Archive for the ‘LTFL Reviews’ Category

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 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

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

Monday, June 18th, 2012

800,000 reviews on LibraryThing for Libraries

LibraryThing for Libraries just hit 800,000 professionally vetted reviews (812,839, to be precise!). We had been working through a backlog (we had hit 600,000 in April) and are now entirely caught up, which is great. We have between 3,000-4,000 new reviews to read and approve every week, so the number is ever growing, and you can be sure that new popular books will have reviews on them quickly.

A question we get frequently is what does “vetted” mean? We—real live MLS-degreed librarians*—read the reviews submitted by LibraryThing members.** We remove reviews not written in English,*** remove reviews that consist of nothing but a link, and we automatically star out curse words. The rest, we read. We remove reviews that are credited to another source, or published elsewhere. We remove reviews that obviously aren’t reviews. We don’t judge grammar and punctuation too harshly, but if a review is so riddled with errors that it’s impossible to read, it goes. Much of the vetting process involves making judgement calls about whether it is useful, whether it is what someone would want to read when deciding to check out a book or not.

On top of these reviews from LibraryThing, patrons at your library can write their own reviews (local reviews will always sort on top, so you see them first). Libraries that subscribe to the Reviews Enhancement from LibraryThing for Libraries can also display patrons reviews from other libraries that use the service, sharing the wealth.

The Reviews enhancement is one of the easiest to add to your OPAC, and also comes with a widget that can be used to show off recent reviews written in your library.

For more information, email me ( For ordering information, contact Peder Christensen at Bowker—877-340-2400 or

*This is who we are!
**LibraryThing members must agree to share their reviews before we even consider them for inclusion.
***Though we automatically exclude non-English language reviews, libraries can now actually choose to include reviews in other languages! So German libraries can show reviews in German and those in English, if they desire.

Labels: librarything for libraries, ltfl, LTFL Reviews

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

LibraryThing for Libraries is faster / 600,000 reviews

Two quick news items about LibraryThing for Libraries:

1. LibraryThing for Libraries has had a big speed upgrade, coincident with some new monitoring and profile software we installed. Most noticeable has been the improvement in the pop-up/lightboxes for tagging, reviews, shelf browse, series and awards. Tag lists and shelf browse saw cuts of up to 90%, moving them from “rather pokey” to “quite speedy.”

On-page enhancements also sped up about 20%. Although they average less than 200 milliseconds (0.20 seconds) already, and do not hold up a library’s page, we think it’s important to keep them as speedy as possible.

2. LibraryThing for Libraries hit 600,000 professionally-vetted reviews. We’re working through something of a backlog, so expect to see 700,000 very soon.

3. LibraryThing for Libraries now has its own Twitter account, @LTforLibraries. Follow us for more information like this!

Labels: LTER, LTFL Reviews, shelf browse

Monday, March 1st, 2010

400,000 LTFL Reviews

We now have over 400,000 reviews vetted and available for LibraryThing for Libraries. (Last June we hit 300,000, so over 100,000 reviews have been added in the past 8 months—not bad.)

400,000 is a lot of reviews. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, for example, has 117 reviews. Now you probably don’t need to read over 100 reviews. But if a popular book gets that many, then the more obscure books in your catalog could have 20, 10, or 5 reviews. LTFL reviews cover the bestsellers but they also reach down the long tail.

The LTFL Reviews Enhancement also comes with blog widgets and a Facebook application allow your patrons to show off their reviews—and their love for your library—where they “live” online.

The Reviews Enhancement is currently available for Horizon, iBistro, Webvoyage, Voyager 7, Koha, Evergreen, WebPac, WebPac Pro, and Polaris 3.6. We’re always expanding this list, so if your OPAC isn’t one of these, email and we can work on adding support for it.

For more information, email me ( For ordering information, contact Peder Christensen at Bowker—877-340-2400 or

Labels: librarything for libraries, ltfl, LTFL Reviews

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Categories for your LTFL Reviews

Teen reviews from Seattle Public Library

We’ve a new feature to LibraryThing for Libraries, suggested by Lare over at the Seattle Public Library. He was looking for a way to show off just some of their reviews—reviews for their summer reading program.

Libraries can now add “categories” for their reviewers to check off—library book club books, Big Read books, reviews by library staff, etc. And the library can show off just one category of reviews in their LTFL blog widget.

Seattle has made blog-widget pages for their kids section, teen section, and even their adult section of the site. By categorizing the reviews into age-related groups, they can feature items in their catalog that would interest the patrons for each demographic.

We’ll be releasing some more cool features at American Library Association meeting in Chicago next week.

Labels: ltfl, LTFL categories, ltfl libraries, LTFL Reviews, Seattle Public Library

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Category Feature Added to LTFL Reviews

We’ve added a new feature to the LibraryThing for Libraries Reviews Enhancement: the ability to categorize reviews for the blog widget.

Thus far, library patrons have been able to write reviews and rate books in their library’s catalog, add their reviews to their Facebook page and even create a widget that lets them show off their reviews on blogs and websites.

Now, libraries can show off reviews written by their patrons for specific library programs. Patrons and librarians can add categories to a review. The library can then create blog widgets with said categories – keep track of reviews for the Summer Reading Program, One Book, One City and book discussion groups.

This should be helpful all year round, but the inspiration for the feature came from a librarian’s request to manage the reviews children were going to be writing for the summer reading program at their library. They wanted some way to display the reviews separately from the rest of the reviews coming in.

Anyone who’s bought the Reviews Enhancement can use this feature starting immediately. Read here for instructions how to add and use it.

If you’d like more information about LTFL, and the enhancements that can take your OPAC from Library 1.0 to Library 2.0 overnight, fill out the interest form on the LTFL page.

The Reviews Enhancement isn’t available for all OPACs – currently, it supports Horizon, iBistro, iLink, eLibrary, Webvoyage, Voyager 7, WebPac, WebPac Pro and Koha. More are coming soon!

Labels: categories, librarything for libraries, ltfl, LTFL Reviews, new feature