Monday, April 8th, 2019

TinyCat Turns Three

Happy 3rd Birthday to TinyCat! We’re proud to now serve over 1,000 small libraries with an affordable, sophisticated online catalog, best known for its ease of use and “the best, friendliest” customer support (so we’ve been told).

We’ve enjoyed getting to know the amazing TinyCat community through our Library of the Month features (in our TinyCat Post), and we look forward to welcoming many more libraries this year.

To help celebrate our birthday, we’ve got a little something for everyone now through the end of May:

LibraryThing Store Sale. Now through the end of April, get all of our TinyCat merchandise on sale, including library supplies like our CueCat scanners and barcode labels, through the LibraryThing Store.

The deals: TinyCat shirts are marked down to $10, tote bags are $18, TinyCat/LibraryThing coasters sets are $2, CueCats are $5, and barcode labels are $5 for your 1st packet and $4 thereafter.

Extended free trials for all organizations. Throughout the months of April and May, anyone who signs up for a free trial to TinyCat will get not just 30 but 90 days to explore everything TinyCat has to offer. This will give you plenty of time to catalog your collections on LibraryThing and see how well TinyCat shows them off, all while tracking any circulation and patron data you need. Sign up now.

Win a free year of TinyCat. As a little icing on the cake, we’re picking two TinyCat libraries from April and May to win a full year’s subscription! (With a special nod to School Library Month in April, one of the libraries will be educational.) Winners will be selected and announced in June.

Come and join the celebration—share some birthday love with us on Talk (adorable cat photos encouraged), and help spread the news with other small libraries you love!


Left image: one of our stylish TinyCat v-necks, available in the LT Store. (LT Developer/shirt model Chris Holland not included—sorry guys.)

Labels: birthday, sale, TinyCat, tshirts

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019

April 2019 Early Reviewers

a href=”http://www.librarything.com/er/list”>Win free books from the April 2019 batch of Early Reviewer titles! We’ve got 131 books this month, and a grand total of 5,445 copies to give out.

Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, April 29th at 6pm EDT.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, Germany, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Candlewick Press Candlewick Entertainment Walker Books US
Black Rose Writing Consortium Book Sales and Distribution Kaylie Jones Books
Chronicle Books Beacon Press William Morrow
World Weaver Press ECW Press Ballantine Books
Revell First Steps Publishing Mirror World Publishing
Timber Press Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc. Everything Goes Media
Unsolicited Press Prufrock Press Red Adept Publishing
Crystal Peake Publisher Rolling Wheelhouse Publishing Shaking the Tree Press
ClydeBank Media Tundra Books Puffin Books Canada
Frayed Edge Press Apex Publications Henry Holt and Company
CarTech Books Meerkat Press Touri Language Learning
Poolbeg Press Holland Park Press Harper Perennial
FYD Media, LLC Open Books Literary Wanderlust LLC
Tantor Media HighBridge Audio Zimbell House Publishing
Month9Books Tiny Fox Press Gibson House Press
Poise and Pen Publishing City Owl Press ScareStreet
NewCon Press Pulp Literature Press BookViewCafe
BHC Press

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

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, March 5th, 2019

March 2019 Early Reviewers

Win free books from the March 2019 batch of Early Reviewers! This month we’ve got 115 titles, and a grand total of 3,975 copies to give out.

Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, March 25th at 6pm EDT.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Candlewick Press Walker Books US Candlewick Entertainment
Black Rose Writing Tundra Books Penguin Teen Canada
Revell First Steps Publishing Prufrock Press
Apex Publications Akashic Books Chronicle Books
Beacon Press Flyaway Books Ashland Creek Press
ECW Press Red Adept Publishing William Morrow
Poise and Pen Publishing Tule Publishing Month9Books
Oneworld Publications City Owl Press CarTech Books
Roxy Publishing Galaxy Press HighBridge Audio
Tantor Media Circling Rivers Blazing Sword Publishing Ltd.
Harper Perennial Allium Press of Chicago Ballantine Books
Mirror World Publishing NewCon Press BHC Press
Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc. Gefen Publishing House Bellevue Literary Press
Zimbell House Publishing Pulp Literature Press ScareStreet
Random House TarcherPerigree Bauhan Publishing

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

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

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

February 2019 Early Reviewers

Win free books from the February 2019 batch of Early Reviewers! This month we’ve got 117 titles, and a grand total of 4,890 copies to give out.

Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, February 25th at 6PM Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Candlewick Press Black Rose Writing Greenleaf Book Group
Revell Brick Mantel Books Tundra Books
Penguin Teen Canada Elandrian Press Avery
Heritage Books ClydeBank Media World Weaver Press
William Morrow Month9Books ECW Press
Literary Wanderlust LLC Poolbeg Press Consortium Book Sales and Distribution
Harper Perennial Pulp Literature Press Oneworld Publications
Apex Publications CarTech Books Zimbell House Publishing
Bellevue Literary Press Unsolicited Press NewCon Press
Tantor Media HighBridge Audio Akashic Books
Plough Publishing House Beacon Press Chronicle Books
Henry Holt and Company Scribe Publications Greystone Books
BookViewCafe Gefen Publishing House Red Adept Publishing
Two Umbrellas Hot Tree Publishing BHC Press
University of Nevada Press Prodigy Gold Books Authors 4 Authors Publishing Cooperative
Open Books ScareStreet

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

Wednesday, January 9th, 2019

January 2019 Early Reviewers

Win free books from the January 2019 batch of Early Reviewers! This month we’ve got 112 titles, and a grand total of 5,605 copies to give out.

Which books are you hoping to snag this month? Come tell us on Talk.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Early Reviewers. If you’ve already signed up, please check your mailing/email address and make sure they’re correct.

» Request books here!

The deadline to request a copy is Monday, January 28th at 6PM Eastern.

Eligiblity: Publishers do things country-by-country. This month we have publishers who can send books to the US, Canada, the UK, Israel, Australia, France, and many more. Make sure to check the flags by each book to see if it can be sent to your country.

Thanks to all the publishers participating this month!

Tundra Books Faber & Faber USA Akashic Books
Candlewick Press Henry Holt and Company Ballantine Books
Random House Revell Beacon Press
Black Rose Writing Petra Books Small Beer Press
Science, Naturally! Month9Books Literary Wanderlust LLC
The Writers of the Apocalypse Best Day Books For Young Readers Prufrock Press
HighBridge Audio Tantor Media City Owl Press
Orca Book Publishers Puffin Books Canada Authors 4 Authors Publishing Cooperative
Rogue Planet Publishing Elandrian Press CarTech Books
Vinspire Publishing, LLC Oneworld Publications Bellevue Literary Press
RELIANCE BOOKS Pulp Literature Press Xist Publishing
Run Amok Books Plough Publishing House Thunderchild Publishing
Scribe Publications Coach House Books John Ott
Heritage Books FYD Media, LLC Marble City Publishing
BookViewCafe Prodigy Gold Books ScareStreet
BHC Press ClydeBank Media Book Baby

Labels: early reviewers, LTER

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

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

12 Days of LibraryThing: Holiday Scavenger Hunt

Happy Holidays! This year we’re trying something new, 12 Days of LibraryThing: a scavenger hunt around the site. Starting today, we will add one clue per day through December 24th. Each clue refers to a page on LibraryThing, which is marked with a pear icon when you go to it. Gather each day’s pear to be entered into drawings for prizes!

» The clues are here!

How it works:

  • New clues launch at midnight EST. There will be one new clue each day from now through Dec. 24th.
  • Decipher the clues and visit the corresponding LibraryThing pages to find the pears.
  • If a page has a pear, you’ll see a banner at the top of the page.
  • There is a new clue each day. We encourage you to find as many pears as you can, but you only get credit for the daily prize if you find the pear on the day it was posted.
  • Come and discuss your pear hunting and exchange hints on Talk.

Win prizes:

  • Any member who finds a pear on the day it was posted will be awarded a pear badge ()
  • Each day, we’ll randomly select a member who found that day’s pear to receive a set of our LibraryThing/TinyCat coasters.
  • Members who find all twelve pears will be entered into a drawing for a LibraryThing tote bag. We will pick the lucky tote bag winner on December 31st.

Questions or comments? Join the discussion on Talk. Happy pear gathering!

Labels: fun, holiday