In a recent post on her blog, library school grad student Sarah Derringer asked Is LibraryThing a viable database for small church libraries?
My own response is a resounding "Yes!" LibraryThing is a free web-based cataloguing tool that I've used at my own church library. For small-budget congregational libraries it means having a collection that is searchable via a nice-looking, flexible web catalogue, and more importantly, high-quality cataloguing information often inlcuding call numbers and subject headings for most book titles. I have even used it to efficiently print spine and card labels for over one thousand titles in our collection
For Sarah, whose church library was using spreadsheets for a catalogue "Library Thing, while not the dream idea for a church library database,
is a step above what we currently have and has so far proven to be very
True enough, there are some minor quirks to LibraryThing, and it is designed as a library catalogue not as a complete integrated library system for circulating material. On the other hand, the price is right!. LibraryThing is part of the whole social media phenomenon so it does include things like interactive affinity groups, including a Church Library group as well as member ratings for titles, a responsive support network and fun ways to generate statistics about your collection. I also like that the data in a LibraryThing catalogue can be exported to other databases if and when an integrated library system is purchased.
Read Sarah's post here and take her poll.
Does your congregational library use LibraryThing?
Use the comment box to share your experience and observations