Archive for the ‘libraries’ Category

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

TinyCat’s April Library of the Month: The Asian American Studies Program at Cornell University

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

In honor of School Library Month we’re featuring the Asian American Studies Program (AASP) at Cornell University, who’ve been with TinyCat since the beginning!

Program Manager of AASP Alexis Boyce was kind enough to answer my questions this month:

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

Established in 1989, the Asian American Studies Resource Center at Cornell University serves both the campus and the surrounding Ithaca community. Library materials and media pertaining to Asian America are available for study, research, and viewing. The AASP collection includes over 1200 books, journals, periodicals, and music; over 300 films; and, thanks to TinyCat, is searchable online.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

In addition to housing our online library catalogue, our website serves as a resource for students seeking internship and conference opportunities as well as those looking for courses or applying for a minor in Asian American Studies. Our study lounge is open five days a week and available for group study, organization meetings, film screenings, or just hanging out between classes, and many student groups and departments across campus use the space to advertise events, projects, and materials of interest.

The Resource Center is funded and managed by the Asian American Studies Program, which coordinates a wide range of programming throughout the year, but regularly hosts two weekly lunch series devoted to faculty, staff, and student presentations and discussions as well as a monthly Spam and Eggs Community Breakfast. All events are free and open to the public and take place in the Resource Center itself or across the hall in its conference room.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

The Resource Center employs a small group of student staff members, and each Monday, they choose a Book of the Week that reflects current events or what they are thinking about in general. The last selection was Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, and Hygiene in the Philippines by Warwick Anderson (image right). Students posted:

Colonial Pathologies details how Colonial doctors and scientists ‘began to focus on microbial pathogens as threats to the health of white colonists, they came to view the Filipino people as a contaminated race, and they launched public health initiatives to reform Filipinos’ personal hygiene practices and social conduct.’ Anderson’s work explains how race and medicine converged to form imperial policies that have had long-lasting effects on Filipino health practices.”

I love these posts for a lot of reasons. They encourage our student staff and their peers to independently engage with the library outside of their required reading and perhaps consider ideas they might not have otherwise encountered. The students also have a lot of fun with the accompanying pictures, usually pulling volunteers from whoever happens to be in the Resource Center at the time and having them strike a dramatic pose with that week’s selection. Posts go up on Facebook and Instagram, and always draw a lot of love from current students as well as alumni and faculty.

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

Our budget for new materials is relatively small, and we are located in an out-of-the-way part of campus, so people sometimes have some trouble finding us. But they are always delighted when they do.

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

I really appreciate the service that TinyCat provides because it makes us more accessible for people. I’d like to be able to offer electronic versions of books as well in the future.


Want to learn more about the Cornell Asian American Studies Program? Follow them on Facebook and Instagram, visit their website here, and be sure to 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 kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

TinyCat’s March Library of the Month: The Feminist Library on Wheels

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

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re proud to feature The Feminist Library on Wheels, our first (free) mobile lending library to join the feature! They’re doing a great service promoting marginalized voices throughout their local communities.

Co-founder and library volunteer Dawn Finley answered my questions this month:

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

The Feminist Library On Wheels is a free mobile lending library of donated feminist books, founded in July 2014. Our mission is to celebrate and promote feminist works, and move them among communities to center marginalized voices and experiences. F.L.O.W. joyfully empowers people to find tools for liberation, making feminism accessible to all. We try to make feminism, books, and human-powered transportation more available and visible; all three can be tools for self-determination, greater mobility, and welcoming community. Our main branch is located at the Women’s Center for Creative Work, a nonprofit focused on supporting feminist creative communities in Los Angeles.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

We reach a variety of audiences, all of whom have very different relationships to feminism, books, and mobility. A common query from people who approach us at events is something like, “I wish I knew more about feminism but I don’t know where to start.” We try to meet people where they are, and to make feminism less scary and intimidating.

