Articles

little libraries

In idea, libraries, libraryblogs on July 13, 2006 by ultimatelibrarian

Forgive the few and far between posts. *I’ve been busy*. Or something.

Recent news: I am now an intern at a biotech company’s library. I’ve become a member of the SLA. I’m halfway to having my MLIS. I’m reading The Selfish Gene. And I’ve moved into a house with a few friends.

But there is actually a purpose to my writing this. If you, my few and faithful (?) readers, don’t already know about http://www.librarything.com, you really should. It’s an on-line service, much like flickr or del.icio.us, where you enter the books you own (or keep track of the books you’ve read) and tag them and see what other people are reading and so on and so forth. I’m sure you can imagine lots of different ways you can use it.

So, without further ado, here’s the idea for the day (week, month…):

Use LibraryThing as your OPAC (on-line public access catalog) for your small corporate/non-profit/church/whatever library! I have to admit, I didn’t come up with this idea, another girl in my program did, but I’m at the forefront of implementing it for the Richard Hugo House (a resource for Seattle-area writers). Check out our “catalog” at http://www.librarything.com/catalog/hugohouse. We’re tagging our books with their classification numbers, in the hopes that users will be able to sort them not only by author and title (the standard options LibraryThing provides), but by call number for some sort of subject sorting. We’re not the first group to do this; in fact, LibraryThing has a “professional” version on the back burner, but it’s still pretty exciting and I’m definitely storing this idea for future use.

*As an added bonus, here are some other little tools I’ve been using in the small corporate library I work in:

LibraryThing used as a collection development tool or, rather, a weeding aid. I looked up some management-type books we pulled to see how many people had them and to see if any were worth keeping. I ended up making some recommendations to my boss as a result. Definitely not the only tool to use, but it was helpful. (We’re a biotech company, so our librarians, or “information consultants”, as they’re called, don’t have the subject expertise necessarily to know what the good management books are.)

This one isn’t an idea so much as a note of a fabulous resource that I’ve used a couple times to get some outside help. To meet up with lots of other librarians, to get advice, to see what the latest issues are, go check out The Library Lovers’ LiveJournal.

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