Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

Add to LibraryThing from… anywhere

While we nervously await LibraryThing’s five-millionth book here’s another small but important feature.

Announcing a new way to get books into LibraryThing. Just use this URL, changing the ISBN to the one you want to add, or using a keyword search instead.*


That’s pretty pointless, right? Well, for YOU, yes. But OTHER websites can implement the URL, making it easy for their users to add a book to their LibraryThing account. We’re thinking particularly of swap sites*, book review sites, even–we hope–some forward-thinking libraries. Programmers can use it to make fascinating new bookmarklets and plugins.

It’s fairly straightforward. If you’re not signed in, or not a user, it will route you through the sign up/in screen. The URL can also specify one of LibraryThing’s 50+ sources, like so:


If you don’t specify one, it will route you through a screen where you can set your default. If you’re signed in, have a default library and search for something unique–like an ISBN–it’s a one-step process***. If you search for something with multiple results, you’ll get a chance to pick one.

Now, as MMcM pointed out, this will be a much better feature once LibraryThing has explicit “wish lists.” That’s coming soon, and when it does, we’ll update this feature for it. But we’ve been sitting on this feature for a while, and we thought we’d put it out there to see what people would do with it.

If run a website and you end up implementing these URLs let us know and we’ll do what we can to help your users too.

*Those are for my wife’s new novel, which won the Elle Reader’s Prize this month. I’m very proud of her.
**More on this topic later.
***Someone tell Amazon’s patent lawyers!

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