Another question we’re often asked is whether we have men among our cardholders: we do, and we’re glad to offer a free and nonjudgmental resource to men who might not feel comfortable or confident seeking out feminist books elsewhere. We’re also able to provide materials that aren’t on the shelves at local public libraries, or are in such high demand at academic libraries that they become hard for students to find. Because we bring small pieces of the library to so many different settings, it’s interesting to both consider and watch how the books and their new readers connect with whatever is happening—the way someone attending an art opening discovers a collection of essays on an as-yet-unarticulated idea, or someone new to political activism comes to the Women’s March and walks away from our booth with an introduction to anarchism.

Now that we have more volunteers on duty for office hours, we’ve been able to more directly help people in the network of the Women’s Center for Creative Work, like when one of our volunteers provided unique and in-depth research advice for one of the artists-in-residence here. Each month the Women’s Center prints a bulletin and calendar, which includes both news and themed reading recommendations from F.L.O.W., connected to programming and events in our community.

That’s incredible! Speaking of recommendations, what are some of your favorite items in your collection?

We have a neat selection of items in our special collections, which includes signed copies of books authors have sent us or devoted readers have gifted, as well as several uncommonly available publications like the Woman’s Building’s Chrysalis magazine and Country Women (pictured right). We’re also lucky to have a substantial zine collection, donated by small organizations and individuals, which helps us support an expansive and generous take on the idea of authority in our collection. New visitors are often surprised and pleased to know we have a large section for young readers and teens too.

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

Since our lending policy is intentionally very open and generous, there’s a decent percentage of the books we check out that are never going to find their way back to us (which is fine, we want the books to live long and full lives out in the world). Since we don’t have a lot of money in the bank, it’s hard to keep some of the titles we’d like to have as staples on our shelves to meet the demand we have for them from cardholders (things like bell hooks’ Feminism is for Everybody, Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider, anything by Octavia Butler or Sandra Cisneros, and more). We often find ourselves just outside the qualifying criteria for grant funding, and we’re small enough that both writing and implementing large grants would be a major commitment of labor we can’t quite manage yet (not to mention our more ethical concerns about participating in the non-profit industrial complex).

It sounds like your library accomplishes quite a bit despite its challenges. As far as using TinyCat to help your library: what’s your favorite aspect? Anything you’d love to add?

I love it that TinyCat gives us the ability to have a “real” online catalog anyone can use to browse our collection using tools that don’t require a degree in library science to master. A lot of our volunteers are or have been librarians, or are currently in MLIS programs, but some of our volunteers don’t have any kind of professionalized training, and we like the idea of being able to readily share both the books themselves and the labor involved in running the library with people from many backgrounds, who have lots of different kinds of experience and expertise. I can’t leave out my second favorite thing: the amazingly efficient and cheerful help from staff!

I’d love it if we could search and manipulate our circulation data a little more easily (to generate a list of most-checked-out books to update our donation wishlist, for example). Since we’re mobile, a TinyCat app would also be amazing!

I hear you! Although we don’t have mobile scanning capabilities at this time, TinyCat is mobile-friendly (you’ll just need to keep a bookmark for your TinyCat in your browser, most likely). As far as circulation reports and statistics are concerned, those are high on our list of features we hope to add in the near future—we’ll be sure to let you know if/when anything changes on that front.


Want to learn more about the Feminist Library on Wheels? Follow them on Facebook and Instagram, visit their website here or on Squarespace, check out their Patreon page, and be sure to 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 kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

TinyCat’s February Library of the Month: The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative

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

This month we feature The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative, an organization doing great work to promote diversity in reading worldwide.

Director Rachel Reynolds was kind enough to field my questions this month:

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

The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative strives to raise the visibility of world literature for adults and children at the local, national and international levels. We do so by facilitating close and direct collaboration between translators, librarians, publishers, editors, and educators, because we believe that these groups in collaboration are uniquely positioned to help libraries provide support and events to engage readers of all ages in a library framework that explores and celebrates literature from around the world.

