Archive for November, 2019

Friday, November 29th, 2019

TinyCat’s November Library of the Month: the Library at Temple Shir Tikvah

To read more about TinyCat’s Library of the Month feature, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

TinyCat’s November Library of the Month goes to the library at Temple Shir Tikvah, where the entire Library Committee was kind enough to answer my questions:

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

We are the library for Temple Shir Tikvah, a Reform Jewish congregation in Winchester, MA. Our congregation consists of about 350 families and individual members, and we try to provide materials of interest to all of them. Our collection houses about 2500 books (plus a few DVDs and CDs), which range from storybooks for children to cookbooks, fiction, history, Torah study, “how-to,” spiritual journeys, poetry, and so on.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

Our temple building is quite small, so on Sundays, we hold education for adults and children in a nearby public school. Because we want people to be able to check out applicable books, we bring a portion of the library to the school we use on Sundays, for a monthly “bookmobile” (picture left). The third graders and their parents help pick out the books, which helps them know what’s in our collection. When they pick out the books, they also choose a book for us to read to the class that day.

We’ve also moved some of our books up to the sanctuary—books on poetry, mental health, and aging—so that people can easily find them when attending services.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

We have so much fun with our collection! Some of our most popular books are practical things, like tips for bar/bat mitzvahs, or Passover haggadahs. But we’ve also recently expanded our Young Adult/Teen collection with some really great reads (The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children).

We’ve started carrying some interesting graphic novels, as well (A Bintel Brief: Love and Longing in Old New York, Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation, The Property, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, The Arrival). And our women’s studies area has grown dramatically in the past few years (Sisters At Sinai: New Tales Of Biblical Women, Reading Ruth: Contemporary Women Reclaim a Sacred Story, The Women Who Danced by the Sea: Finding Ourselves in the Stories of our Biblical Foremothers, The Torah: A Women’s Commentary, After Abel and Other Stories).

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

We are a small library not just in collection size, but also in physical space. The room where we house our collection is quite small, so we have to be fairly ruthless in culling our collection. As hard as it is, we feel it’s important to do so, so that we can keep materials current. If people cannot wander in and see something of interest, either because the collection feels too dated or because the shelves are so packed that they can’t actually find things of interest, then we are not doing our job.

In addition, our library is used as a classroom at least once a week, and as a meeting room several times each week. When it is being used for these other purposes, people cannot come in and browse the collections. It’s hard to get people to see what we have (which is a good part of why we run the bookmobile).

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

The best thing about LibraryThing is being able to find other libraries with similar collections. Often, before we purchase books in a category, we’ll look around to see if those books are popular in other libraries like ours, so we have some assurance that they might be a good fit for our collection as well.

As far as TinyCat goes, before we had TinyCat, people signed out books on a sheet of paper — it was nearly impossible to keep track of what was in or out, plus we had no easy way to track which books were actually being used. TinyCat has totally solved this for us, and we love seeing community members, especially the children, be able to check out books on an iPad, without any help from grown-ups.

The biggest new TinyCat feature that would help us would be for our community members to be able to create their own accounts. It’s a barrier to usage that, unless we create an account for someone, they have no way to check out books (so we have to keep that sheet of paper around). A smaller feature that would help is if TinyCat returned to the home page after people check out a book, rather than remaining on the page containing the book just checked out.

Thanks for your feedback! We’ll be sure to announce if anything gets added for this in the future.

Want to learn more about the Library at Temple Shir Tikvah? You can explore their library on TinyCat.

To read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, visit the TinyCat Post archive here.

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, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Monday, November 25th, 2019

LibraryThing Holiday Store is Here



LibraryThing’s favorite time of the year is finally here! With our 13th annual SantaThing exchange in full swing (signups close next Monday, December 2nd, 12pm EST) and our 6th annual Holiday Card Exchange on the horizon (details coming soon), it’s time to release the LibraryThing Holiday Store so you can stock up on all of your bookish gifts for the holidays.

This year’s Holiday Store offers our classic CueCats for just $5 apiece*, plus our favorite organic-cotton tote bags, American-made book stamps and more, all at a great discount.

Extra special: we’re clearing out our entire shirt inventory so we can bring some new, fun designs your way. All shirts are going for just $5 to $7 each*, so be sure to stock up on any designs you’ve been eyeing before they run out for good.

The Holiday Store is running now through Epiphany**—shop the deals here.

*Prices do not include cost of shipping. Shipping is included on Store pages.

**Epiphany is also known as Little Christmas, the night before Orthodox Christmas or the day after the Twelfth day of Christmas—surely your loved one deserves twelve LibraryThing tote bags?

