Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Job: Be LibraryThing’s Systems Administrator

John chatting with Abby and Jeremy at the colo.

After four happy years at LibraryThing I’ve decided to take up an offer to move on to a new role. This means we need to a find a sysadmin to replace me!

LibraryThing is the labour of love of a small group of smart, dedicated people who work hard to do a lot with a little.

Qualifications: We’re looking for someone with broad systems administration experience, who can quickly pick up unfamiliar technologies, diagnose problems and keep everything running smoothly. You need to be calm under pressure, cautious and an excellent communicator. We’re a small team, so when things break at 4am, you need to be available.

LibraryThing is “headquartered” in Portland, Maine, but the servers are in Boston and many employees are in neither. You can be anywhere—I’m in Tasmania!

Experience: Applicants need considerable experience running websites. Experience in Linux systems administration is essential; we use RHEL and CentOS, but you’ve probably got professional experience with at least half a dozen distros. Experience with MySQL is also important, including replication, monitoring and tuning. You will need to be able to demonstrate experience with remote server administration including lights-out management techniques and equipment.

Technologies. Here’s a partial list of the technologies we use.

  • Apache
  • Nginx
  • Memcache
  • Solr
  • Subversion
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Bash shell scripting
  • Munin
  • rrdtool
  • Xen virtualisation
  • NFS
  • LVM
  • iscsi

Abby looking at the space where the new servers should go.

How We Work. LibraryThing has a somewhat unusual development culture. It is not for everyone. We develop quickly, knocking out features in hours or days, not weeks.

We develop incrementally and opportunistically, assuming that member feedback will sometimes overturn our plans in mid-course, and that some projects will fail. Everyone who works for LibraryThing must interact directly with members.

LibraryThing is more than a job for us. We work long, hard and usually sober, but not necessarily during “regular” hours. We love what we do. We want someone who will feel the same way.

Compensation. Salary plus gold-plated health insurance. This is a full-time job.

How to Apply.

Email: sysadminjob@librarything.com. Tim and I will read your applications.

Send an email with your resume. In your email, go through the sections of the blog post above, and indicate how you match up with the job. Be specific. Do not send a cover letter.

Labels: employment, jobs, servers


  1. Elizabeth says:

    A really way out idea….

    With the government talking about pushing the social security collecting age to 70 and people at 50 already having trouble getting jobs, the country is clearly going to have to do a lot of retraining.

    What if you set up an unpaid internship job for the over 65ers with some library experience, who would like to make their way back into regular employment.

    I would like to spend 6 months in Maine with you all doing odds and ends, observing, and then travel around the country,or internationally and helping library volunteers set up their libraries. I have done job exchanges in academic libraries in New Zealand and London and worked with a Caribbean national library setting up its catalog,


  2. Tim says:

    Elizabeth. Write me at tim@librarything.com?

  3. Eliseo3366 says:

    Are kids allowed to work for the company because I have a student who knows how to hack into things.

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