Some of our various goals and projects include:

  • book lists and guides tied to major translation awards and library themes
  • programming ideas for various library user groups: children, teens, college students, adults, English Language Learners, etc.
  • ALA conference involvement: workshops and sessions, networking through various ALA units and offices to explore the best ways to provide information and services to librarians
  • publisher and journal lists organized by vendors/distributors to help librarians more easily acquire books in translation
  • advocacy on behalf of small publishers to increase their visibility on the review platforms that librarians commonly use for their acquisitions decisions
  • general education efforts to help librarians understand more thoroughly the value of translated literature and of contemporary foreign-language literature
  • pan-publisher catalogs crafted specifically for librarian users, as a form of “one-stop” shopping to learn about new works coming out in translation
  • exploration of ways in which non-US publishers of English translations and non-US, non-English-language publishers can more easily promote their works among libraries.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

We provide support to librarians of all kinds seeking to fully diversify and globalize their collections and programs. This support is provided through our blog, social media platforms, the GLLI Translated YA Book Prize, and our booth at ALA’s annual conference. Translations compose a minuscule part of the Anglophone publishing market, and often these works are challenged in terms of visibility in the review and marketing platforms. We want to try to make it easier for librarians to find the international works that will create interest and empathy in their communities.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

Although we don’t have a physical collection, we are especially proud of our YA prize, which is unique in the awards world. We are also building up our reference catalog here on TinyCat (image left), and we see great potential in this tool, which will help us connect librarians more effectively with the books most relevant to their diverse user groups.

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

Our greatest challenge is building visibility for our organization in the US publishing and library frameworks.

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

We love the ease with which we can build and tag titles out of the Amazon database, which includes English translations from literally around the world. There aren’t any particular improvements we can think of at this time.


Want to learn more about The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative? Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, visit their website at glli-us.org, or check them out 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 kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

TinyCat’s January Library of the Month: The Pecorella Library

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

The Pecorella Library of the Center for Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies (CAMNES) has been a personal favorite of mine for some time now, and I’m very pleased to feature them as TinyCat’s January Library of the Month.

Co-Director Dr. Guido Guarducci of CAMNES fielded my questions for the library:

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

The ‘Pecorella Library’ is part of CAMNES, the Center for Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies. We are a study and research center based in Florence (Italy), which coordinates academic programs related to ancient studies as well as international archaeological excavation projects. The main corpus of the library is based on the private collection of Paolo Emilio Pecorella, an Italian archaeologist of the Near East and professor at the University of Florence who unfortunately died in 2005 at the archaeological site of Tell Barri, Syria. Our library is mainly focused on the history, philology and archaeology of the Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures and is open to the public.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

We offer research and bibliographical support to the Italian and international students who need further insight on archaeological publications, while scholars from Italian research institutions are also fond of our small library due to the presence of recent and rare publications in the field.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

We are particularly proud of very old publications of the past century, for example preliminary and final excavation reports and a good section on cylinder seals, which professor Pecorella collected in his home library and that now are available to all. Last but not least, we are also very proud of our own series SANEM (Studies on the Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean, pictured left) that was recently established—you can find them at camnes.org/publications.

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

Due to the small dimensions of the library, we are lacking professional personnel, which is certainly a difficult aspect to handle but at the same time rewarding. It is also difficult to communicate to the rest of the world of our existence since we are located within a building and not directly accessible from a street. Fortunately, scholars and students know about us but we would also like the broad public to interact with us due to our ‘public archaeology’ philosophy.

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

We love it! It is a very flexible and slick interface that gives you high quality service just as a large library with a dedicated OPAC. The possibility to customize certain parts is top notch! Plus the annual fee is very reasonable, especially for our status.


Want to learn more about The Pecorella Library? Check them out on TinyCat and at camnes.org.

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 kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

TinyCat’s December Library of the Month: The Brain Charity Library

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

The Brain Charity Library has been with TinyCat for nearly two years now, and we’re thrilled to feature them as TinyCat’s December Library of the Month. Gerard Collis, Information Officer and one of two part-time librarians at The Brain Charity, was able to field my questions this month:

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

The Brain Charity offers emotional support, practical help and social activities to anyone with a neurological condition and to their family, friends, and carers. There are hundreds of different neurological conditions, including stroke, brain injury, dementia, brain haemorrhage, and many rarer conditions. We have information on more than a hundred different conditions here in the library. We also have a wide range of more general information and guidance on living with a disability or long-term health condition.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

Our library and information service is the hub of our centre in Liverpool (pictured left), and the first port of call for newly-diagnosed people seeking help and support. We are a national service, and we support people from all over the UK.

