Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

New “Check Library” button for LTFL libraries

We’ve just introduced an exciting new LibraryThing for Libraries product, called the “Check Library” button.

In brief, the “Check Library” button is a “bookmarklet” that libraries can give to their patrons. It allows patrons to check if your library has a book while on another website, like or anywhere.

We think it’s nifty and useful—a great way to boost circulation and patron happiness. We really want it out there, however, so every current LibraryThing for Libraries customer gets it for free!

60-Second Video

Here’s a 60-second video about it. It’s really all you need. The video is general, but we use the High Plains Library District’s button as an example.

Other examples:

Not Using LTFL?

The “Check Library” bookmarklet comes with LibraryThing for Libraries. If you don’t use LibraryThing for Libraries but want your own “Check Library” feature, email We’d love to give it to you, and won’t charge an arm and a leg.

Details for the Detail-Oriented

What is it? The button is a “bookmarklet,” a little button people can drag to their “bookmarks” bar.

Once you have it, you can use it anytime you’re on a page about books—Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and more. The bookmarklet pops up a little mini-window on the page. This tells you if your library has the book, and links directly to all the editions your library has.

Behind the scenes it’s finding the ISBNs on the page, checking them against LibraryThing’s huge editions database, checking those against your holdings, and returning a list of those holdings with links. Although geared to books, it will work with anything that has an ISBN. It works even if LibraryThing has never seen the ISBN, so long as there’s an exact match in your holdings.

How to Get It. Every LTFL library gets its own bookmarklet that’s set up just for it. To get your library’s, LTFL customers should log in and go to and click “Your bookmarklet page.” That will take you to the “get it” page for patrons.

Once you have your page, promote it to your patrons. For example, so far, Port Phillips has put it on their home page and Burdekin Library have it on their Facebook page.

Customize It. Like other enhancements, the bookmarklet is highly customizeable. Go to

Update Your Holdings. Because the bookmarklet, like most LTFL enhancements, works off your holdings, it’s imperative you keep your holdings up to date. (If it doesn’t find something it suggests the user perform a catalog search, but how many users will do that?) You can upload holdings and review your recent uploads here.

If You Don’t Want It. If you don’t want the bookmarklet, do nothing. The page you get it from has an unguessable URL. If you want to make sure it’s turned off, go to

Let Us Know. As a new feature, we’re eager to get your feedback. And if you post about it on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog, we’d love to know.

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  1. jjmcgaffey says:

    Will this work on an LT book page? Instead of Get this book (or Local search – about the same), expand libraries, find my local (halfway down the page), click, click again, do the search (neither ISBN nor title search actually does the search, for any of the libraries I regularly use). If it will, I’ll be pushing at least my local library to get the bookmarklet, if not LTFL!

    And BTW, entering this utterly did not work on my phone (Android, Galaxy Note). Edit mode is wider than the screen; when I zoomed out to see everything, it stopped being writable. I could not (5 minutes of trying!) move the cursor over to a couple mis-typed words that were off the screen to the right in edit mode. I finally gave up, came to the page on my laptop and retyped my comment – which worked only because I knew how to find the page and had a computer handy.

  2. KirstenLund says:

    I’ve found the button after having searching for a while. So far so good regarding English books. When it comes to Norwegian books it doesn’t take it. Is it because our letters æ, ø and å? I did use this book as a template “Eltefritt brød og himmelske kaker” site;

  3. KirstenLund says:

    I would like to use New “Check Library” button for my library. I did only check one English book and thought it took all English books – which it didn’t. I do often check my library for books that I think I might have when I’m surfing on the internet bookstore (Norwegian or English, German). I welcome comments on this subject. 🙂