Monday, February 27, 2006

Library Thing

I recently ran across something that may appeal to some of my readers: an inexpensive online book cataloguing system called Library Thing. With Library Thing, you create a list of your books and categorize them in any way you like, and can see how many other users have the same book. You can also review and recommend books.
While I think my own cataloguing needs are met with Ibidem (I can include books, articles, those I own, those found at the library, those hunted for, and I can cite everything directly into my footnotes--all without ever having to go online), Library Thing is a different animal and will probably be more useful and more fun to the average passionate reader. It is well reviewed and users seem to be very excited about it. So, explore the site and see if it appeals to you.
To understand more about some of the concepts used in Library Thing (and other online "social content" services like and Flickr) you may want to take a look at Clay Shirky's Ontology is Overrated: Categories, Links, and Tags.

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Blogger Kristen said...

Brian and my friend Dave have been using it and enjoy playing with it. I haven't gotten around to it. With well over 800 books in my library, I sort of shudder at the thought of the process of cataloging them all, even though it would be worth it. Some day!

February 27, 2006 9:53 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Yeah, I ran across it on Brian's blog and decided to explore it. The testimonials claim it is actually fun and addictive to catalog with it, which is a little hard for me to believe, but then I don't think Library Thing requires such detailed information as does bibliographic software (I assume you are still using Endnote?).

Somehow I find it easier to catalog stuff I find in the library or want to look for than books I actually own, although during the packing process I catalogued what must have been several hundred titles (or so it seemed) before giving up. Unfortunately, there are all those anthologies, and there is no way of figuring out where (for instance) Greenberg's stupid articles are if they aren't separately catalogued. Just picture me gazing in horror at Art and Theory. I am still trying to get straight which of Karel Teige's articles are in his collected works, which in a 3-volume set of avant-garde writings, which I've seen in the original publication and photocopied or transcribed, which appear somewhere else, etc. etc. After all, if I have access to the original publication, I want to cite that, but I want to look at the bibliographic comments in the anthologies.

February 28, 2006 9:10 AM  

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