Monday, August 15th, 2016

New Feature: True Excel Export

After years of CSV and TSV exports, we’ve added a “true” Excel export for your catalog. Find yours here: https://www.librarything.com/export.php?export_type=xls.

It’s a minimal, simple implementation. We made the headings bold, changed some column widths and defined some columns as text and some as numbers, but otherwise left the data as-is. We tested it out, but there are so many versions of Excel out there, that we’d appreciate feedback from members too.

Let us know what you think in Talk.

Screenshot 2016-08-15 15.39.59

Labels: export, new features

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Cataloging improvement I: Better export

filtering options

The New Export Filtering Options

We’ve just released a new and improved export feature. Check it out here.

Major improvements include:

  • Export filtering. So you can export only books added since a certain date, books with a certain tag. You can also use the new search syntax to control your export even more precisely.
  • More fields. The new tab-delimited and JSON fields now include 41 exported fields, up from 16 or 29 in the old export formats. Essentially all book data should now be included in the export.
  • Richer fields. Flat files, such as tab-delimited text, have a problem with “multidimensional data,” such as secondary authors and their roles. The new format attempts to represent this data more completely, separating sub-values with pipe (|) characters.
  • JSON format. Export is now available in JSON format, a lightweight data format much used by programmers.
  • Better MARC options. We’ve improve the MARC options, for members interested in exporting to a library-industry system.
  • Not being partially broken. Always a good feature!

Try it out. Go ahead and try out the new export.

Discuss. Come discuss the new export features on Talk.

Thanks. Export was re-engineered by Chris, Ammar* and me (Tim). It is based on the improvements Mike made to “Your Books” searching, and indeed the JSON format is effectively the format that the search system now indexes. (This will prove useful for troubleshooting problems with members.)

Screen shots

main options
marc options

UPDATE: We’ve added an explicit Excel format.


* Who is Ammar? Stick around, we’ll tell you soon.

Labels: new feature, new features, small libraries

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Tab-delimited export

I’ve added a tab-delimited export, for use in Microsoft Excel and elsewhere. Go to the Extras tab to download the file to your desktop.

Tab-delimited supplants the former CSV export, which had some drawbacks. (I’ll be working to get it up to snuff in the near future.) Among other things, it handles special characters better, and includes all your fields. Problems remain with non-Latin characters, such as Chinese and Georgian.

So far, testers on the Google Group have reported no problems. If you find one, go ahead and post it there, or here.

In other news, also check out the Google Group for a cool new beta feature I’m developing, and asking for comments on. It’s not ready for blogging yet.

Labels: 1

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Export added; what now?

I just added a CSV export feature, so you can throw the data into Excel, Access, Filemaker, etc. So, what now?

Some ideas:

  • Import filters for popular book-cataloging software. I’d start with Delicious Library, an elegant OS X application.
  • User-defined fields. I can add user-defined fields. For my sake, I prefer to use tags to keep track of where a book is, or who gave it to me. But others may prefer flexible user-defined fields.
  • Use of Amazon. How are people finding the LC data? It works for me, but I see some problems. The LC doesn’t always have copies of paperback reprints. So, you have to choose between the original edition or entering the paperback manually. I was thinking I could make it “fail” to Amazon—check Amazon if the LC doesn’t work. Or Amazon could always be an option.

What do you think?

Labels: 1

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Introducing TinyCat: The OPAC for Tiny Libraries

tc_wordmark_lt_700

Today we’re happy to announce the official launch of TinyCat, the online catalog solution for tiny libraries. In other words, YAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Check it out here! https://www.librarycat.org


What’s this all about? Religious institutions, community centers, small schools and other “tiny” libraries (up to 20,000 items) have used LibraryThing to catalog their collections for years. TinyCat gives them an attractive and powerful library catalog, with easy-to-use circulation and patron-account features.

  • Simple. TinyCat is simple and clean. Faceted searching adds power.
  • Mobile. TinyCat looks and works great on every device and platform.
  • Professional. Robust circulation and patron log-in features, and a “Simple Circulation” option for classroom libraries.
  • Flexible. Import and export MARC records.
  • Secure. HTTPS always.
  • Enhanced. Enhanced with optional professional and user reviews, recommendations, and more.

TC_blog

See TinyCat in action. Folio, a member-supported library and cultural center in the heart of Seattle, uses TinyCat. Check it out here.

Try it out. Already have a LibraryThing account? You can see your LibraryThing collection on TinyCat by starting here.

Find out more, including Frequently Asked Questions, pricing, and how to get started at https://www.librarycat.org.

Let us know what you think on Talk, or email tinycat@librarything.com. Join the TinyCat discussion Group on LibraryThing here: http://www.librarything.com/groups/tinycat.

Visit us at PLA. Stop by booth #437 at PLA in Denver this week to meet Tim and get an in-person demo of TinyCat!

Labels: small libraries, TinyCat

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Import your Shelfari library and get a free LibraryThing account

We’ve long supported imports from Shelfari into LibraryThing, and with the news that Shelfari is being merged with Goodreads, some folks are looking for a new online home for their books. Now you can import your Shelfari library, and receive an automatic upgrade to a free lifetime LibraryThing account! Here’s how to do it:

UPDATE: We’ve seen a number of Shelfarians becoming more active on LT recently, and we’re happy to have you! You might find some of your old friends over in the Shelfarians on LibraryThing group, created and managed by your fellows.

Export Your Shelfari Data

You’ve got a couple options when it comes to exporting your Shelfari library, and can either directly download a file, or have one emailed to you. See Shelfari’s instructions here.

Sign Up for LibraryThing

It’s quick and free! Head over to LibraryThing.com and click “Join Now.” Enter your desired username and password (we also recommend including your email address, for password resetting purposes), and you’re good to go!

