Flash-Mob Cataloging Party — A few weeks ago, this announcement on the LibraryThing blog caught my attention. Many church and other small organizations use LibraryThing to catalog their libraries, but it can be difficult for a single volunteer to get the collection entered. So, according to the blog, “…we thought we’d try a ‘flash-mob’ cataloging party and see how fast we can enter an entire library into LibraryThing.” Lucky for me, this event was happening nearby, at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms. They put out the call for volunteers, and today about twenty of us gathered at the church and entered over 1,300 books into LibraryThing.
It was really great to participate in thie kind of event, and to think about how far LibraryThing has come in the past few years. In 2006, I participated in the NETSL Spring Conference, “Exploring the “Open” Universe”. I gave a breakout session called Playing Tag: Cataloging by the Crowd, showing examples of how organizational systems develop on crowd-based sites like Wikipedia, Flickr and LibraryThing. Almost all of the attendees had experience with Wikipedia, most knew something about Flickr, but few were familiar with LibraryThing.
That’s hard to believe, but this was just before the tipping point…a few months later, I think things would have been quite different. LibraryThing now has over 500,000 members and supports a lively community of people cataloging their collections, contributing reviews, and participating in groups on all sorts of book-related topics. The largest group is Librarians who LibraryThing, with over 5,000 members. LibraryThing has become a major force in the library world, participating actively in conferences, and providing a suite of library catalog enhancements through the LibraryThing for Libraries. But LibraryThing is still all about community — and today it was great to be part of that community face-to-face!
StJohnsBeverlyFarms — Here’s the church’s profile on LibraryThing