Friday, September 30th, 2005

LibraryThing adds 10 new libraries

LibraryThing has made another great leap forward. Until now LibraryThing drew exclusively on the Library of Congress and the five national “Amazons.”

Today ten more libraries have joined the mix:

  • United States: Boston University, The University of California system, The University of Chicago, Yale University
  • Britain: The National Library of Scotland, The London School of Economics, The National Library of Wales
  • Canada: The Canadian National Catalogue
  • Australia: The National Library of Australia
  • Denmark: Det Kongelige Bibliotek

Searching for books should also be faster, both because connections are shared between users and because you can now shift libraries when one doesn’t respond well.

It is a starter list. The US additions are a strong start. I hope Canadians, Australians and Danes will be happy seeing their national libraries included. Brits may feel the absence of Cambridge, Oxford and the British Library—the latter two are open and will be added. The French and Germans were, I confess, slighted, although the Canadian National Library has a lot of French literature. And what can I say to the Brazilians who have flocked in such numbers after LT was profiled in O Globo? I’ve looked and I will keep looking. I have an open Z39.50-based library in Portugal, but it is either down or on the blink. There are also some private universities in Brazil that are said to have open catalogs. I will find something for you!

There are a number of ramifications to the change that aren’t yet resolved:

  • Although I now have richer data and can populate additional fields, including series, language and edition, I have not yet exposed them to viewing and editing.
  • You will note that newly added books lack accents. Look on the bright side—they don’t have the wrong accents.
  • Fortunately, accents are coming. New books have a checkbox for “Update as cataloging data improves.” Keep this checked and accents will soon appear where once there was none. All I have to do is crack the obscure character set Marc records employ…

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