Whilst doing statistics in Amlib (my Library’s management system), I found some data corruption and decided to fix it. Deciding to update the 50,000 borrowers listed as belonging to Sunshine all at once was probably not my smartest ever idea. Due to this, I now have quite a bit of time to kill whilst the system does its thang.

I am lucky enough to be in charge of Amlib at Brimbank. I get to do exciting things like running reports, pulling out statistics and deciding whether or not we have the ability to do x, y or z. I also have the lovely task of fixing it when I screw it up (not if). Due to this, I went to an Amlib usergroup meeting last week at Cheltenham Library.

One of the items I was fascinated with was integrating LibraryThing data into our online catalogue. The demonstration by Kingston Library was VERY impressive. For quite a low cost, LibraryThing will show various ‘user-created’ items such as tags and links to similar items. This wasn’t that impressive (Global Books in Print will do that). What was impressive is that it will only show similar books that are already held by the library. I honestly can’t remember if it did this by searching the catalogue for the books (z39.50 protocol) or by uploading a list of the books each week. If it’s a list of the books then I might have to get off my arse and get the LibrariesAustralia deletions working (don’t ask, LibAust irritate me sometimes).

If you’re interested in having a look, head to the Kingston Library Catalogue and perform a title search for the book jPod. If you click on the title of the book, you will be taken to the full catalogue record which SHOULD load the LibraryThing data. Unfortunately Kingston’s catalogue is rather slow so it may take you a while to get there (and then, today, it wouldn’t load the LibraryThing data). Impressive nonetheless.

LibraryThing for Libraries

4 thoughts on “LibraryThing for Libraries

  • December 6, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    I looked at Kingston’s catalogue and it’s pretty good and only showing your own holdings is a real bonus. I wonder how popular it is. Anything that “value adds” to a catalogue is a great idea. And while I am on the subject of catalogues, even having a new whizz bang library management system, as my own Library Service (which will remain anonymous)has, it doesn’t guarantee you a fantastic, user friendly catalogue. In fact, sometimes, I just think it is an anagram of carp.

  • December 7, 2007 at 12:28 am

    History, I must admit that your library service’s catalogue isn’t my most favoured of them all, but mine isn’t so much better anyway. I do like Kinsgston’s setup, especially with the Librarything data in there. I do wonder whether anyone ever drills down to that minute level though, it’s quite a few clicks in. I know that they’re working with Amlib to maybe have it integrated on the actual results screen (ie ‘Click here for similar books’ or a box at the side saying ‘if you liked these you might also like…’)

  • December 10, 2007 at 1:16 am

    The things you find thanks to having Google Analytics running on our online catalogue… Thanks for the free advertising Christian (and as always I am trying to fix the slow response time of our catalogue).

    I’ve actally redesigned the whole catalogue but waiting for Amlib to fix a bug or two on their end. The major problem is that people need to drill down one step too far at the moment.

    What I’m really after is something like Fac-Back_OPAC (http://code.google.com/p/fac-back-opac/), On open source solution with all the ideas I want to include in our online cat.

  • December 14, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Christian,
    Yarra Plenty has integrated LibraryThing into their catalogue and it is proving popular with patrons.
    Check it out if you have some spare time…


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