Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Thing 14 Library Thing

What would my little side trip to Paris be without a picture of this, the Eiffel Tower. This was taken during our first night in Paris as we walked around and got an initial feel for the city. We did a lot of walking because of the transit strike, but it was a great way to experience the city. Also, because of the strike, there were long lines (even during the early evening) to get up into the tower. We took a pass on the chance and just kept exploring.

As to the Library Thing...one of the interesting uses of this tool that came my way was the use made by a donor. All of his material had been entered into Library Thing and it was a great way for me (and others) to peruse the collection and get a sense of what all was there. I thought this was a very creative use of this tool. Not all of my donors will go this route, but it was a great help in this particular case.

One of the items that caught me eye with this tool is the limit on the number of things that can be entered for free, i.e. 200. Beyond that you can enter as many as you like, for a small price. This is the first time that I've run into this kind of limit, although there's something of the sort on the photo sharing sites. At the same time, it kind of blows you away to see that over 25 million books have been cataloged by members.

I've been wondering how the Library Thing differs from something like, say, RefWorks where you can dump records into your database(s) from online catalogs and yet still have the opportunity to share this material with others. I do a lot of work on RefWorks (although its not shared with others at the moment). But inquiries have come from others about this possibility.

When looking at some of the other links I was struck by how active some are and how inactive others are. It seems, in the latter case, like there might have been a great flurry of activity and then interest dropped off. The MLA group, for example, has a fairly small membership and not a lot of talk happening. I've experienced something similar with being a part of Gather. Like so much else, it takes time. I'm part of some books groups on Gather, but its been a while since I've been online, so I know I've missed out on some conversations. Not just enough hours in the day...

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