The library showcases the range of support and information available to people with a neurological condition. And TinyCat helps us to showcase what we have in the library. We have many books that are difficult to find in other public libraries. We also have a large number of leaflets, booklets and other materials produced by other organisations and other charities.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

I really like all the information that we have here which helps children to understand what is happening to them or to their parents. For example, the book My Dad Has Epilepsy (pictured right) is written specially for children aged six to thirteen years old.

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

We have a very small staff and rely on our great volunteers to catalogue for us. We have a lot of unique items and ‘grey literature’ which need cataloguing by hand.

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

TinyCat always looks bright and friendly, and it’s very easy to use, both for clients and for staff. And you’re always quick to help out if we have any questions or problems—which doesn’t happen very often!

Perhaps the only thing to improve TinyCat, for us, would be some stats to see how people have found our TinyCat page, and what they are searching for in the catalogue there.

Great feedback. You could try adding Google Analytics to your TinyCat, as a start—just paste your GA code into your Custom Javascript field on TinyCat’s Content Settings!


Want to learn more about The Brain Charity? Follow them on Facebook or Twitter, visit their website here, or check out 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 kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

TinyCat’s November Library of the Month: America’s Test Kitchen

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

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we couldn’t help but feature one of the most appetizing libraries we know of. We’re thrilled to feature America’s Test Kitchen Library as TinyCat’s Library of the Month! Library Intern Kelly Potter was kind enough to take my interview questions this month:

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

We’re a rapidly expanding independent media company that has earned the respect of the publishing industry, the culinary world, and most importantly, millions of home cooks (just ask the best cooks you know).

We are passionate about cooking—discovering why recipes work and why they don’t—and sharing what we learn to help everyone cook with confidence. We test cookware and supermarket ingredients to find the best quality products for home cooks. We don’t accept advertising.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

Research development starts at the library. I help our test cooks and interns research recipes and culinary history. I have multiple projects occurring simultaneously. We have two magazines, Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country as well as recipe development for the books. It is satisfactory to see how the recipes come out. Some recipes take a few short months to develop, while others have taken years.

That’s impressive! With R&D starting at the library, what are some of your favorite items in your collection?

We have every book published by America’s Test Kitchen. It is interesting to look at the collection to see how the company has transformed and evolved. Cook’s Illustrated celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year and for the first time started publishing the magazine in full color. We also have Good Housekeeping magazines from the 1940’s and those are very cool to look at.

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

I am a graduate student at Simmons University and there have been other interns who maintained and cataloged our collection before me. I have been looking through the collection deleting multiple records of the same item, which has been easy to do with LibraryThing.

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

TinyCat is easy to use. I have test cooks who can come into the library when I am not there and be able to locate the books they need. As a student and intern, I am still learning all the different facets and capabilities of TinyCat.


Want to learn more about America’s Test Kitchen? Visit their website here, or check out 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 kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, Library of the Month, TinyCat

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

Introducing TinyCat’s Library of the Month

All year long, we’ve been picking one TinyCat library each month to feature in our TinyCat Post newsletter. Each library is asked the same set of questions designed to give readers a sense of the libraries using TinyCat, but more importantly what they do for their community and why their work is important. The responses we’ve seen are too good to keep to ourselves, so TinyCat’s Library of the Month will now be shared with our entire community of library and book lovers at LibraryThing.

If you’d like to read up on TinyCat’s previous Libraries of the Month, just browse our TinyCat Post archive here.

TinyCat’s October Library of the Month: The United States Institute of Peace Library

We’re very pleased to feature the United States Institute of Peace Archive as TinyCat’s October Library of the Month! Gretchen Sauvey, Senior Project Specialist and keeper of the archives at USIP, fielded my questions this month:

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

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent national institute, founded by Congress and dedicated to the proposition that a world without violent conflict is possible, practical, and essential for U.S. and global security. USIP pursues this vision on the ground in conflict zones, working with local partners to prevent conflicts from turning to bloodshed and to end it when they do. The Institute provides training, analysis, and other resources to people, organizations, and governments working to build peace.

The USIP Archive is our collection of the books, reports, and multimedia products created or funded by the Institute during the course of its work.