If you’ve already got a LibraryThing account, you can import your Shelfari library to your existing account.

Import Your Shelfari File to LibraryThing

Once you have your Shelfari export file, go to our Shelfari Import page and upload it there.

Enjoy

Welcome to your new library on LibraryThing! We’re happy to have you. Take a look around, and get to know the place a bit. We recommend the Short Introduction for a quick overview of features.

If you have any questions, Talk—our discussion forum—is a great place to start, and you can always email us at info@librarything.com.

Labels: import, shelfari

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

Sneak Peek: TinyCat for Small Libraries

tc_wordmark_lt_700

We’ve done a lot of hinting about unveiling some big news at ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco this week, and now, we’re giving you a sneak peek… at TinyCat.

What is TinyCat? TinyCat turns LibraryThing into a powerful, simple, online catalog for so-called “tiny libraries” (less than 20,000 titles).

These smallest libraries—churches, synagogues, small schools, community centers, academic departments, etc.—have been using LibraryThing to catalog their collections for almost a decade. That continues with TinyCat. TinyCat offers a new way to view the catalog that’s cleaner and focused on helping patrons find and discover books in your library.(1)

TinyCat is:

  • Simple. TinyCat is simple and clean. Faceted searching adds power.
  • Mobile. TinyCat looks and works great on every device and platform.
  • Flexible. TinyCat supports all media types, not just the books that drive LibraryThing.
  • Professional. Import and export MARC records. Track patrons and show item status.
  • Secure. HTTPS always.
  • Enhanced. TinyCat includes the best, most useful enhancements LibraryThing can offer—more than almost any “big-library” catalog has.

Screenshots (click images for large size)

search_partial

detail_partial

Method to our madness? It’s no coincidence that we’ve been rolling out lots of new features lately, many of which have been necessary to make TinyCat possible (think Barcode Support, Circulation, Advanced Search and now New Feature: MARC Import). There’s still more to come. We couldn’t be more excited.

TinyCat is coming soon. (We were aiming for ALA, so it’s very close.)

See us at ALA. Stop by booth 3634 at ALA Annual this weekend in San Francisco to talk to Tim and Abby and see TinyCat live. (We’ll show it with your collection, if you have one.)

If you need a free pass to the exhibit hall, details are in this blog post.

Interested? If you’re a librarian of a small library who might be interested in beta testing TinyCat, get in touch! Drop us an email at info@librarything.com.


1. In library terms, TinyCat is the OPAC (“Online Public Access Catalog”), and LibraryThing is the ILS (“Integrated Library System.”)

Labels: new feature, new features, small libraries, TinyCat

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

New Feature: MARC Import

This is not a bobcat

MARC is the library standard for bibliographic records. We’ve always parsed MARC records behind the scenes, when members searched one of our 700 library sources, or our Overcat collection. A few years ago, we introduced the ability export your LibraryThing collections as MARC records, even if your records didn’t start out in MARC.

Now, we’re adding the last piece: MARC importing, for all the small but professionally-cataloged libraries that use LibraryThing.

Try it Out. Check it out on Import or directly to MARC Import.

How it works. To use MARC import, you’ll need to have your library data in a .marc file format. Depending on how large a file you’ve got, the import process may take a few minutes. The good news is, you’ll receive a notification from LibraryThing once it’s ready. From there, you’ll be able to review your import options—just like you would with any other import—and select the collections, tags, etc. you’d like to apply to the items you’re importing.

What is MARC? MARC stands for Machine-Readable Cataloging. It represents a set of digital formats for describing items held by libraries: books, maps, CDs/DVDs, etc. You name it, if it’s in a library, MARC can handle it. Libraries the world over use MARC to standardize their item records in such a way that information about different types of items can all be fed into (and retrieved from) cataloging systems uniformly.

MARC fields are denoted by numerical tags, that indicate what type of information is contained in that field. For example, the title of a given work is always in field 245.

Don’t Upload The New York Public Library! This is for small—or, better the tiny—libraries that use MARC records and LibraryThing. Uploads are capped at 10,000 records total, so don’t try to upload 100,000 records. “Regular” libraries, big and small, should check out LibraryThing for Libraries, a remarkable suite of catalog enhancements.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think on Talk.

Labels: cataloging, new features, small libraries

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Welcome Ammar

We’re pleased to introduce Ammar Abu-Yasein (member LT_Ammar) to the LibraryThing gang!

Ammar will be working as a developer from across the pond (in Jordan), mostly on LibraryThing.com, developing new features and improving old ones. His first feature was improved export. Say hello to Ammar on his profile, or join us in the “Welcome Ammar!” Talk topic.

About Ammar

Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Ammar has loved computers and video games from an early age. He graduated with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Toledo in 2011, and a year later he joined a strong and vibrant IT community in Amman, Jordan. Ammar has spent countless hours building all types of software, from mobile to web apps. He’s excited to join the LibraryThing team and develop further skills.

When he’s not in a staring contest with his monitor, Ammar enjoys picnics with his family, swimming, making money, and of course, reading! His favorite authors include Stephen King, Steve McConnel, and J.K. Rowling, respectively. Ammar dreams of one day owning a helicopter (who doesn’t?)!

Labels: employees

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Cataloging improvement II: Date selectors

Yesterday I added calendar “date selectors” to many of the places you can enter dates into LibraryThing. The selectors are optional—you can always just type instead. But they may come in handy.

Click here.
calendar_1

And get a date selector.
calendar_2

Along with this, and along with the recent export improvements, a number of important long-running date bugs have been closed. We look forward to help identifying and squashing what remains.

Come discuss on Talk.

Technical note: We used jQuery UI’s datepicker.

Labels: new feature, new features, small libraries