Saturday, January 16th, 2010

New stuff: Shelf Browse

If you’re at the American Library Association in Boston, come check us out (booth 1208).

We’re going to be showing a bunch of new products. First up is “Shelf Browse,” another enhancement for LibraryThing for Libraries.

As our ALA handout (available here) puts it:

“Browse your library’s shelves visually, just as you would do in the physical library. Shelf Browse lets your patrons see where a book sits on your actual shelves, and what’s near it. It includes a “mini-browser” that sits on your detail pages, and a full-screen version, launched from the detail page.

Labels: librarything for libraries, shelf browse


  1. Anonymous says:

    The Shelf View looks very nice and will be a nice option.

    Though, it is an odd way to view an entire library or collection of books. Views of the book spines are a more "realistic" shelf view.

    Future additions to LT may need to include a spine version of shelf view (spine images can be added like cover images are now) and possiblly with an option of what image (spine or cover) to show on your shelves. This would be ideal for highlighting favorite books or books with attractive covers.

    Sadly, for those on slower internet connections, shelf views are not practicle and will see limited use. Waiting for all the covers to load can be a frustrating experience.

  2. Victoria Szymczak says:

    it would be nice to see some bib info about each book pop up when you rolled over to help the patron make a good selection…

  3. Christopher Holland says:

    To anonymous: This is a product for library systems, not for members. The shelf view could be replaced by this one in the future (or maybe not). As for spine views, it's a good idea but the dearth of images available would certainly doom it from the start. It's a hard sell.

    To victoria: There is a popup with detailed information and a larger cover, it just wasn't shown in the screenshot.

  4. Victoria Szymczak says:

    Thanks Chris. I think it looks great. I'm going to look it over. I am moving my library over to Koha soon but their book browse feature is not as nifty as this. Perhaps we can interface.

  5. Mike says:

    This product is "available now"…is there a live implementation we can look at?

  6. Christopher Holland says:

    I think that we can probably show something in the next couple of days. We just have to make sure the public library we were beta testing with is ready to go live with it. We also have a test library running Koha here at LT that we might be able to make available. I'll ask about it.

  7. Bill says:

    It would be nice to be able to code "room", "book case", "shelf number" and "offset from the left side" into our personal library. The spines could be shown in simple form, with alternating colors and not the actual photos of book spines. The selected book could be highlighted, using the above information. That way, I could find a book by clicking on it in my LibraryThing collection. Of course, it would be a maintenance nightmare if someone moves the books around…..!