Saturday, December 22, 2007

I Heart LibraryThing

I recently got on Ravelry, a knitting networking website (username: corbiegirl), and found that one of their features
allows you to upload your knitting books from another website called LibraryThing, a site that allows you to catalogue all of your books, either by typing in the title /ISBN# etc., or by scanning in the books' ISBN bar codes.

Your book list can then either be accessed remotely if you have a web-enabled PDA or phone, or download in Excel format ,which file can then be printed, put on a PDA, archived for insurance purposes, etc.

The Ravelry import feature (still in beta) is a little buggy and didn't quite work -- but I joined LibraryThing anyway because I once started a database for my books, since I have a number of out-of-print books that would be hard to replace if we had a fire or something, but didn't get that far -- I had to type in all of the books' information manually, and it took too long. Entering books in LibraryThing is much faster, even if you have to type in ISBN or LOC numbers, because their database has all the other relevant information on file (titles, author's name, etc.).

The pic above shows the "CueCat" scanner, which you can buy for $17 from LibraryThing. The scanner speeds things up considerably. I had to get used to using it -- I was swiping the bar codes too slowly, and had to learn to swipe the laser more quickly.

I have all of my knitting, weaving, and dyeing books entered so far; I have a long way to go to get the rest of my books entered, but I've made a good start on the categories of books where I'm most likely to make duplicate purchases. Woo!

You can also join various communities at LibraryThing, see who has books similar to yours, look at their libraries (for good book suggestions), review books, see other peoples' reviews, etc., but I haven't had much time to explore those features yet.


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