Tuesday, April 17th, 2007

5¢/patron, $1/student

For a while now, libraries have been approaching us about whether LibraryThing would sell them bulk memberships—so all their patrons could, potentially, become members. Today at CIL two more people asked. Time to act.

From now on if a public library or a college or university wants to buy memberships for everyone in a community, it’s 5¢/patron, $1/student.

The math is easy. If a town wants to give out free LibraryThing memberships, and they have 20,000 patrons—defined as working library cards—they would pay $1,000. If a college or university want it, they pay $1 for every student, grad and undergrad—profs. and staff ride for free. The library gets a stack of membership cards, each with a unique code, good for a year’s membership from the date of activation.


  • Patron cards would have to be given out in person, not over the phone.
  • Student accounts would require email confirmation to a valid school email (like Facebook)
  • Communities may elect to set up a group. Members would get an automatic invite for that group.
  • We will work to make sure LibraryThing links to and collects data from the institution in question. The latter requires an open Z39.50 connection.

If interested, write tim@librarything.com.

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