February 23, 2008
While mucking around in LibraryThing this afternoon, there were some back end problems (I’m guessing). This error message made me laugh out loud:
Error: Rampaging elephant error. Hide the peanuts and try again later.
I hope it wasn’t something I did. I haven’t seen any elephants, but just in case, I hid the peanuts. 🙂 Somebody definitely has a sense of humor.
December 13, 2007
I was deeply intrigued when I read Tim Spalding’s post about LibraryThing’s SantaThing. As I so often do, I read the post, thought about participating and went on to do other things. However, I was on LibraryThing this morning and couldn’t resist signing up. The idea is pretty ingenious: those who want to participate pay $25 to sign up; LibraryThing selects each person’s Secret Santa; then people go to a web page to find out who they get to buy books for; LibraryThing employees actually buy the books and have them shipped to the participants. The Secret Santa page is open to all LibraryThingers, so that everyone can help by making suggestions. Of course, people can’t see their own page – so they do not know what suggestions might have been made or what items have been purchased.
All I can say is that this sounded like fun (ok, maybe in a geeky way – but I’m all about geekiness), and I am so glad that I decided to play along. I do have to say that picking out books for someone was not as easy as I thought it would be. Although the price to participate was $25, one could not spend more than $20.00 for two books. The $5.00 extra is to cover shipping. So, trying to find two books that were available on Amazon from the suggestions that the person I was buying for gave was difficult in itself. And then, I spent a good deal of time trying to get two books that came as close to $20.00 as possible. I mean, I want the person to get the most out of this as possible.
Well, I have made my selections for the person for whom I am playing Secret Santa. I really, really hope that I did a good job. I’m a little bit nervous. Of course, I don’t think there will ever be a way to find out if the person liked the books or not. So, I need not to worry about it. I tried my hardest – and the books were by authors that the person suggested.
Anyway, this was the most fun ever (ok, the most fun I’ve had all week). What a wonderful idea!! Happy Holidays! A big thanks to Tim Spalding and LibraryThing! I promise that I did this to have fun – and that I will indeed be pleasant about whatever books I receive from my Secret Santa.
May 14, 2007
Tim Spalding announced today that LibraryThing for Libraries has gone live at Danbury Library in Danbury, CT. I’ve been messing around with Danbury’s catalog this afternoon – and it is very, very cool! I am impressed with it. Personally, I love the similar books feature – and the other editions and translations. Tags are excellent – and I think that they are can make an important addition to the search and discovery process – but think that similar books could be invaluable from a research perspective. I can’t believe that most of us don’t already have this type of thing in our catalogs (ok, yes I can). As for the other editions and translations, we have this information already – but not in the actual record itself (usually at a browse screen). LibraryThing for Libraries helps to pull multiple editions and translations together in a much more user-friendly manner. The tag searching and retrieval can be a bit slow (as Spalding admits in the announcement), but I didn’t find it terribly slow – which I think bodes well for the future of the feature.
I do wish that it were easier to search for tags. Currently, one has to do a search, retrieve a record with tags and click on a tag in order to get the tag dialog box to open.
FYI, the Danbury Library has 56 books tagged “swashbuckling.” I could get lost (and almost did) playing with tags for hours!
December 27, 2006
One of the only things that I have spent any significant time doing this month is adding books to LibraryThing. I was reinspired after hearing Abby Blachly speak at Nelinet’s Annual Bibliographic Services Conference in November. I now have about 1600 books cataloged. Of course, one thing that I have noticed is that I get easily distracted. As I’m adding books, I feel compelled to re-read my favorites – or ones that I don’t really remember to well. I suppose this isn’t really a bad thing, but it means that cataloging books takes a lot longer than it needs to. On the plus side, I’m neatening up my collection of books which was previously strewn about in a rather haphazard manner. Hopefully, I can finish up my entire collection before school starts towards the end of January.
July 20, 2006
Given the tremendous popularity of LibraryThing, I really thought that I ought to check it out. It really is right up my alley – given that I have handwritten lists of books that I own. I hesitated about creating an account because I really didn’t need to get hooked on something else, but felt as if I needed to check it out while I was doing research for my paper on library catalogs. I, of course, created an account right before they started having some issues – and the system was a bit slow. When I finally got back to it (by which time it was working great), I definitely enjoyed the process of adding my books. I was incredibly disappointed when I tried to add my DVD collections and found out that I couldn’t. As such, I was THRILLED to read via davidrothman.net that LibraryThing would be adding the ability to add movies and music later this summer. So, I guess I will just work on adding my books until then. Cool!!