#12 Take a look at LibraryThing and catalog some of your books.


Are you book lover or cataloger at heart? Or do you enjoy finding lost and forgotten gems on the shelf to read? Then LibraryThing may be just the tool for you. Developed for booklovers, this online tool allows you to easily create an online catalog of your own. And what makes it even more special is its social networking component – once you’ve entered your books, you get to see everyone else’s via book titles, authors, and the tags you assign to each entry. Add a book to your catalog by just entering the title it’s so easy that you don’t even need MARC record training to do it – or connect with other users through your similar reading tastes.

LibraryThing has tabs which provide you quick access a wealth of information including featured authors, recently added books, local book events, what’s popular this month, reviews, discussion boards, members with your books, and what happened on this day in books.

Not just for personal collections, libraries have started using LibraryThing as well. Small libraries are using LibraryThing to catalog their collections. Libraries can add the LibraryThing widget to their web pages or blogs to recommend books and list new titles, or install a LibraryThing Search box (instructions are here). Being a non-commercial site makes LibraryThing a good option for libraries.

There are lots of ways to use LibraryThing. You can even view your books on a virtual shelf.

So why not join the ranks and create your own library online? With over 459,380 registered users (LibraryThing also has group forum for librarians) and 29 million books cataloged, you’re bound to discover something new.


Some Libraries using LibraryThing:

Shenandoah Public Library
Creston Public Library
Southwestern Community College LRC
Washington State Library


  1. Take a look around LibraryThing and create an account.
  2. Add a least 5 books to your library.Type in Author, Title, or ISBN then select your book from the list that pops up.
    If your book or edition doesn’t come up, you can build a new record for it from scratch by clicking ‘Add the book manually.’
    Tag your books.
    Write reviews of your books.
  3. Blog about your findings and be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalog.
  4. Already have a LibraryThing account and want to try something new? Give Shelfari or GuruLib a try instead.

18 responses to “

  1. We use LibraryThing to generate “staff picks” lists for our web sites — we add the books to our LT accounts, use the blog widget tool (under the tools tab) and create our lists, complete with links and covers. Much easier than copying and pasting!

    We’ve found it works best when you have one really specific tag that you make the widget with — ie, using March2008 as a tag to create a “what I’m reading this month” list.

  2. Stephanie, cool idea! I would like to do more with “staff picks” at our library, what a cool way to do it.

  3. montgomerylibrary

    Help! I can’t make Library Thing put a widget or a chicklet on my blog. It says to paste a bunch of text into my html. How do I do that?

  4. I hope to add this link to my new library website I am working on!

  5. LibraryThing is really great– although I must say that some people have too much time on their hands. Keeping up with Facebook and LibraryThing are pretty time consuming! My “short list” of recent favorites:

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