Archive for the ‘ltfl’ 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, 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

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

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 (abby@librarything.com). For ordering information, contact Peder Christensen at Bowker—877-340-2400 or Peder.Christensen@bowker.com.


*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

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Custom Branded Library Apps

Branded apps are now available from Library Anywhere: get the power of Library Anywhere along with custom colors and branded apps downloadable under your library’s name in the app stores!

Branded apps have the same base functionality as Library Anywhere (including catalog integration, account functions, OverDrive integration, a custom homepage, and barcode scanning). But they’re also a complete white label solution—the app is yours alone, with no references to Library Anywhere or other libraries. Branded apps give you the ability to set a custom background color, have a custom app icon, a custom app launching screen—and most importantly, they are downloadable under your library’s name in the Apple and Android app stores.

Check out Tulare County’s iPhone app, now available on iTunes (and soon available on Android phones as well).

Learn more
Contact us for more information or to upgrade your existing Library Anywhere to a branded app.

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

To learn more about the ways in which LibraryThing for Libraries products can enhance your catalog, sign up for a webinar. Webinars are held each Tuesday at either 10am or 2pm Eastern.

Labels: app, branded apps, library anywhere, ltfl

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

LibraryThing at Computers in Libraries

Tim and I are headed to DC this week for Computers in Libraries. We’ll be at booth #323, so stop by!

We’ll be showing off our new custom branded Library Anywhere mobile apps, our newest addition to the LTFL enhancements, Stack Map, AND a sneak peek at a brand new feature, BookPsychic.

Stop by to see any and everything!

Also remember, we do webinars every Tuesday to show off both Library Anywhere and all the LibraryThing for Libraries enhancements for your library catalog (tags, similar books, other editions, series, awards, shelf browse, reviews, and Lexile measures)! Click here to register. On the Browse Meetings page, search for LibraryThing to see a listing of all upcoming webinars.

Labels: BookPsychic, branded apps, CIL, CIL2012, library anywhere, librarything for libraries, ltfl

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

At PLA in Philly, sneak peek at new features!

In Philadelphia for PLA? Stop by the LibraryThing booth! Kate and Tim are camped at booth number 2312

We have some new improvements and features for both Library Anywhere and LibraryThing for Libraries to show off.

SNEAK PEEK at BookPsychic
BookPsychic is personalized recommendations for your patrons. The more they rate, the better their recommendations become! The more they discover, the more your collection circulates. BookPsychic will be available early Q2 2012.

Click image above to view PDF handout

New for Library Anywhere: Branded apps
Get the power of Library Anywhere along with custom colors and branded apps downloadable under your library’s name in the app stores! Branded apps are a complete white label mobile solution—the app is yours alone, with no references to Library Anywhere or other libraries. Branded apps are available now—contact us for more information or to upgrade your existing Library Anywhere to a branded app!

Click image above to view PDF handout

Read about Library Anywhere and the rest of our LibraryThing for Libraries enhancements, including our newest addition—Stack Map, on the Library Thing for Libraries homepage.

Stop by the booth at PLA to learn more, or email me (abby@librarything.com) at any time!

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

Labels: app, BookPsychic, branded apps, library anywhere, librarything for libraries, ltfl, PLA, PLA12

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

LibraryThing for Libraries supported in Discovery Layers

We now have several libraries who have installed LibraryThing for Libraries enhancements in their discovery layers!

Enterprise
Check out Mount Laurel Library, with Reviews and Catalog Enhancements (Tags, Similar Books, and Other Editions) in their Enterprise catalog—See Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoneix.

SOPAC
Arlington Heights Memorial Library has enabled Similar books, Reviews, and Lexile measures in their SOPAC catalog—See the record for The Night Circus.

EBSCOhost Discovery Service
Nelson Public Library in New Zealand has our Reviews and Catalog Enhancements (Tags, Similar Books, and Other Editions) working in EBSCOhost Discovery Service—See the record for The help.

VuFind
As we announced last summer, LibraryThing for Libraries also integrates with VuFind!

Learn more
Email me (abby@librarything.com) with questions about any of the LibraryThing for Libraries OPAC enhancements, or our mobile product, Library Anywhere! To subscribe, contact Peder Christensen at Bowker—toll-free at 877-340-2400 or email Peder.Christensen@bowker.com.

We also do weekly webinars to show off both Library Anywhere and all the LibraryThing for Libraries enhancements for your library catalog (Tags, Similar books, Other editions, Series, Awards, Shelf Browse, Reviews, Stack Map, and Lexile measures)! Click here to register. On the Browse Meetings page, search for “LibraryThing” to see a listing of all upcoming webinars.

Labels: discovery layer, EBSCOhost, Enterprise, librarything for libraries, ltfl, SOPAC