Archive for the ‘new libraries’ Category

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

Norway, Sweden and New Zealand!

We’ve gone and released eleven Norwegian, Swedish and New Zealand libraries.

Norway gets its first libraries, six in number, as does New Zealand, five. Sweden now has five, up from three. Of course, Norway and Sweden have their own, translated LibraryThings, and

The libraries include The Royal Library of Sweden (LIBRIS), the Oslo Public Library (Deichmanske Bibliotek), the University of Auckland and the National Library of New Zealand. The new batch comes on top of twenty-five Danish and twenty-eight new Australian libraries, raising the new total to 132. Momentum is building. We’ll release Finland next week, but just wait until we release new libraries from the USA, Canada and the Spanish-speaking world!

Getting people outside the US to join LibraryThing is all about making it easy for them to enter their books; this should make it a lot easier for Norwegians, Swedes and Kiwis to join the fun.

New features, Monday. We had planned to release some major improvments to book editing and cataloging quality today but at 5:30am last night Chris and I called it a night, frustrated with some Internet Explorer bugs. (Chris is still asleep. I got up at 9. Which one of us has a child, I wonder?) The screen-capture was taken at 3:30 from our video chat. Don’t you wish you worked for LibraryThing?

Anyway, I don’t like to release really major features late in the week. And we can improve things. So we’re going to pile on some more goodness and release everything Sunday night/Monday morning.

Downtime. We’re going to go down for much of Saturday morning, changing the database in important ways.

Labels: new libraries, new zealand, norway, sweden

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Twenty-five Danish libraries added

If you’re Danish and have books, we can help.

We’ve gone from one to twenty-five Danish libraries available as cataloging sources. They are available on the Danish-language LibraryThing,, and the English site.

Denmark is a small country, so it should be low on our agenda, down with the “Wisconsin push.”* But it’s a country of unusually passionate readers. Our Dutch experiment proved that catering to small, literate countries works.** Five million Danish readers? Come on in!

Libraries. Denmark is also a country of libraries and, as I learned when asked to speak before librarians in Aarhus (Århus), Danish libraries are way ahead when it comes to innovative uses of technology. Among other things, Danish libraries reach out. They certainly have more open Z39.50 connections—the connections LibraryThing needs—than anywhere else.

Before this we drew from only one library, Det kongelige Bibliotek (The Royal Library). Our data import had character-set problems and, owing to some creative changes to the MARC standard—called DANMARC, I kid you not—author-name problems too. We’ve now added twenty-four other public, university and government libraries, from Aalborg Universitets Bibliotek to the Vejen Bibliotek.

Free accounts. Read this far? Have a Danish email address? Well, I’m going to give out free accounts to the first twenty-five Danish members who write to me from a Danish (dk) email address. You need to have made an account and entered at least fifty books. Send email to

Help us out. So far, the Danish Zeitgeist and groups have not been very active. There aren’t many Danish author photos either. No doubt many Danes are counted as members of the English-language site. But let’s if we can’t get this to take off!

Other news. Multiple authors and roles are being released tomorrow if it kills us!

*I mean no disrespect for Wisconsin, of course. Denmark and Wisconsin are not only the same in population; they are the yin and yang of quality cheese.
**This goes against conventional “social networking” wisdom. MySpace, Facebook and the like are only now getting seriously into non-US markets, and none have a Dutch or Danish version. In theory, going after small markets is like lighting solitary candles in the sand when what you really need is roaring bonfire. But small networks can also more densely packed, allowing for faster spread, and the Netherlands and Denmark have exceedingly open and engaged societies, ideal for both social networking and literary ferment.

Photo credit: Danish flag photo by Flikr user Jacob Bøtter, of Copenhagen, used under a CC-Attribution license.

Labels: danish libraries, denmark, new libraries

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

28 Australian libraries / The Book Show

UPDATED UPDATE: ABC’s The Book Show aired the interview. It was fun to do. And today (Dec. 5 over there) we got a—admittedly syndicated—mention in Australia’s national newspaper The Australian. Go Australia!

We’ve jumped from 2 to 28 Australian libraries. This should make it a lot easier for Australians to add books to LibraryThing.

In related news, I’m appearing on Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s The Book Show, at 10am today (Nov. 22 in Australia), to talk about LibraryThing. The show is repeated at midnight. You can listen in from their shows page or with their podcast.

The Book Show. The Book Show is a DAILY show! I listened to a half-dozen of them to prepare. I enjoyed the one on the PR industry, with Bob Burton (Nov. 19), the one on marginialia (Oct. 19). They did LT Early Reviewer‘s author Amy Bloom on October 9.

Libraries. The libraries include state libraries from Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales and universities like Canberra, Tasmania, Sydney, Flinder’s University and Charles Darwin University. There are also some special collections, like the Australian Defence Force Academy and the Australian Graduate School of Management. And of course we still have the National Library of Australia and the Australian National University.

The new Australian libraries raises our total to 97. Over the coming weeks it’s going to go much higher. But we figured it would be fun to unleash them in groups. Also, the new libraries introduce a host of new challenges, including new standards, like UNIMARC, and non-Latin character sets, and we wanted to make sure we got everything right.

Casey will go into much greater detail about the new libraries soon. But you should also see a substantial increase in cataloging quality, particularly with character sets. At first, this will just be for newly-added books, but we’ll make an effort to improve older records too. We also have a new “author authors” and “roles” system. We were going to unveil it today, but a couple of minor bugs kept us from it. We’ll get that out tomorrow.

Wish me luck on the radio. From listening to old ones, I determined that the show is very much up my alley, but very relaxed. I’m not. Maybe I should have a whiskey or two before I go on.

The photo above come from the one to the left, this photo, by Johan Larson. It was the first commercially-usable and remixable Flickr result for “Australian flag.”

Unfortunately, LibraryThing’s Australian—Tasmanian!—systems guy, John Dalton (Felius), was unavailable for under-flag exuberance. The individual in question is almost certainly not excited about LibraryThing’s new libraries. But, if he has any interest, how about a free account?

Labels: australia, new feature, new features, new libraries