Tell us some interesting ways you support your community.

The archive provides the staff of USIP with access to the history of the Institute’s work. Many of the places where we work have been in conflict for decades, so it’s important to be able to look back and know what has been done before. We also have materials dating back to the creation of the Institute in the 1980’s so we can see the vision that our founders had for our work and refer to it to inspire our future.

What are some of your favorite items in your collection?

I love the variety of languages that can be found in our collection. We have items in Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, Kurdish, Khmer, Nepali, and several others. It truly reflects the global nature of our work.

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

One of our challenges is that the items we add to the collection are often not found in other library catalogs—either because they’re newly published by us, or because they’re published in countries that aren’t as tied into the international library systems—so I do a lot of original cataloging by hand.

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

The best thing about TinyCat is how simple it is to use, from both the administrative side and for the end user. The interfaces are clean and well-organized and make it easy to navigate the site and find the information you need. The thing I’d like to see developed is functionality for adding multiple barcodes to a record for times when we have more than one copy of the same item.

Great suggestion. Copies management is a feature high on our list—we’ll be sure to announce any update on that front, if and when it happens.


Want to learn more about the U.S. Institute of Peace Library? Visit their website here, or check out their library on TinyCat.

Calling all TinyCat libraries: become TinyCat’s next Library of the Month—just send us a Tweet @TinyCat_lib or email Kristi at kristi@librarything.com.

Labels: libraries, TinyCat

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Libraries We Love

In honor of National Library Week in the US, LT staff got to talking about our favorite libraries around the world. Read all about our favorite places below, and come share your own on Talk.

With few exceptions, all of our favorite libraries can also be found on LibraryThing Local—LT’s way of connecting members to the real world of bookstores, libraries, and book events.

Tim

My family’s personal library. I grew up thinking a family library in the thousands, with a real intent to cover most topics, was entirely normal.

Boston Athenæum. Growing up, one of my best friends was the son of the director, so I spent a lot of time there, and he could take anything out. I particularly remember the day we spent finding all the very oldest and coolest books on magic and witchcraft they had.

Library of Congress. I went to Georgetown, but apart from the Woodstock Theological Library in the basement, it was only so-so and needed more. The LC—arguably the greatest library in the world—was my library and, really, my university too.

Boston Public Library. The BPL is, with the NYPL, one of only a few publics that try to maintain a serious research collection. I did a lot of work there in High School (I was a weird kid okay?). The main reading room is my idea of Heaven.

Beinecke Library. Architecturally, the most gorgeous library I know. I took my son to Yale just to see the library, and it was closed! But I recently made a replica for him in Minecraft. Check out Beinecke on video!


Loranne

University of Chicago Joseph Regenstein Library. My alma mater’s flagship library, and how I got my official start in my career in libraries—shoutout to the Bookstacks Department! “The Reg,” as it’s known on campus, has a foreboding, Brutalist exterior, but inside, seemed to have everything I could ever want. This includes UofC’s Special Collections.

Six Mile Regional Library District Branch. My very first public library as a child. I was hypnotized by the rotating shelves, and I have vivid memories of asking the librarian for more books on sharks, please.

The Choral Library at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel. This one isn’t open to the public, and it’s in more or less a closet behind the King’s balcony. It was stuffy, crowded, and I loved it. It had a rolling ladder, just like the movies! My fellow choral office assistant and I mostly had it all to ourselves.

Seattle Public Library. Visually striking both inside and out, and always busy. What’s not to love about “the mothership” (as some of us are fond of calling it)? SPL is really on top of events programming, too: from helping folks with their taxes to speaker series.

Tuscaloosa Public Library. My grandparents’ local library, which has been a great resource for them for years. Possibly my favorite part is that, rather than a perennial book sale, the Friends of the Tuscaloosa Library Bookstore is open almost year-round, and is partly to blame for my home library’s shelves overflowing.


Abby

Mount Holyoke College Library. The building itself makes all sorts of “most beautiful library” lists, but this is where I spent much of my undergrad days, reading, sitting in the stacks in front of the HQ range grabbing books for my thesis, and occasionally napping in my carrel, when I wasn’t downstairs working at the Archives and Special Collections.

