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A random kind of blog entry

Since my little burst of activity on Sunday and Monday, I haven't updated much this week. It's been kind of a weird week. If I actually described it, I would be breaking my rule of no whining. so I'll spare everyone that.

Scanning through other people's blogs, I found this: LibraryThing, which lets you create an online catalog of your book collection. It connects to the U.S. Library of Congress and 30 other publicly accessible library catalogs around the world, which would give you all the bibliographic and cataloging information you'd ever want. Users can also add tags to classify the collection their way. Cataloging up to 200 books is free. To catalog more costs a measly one-time fee of $10. (Oh, it's in beta, forgot to mention that.) Why you'd want an online book catalog? I'm not really sure, but having all the bibliographic info without having to key it in yourself is nifty. In fact, it'll even display images of book covers—how cool is that?



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2005 10:42 pm (UTC)
Readerware is much better. It resides on your hard drive, so no one can fish the server to see what books you have. Readerware also searches the LoC, Amazon, B&N and several other sites for the bibliographic info. It's best feature is that you can use a barcode scanner to scan the ISBN number off of the UPC, so you don't even have to key preliminary info to set up your search. Fairly inexpensive and includes modules for cataloging CDs and Video.
Oct. 8th, 2005 05:03 am (UTC)
That looks really cool. Audio CD and video cataloging functions would be real useful (I do that now in Access and Excel, respectively, and it's a lot of manual work when I want the data, as I'm sure you can guess). The Palm functionality is real attractive -- yes, I want to be the geek consulting his CD collection while at the CD store. :)
Oct. 8th, 2005 01:26 am (UTC)
but having all the bibliographic info without having to key it in yourself is nifty

Well, yeah. That's what libraries themselves thought when OCLC was introduced. Unfortunately, it has meant that fewer and fewer libraries hire trained catalogers, and in the face of decreased demand, fewer and fewer library schools are training catalogers. And... now the quality of the bibliographic data in OCLC is on the decline.

Nonetheless, something of the sort for the home user isn't a too bad idea. I've wanted to catalog our books and even more our recordings for some time. Fortunately, I do know how to do it right. Unfortunately, I don't have the time.
Oct. 8th, 2005 05:09 am (UTC)
It's hard to picture who's feeding OCLC these days, given that so many libraries have pretty much outsourced their cataloging to OCLC. I'm not surprised that quality is going down, though it's a bit depressing.

I've thought about cataloging my books. Something like either this software or the one Rob mentioned would be cool. But I don't know if I have a real need for it, although if I ever did start seriously collecting books (which I have an interest in, though not the true drive yet), it would be necessary.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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