Archive for November, 2020

Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

TinyCat’s November Library of the Month: The Australian Motorlife Library

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

We’re moving just west of our October Library of the Month in New Zealand to a library built for car lovers: congratulations to The Australian Motorlife Library! Volunteer Librarians Tracy Westall and Brian Wye were kind enough to field my questions this month:

Who are you, and what is your mission—your “raison d’être”?

The Australian Motorlife Library is housed in the Australian Motorlife Museum in New South Wales, Australia. It consists of 2,200 general motoring books, a motoring magazine collection of approximately 12,000 volumes, and around 3,000 ephemera items. The library material comprises contemporary and historic items, some of which are unique and rare. The collection integrates and supports the wider museum which consists of historic vehicles, automotive memorabilia, and social history.

Tell us some interesting things about how you support your community.

We provide books and material that is niche and usually not available in the public libraries. We have a large technical and reference selection which we make available to the community and car enthusiasts alike, especially to those who are restoring or researching vintage and collectable automobiles.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

Our library contains an extensive collection of early and rare motoring books—like the ones pictured above—car repair manuals, and collectable vintage magazines. This enables us to provide a unique service that encourages communication with patrons from all over Australia: equally interesting and enjoyable for us volunteer librarians.

What’s a particular challenge your library experiences?

The library relies totally on donations of collectable material; we have no acquisitions budget which requires us to recycle resources and exercise our creativity and housekeeping skills. This has been the main challenge when establishing an online presence and an operational procedure: to enable the library’s resources to be accessed by the wider community. Another challenge has been to organise and upload our catalogue to TinyCat, for which the steps to achieve this has been further exacerbated due to COVID-19 and its restrictions.

What is your favorite thing about TinyCat, and what’s something you’d love to see implemented/developed?

One of our favourite things is the interface of TinyCat. As many of our patrons are seniors, the similarity of the interface to that of the public library makes it familiar and user-friendly. The online access to LibraryThing and TinyCat has enabled us to achieve our goal of uploading the catalogue in record time while working in isolation from home. The catalogue is easy to use and understand. As for improvements, the only thing that currently comes to mind is having more control over the content of the homepage’s animated cover display.

Want to learn more about The Australian Motorlife Library and Museum? Visit their website at and check out their TinyCat collection here.

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

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Win $1,000 in books: LibraryThing Needs a Great Developer



We are no longer accepting applications for this position.

LibraryThing runs on PHP, in almost entirely non-OO code. We will strongly prefer people with PHP experience, but other, flexible programmers are welcome to apply.

Good to Have

  • PHP. Most of our code is PHP-based, but we also use Objective-C, Python and Java.
  • MySQL. LibraryThing is relational-database intensive. We work directly with the database.
  • JavaScript. We try to do as much as possible on the back end, but JavaScript is a must.


  • Library Experience. LibraryThing does a lot of work in the library world and many applicants will likely have that background. An MLS is a definite plus, as is library work and knowledge of library standards and technologies.
  • Book-World Experience. Experience in bookstore or publishing would be a plus.
  • Mobile Programming. This is not a mobile programming job, but if you have mobile experience you could help on one of our apps.
  • Design Experience. This is not a design job, but design experience would be a plus.


  • Working remotely puts a premium on communication skills, discipline, and internal motivation.
  • We want to hire people who care about books and libraries, and believe in an 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-energy, small-team environment. Programming is rapid, creative, and unencumbered by process. We put a premium on speed and reliability, communication, and responsibility.
  • All LibraryThing employees interact with members and/or libraries directly. We believe that “The User is not Broken.”
  • We develop and refine ideas together. We need your ideas and your criticism as much as your labor.
  • Interesting, passionate people make interesting, passionate products. Besides loving books, this is the rare job for which a masters in Medieval Irish or a side gig as a jazz bassist would be a plus.

Location and Compensation

This is a remote job open to anyone eligible to work in the US. We’d love to employ people outside the US, but we’ve done it before, and, for a small company, the legal hassles are too great.

All we can say for salary is that we will consider applicants with a wide degree of skills and experiences, the range is as $60-100k, or more. We are looking for the right person, not the right salary.

LibraryThing offers excellent health and dental insurance. We require hard work but are unusually flexible about hours.

Read Before Applying

Before you apply, you should make sure you can do the LibraryThing Programming Quiz, which is something like Jeff Atwood’s “Fizz Buzz.” Our interviews include a simple programming quiz not unlike that. If you object to such things, please do not apply.

How to Apply

Send a cover-letter email and PDF resume to Please also include your solution to the LibraryThing Programming Quiz, so we know you took the time to do it. Your cover letter should go through this job advertisement, responding to it. If possible, send us or link us to code samples.

The Fine Print

LibraryThing is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of religion, race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy status, parental status, marital status, veteran status, or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state or local law. Did you read this far? Prove you did by making your subject line “Feta Cheese: [Your name].”

Labels: employment

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

SantaThing 2020: Bookish Secret Santa!

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

This year we’re focusing on indie bookstores. The pandemic has been a disaster for independent bookstores, even as it sent Amazon sales to new heights. So we picked five of our favorites indies from around the United States. You can still order Kindle and Nook ebooks, and we have Book Depository for international orders.


What is SantaThing?

SantaThing is “Secret Santa” for LibraryThing and Litsy members.

How it Works

You pay $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.

Important Dates

Sign-ups close MONDAY, November 30th at 12pm EST. By the next day, 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 7th at 12pm EST 6pm EST (24:00 GMT). 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!

Supporting Indie Bookstores

To support indie bookstores we’re teaming up with independent bookstores from around the country to deliver your SantaThing picks, including RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, NH, BookPeople in Austin, TX, Left Bank Books in St. Louis, MO, King’s English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, UT, and Powell’s Books in Portland, OR.

Once again this year, we’re also offering international deliveries through Book Depository. Kindle and Nook options are available to all members, regardless of location. To receive Kindle ebooks, your Kindle must be registered on (not, .ca, etc.). See more information about all the stores.


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!

Questions? Comments?

This is our FOURTEENTH 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 2nd, 2020

November Early Reviewers batch is up!

Win free books from the November 2020 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 91 books this month, and a grand total of 2,965 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 30th 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 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 Entrada Publishing
Unsolicited Press RootstockPublishing Revell
Black Rose Writing Thinklings Books Alcove Press
Crooked Lane Books NewCon Press Flyaway Books
William Morrow Odyssey Books Prufrock Press
Gibson House Press BookWhisperer Gibbs Smith Publishing
CarTech Books Small Beer Press BookViewCafe
ClydeBank Media Red Adept Publishing Ooligan Press
Open Books Candlewick Press Walker Books US
New Vessel Press Blushing Books Inferis Press
Eclipse Press TouchPoint Press Pacific Media Mania
Allium Press of Chicago Coach House Books Scribe Publications
Icon Books Greystone Books BHC Press

Labels: early reviewers, LTER