Archive for the ‘librarything for libraries’ Category

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

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

LibraryThing for Libraries: Waterford and Deschutes

Two more libraries have added LibraryThing for Libraries:

Waterford Institute of Technology (catalog) in Waterford in south east Ireland. WIT becomes our first academic library, and our first one outside the US. Apart from that, we were particularly happy to get the ball up and rolling. WIT’s David Kane and I have been corresponding for some time, and quite profitably. Long before LibraryThing for Libraries, he tried to bolt our recommendations onto the WIT catalog. His solution—functional but requred real-time scraping of the WIT catalog—threw the technical challenges of LibraryThing for Libraries in high relief. David was also intrumental in setting up my keynote at the Irish Innovative Users Group. David’s current passion is the WIT Institutional Repository, about which he gave a talk at the IIUG.

It’s good to see LibraryThing for Libraries operating in a different context. While something like romance comes up fairly light at WIT, their holdings in tags like engineering and programming dazzle, and really give our suggestion algorithms a work-out!

Deschutes Public Library of Deschutes County in Oregon. Our largest library so far! Deschutes has five branches serving 140,000 patrons, in the fastest growing area of Oregon. They have quite a broad collection, but my eye was drawn to Why cats paint : a theory of feline aesthetics, which suggests mostly cat books, of course.

Labels: librarything for libraries, ltfl libraries

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Bedford Public Library adds LibraryThing for Libraries

The Bedford Public Library in Bedford, TX (town, Wikipedia) has become the second library to put LibraryThing for Libraries in their online catalog.

Trying out LTFL fits with Bedford’s Public Libraries forward-looking stance, with free wifi, integration with Library ELF and other initiatives.

You can see LibraryThing for Libraries at work with books like:

Both show our “semi-FRBR” edition-combination at work—cross-linking to large-print and audio editons—and our “similar books” algorithm, for finding other books you might want to read.

We are now also able to link to tag pages:

Of course, tags aren’t the “answer,” but just another way to find things, with different strengths. If tags bring Bedford’s genre fiction holdings into high relief, it doesn’t do as good a job with Texas history as their LCSH headings.

Some technical details. Bedford Public Library is another Innovative Interfaces Web OPAC catalog, like the first, the Danbury Public Library. Our third library will be one too. So it bears reminding that LibraryThing for Libraries works with any OPAC, and no better with Innovative’s. We think it’s spreading through them because people like to have a tangible example. That or it’s the library equivalent of the Brazilian Internet Phenomenon.

Even though it was the same OPAC we took the time to make the CSS fit in perfectly with Bedford’s design–a very different green-based one. Our chief LTFL engineer, Altay, is becoming quite a faker!

Labels: librarything for libraries, ltfl libraries