Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Introducing TinyCat’s Library of the Month

All year long, we’ve been picking one TinyCat library each month to feature in our TinyCat Post newsletter. Each library is asked the same set of questions designed to give readers a sense of the libraries using TinyCat, but more importantly what they do for their community and why their work is important. The responses we’ve seen are too good to keep to ourselves, so TinyCat’s Library of the Month will now be shared with our entire community of library and book lovers at LibraryThing.

If you’d like to read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, just browse our TinyCat Post archive here.

TinyCat’s October Library of the Month: The United States Institute of Peace Library

We’re very pleased to feature the United States Institute of Peace Archive as TinyCat’s October Library of the Month! Gretchen Sauvey, Senior Project Specialist and keeper of the archives at USIP, fielded my questions this month:

First, what is your library, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent national institute, founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. USIP pursues this vision on the ground in conflict zones, working with local partners to prevent conflicts from turning to bloodshed and to end it when they do. The Institute provides training, analysis, and other resources to people, organizations, and governments working to build peace.

The USIP Archive is our collection of the books, reports, and multimedia products created or funded by the Institute during the course of its work.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

The archive provides the staff of USIP with access to the history of the Institute’s work. Many of the places where we work have been in conflict for decades, so it’s important to be able to look back and know what has been done before. We also have materials dating back to the creation of the Institute in the 1980’s so we can see the vision that our founders had for our work and refer to it to inspire our future.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

I love the variety of languages that can be found in our collection. We have items in Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, Kurdish, Khmer, Nepali, and several others. It truly reflects the global nature of our work.

What’s a particular challenge you experience, as a small library?

One of our challenges is that the items we add to the collection are often not found in other library catalogs—either because they’re newly published by us, or because they’re published in countries that aren’t as tied into the international library systems—so I do a lot of original cataloging by hand.

What’s your favorite thing about TinyCat? What’s something you’d love to add?

The best thing about TinyCat is how simple it is to use, from both the administrative side and for the end user. The interfaces are clean and well-organized and make it easy to navigate the site and find the information you need. The thing I’d like to see developed is functionality for adding multiple barcodes to a record for times when we have more than one copy of the same item.

Great suggestion. Copies management is a feature high on our list—we’ll be sure to announce any update on that front, if and when it happens.

Want to learn more about the U.S. Institute of Peace Library? Visit their website here, or check out their library on TinyCat.

Calling all TinyCat libraries: become TinyCat’s next Library of the Month—just send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at

Labels: libraries, TinyCat

One Comments:

  1. Dave Dayanan says:

    Thanks for this relevant information.

Leave a Reply