As a librarian, I love to see books organized and easy to find. I first learned about LibraryThing from some classmates in grad school. What is LibraryThing? It’s an online cataloging site where you can host your own collection. It also doubles as a social networking site, with opportunities to connect with other members and host discussions. For each book that you add to your collection, you can create tags, post your own ratings and reviews, and even add additional facts about the book.
Originally, I thought this would be a great resource for hosting my own personal collection. Over the years, I have continued to add books to my personal library, and I continue to find it helpful to have an accurate catalog of what I have. My personal collection is organized according to genres, so that I can easily pull up the list and see what books I have and what books I might want to add. As I have had the opportunity to meet authors and illustrators, I also add comments about whether books are signed or other interesting information. You can view my personal collection here: Personal Library.
I have also used LibraryThing to assist elementary school teachers in establishing a classroom library list. This makes it easier for the teachers to see what books they have available or what resources might support a particular lesson in the curriculum. Both of the teachers that I worked with had extensive classroom libraries. One teacher already had existing categories, and wanted a way to organize her books easily. I took the existing categories that she had an input her books into the system with matching tags so that she had an accurate inventory. Her catalog is available here: Classroom Library 1. The second teacher did not have categories set up for her books. We worked together to develop appropriate categories and sort her existing resources. Then, we color coded each of the categories for the book tubs so that the students could easily identify them. The catalog that we created identified the books in tags by the overall category, but also included a note with the color coding for additional reference. Her catalog can be found here: Classroom Library 2.
For each of the libraries listed, you can select the “Tags” link at the top of the page for a better idea of how the books are grouped and categorized. LibraryThing also offers a variety of sort and display options that allow users to best display their books. For each library that I have created, I customize the display based on the information most important to the individual.