Archive for February, 2011

Monday, February 28th, 2011

February State of the Thing

This month’s State of the Thing, LibraryThing’s monthly newsletter of features, author interviews and various forms of bookish delight, should have arrived in your email inbox now! You can also read it online.

This month I talked to memoirist Wendy Burden about her book Dead End Gene Pool, just out in paperback from Gotham Books. I asked her about her collecting habits, her bookshelves, and her next book. Read the full interview.

We also have an interview with translator Alexander O. Smith about his recent translation of Keigo Higashino’s The Devotion of Suspect X and the translation process in particular. Many thanks to the LTers who assisted with this interview! Read the interview.

Read previous State of the Thing newsletters:

If you don’t get State of the Thing, you can add it in your email preferences. You also have to have an email address listed.

Labels: state of the thing

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Bookpile contest winners picked!

We’re now ready to announce the winners of our Non-English bookpiles contest, but before I do that, I need to first award the prizes for what is definitely the longest-running bookpile contest in LibraryThing history.

The winner of the 30-million book/LT’s 3rd birthday bookpile contest (yes, we’re now almost at 60 million books and have just passed the 5.5-year mark) is Flickr member asperschlager for “Colorful Book Pile.” Email me to claim your prizes (a CueCat, an LT t-shirt, and a gift membership. Please email me ( to claim your prize.

LTer kristenmm takes the runner-up prize for her book pile, which contains “titles that I think describe LT itself, its users, employees, or features.” Email me to claim your gift membership, and we’re going to send along a t-shirt too.

Thanks to all those who submitted entries, and we do apologize for the delay. Better late than never, right?

Now, on to the main event! We asked members to submit images of non-English bookpiles, for use on the homepages of the various language versions of LibraryThing (from Dutch and Catalan to Russian and Japanese).

We received more than 100 excellent entries via Flickr (browse the photostream) and in members’ LT galleries, covering at least 23 separate languages (plus polyglot). See the full list of languages here.

The winning images, as well as selected other submissions for each language, will go into a rotation on the homepage, so that visitors and members might see a different image each time the page is loaded. We’ll be doing something similar for the main site as well. When we launch the new sites, they’ll look a little something like this (the Swedish site):

Now: the list of winners! If your name is here, please send me an email or a profile message (jbd1) with your choice of either CueCat or LT t-shirt (and if t-shirt, whether you’d prefer black or red, and what size), and your mailing address. If you won more than once, you can have a combination of your choosing!

I’ve linked the language name to the winning picture:

We had a few entries in other languages that were out of focus just wouldn’t work for the homepage piles; we’d still like to have images for these and the rest of the languages, so please feel free to send along additional bookpile pictures! If we end up using them, we’ll send along a t-shirt.

And finally, the overall winner, claimant of both a CueCat and a t-shirt, is elfo, for the beautiful Spanish book pile at left.

Thanks to everyone for your entries, and we’ll let you know when the new homepage versions go live!

Labels: book pile, contests, cuecat

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

LibraryThing gets work-to-work relationships!

Today we’ve launched some new ways to display relationships between works.

The concept covers works that contain other works, or are contained by them. It also covers retellings, abridgments, parodies, commentaries on and so forth.

Thus, LibraryThing members will be able to add relationships that show:

A core concept here is that this is only for work-level relationships. Therefore, we are not doing “translation of,” “facsimile edition of,” etc. Members are asked to connect only existing works, not make up new, so-far uncataloged works.

Come discuss rules, concepts and ideas in the Talk topic.

We’ve got a lot more coming that builds and expands on these capabilities, so stay tuned!

Many thanks to the members of Board for Extreme Thing Advances group, who’ve been helping us develop and refine this feature. They have already added some 4,500 contains/contained-in relationships across LibraryThing.

Labels: cataloging, work pages, works

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Free Books! February ER Batch is up!

The February 2011 batch of Early Reviewer books is up!  It’s our second-largest ER batch ever, with 105 titles and a grand total of 2,645 copies to give out.

First, make sure to sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing address and make sure it’s correct.

Then request away! The list of available books is here:

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, February 28th at 6PM EST.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, and many more countries. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month! If you’re a publisher and want to find out how to participate, just go here.

HarperCollins Childrens Books WaterBrook Press Henry Holt and Company
Kregel Publications W.W. Norton Harper Paperbacks
New American Library Orca Book Publishers Taylor Trade Publishing
Del Rey Spectra Crossway
Mulholland Books Quirk Books Signet
Tundra Books Sourcebooks St. Martin’s Griffin
Penguin Young Readers Group Random House Trade Paperbacks Doubleday Books
Ballantine Books Hunter House Osprey Publishing
St. Martin’s Press HighBridge Putnam Books
Riverhead Books Hyperion and Voice Bell Bridge Books
Open Books BookViewCafe Random House
Spiegel & Grau Nolo Penguin
McFarland Simon & Schuster Bloomsbury
Turner Publishing Pomegranate William Morrow
One Peace Books Rovira i Virgili University Press LUNA
MIRA Listen to Your Heart Press Tradewind Books
St. Martin’s Minotaur Thomas Dunne Books Bantam Dell
Harper Faber and Faber inGroup Press
Gefen Publishing House

Labels: early reviewers, LTER, publishers

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

How can Publishers use LibraryThing?

We’ve done some more sprucing up, and are happy to announce a new How Publishers Can Use LibraryThing page. Mainly this is to simplify signup for the Early Reviewers and LibraryThing for Publishers programs (illustrated here), but it’s also designed to provide a single page to highlight all the various ways publishers can become a part of the LibraryThing community.

We continue to add publishers to LibraryThing for Publishers, and are very happy to announce that the University of California Press has joined the program.

If you’re a publisher and want to get started, just head on over to the new page for all the necessary information and instructions. We’ll be happy to help get you set up with your profile page.

Labels: LibraryThing for Publishers, publishers

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Flash-Mob Cataloging: NCSU & Arts Together

A hearty gang of 21 volunteer catalogers from the Metadata & Cataloging Department at North Carolina State University Libraries helped out over two weekends in January at the Arts Together community school (LT Profile page) in Raleigh, adding their preschool book collection to LibraryThing.

The catalogers added the school’s monthly curricular themes as collections in the catalog (February, for example, is “The Animal Kingdom/Feelings“) and supplemented those with a series of tags. Coordinator Erin Stalberg reports that her favorite tag is “Community Helpers” – if you check out the titles so tagged, you’ll soon see why!).

See more photos from the flash-mob here.

Over the two weekends, the flash-mob teams added a total of 1,145 books – well done! We were happy to send a box of stickers and t-shirts to the volunteers, and always encourage similar projects! If you’re interested in forming a flash mob for a library near you, check out Tim’s blog post, the How To Flash-Mob with LibraryThing wiki and the Flash Mob Cataloging Talk group. If your organization could use the help of a flash-mob, please get in touch with me and I’ll be happy to help coordinate it!

Labels: cataloging, flash mob, flash-mob cataloging, NCSU