Archive for January, 2014

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Find LibraryThing a Programmer, win $1,000 in books.

LibraryThing is growing. We’ve long devoted a sizable hunk of our resources to our products for traditional libraries (LibraryThing for Libraries). That business is growing fast, as more and more libraries are discovering the value of our tools.

So it’s time to reap the benefits, and fund development.

And we need your help to get the word out.

We need to find a kick-ass PHP programmer, so we’re offering $1,000 worth of books to the person who finds them. Think of it. $1,000 in books. What would you buy? Everything.

Rules! You get a $1,000 gift certificate to the local, chain or online bookseller of your choice.

To qualify, you need to connect us to someone. Either you introduce them to us—and they follow up by applying themselves—or they mention your name in their email (“So-and-so told me about this”). You can recommend yourself, but if you found out about it from someone else, we hope you’ll do the right thing and make them the beneficiary.

Small print: Our decision is final, incontestable, irreversible and completely dictatorial. It only applies when an employee is hired full-time, not part-time, contract or for a trial period. If we don’t hire someone for the job, we don’t pay. The contact must happen in the next month. If we’ve already been in touch with the candidate, it doesn’t count. Void where prohibited. You pay taxes, and the insidious hidden tax of shelving. Employees and their families are eligible to win, provided they aren’t work contacts. Tim is not.

Here’s the job post:

What we want: LibraryThing is looking for a kick-ass programmer (coder, hacker, engineer, etc.) to join the team, working mostly on


  • You can be anywhere. LibraryThing is headquartered in Portland, Maine, but most technology employees are remote.
  • If you’re not local, we’d expect you to visit the office for team meetings from time to time.


  • Necessary. LibraryThing is made with in non-OO PHP. You should be a sure-footed, experienced, secure and rapid PHP coder.
  • Core. JavaScript (with JQuery, Prototype), CSS, MySQL.
  • Bonus. Mobile development (native or not), Python, Solr, book- and library technologies, systems skills, design or UX chops.

Take the Quiz:

Want to work for us? We have a simple quiz, developed back in 2011. If you can do it in under five minutes, you should apply for the job!

» The LibraryThing Programming Test

Do it in your best language the first time. If you also want to do it in PHP, we won’t object.


  • Creativity, diligence, optimism, and outspokenness are favored.
  • We like to hire people who care about books, and believe in a open and humane vision of the future of reading.
  • We like LibraryThing members, and people who should be LibraryThing members. Be sure to check out What Makes LibraryThing LibraryThing?
  • Working on means understanding and working with its members. Staff and members develop and refine ideas together. LibraryThing is for those members, and most of what makes LibraryThing great is created by members, so—in a way—you are their servant. That can be great, and it can (occasionally) suck. You need to want that dynamic.
  • Working on means working with Tim. A lot. Don’t worry, he’s really very nice.
  • LibraryThing is an informal, high-pressure and high-energy environment. This puts a premium on speed and reliability, communication and responsibility.
  • Working remotely gives you freedom, but also requires discipline and internal motivation.


Salary plus gold-plated health and dental insurance. We find the best programmers keep regular hours, but we are both understanding and flexible.


  • We are not looking for part-timers.
  • We are not looking for companies.
  • We do not discriminate on any irrational basis, such as age, race, sex or religion, but you should probably use a Mac.

How to Apply:

Send an email and resume to

Skip the cover letter, and go through the blog post in your email, responding to the tangibles and intangibles bullet-by-bullet.

Also include your solution to the quiz, and how long it took you. Anything under five minutes is fine. If it takes you longer than five minutes, we won’t know. But if you make it to interviews, they’ll involve some live coding of this sort, and will be painful for you.

Labels: jobs

Friday, January 10th, 2014

The February and March Group Read Winners Are…

Last week the staff here at LibraryThing came up with a list of candidates for our next two One LibraryThing, One Book selections, and put them up for a vote. The results are in!


The Picture of Dorian Gray

Dracula and Frankenstein were pretty neck-and-neck (ha!), but Oscar Wilde’s only published novel won with an impressive lead. Dublin City Public Libraries tackled this one as a One City, One Book read a few years ago, too.

Official discussion will begin on February 10th at 12pm Eastern. Thinking about joining us for this read? Introduce yourself, or look for the threads labeled “Dorian Gray,” over on the One LibraryThing, One Book group.

For now, staff will be creating new threads, but feel free to start your own come February 10! You might also want to make use of our new Spoiler feature, if you’d rather not ruin the plot for others.


American Gods

In another landslide victory, Neil Gaiman’s meandering journey through deities from pantheons the world over beat out The Poisonwood Bible and, the 18th most-added book on LibraryThing for December, Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

Official discussion for American Gods will begin on March 10th at 12pm Eastern, but feel free to get started early! If you’d like to join us for this read, Introduce yourself to the group, and look for threads labeled “American Gods” on the One LibraryThing, One Book group page.

