Thursday, May 25, 2006
LibraryThing: Future of OPACs
If you have not heard of LibraryThing, I highly recommend you take a moment to check out the website. It is amazing tool that allows people to catalog their own personal book collections by downloading MARC records from the Library of Congress. Users can search the entire librarything.com collection for books, which numbers of 2 million volumes. Once you find a book, its record includes tags, book recommendations, member reviews, a rating for the book and other users that own the book. It feels like a combination a library OPAC and Amazon.com but it is all controlled by the website users. Tim Spalding, the creator of LibraryThing, has recently hired a librarian and is looking to hire a librarian-developer. Once you begin to use the tool, you can quickly tell that a librarian had some input on it. It really is amazing tool. I only hope libraries can offer OPAC as rich in functionality as LibraryThing.