Week 14: Library Thing, Etc.

I can’t believe it’s been 14 weeks, everyone deserves congratulations!  Amanda McConnell, Circulation Coordinator at the Lawrence Public Library, and Erin Downey Howerton, School Liaison with the Johnson County Library, will be your guides for this week.

Introduction- Over time we’ve seen bookstore websites and library catalogs increasingly grow in function and add new options for browsing and interactivity.  This week we’re looking at some 2.0 tools aimed at book lovers.  Whether you think of it as social networking for readers, social cataloging, or personal library tools, sites such as Library Thing, Shelfari, Goodreads, and others are allowing readers to connect in new ways.  We’ll tour some sites used to organize a collection, track personal reading histories, and discover a wealth of information about books and readers.   Did you know?

  • LibraryThing has well over 500 reviews of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone including reviews in 10+ languages and shows the many different covers that were released.
  • There’s a community of people waiting to help you remember the name of that YA ghost story set in Wisconsin with an El Camino…
  • LibraryThing’s Zeitgeist shows David Sedaris among the top 75 authors just edging out Virginia Woolf and coming in right behind William Gibson based on holdings in member libraries.
  • 7, 315 members belong to a group called Librarians who LibraryThing.

Sharing/Productivity/Community- I’m sure many of us might appreciate the efficiency gained by having a catalog of the books we own.   An easily accessible log of what we’ve read and our impressions of it could also be a handy personal or professional tool.   As a reader, these tools could be another way to find that next book, find readers with similar interests, and share & discuss your reading.  The large community of users allows you access to people and comparative information in a way that was not possible before.

Tools for Your Consideration-



  • Launched in 2006 and bought by Amazon in 2008
  • Quick Highlights Tour
  • There is a shelfari app on facebook, but several users are having difficulty with it.
  • How to Add Shelfari to your blogger blog  (Usually works like a charm, but in case you’re not getting the shelf, only a link, try copying and pasting the widget code instead of clicking on “blogger” as suggested here.)


For more details, check out this Comparison Chart for LibraryThing, Shelfari, and Goodreads compiled by Jody Wurl @ Hennepin County Library.  Or check out some of the many other tools out there:

  • Google Books My Library Added in 2007 according to google books history
  • Anobii Originating from Hong Kong in 2005 the name is short for bookworm
  • Book Jetty Tour this site founded by Herryanto Siatono in Singapore
  • We Read Not very old, this application is usable on many social networking sites
  • Along with literally hundreds of other online resources for book lovers…  I’m sure others here have many other favorites.

Activity & Instructions-

A)     Create an account on Shelfari.  Add to your profile and bookshelf as much as you wish.  Explore the site and write about your experience on your blog.  Easy Get Started Guide.

Or     B)      Choose your own project.  Explore any of the sites above further.  If you already have an account, add to it, or try something new.  Write about your experience on your blog.

Have fun!  Share your two cents and vote for your favorite tool.

31 thoughts on “Week 14: Library Thing, Etc.

  1. I am very excited about this week’s lesson. I’ve been using Shelfari for a few months now and I liked the ease of setting up an account and adding the books I’ve read. The fact that it looks like a real bookcase is another feature I enjoy.

  2. I’ve been using Goodreads for a couple of years and love it. We started using Goodreads to embed the widget for new books in our library, showing the bookjackets.

  3. I love that people are voting in the poll at the end of the post & all the comments!

    Cathy I just successfully added a widget to a blogspot blog. Sorry, doesn’t seem to work well with WordPress, folks. I created a quick slideshow to show you the steps I took; you can find it here: http://www.slideshare.net/amandalynnlibrarian/addwidgetblogspot. Hope this helps! If you still have questions, let me know how far you get, and I’ll be glad to help troubleshoot.

  4. I’m having trouble voting for my favorite. I like LibraryThing because it seems to have more “stuff.” The thing I like about Shelfari is that it has less “stuff.” I think I’ll continue using both for a while, but for now my vote goes to LibraryThing.

  5. signed up for a Shelfari account. I really like it! Totally beats having all the notes in my pockets and purse. :)

  6. I finally managed to add Shelfari widget to my blogspot blog. Will work on my LibraryThing account but I think I will like Shelfari much better. Thanks Amanda for your help.

  7. I really like Shelfari. I just need to figure out how to add it to my blog and facebook sites. So much to do and so little time!

  8. Let’s forget Shelfari on Facebook!! I’d used that in the past with no problems, but there are definitely issues now. I’m finding several forums where people are having trouble with it. I’m going to remove the link to that app! It’s too bad, because Shelfari has one of the best visual presentations [imho].

  9. I have used GoodReads for a few years, I think I like Shelfari better – especially the ease of browsing the shelf layout.

  10. Isn’t Shelfari just one of the best things you have seen and used??? I love it. I had started a Shelfari account a couple of months ago but really hadn’t had a lot of time to work with until I went back to it with this 23 Things Kansas project. I’m going to try to get back to it each week and add at least some of my older books as well as the new ones I am reading. Has anyone used the Delicious Library Program? I have a teacher who uses it to track the books he has in his classroom library and he checks the books out to students through this program. I just learned about it and haven’t had time to investigate on my own, but he things it’s better than sliced bread.

  11. I’ve had a Library Thing account for a couple of years but haven’t done a lot with it. Last fall, I uploaded our new books. Based on the comments here and a blog post I found comparing Library Thing and Shelfari, I decided to try Shelfari. I was able to get the books out of Library Thing and into Shelfari. HOWEVER, it says I’ve read them all — which is nowhere near the truth.

    What I’d like to find – on either service – is a group of high school or young adult librarians willing to discuss new books.

  12. I experimented with Shelfari. It was nice and user friendly, but I already have Librarything and Goodreads accounts. I use them routinely and my friends use them so I think I will stick with them. My favorite actually is Librarything.

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