Monday, October 3rd, 2005

LibraryThing now searches thirty-one libraries

It’s official: LibraryThing has expanded to thirty-one libraries in thirteen countries.

Not only Australians and Canadians now have major collections in their countries, but also Turks, Danes, Swedes and Dutch. US collections like Yale and the University of Chicago add more scholarly heft, and a user reported that the University of California system is excellent for paperback science fiction.

In addition to the libraries, LibraryThing also works with all the Amazons—now including Amazon Japan. All the national Amazons can also be accessed using the LibraryThing/Amazon bookmarklet, which allows you to add books to your LibraryThing library while browsing on Amazon.

European diacriticals now work well, albeit with some library-specific glitches (eg., the Australian National Library strips accents out and the Royal Danish Library sends the strangest character set). But internal searches still have some diacritical problems…

More libraries

LibraryThing will continue to add libraries. Unfortunately, not all libraries present open web interfaces. Here are global and UK lists of some of the libraries that may work. Some, like the BL, use a format I haven’t designed for yet. Feel free to suggest items off the list, or other open Z39.50 libraries you know about.

Other news

  • LibraryThing will hit 325,000 books in about an hour. No, I’m not staying up for it.
  • I’ve been trying to promote the site to the mainstream media. It seems unfair that it’s been profiled in two Brazilian papers, but I can’t get the Boston Globe to pick it up. Sheesh, I should start reading the Herald.
  • I’ve been looking at similar sites, and pleased to discover LibraryThing’s user growth rate matches the hot social software site 43Things (see here, reporting 12,000 users in two months; LT did 6,000 in one month). 43Things has a bunch of employees and is bankrolled by Amazon (originally in secret).
  • LibraryThing is not bankrolled by Amazon or anyone else, nor are we going to sell our data to them. (Amazingly, I never really announced that before. You are a trusting lot.)
  • In related news, I just finished the site’s first Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. In the end, I decided against the naked-photography clause. Your pictures will be returned.

What I’m working on

  • I’m taking a breather on new libraries. Maybe users will suggest some good ones. It’s hard to know what to add sometimes. I stopped when I realized that a particular Swedish word probably meant “veterinary.” Not a top priority.
  • I’d like to add more data back into the search view. (The “little divet” that used to come up when you use the Library of Congress.)
  • I should add RSS. I’ve been promising it for ages.
  • Ditto power editing/tagging.

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