set up widgets on your library’s Facebook page. On that same page you’ll see a link to a screencast to help you get set up.

Learn more. Interested in Book Display Widgets for your library? Email me (abby@librarything.com) with any questions about this or any of the LibraryThing for Libraries products. To subscribe, contact Peder Christensen at Bowker—toll-free at 877-340-2400 or email Peder.Christensen@bowker.com.

Labels: Book Display Widgets, librarything for libraries

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 LibraryThing.com 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 (abby@librarything.com). To subscribe, contact Peder Christensen at Bowker—toll-free at 877-340-2400 or email Peder.Christensen@bowker.com.

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:

Multi-widgets

(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 abby@librarything.com), we’re always open to adding and improving!

Labels: Book Display Widgets, librarything for libraries, ltfl

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

LTFL adds an Australian server!

For a company based in the United States, LibraryThing for Libraries has a surprisingly large number of library customers in Australia and New Zealand. For months we’ve been working on our infastructure to ensure that our data loads as fast as possible in those catalogues on the other side of the world. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve brought live our first server located just outside of Sydney, Australia!

This change means that the LibraryThing for Libraries data won’t have to travel around the world, so it will load considerably faster in each catalogue. Light can travel around the world 7.5 times in a second. But even 133 milliseconds isn’t nothing, and with all the other stuff that goes on, the internet never goes that fast. Sydney may not be right next door to all our Australian libraries, but it’s a lot closer than Boston, Massachusetts.(1)

Of the libraries that have switched to the Australian server so far, we’re seeing speed increases of about 100%—that is, if you’re in Australia, LibraryThing for Libraries’ load time has been cut in half! (Note that because LibraryThing for Libraries loads from your browser, if you hit these libraries from the US, you’ll find them slower—slow like Australia used to be.)

Currently the Australian server is running the catalogue enrichment (Ratings and reviews, Tags, Similar Books, Series, Awards, Shelf Browse, Stack Map, Other Editions, and Lexile Measures.), BookPsychic, and our new Book Display Widgets.

Up next, we’ll be working on moving libraries on Library Anywhere, our mobile product, over to the new server!

Let me know if your library (in Australia or New Zealand) subscribes to LTFL and needs assistance in moving to the new server. Email abby@librarything.com.


1. For now we’re going to hold off on a “LibraryThing Europe” server. The connections from the East Coast to Europe are very fast, and Europe is closer, so Europeans experience only lag by a hundred milliseconds or so.

Labels: australia, librarything for libraries

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Book Display Widgets from LibraryThing for Libraries

We’re pleased to launch our newest LibraryThing for Libraries product—Book Display Widgets!

Book Display Widgets let you create virtual book displays for your library’s homepage, catalog, blog, or wherever you want to show off some titles! We’ve included a few examples here, but check out the Showcase page for more widgets in action.

New fiction titles (in a dynamic grid)
(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.)

Book Display Widgets gives you the choice of four different display styles (dynamic grid, shelf browse, scrolling shelf, and 3-D carousel), and endless customization possibilities.

You can feed your widgets all sorts of things, including:

  • Pre-populated data sources. Includes series, awards, tags and genres. We’re smart enough to match them up with your holdings, so you just enter a series name, a tag or genre and we figure out the best books to show.
  • Your holdings. Pick all holdings, new holdings, popular holdings or holdings within a certain call range.
  • Custom lists. Create your lists, hand-entered or drawn from an RSS feed or a web page that lists books.
New York Times Bestsellers (in a 3-D carousel)
(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.)

We built this to be extremely flexible and customizable, so you can create a variety of different widgets, and use them to showcase whatever your library wants to focus on—Booker Prize Winners, National Reading Week, a collection of paranormal romance titles, or staff picks.

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

Learn more. Email me (abby@librarything.com) with any questions about this or any of the LibraryThing for Libraries products. To subscribe, contact Peder Christensen at Bowker—toll-free at 877-340-2400 or email Peder.Christensen@bowker.com.

See us in Seattle. LibraryThing will be at ALA Midwinter in Seattle later this week, showing off Book Display Widgets and everything else we do.

Labels: Book Display Widgets, librarything for libraries

Friday, January 18th, 2013

ALA Midwinter in Seattle – Free Exhibit Passes!

Kate and I will be heading to Seattle next week for ALA Midwinter. We’ll be setting up camp in booth 1108- just look for the giant inflatable giraffe if you can’t find us.

Are you in Seattle, or nearby, and want to get into the exhibit hall for free? I can help! We have free exhibit passes to give out: Click here to register.

The exhibit halls open Friday, January 25th at 5:30pm and close Monday the 28th at 2pm. So stop by our booth and say hi!

We will also be showing off a brand new LibraryThing for Libraries product (Book Display Widgets!) and upgrades to other features… More detailed announcements coming, or stop by the booth for a preview.

Labels: ALA midwinter, ALAMW13, Book Display Widgets, librarything for libraries