Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thing 11 - LibraryThing

A Sept. 16 2006 posting on the LibraryThing blog noted a few libraries using LibraryThing to display their new books on their website. I took a look at some of those libraries and did not like what I saw. Yes, you could see their new books with their cover art, but click on a book and you are taken to LibraryThing, not the library's catalog entry. You are taken out of the library's website entirely. One library's new book links takes one to Amazon, again not their own library catalog. I'd think that would be kind of confusing to patrons. How many must be thinking that the library doesn't own that book and is sending them to Amazon to purchase it for themselves?

I can't see myself using LibraryThing or any other online book list. I read a lot but have a so-so memory so years ago I made a database of books I've read. I refer to that often, both to refresh my memory and to recommend good reads to my friends. If I'm looking for something to read and my huge stacks of books start dwindling, I head over to Novelist for recommendations or just go to the library book sale and pick up another bag of possibly interesting books. Then I might check other people's reviews online to see if I might like the book. If not, it gets donated back to the Friends to be resold.

There are other online services doing similar things as LibraryThing. Shelfari gets mentioned often. I signed up for both LibraryThing and Shelfari. I entered 15 books I enjoyed reading into LibraryThing. Shelfari did not have one of the 15 in its database. Also, LibraryThing appears to be at least 10 times larger than Shelfari. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood was in over 3,000 people's collections in LibraryThing but only about 300 in Shelfari.

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