Thursday, February 29th, 2024

TinyCat’s February Library of the Month: Ingleside at King Farm

TinyCat’s Library of the Month is that of a wonderful life plan community called Ingleside at King Farm (IKF), located just outside of Washington, D.C. IKF’s collections are actually two separate libraries managed by a volunteer committee, many of whom are former librarians.

I had the pleasure of interviewing IKF’s Library Committee Chair Judy Sandstrom for this month’s feature, here’s what she had to say:

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

Ingleside at King Farm is a life plan community of about 500 residents in Montgomery County, Maryland, about 10 miles from Washington D.C.  

When it opened in 2009, the then about 300 residents donated books from their personal collections and a volunteer library committee developed a database record of the library.

New construction in 2019 brought an additional 200 residents, a new location for the library, and additional retired librarians. At that point we were able to migrate to TinyCat and expand our collection.

Very soon after Covid hit and we had to modify our lending practices. Library access was closed, and residents sent email requests to the committee. Books were signed out and placed in bags outside the library for pick up. Thankfully we are back to normal library operations. 

We manage two libraries totaling 4000+ books and DVDs, one for independent living residents, the other for assisted living residents who are housed on a separate floor.

The library is managed by a committee made up in large part by former librarians from various types of libraries: public, school, law, and federal, as well as volunteers who love libraries.

Image: IKF’s Volunteer Library Committee

Tell us some other interesting things about how your library supports the community.

We publish a monthly column for our inhouse newsletter focusing on different aspects of our collection ranging from columns on how to access TinyCat from our online platform to “books of the month”. 

We have a large print collection in the Assisted Living Library

Our homepage has been modified to add links to our county library system and libraries for the blind or accessibility challenged residents.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

We have a collection of about 25 books written by our residents.

What a vibrant and interesting community! Is there a particular challenge your library experiences?

Because our library has no budget, we depend on donations from residents. Additionally, our space is limited resulting in restrictions in the number and type of books we will accept.

Our committee was hoping to use the TinyCat online checkout system, but because our residents range in age from 70 to 100+, the steps required are not practical for this community.

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

The display of new book covers brings residents to the library pretty quickly! We love the feature “Similar in this Library.”

We instituted a barcode project hoping to use it for online checkout but find it helpful with general circulation. TinyCat made the project simple and quick.

Because our holdings are limited and some residents are visually and mobility challenged, we would love to have a seamless link to Libby from our homepage.

You can certainly add a link to your library on Libby, if you have one (such as this one for the Montgomery County Public Library), or you can add live links to individual records by using LibraryThing’s “Comments” field (which show up as “Local notes” on TinyCat Detail pages), but let me know if you’re looking for something else!

Want to learn more about Ingleside at King Farm?

Check out their full TinyCat collection here.

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

Want to be considered for TinyCat’s Library of the Month? Send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat


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