Archive for May, 2010

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Five models for libraries outside libraries

In light of a plan to create a “portable,” “branch-a-day library” in Portland, Maine–LibraryThing’s home–I’ve been thinking about the various possible sorts of “libraries outside of libraries.”

I am of two minds about such projects. I like to see interesting experiments, but dislike replacing valuable services. It doesn’t help that one of the two branches Portland is closing is in my neighborhood. As a branch, it wasn’t the best, but it would take quite a “portable library” to make up for it even so.

Nevertheless, I came up with a list of five types libraries outside of libraries (exluding what might be done with ebooks). Are there any I’m missing?

1. The Bookmobile.

2. The Short-Lived Library. Set up a branch library that lives for a defined period of time, like Boston’s Storefront Library. It’s like an “event store,” but a library. The Storefront Library was a big community success.

3. “Branch-for-a-day.” Find a bunch of spaces–empty storefronts, community center rooms or whatever–and roll full book carts into them on a schedule–Monday this neighborhood, Tuesday that neighborhood, etc. Has this ever been tried?

4. The Cafe Shelf. Set up mini-branches consisting of shelves–general or themed–in public commercial spaces, like coffee shops. The books would be owned but probably non-collection items. Care would be taken to tie all the books back to the main collection, with paper inserts or whatever.

5. The Vending-Machine Library. Like Conta Costa’s Library-a-Go-Go, a cross between Redbox and your library. It’s like a library, but with no pesky salaries and a terrible selection.


Labels: Uncategorized

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

LTFL written up in UK publication

The UK publication “Library and Information Gazette” just ran a great article in their April 22nd issue about LTFL. Written by one of our friends at Bowker, it covers LibraryThing for Libraries in general, as well as our new products, Shelf Browse and Library Anywhere (a mobile catalog for any library).

Shelf Browse, as well as other LTFL enhancements like tags, reviews, recommendations, is available now. We’re currently beta testing Library Anywhere with over 100 libraries, and it should be available to buy for your library this summer.

You can read the article online here (on page 4). Or read a PDF of it here.

Labels: librarything for libraries, ltfl