One cool tool for librarians is “Library Thing.” As I prepared to review this Web 2.0 tool, I immediately began to put it to use by categorizing my own books. I would say that I personally own at least a couple of hundred books. This tool is so user friendly that it can be utilized quite easily. To get started, submit a user name and password. No profile is required other than what you want to submit.
It is a free online cataloguing website service and involves no additional software or downloads. It was quite easy for me to jump right in cataloguing my personal collection. I did this to test the product. I was surprised to find how easily the system sought and found my books.
The way Library Thing works is that you enter your book title and the search application explores the Library of Congress, Amazon, and over 80 world libraries. When you find the book, just click on it and it is added to your catalog. You can view your catalog in list view, which gives a detailed chart of all of your books with title, date added, tags, author information and your rating of the books. Or you can view it in cover view where all of your available covers are shown, you click on them and are taken to the information page or to Amazon where you can further review the books.
Library Thing is so much more, though. It gives access to book reviews, other subscribers’ catalogs, and it gives several lists that one might be interested in such as authors, or suggested blogs. Did I say blog? Library Thing is also a social networking site.
There are more features accessible. You can add it to your blog, get it on your cell phone, and invite friends to look at you collection. This site is quite impressive, http://www.librarything.com/or maybe I am just easily impressed. If you have not already tried it out, do so and let me know what you think. Hey, you may be way ahead on this but I would like to get your opinion anyway.
I can totally see how I would use this to promote a book discussion group, or library program in a branch or academic setting. The creative possibilities are endless.