World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article




Web address
Type of site
Catalog and community
Registration Free with upgrade option
Owner Tim Spalding (majority)
Created by Tim Spalding
Launched August 29, 2005
Alexa rank
15,910 (October 2015)[1]
Current status Active

LibraryThing is a social cataloging web application for storing and sharing book catalogs and various types of book metadata. It is used by authors, individuals, libraries, and publishers.

Based in Portland, Maine,[2] LibraryThing was developed by Tim Spalding and went live on August 29, 2005. As of October 2015, it has over 1,990,000 users and 100 million books catalogued.[3]


  • Features 1
    • Social features 1.1
  • Ownership 2
  • Publicity 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7


The primary feature of LibraryThing ("LT") is the cataloging of books, movies, music and other media by importing data from libraries through Z39.50 connections and from six stores. Library sources supply Dublin Core and MARC records to LT; users can import information from 690 libraries, including the British Library, Canadian National Catalogue, Library of Congress, National Library of Australia, and Yale University.[4] Should a record not be available from any of these sources, it is also possible to input the book information via a blank form.[5]

Social features

LibraryThing's social features have been compared to bookmark manager[6] and the collaborative music service[7] Similar book cataloging sites include aNobii, BookLikes, Goodreads, Libib, Shelfari, and weRead.[8]


LibraryThing is majority owned by founder Tim Spalding.[9] Online bookseller AbeBooks (now owned by Amazon) bought a 40% share in LibraryThing in May 2006 for an undisclosed sum.[10] In January 2009, Cambridge Information Group acquired a minority stake in the company, and their subsidiary Bowker became the official distributor to libraries.[9]


At the end of June 2006, LibraryThing was subject to the Slashdot effect from a Wall Street Journal article.[11] The site's developers added servers to compensate for the increased traffic. In December of the same year, the site received yet more attention from Slashdot over its UnSuggester feature, which draws suggestions from books least likely to appear in the same catalog as a given book.[12]

See also



  1. ^ " Site Info".  
  2. ^ "LibraryThing - Send us money". 
  3. ^ "Zeitgeist Overview". LibraryThing. Retrieved 2015-10-24. .
  4. ^ "Add books to your library". Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  5. ^ "Manual Entry". Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  6. ^ Regan, Jim (2005-11-09). "Do your own LibraryThing". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2007-03-13. 
  7. ^ Bain, Alistair (2007-04-28). "LibraryThing". Desert of Zin. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  8. ^ Woodroof, Martha (2008-03-20). "Web Sites Let Bibliophiles Share Books Virtually". NPR. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  9. ^ a b "CIG Acquires Minority Stake in LibraryThing; Bowker to Distribute to Libraries". Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  11. ^ Rutkoff, Aaron (2006-06-27). "Social Networking for Bookworms". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 
  12. ^ "Unsuggester: Finding the Book You'll Never Want". Slashdot. 2006-12-04. Retrieved 2006-12-15. 

Further reading

  • Wenzler, J. LibraryThing and the library catalog: adding collective intelligence to the OPAC. A Workshop on Next Generation Libraries. San Francisco State University CARL NITIG; September 7, 2007.
  • Hvass, Anna (2008). Cataloging with LibraryThing: as easy as 1,2,3! Library Hi Tech News, 25(10), pp. 5–7.

External links

  • LibraryThing
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Fair are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.