Tuesday, September 25, 2007

LibraryThing for Libraries: Richland County, Cal State - Channel Islands and San Francisco State University

Richland County Public Library

San Francisco State University (source)

Cal State University - Channel Islands (source)

LibraryThing for Libraries just passed another milestone: we now have too many customers to keep track of in short-term memory.

Our first new library is the Richland County Public Library. We're really excited to have them on board, since they're the biggest public library we've worked with so far—at nearly three million checkouts a year. They're doing a lot of simple yet innovative things, like offering reference via instant messaging and having a kid-friendly website. Of course, they have a blog too. I have a soft spot for large public libraries, having worked in one for several years and having lived in big cities with great library systems (Denver, Salt Lake City and Seattle) for most of my life. We hope to be adding many more large public libraries in the coming months.

Our second library is the San Francisco State University library. With around 30,000 students and four million items owned by their library, they're a big one too. They've got one of the best- looking and easy-to-use library websites I've seen (and I look at a lot of them - occupational hazard). Their electronic resources librarian did an excellent presentation on LibraryThing for Libraries a few weeks back.

Our third library is Cal State University - Channel Islands, located in the beautiful area between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. They're our first Voyager customer, and we'd like to thank them for helping us work out how to make Voyager work with our widgets. They've also volunteered to be our latest data source for book searching.

Photo credits: (1) Courtesy Richland County Public Library. (2) CSUCI bell tower by Flickr:AIBakker (CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0). (3) Library by Flickr:relic (CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0)

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Blogger SqueakyChu said...

Good work, Tim & Co.

It'll be nice to have a child-friendly web site to refer young people to - at least those that are underage for LT.

I need to get a suggestion to my own library system requesting they seriously take a look at linking with LT...

9/26/2007 8:16 AM  
Blogger Karen Coyle said...

The SFSU librarian states:

"The community served by any one library is too small to achieve the critical mass required for effective folksonomies."

I actually don't think that's it. I have been telling people that the unique element of LT is that every book there was lovingly entered by an individual -- an individual who cared enough to do it, and who therefore has a stake in the community. Library catalogs are created by librarians and users approach them as a "done deal." There's nothing personal about finding a book you know in the library catalog.

I don't think the issue is critical mass, I think that people only participate when they CARE about the content, and they are more likely to care if they created it themselves.

That begs the question of Amazon -- hmmm. dunno. Gotta think about that.

9/29/2007 7:59 PM  

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