Boston Public Library. In the early days of LibraryThing, I would occasionally set up camp and spend the day working from the BPL. The McKim Building is beautiful, the collection itself is vast.

Mattapoisett Free Public Library. This was the library of my childhood, a tiny lovely place, complete with an old Civil War canon outside for climbing on.

New York Public Library. I have written many books—at least in my head, if not yet on paper—that take place in the NYPL.

Cambridge Public Library. My new everyday library.


Kristi

University of Tasmania Morris Miller Library. Many an hour I spent studying in the upper levels of this library, browsing the science collections and using the free internet to research my next weekend trip. It was one of the places I really felt welcome when travelling alone and overseas for a semester.

Newport Public Library. Sadly, this library closed while I was in college (don’t worry, a new cultural center took its place). The library used to be in a pretty little brick building on Main Street in my hometown. I was an avid patron there from 5 years old, and remember cleaning up the grounds with my Girl Scout Troop as a kid.

Beinecke Library. I’ve never been, but I would love to go! Rare books plus beautiful architecture, sourced with marble panels from Vermont? Count me in, please.

Trinity College Library. Another library I’d love to visit. The Long Room makes me think of grand fantasy tales, getting lost in the shelves in a world like Harry Potter’s or Redwall’s, and please say there are track ladders I could maybe ride without getting in trouble?

Tie between America’s Test Kitchen and American Cheese Society. I’m quite partial to libraries centered around food, and I often find myself browsing these libraries’ catalogs and drooling over their books.


KJ


Skidompha Library. This is a sentimental decision, as my mother is the director and I basically grew up in its shelves. They have won several state and national awards for programming, facility, and general awesomeness, but my favorite feature was the heated flooring in the children’s story circle.

Trinity College Library. Can you have an aspiration to just become a library? Because I could do that, here. Book of Kells was definitely bucket list material.


Biblioteca delle Oblate.
I work from my laptop around the world. When I was in Italy a few years ago, this branch of the Florence public libraries, overlooking the Duomo, provided me a sunny view, killer macchiatos (and, uh, wine), and steady/free wifi. Simply gorgeous.

Smith College Josten Performing Arts Library. Worked in this architectural ode to the 1960s in college, shelving music scores among squashy armchairs, becoming conversant in the Cutter Classification system.

Biblioburro. This library travels on braying hoof through a region of Colombia, bringing books to children who don’t have libraries of their own or other access to books. Such an elegant solution, even if the fuel costs are measured in hay and not heating oil.


Kirsten

Bridgton Public Library. I was this library’s Matilda many, many years ago.

North Bridgton Public Library. I lived next door to this library during my freshman year, and spent many hours poring over earth science books for my “Whitney Reports.” Locals will know what I’m talking about. Whitney himself lived just a few blocks away.

Lake Region Middle School Library. Moving to Maine from Puerto Rico in the middle of a school year then skipping a grade didn’t make for the most wonderful 7th grade experience. Thankfully, this library and its wonderful librarian were there. I wish I could remember her name, but mostly I remember her storytelling. She made The Polar Express for me.

San Francisco Public Library. I went to the library two days before I moved cross-country back to Maine to renew my library card. I still can’t bear to part with the physical card, though my e-borrowing privileges expired in 2015.

Tim’s family’s personal library. I’m pretty sure that the book stacks I make every time I housesit are primarily made up of Lisa’s books, maybe some of Liam’s. Tim’s are certainly fascinating to browse the titles, if a bit scholarly for my non-required-reading tastes.


Kate

New York Public Library. As a book-loving kid living in Texas, I dreamed of visiting this library, living in this library. I first made it to NYC in 2010 and was thrilled to meet Patience and Fortitude, and to wander around this marvel for hours. It did not disappoint, y’all.

Boston Public Library. After moving to Boston for library school, I spent many days getting to know the BPL: the collections, the artwork, the history. It still feels like home despite having left Boston four years ago.

Baylor University Armstrong Browning Library. This absolutely beautiful research library maintains the largest collection of the works of and works pertaining to Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in the world. In Waco, Texas! I would many times attempt to study in the library only to be distracted by the stories it held.

