Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Technical jobs: Work for LibraryThing

IMPORTANT UPDATE July 28, 2011: Jobs are still open. Programmers should also look at The LibraryThing Programming Quiz.

LibraryThing is hiring! We’re looking for smart, fast, diligent and creative people to work in Portland, Maine or remotely.

There are four “jobs” out there, which we expect to be filled by 2–3 people.

  • LibraryThing.com programmer. Work primarily on LibraryThing.com. We have a lot planned. We need you to help us do it.
  • Library programmer. Work primarily on our library products, LibraryThing for Libraries and Library Anywhere. Both products are growing fast–already in over 400 library systems around the world. Library Anywhere is a technical marvel.
  • Designer-developer. Help spruce up LibraryThing and LibraryThing for Libraries.
  • Systems administrator. We recently advertised for a Systems Administrator. We may keep that a separate position or distribute responsibilities between old and new technical staff.

Technical skills.

  • Necessary. LibraryThing is made with PHP, mostly in non-OO code. You should be a sure-footed, experienced and rapid PHP coder.
  • Core. JavaScript (with JQuery, Prototype), CSS, MySQL.
  • Bonus. Python, Solr, library systems and formats (OPACs, MARC, etc). A library degree is a definite plus—we have three MLSs on staff now. Publishing or bookstore experience is also a plus.
  • Design. The standard software and a keen eye.
  • Systems administration. If you think you could help out here, see the systems administrator job for more details.


  • We like to hire people who care about books and libraries, and believe in a open and humane vision of the future for both. We live to create technologies that make readers happy and keep libraries vital.
  • LibraryThing is an informal, high-pressure and high-energy environment. Programming is rapid, creative and unencumbered by process. We put a premium on speed and reliability, communication and responsibility.
  • Working remotely gives you freedom, but also requires discipline and internal motivation.
  • All LibraryThing employees interact with members and/or libraries.
  • We develop and refine ideas together. We need your ideas and your criticism as much as your labor.
  • We do so much and with so many technologies, learning is a job requirement. Mentoring is somewhat limited by distance, so you need to be able to learn on your own.


LibraryThing is headquartered in Portland, Maine, but most employees are remote. We’d love to find someone local, but remote is fine. Unless you’re in Australia, we expect you to visit the office for group meetings from time to time.


Salary plus gold-plated health and dental insurance. We require hard work but are flexible about hours.


An excellent recent hire forced us to rethink our cheese-lovers-only requirement, and as much as Abby and I might want requirements to love wine or coffee are probably illegal. So this is the first LibraryThing job post without any food requirements. However, if you are partial to any of these, we can, um, guarantee you’ll get what you want at the LT office.

How to apply

Send an email and resume to jobs@librarything.com. Instead of a cover letter, go through the blog post in your email, responding to it, especially the skills and intangibles part.

Labels: employment, jobs


  1. I’m thinking of suing. My roquefort was maligned during the interview process!

  2. Linda says:

    Sounds like a really great place to work, and I know Maine must be a really great place for readers; they get so much dark (and daylight) during the year.

  3. Greg Ricker says:

    “We put a premium on speed and reliability…” This not going to happen if the person loves wine too much…or coffee for that matter. Okay, maybe coffee will get ya the speed….

  4. veritas says:

    ahhh…. if only! i’m still waiting for another librarian job to come up with you. just wait til i have my J-1 visa!

    *from Australia.

  5. I just sent you my resume. Hire me! I am a new lover of cheese. 😀

  6. Bookwoman519 says:

    I just love books, libraries, and bookstores. Now, that the Borders Bookstore where I have worked as the children’s specialist for 10 years is closing, I am looking for something I can do to earm some extra money from home in the evenings and weekends. If anyone out there has any suggestions, please send them to me.

  7. Derek says:

    This is simply fantastic. Best job application EVER!

  8. Mary says:

    Unfortunately no programming skills but absolutely fabulous research skills, a useless PhD in English Lit . . . and I make my own cheese courtesy of my dairy goats.

Leave a Reply