Labels: barcode scanners, cuecats, events, holiday, LT swag, sale, tshirts

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

SantaThing 2019 for Litsy Members


Every year LibraryThing members participate in “SantaThing,” our Secret Santa for book lovers.

This year we’re inviting Littens to join in!

The idea is simple: You sign up and pay $15–50 and choose your favorite bookstore. We match you with someone to pick books for, and someone else will pick books for you. We try to match people with similar reading tastes, and members help each other out with suggestions. LibraryThing staff does all the ordering and everyone gets surprise books for the holidays!

SantaThing is a joint effort between LibraryThing and Litsy. When signing up, you can opt to give and receive from members of only one community or the other, or either.

LibraryThing/Litsy takes no cut: this is a community project, not a money-maker. And it’s a lot of fun.

The first 15 Littens to sign up for SantaThing will get a free Litsy mug! (1)

» Sign up here!

Questions about SantaThing? You might find this post about SantaThing helpful.

Hoping to see you in SantaThing this year,
Tim, Kate, and the Litsy/LibraryThing Team

1. We’re defining Litsy members as members who posted to Litsy at least once in the last 14 days—this to favor regular Litsy members, not LibraryThing members who signed up for Litsy once upon a time. If there aren’t enough of these, we’ll open it to any Litsy member.

Labels: Litsy, santathing

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019

SantaThing 2019: Bookish Secret Santa!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the thirteenth annual SantaThing is here at last!

What’s SantaThing? SantaThing is “Secret Santa” for LibraryThing members.

Done this before?



You pay into the SantaThing system (between $15–$50), and pick your favorite bookseller. We match you with a participant, and you play Santa by selecting books for them. Another Santa does the same for you, in secret. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

SantaThing is a joint effort between LibraryThing and Litsy. When signing up, you can opt to give and receive from members of only one community or the other, or either.

Sign up once or thrice, for yourself or someone else.

Even if you don’t want to be a Santa, you can help by suggesting books for others. Click on an existing SantaThing profile to leave a suggestion.

Every year, LibraryThing members give generously to each other through SantaThing. If you’d like to donate an entry, or want to participate, but it’s just not in the budget this year, be sure to check out our Donations Thread (here), run once again by our fantastic volunteer member, mellymel1713278.


Sign-ups close MONDAY, December 2nd at 12pm EST. By that evening, we’ll notify you via profile comment who your Santee is, and you can start picking books.

You’ll then have a week to pick your books, until MONDAY, December 9th at 12pm EST. As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can.

» Go sign up to become a Secret Santa now!


Once again this year, we’re thrilled to be partnering with Print as our official local SantaThing store once again. Print is a great indie bookstore located in Portland, ME (not far from LibraryThing HQ!). Other new additions: has expanded their free shipping options, which is good news for all. Sadly, Audible still doesn’t allow for the gifting of individual audiobooks. If you’d like audiobooks, be sure to say so in your SantaThing profile, and your Secret Santa can select CD copies of those from your store of choice.

Just like last year, the Kindle option is available to all members, regardless of location. So long as your Kindle is registered on (not, .ca, etc.), you can elect to receive your SantaThing gifts as Kindle ebooks. See more information about Kindle and SantaThing here.


Some of our booksellers are able to offer free shipping, and some are not. Depending on your bookseller of choice, you may receive $5 less in books, to cover shipping costs. You can find details about shipping costs and holiday ordering deadlines for each of our booksellers here on the SantaThing Help page.

Go sign up now!


This is our THIRTEENTH year of SantaThing. See the SantaThing Help page further details and FAQ.

Feel free to ask your questions over on this Talk topic, or you can contact Kate directly at

Happy SantaThinging!

Labels: santathing

Monday, November 4th, 2019

November 2019 ER batch is live!

Win free books from the November 2019 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 86 books this month, and a grand total of 3,798 copies to give out. Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, November 25th 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, Germany 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!

Kaylie Jones Books Akashic Books Candlewick Press
Candlewick Entertainment Ballantine Books Greenleaf Book Group
Revell Black Rose Writing Unsolicited Press
New Harbinger Publications Run Amok Books Entrada Publishing
William Morrow Vesuvian Books Prufrock Press
Artisan Ideas Provisioners Press Tantor Media
Real Nice Books HighBridge Audio Berlinica
Literary Wanderlust LLC Soul*Sparks Black Spot Books
Zimbell House Publishing Temptation Press Bellevue Literary Press
Caitlin Press Inc. ScareStreet City Owl Press
World Weaver Press Red Adept Publishing WaterBrook & Multnomah
Scribe Publications Coach House Books BookViewCafe
EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing Open Books BHC Press
Orca Book Publishers

Labels: early reviewers, LTER