Monday, December 6th, 2021

LibraryThing Needs a Great Library Developer

LibraryThing is looking for a great developer to work on our library projects.

Win $1,000 in Books!

If you find us one—or you find yourself—you get $1,000 in books from the independent bookstore of your choice!

The Job

This job is focused on what LibraryThing does for libraries. These include Syndetics Unbound, co-developed with ProQuest, and TinyCat. You will also be involved in parsing library data for and other company projects, as needed.

Depending on interest and experience, you may also be involved in machine learning, systems architecture, or mobile programming.

Need to Have

  • PHP. LibraryThing runs on PHP, in mostly non-OO code. We love PHP people, but it’s not rocket science, so other, flexible programmers are welcome to apply.
  • JavaScript. We try to do as much as possible on the back end, but JavaScript is a must.
  • HTML/CSS. This is not a design job, but you should understand both well.

Good to Have

  • Library Degree. An MLS or equivalent degree is a plus.
  • Library Experience. This job is geared to library and library-industry developers. Other programmers are welcome to apply if you are excited about working with library and book-world data.
  • UX/UI Experience. We will use any design, UX, or UI experience you have.
  • Python. We also use Python, both for working with library data and machine-learning.
  • MySQL. Again, not rocket science, but true expertise in MySQL takes time and is valuable.


  • LibraryThing is an informal, high-energy, small-team environment. Programming is rapid, creative, and unencumbered by process. We put a premium on speed, reliability, communication, and responsibility. If this sounds attractive, we want you.
  • LibraryThing has been proudly remote for 15 years. Working remotely puts a premium on communication skills, discipline, and internal motivation.
  • All LibraryThing employees come up with ideas and solutions to problems on their own. We also develop and refine ideas together. We need your ideas and your criticism as much as your labor.
  • All LibraryThing employees interact with users directly. We believe that “the user is not broken.”
  • Interesting, passionate people make interesting, passionate products and are fun to work with. This is also the rare job for which a masters in Medieval Irish or a side gig as a jazz bassist is a plus. Of course, we all love books, libraries and bookstores.

Location and Compensation ($60–120k)

This is a remote job open to anyone eligible to work in the US. We’d love to employ people outside the US, but the legal hassles are generally too much for us as a small company.

We are looking to work with the right person, not filling a spot with a clearly-delineated set of responsibilities and a predetermined salary. We will consider everything from junior to senior candidates. The salary range reflects that.

LibraryThing offers excellent health and dental insurance. Employees pay no premiums. We require hard work but are unusually flexible about hours and family commitments.

How to Apply

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.

Send a cover-letter email and PDF resume to Your cover letter should go through this job advertisement, responding to it, briefly. 

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 that you did by making your email subject line “Gouda Cheese: [Your name].”


“Help LibraryThing…” image uses a CC BY 2.0 photo by Jorge Láscar (source).

Labels: employment, jobs

One Comments:

  1. Working with you/for you sounds like a great “position.” Would like to take your quiz and to see how close I would be as a good candidate to accepting.

    Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

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