St. Louis Public Library. This lovely piece of history underwent a complete restoration recently, the results unveiled on the library’s centennial in 2012. I love so much about this space: the stunning Grand Hall, the Graham Greene and Joseph Heller quotes on the ceiling of the stacks, the revamped children’s space. But most of all, I love that my husband and I got engaged here.

Trinity College Library. One day I’ll get there, y’all.


Your Favorite Libraries

Have a great National Library Week, and come share your favorites in the discussion on Talk!

Labels: libraries, library of congress, national library week

Friday, February 20th, 2015

New Feature: Lending (a.k.a. “Circulation”)

circulation-lendingboxWe’ve just released a major new feature: lending tracking, or, as libraries call it, “circulation.”

Why are we doing this?

Regular members have long called for a simple way to track lending. But the strongest calls have come from the many small libraries that use LibraryThing–community centers, classrooms, museums, churches, synagogues, ashrams, health centers, masonic temples, etc. We’ve got a list of some our favorites.

Simple but Strong

Although simple to use, “Lending” was designed to be powerful enough for small libraries. Rather than just a field for a name, it’s a full system, with:

  • Who checked something out and when
  • Due dates and “overdue” status
  • “On hold,” “missing” an custom statuses
  • Summary information by transaction, status and patron
  • Control over what status information visitors see

Here’s a video I made explaining it:

If you don’t want to watch the video, or want more information, here it is in text.

Come talk to us about it here on Talk.

Where can I find it?

Members who haven’t changed their catalog display styles will find the “Lending” column on style “B.” To add it to a style, go to “Settings.” (This used to be just a “cog” graphic next to the styles.)

circ_bar_1and2

You can find Lending summary information as a mode, together with tags, authors, etc.

circ_bar_1

Here’s how it looks in the catalog. Double-click to add or change a book’s lending status. Although there are a lot of fields, everything is optional. If you just want to track in/out, with no names or dates or due-dates, that’s fine:
circulation-catalog

Here’s what lending looks like on book pages–a little “book-pocket” icon () to edit lending status, and, if the book has a status, an area for showing it.
circulation_bookpage

Here’s what it looks to add a status:
circulation-newstatus

Selecting the “Lending” menu within the catalog () shows you summary and transaction information.
circulation-transactions

There are a lot of options here:
circulation-patronscirculation-statuscirculation-dewey

There’s also a “Lending Summary” section for your home page, available under Home > Books:
Homepage

Thanks. Come talk to us about it here on Talk.

PS: This was a joint effort between myself and Ammar, who did great work, with some help from Chris Holland and others.

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

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Occupy Libraries!

It’s been fascinating to watch the rise of libraries at the various Occupy sites around the world, particularly the impressively-large collection at Occupy Wall Street known as the People’s Library. We reached out and suggested a LibraryThing account for the collection, and the volunteer librarians in Zucotti Park responded enthusiastically.

The OWSLibrary catalog now includes more than 3,300 titles, and it’s quite a rich and varied collection (check out the tag mirror). We’ve got a Talk thread where members are posting the books they share with the library; as of this morning, I share 100 titles with them, everything from E.O. Wilson to Annie Dillard to Strunk & White. If you’re signed into LibraryThing, you can see what you share with the OWS Library here.

The OWSLibrary folks also have an active blog, Twitter, and Flickr presence (they’ve even got library stamps!). Many authors have visited to speak, lend support, and sign books, and there’s now even an Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology.

More than 1,300 writers have signed the Occupy Writers petition in support of the Occupy movement, including Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman, Junot Díaz and more.

You can read some good coverage of the Occupy library movement in American Libraries, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Wall Street Journal.

On Friday, local librarian JustinTheLibrarian, Tim and I went downtown on our lunch break and cataloged the Occupy Maine library, a small collection housed at Portland’s Spartan Grill restaurant (which also serves a very tasty gyro).

Occupy Sacramento’s library is also up on LibraryThing, and we’ve been in touch with various other Occupy libraries; if your city’s library joins up, we’d love to know about it!

While you may agree or disagree with the Occupy movement as a whole, we think what they’re doing with books and libraries is simply awesome. And we’re very happy to be a part of it.

Labels: cataloging, flash mob, flash-mob cataloging, libraries