Social Cataloging with LibraryThing

Before taking a look at LibraryThing, I had never heard of "social cataloging".  Creating an account with LibraryThing allows the user to create and share a personal catalog of their books.  I initially visited the LibraryThing website and clicked on the link to take the tour.  That didn't last very long before I was back at the home page clicking on the link to create my own account.  "Learning by doing"....that's definitely one of my mottos!
The account was extremely easy to create.  In less than a minute, I was adding books I own to my own personal catalog.  All I did after creating the account was type in my favorite author (Anne Bishop!), and a list of books she has written popped up on the right hand side of the screen.  I clicked on the books I own, and that added them to my personal catalog.  I like the fact that after you click on a book from an author to add it to your catalog, the same author's name stays populated in the author field, so you can continue to look for books by that same author. 

After adding some books, I clicked on the "your books" tab.  When you do that, you see a list of the books you have added to your catalog.  On the right hand side of the screen, you can see how many other LibraryThing members have the same books in their catalog, and there is also a link to reviews that users have written about the books.  When you click to read the reviews for a book, a page for that specific book comes up that contains not only the reviews, but also links to sites where you can buy the book.  There are so many links to so much information, I can tell this is a site I will be exploring for some time!  I think one of the features I like the most is that the site will provide recommendations for books you might enjoy based on the books that you have in your catalog.

LibraryThing offers a product called LibraryThing for Libraries, which is a fee based product available to libraries to use in conjunction with their own catalog systems.  According to the website, LibraryThing for Libraries offers patrons the opportunity to browse, search and engage with libraries' holdings "in a new, powerful and engaging way."  If a library uses LibraryThing for Libraires, people can add reviews and rate books right in the library's catalog.  Libraries can also use LibraryThing sites to showcase new titles added to their catalog.  Libraries can include links to their LibraryThings sites from their website home page or on their blogs if they have one.

LibraryThing allows users to create groups.  The group with the most members is "Librarians Who LibraryThing".  It has over 7,500 members, and is for "librarians, catalogers, archivists, students... or anyone else who wants to talk about metadata, tagging, FRBR, library 2.0, social software, cataloging, and, of course, LibraryThing!"  I read one post from earlier this week from someone who completed their Master's in Library Science in June 2010 and was wondering how other graduates found their first "professional post".  The answers made for some interested reading.

Like I said before, I think LibraryThing is one site I will be exploring long after we finish the class we are doing this project for!

My LibraryThing catalog (in it's extremely early stages!) can be found at:


Popular Posts