Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cool Resource: LibraryThing

What is LibraryThing? Well, it's a library ... thing. More precisely, LibraryThing is an online service to help you catalog your books. It's easy and intuitive to use, and it can be accessed anywhere you can connect to the Internet. It can even be accessed using your mobile phone for those moments when you are standing in a bookstore wondering if you already own that book or if you should buy it.

Adding book titles to your catalog can be done by entering an author, title, or ISBN and then choosing the book that matches yours. Book cover images are also provided when available. Book data and cover images are obtained from, Library of Congress, and over 680 other libraries worldwide. For those books in your library that are very old or unique, you can pull up a form and create your own entry. Book cover images for these books can be scanned and added to your record. Once you've created a unique record, it can then be used by others who might want to add that same book to their own catalog.

LibraryThing is also a social network and connects you with other book lovers worldwide. You can share alternate book cover images; read reviews written by other LibraryThingers; write and add your own reviews and book ratings; join or create chat groups; view and track the libraries of others who give permission; and much more. There is a whole lot of socializing going on at LibraryThing! If you'd rather not socialize, you can designate your LibraryThing catalog as private. Your LibraryThing experience can be as public or private as YOU choose.

For those of you who maintain a blog, LibraryThing provides a widget that randomly displays books from your entire LibraryThing catalog or just a part of it that you designate, such as books that you are currently reading. This is a handy tool for making your LibraryThing catalog even more social.

A new feature is LibraryThing Local. LibraryThing Local is a gateway to your local libraries and book festivals where you can find book readings, discussions, and author signings. If you have a favorite library or bookstore that is not already entered into LibraryThing Local, you can add it yourself.

Would you like to get free books to review? You can do this by participating in LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program. Each month a list of books is posted that you can then request. Your only obligation is to read the books sent to you and post a review to LibraryThing.

You may very well be asking, "What does it cost to join LibraryThing?" Good question! You can enter up to 200 book titles for free. You can enter as many titles as you like by paying either $10.00 per year or by purchasing a $25.00 lifetime membership. LibraryThing appears to be a pretty stable service that looks like it will be around for a long while yet, so the $25.00 lifetime membership is a pretty good deal.

Check out the LibraryThing Blog for even more information and updates.

1 comment:

Robin H said...

This is a VERY cool resource! Thanks for sharing it!