As above, staff will be handling creating new threads for American Gods until official discussion begins on March 10. Prior to that date, please use Spoiler tags liberally! After that point, all group members are free to start new threads.


I hope you’ll join us for one—if not both—of these reads! If you have any general One LibraryThing, One Book questions or feedback, those are always welcome in this thread.

Labels: One LibraryThing One Book

Friday, January 10th, 2014

New Feature: Spoiler Alert!

To accompany the next few rounds of One LibraryThing, One Book, we’ve rolled out another nifty feature that’s been requested for quite some time now: a spoiler tag. Use it throughout OLOB discussion, and anywhere you deem necessary on LibraryThing.

How does it work?

All you have to do is enclose the spoiler-y text in a “spoiler” tag, like so:

“And the real murderer was actually <spoiler>you</spoiler> all along!”

Your result will look like this:

“And the real murderer was actually you all along!”

If you’re desperate to share what happened at the end of a good book, but don’t want to give too much away, just wrap the sensitive lines in a spoiler tag. You’ll avoid unintentionally ruining someone’s read-through (and if they do actually click on it, well, they’ve had fair warning).

Questions? Comments?

Let us know over on Talk.

Labels: features, new features

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

January Early Reviewers Batch is Live!

Our very first batch of Early Reviewer books for 2014 is up! We’ve got 87 titles this month, and a grand total of 2,890 copies to give out.

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

» Then request away!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, January 27th at 6PM Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more! 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!

Tundra Books Henry Holt and Company Ashland Creek Press
Indie Streets Pets Unchained JournalStone
Bethany House Putnam Books Riverhead Books
21 Pages Prospect Park Books Bards and Sages Publishing
John Ott Quirk Books Bluffer’s Guides
William Morrow Demos Health Orca Book Publishers
Blacksmith Books Taylor Trade Publishing Muskrat Press, LLC
Crown Publishing Gotham Books Akashic Books
Apex Publications Penguin Young Readers Group Fantastic Books
Ballantine Books Recorded Books Palgrave Macmillan
Bantam Dell CarTech Books HotCore Yoga Press
Eerdmans Books for Young Readers BookViewCafe PublicAffairs
Rocky Pines Press Zonderkidz The Permanent Press
Blue Mongoose Publishing Random House

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Vote for One LibraryThing, One Book

One LibraryThing, One Book is kicking off the new year with a referendum! Following considerable discussion, and a concerted staff huddle, we’ve collected a few options for both February’s and March’s One LibraryThing, One Book.

Come rank the titles you’d like to read and discuss with the community!

Winners will be finally set on January 10th, at 10am Eastern.

February 10: Classic Horror

Click to vote | Discussion topic

March 10: Contemporary Fiction

Click to vote | Discussion topic

More Information

Reading will begin as soon as voting closes, and we announce the winners in a blog post.

Discussion for February starts on the 10th at 12 noon Eastern time.

You can read through each (or either) title at their own speed. We will also create continuations of “Introduce Yourself” and “First Impressions” threads. As before, please keep these threads spoiler-free before the discussion officially begins.

Discussion for March starts March 10th at 12 noon Eastern time.

If you’re new to One LibraryThing, One Book, be sure to read through our original blog post.

We had a quite successful first OLOB; almost 100 members joined our discussions about The Circle, and we posted over 1,000 comments collectively. The dystopian novel sparked many topics concerning current online privacy issues and future predictions both good and bad (but mostly bad). We may encounter similar discussion topics, depending on which book is chosen, so keep this in mind when voting. No matter what, I think we’ll end up with some excellent selections!

How the Titles Were Picked

The titles were picked by the LibraryThing team, attempting to take praise and criticism of the last pick into consideration. All the books are widely available in libraries, as paperbacks and in the used market. All are highly regarded and have good ratings—Frankenstein and Dracula somewhat lower, probably because they’re often assigned in schools.

To discuss the selection further, come see the Talk topic here.

Questions? Comments?

As always, general questions/comments about One LibraryThing, One Book, are welcome on this thread.

Happy voting!

Labels: One LibraryThing One Book

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Our Favorite Books from Childhood

Amidst all the year-in-review, and New Year’s resolution posts, I got to waxing nostalgic with the rest of the LT crew about my favorite books as a kid. Surprise surprise, we were all very big readers from young ages, and there were a number of repeats on our individual lists, so I’ve compiled them here.

» Add your childhood favorites to the list!

These six books/series were the most popular among the staff.

And here are a few honorable mentions. While none of his titles were repeated, Roald Dahl popped up three times!

Labels: lists, nostalgia