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Introducing LibraryThing Local

New features

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This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 8:04am Top

You'll see a new top tab—LibraryThing Local. Check it out.

Feel free to let me know what you think. I haven't started writing up the blog post yet. (I hope people leave messages there too.)

The basic idea is an ambitious one—to give the web a place for all book-related places and events, to "knit together" the online and offline book world in a new way. Bookstores, libraries, book fairs and all the author readings and other events they host get a "place" online. But rather than being a director, it's supposed to be a living place. Members can favorite venues, showing off what they care about (eg., I've favorited the Harvard Bookstore and the Boston Athenaeum). You can mark events as interesting if you might attend, and see what events other members are thinking about attending. You can see local members. (Note: There is no new information here; all locations come from the location field on your profile. You can use LibraryThing Local without telling others where you are.)

Anyway, like all our features it's beta.

Unlike some features, it's been through the grinder a bit already. The Board for Extreme Thing Advances, a large private test group—ask me for an invite if you want one—has been chewing over it for a week or so. And they've been adding venues and events like crazy. So far, there are more than 2,600 venues, the single most remarkable member contribution LibraryThing has ever seen. See more on the helpers page.

I'm ending this now, so I can work on the blog post.

I've started a thread for LibraryThing Local bugs, so this thread can be about what you think and what you want, not bugs. See http://www.librarything.com/talktopic.php?topic=31188.

Mar 3, 2008, 8:07am Top

I played around with it a bit last night, Tim. I added a bookstore and a library and I was immediately reminded of ravelry.com with how one can "favorite" a shop and with the Google maps integration. I can see this coming in handy for anyone planning a trip!

Mar 3, 2008, 8:08am Top

I *love* it! Wonderful feature! And it works very intuitively, very easy.

Mar 3, 2008, 8:17am Top

I didn't even know Ravelry did that. Great minds think alive. I love what those guys have done.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 8:27am Top

I love this feature! I'm off tomorrow to talk to my boss about it and get her permission to use my bookshop's logo and and so forth on the shop's Local page.

I clicked on the "claim this store" link and I was slightly unsure about exactly what the suggestions there meant. Is the idea that I organise for my bookshop to open up a separate account from my own and to use it to administer the page changes etc?

Also, I know there is a long-standing rule against using LT for commercial solicitation. How does this apply to LT Local, particularly with respect to being able to "claim" a particular store. What limitations are there on "advertising"?

Mar 3, 2008, 8:26am Top

If I wasn't currently using an internet café, I'd play around a bit --but it'll have to wait until next week, when I am fully back online. I did make a dent in the German translation however :-). Looks interesting with the features offered. And Google maps integration. Waaaaay cool!

Mar 3, 2008, 8:27am Top

Just thought I'd add that I would absolutely LOVE an invitation to the BETA group.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 11:05am Top

I have been playing with it a little since _Zoe_'s leak - great fun. I was out taking photos to add this lunchtime, but need to do some work before adding them

correction: it was not _Zoe_ at all! _Zoe_ is innocent

Mar 3, 2008, 8:53am Top

Love LT Local.

?- Can you add more than one location? My location is Lawrence, KS, but I am moving to Lubbock, TX this summer. I've also lived other places and it would be nice to be able to have multiple locations on my main LT Local page.

Mar 3, 2008, 8:54am Top

>5 dreamlikecheese:

All very good questions. I think we need to talk through them. Basically, I'm okay with a bookstore claiming it's page and using it to say how great they are. But they don't control the wall :)

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 8:56am Top

I have been playing with it a little since _Zoe_'s leak

Aha! The culprit is exposed. _Zoe_ has now been officially LT-Local-exiled to the polar icecap! Good luck finding events now, mwahahahaha.

Mar 3, 2008, 8:56am Top

That's fine. I just wanted to know what sort of info I could put up without breaching TOS. I've stuck to fairly straightforward, factual information in the shop description, but that's mainly because that's the sort of shop I work for....we don't go in for mass commercialisation. I wanted to know mainly so I knew how to pitch this to my boss. I think she'll be interested if I swing it the right way.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 11:06am Top

>11 timspalding:

Ooops.... sorry _Zoe_.... in mitigation it was a very little leak

and even sorrier : it was not _Zoe_ at all :(

Mar 3, 2008, 9:01am Top

Do you have a link to the post? I thought the only thing I had said was that I added venues, which really doesn't help much.

Noisy once actually gave away the address, but then deleted that message.

Mar 3, 2008, 9:06am Top

I'm just kidding, btw. I don't mind at all. I rather like that it leaked. And it was live with various sneaky ways in—like newly added pictures, for example.

Mar 3, 2008, 9:10am Top

I'd still be quite concerned if I leaked it without even realizing, though. I think I've been more careful than that.

This is the only thread where I remember talking about it, and I don't think I said enough to help anyone find it.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 10:50am Top

I clicked on "Make this favorite venue" (Lievelingsplek maken) at Lambiek, but nothing happened. Given that I buy 10-20 (comic) books a week there, this is really a favorite venue.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 10:42am Top

I feel bad for not contributing when this was still at the BETA group - I asked for an invite, then my computer went on the fritz (finally fixed, yay!)

I'm not crazy about the way adding an event works. Right now, entering an author seems to imply that the author is going to be there, since the drop-down menu below it has the options, "reads from", "promotes", "on tour for", and "discusses." But what if the author won't be there, and it's an event for other people (i.e. readers) to get together and discuss a book? I feel like you should still be able to enter the author & book title and not have it necessarily imply that the author will be there, and additionally that you should be able to indicate that an author will be there without it being linked to any particular publication of that author's.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 10:21am Top

Is there a way to add multiple authors to an event? Not going crazy like a festival, but there was an event I found where David Sheff and Nic Sheff were appearing together, each talking about their own book about the same subject (Beautiful Boy and Tweak, respectively.)

I just added it for one author and put the other in the description, but if events are eventually going to be linked from author pages (I'm guessing?), then being able to "officially" add more than one would be helpful.

Mar 3, 2008, 10:26am Top

Ditto what fyrefly says in 19. There is a series here in Houston known as inPrint, and the events almost always involve readings from two different authors.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 10:50am Top

There's an "add another author" link at the bottom of the Add Event page (to the right of the Cancel button). Each author can have their own title listed, if needed.

Mar 3, 2008, 10:54am Top

How do you edit an event?

Mar 3, 2008, 11:01am Top

Yes, I discovered it when you guys started adding pictures to the venue pages... then it was all like, "Ooh, new toy to play with!"

Lucky for me I already made a list of active bookstores in NYC. So adding stuff was a breeze.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 11:33am Top

#23: If you hover your mouse over an event, you should see a pencil icon appear next to it. (Note that currently, when going to the edit screen, some of the information is lost; it's probably best to open the edit link in a new window/tab and make sure that you copy all the info back.)

(edited to add post reference—didn't notice the intervening reply until now)

Mar 3, 2008, 11:03am Top

>14 _Zoe_: & 16
_Zoe_ My most humble and fulsome apologies. I was indeed thinking of Noisy's cryptic partial link (later removed), and you did not in any way at all leak anything. I remembered your contributions to the thread, and the link, and thought I had checked that the two were in the same post, but I was utterly and completely wrong.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:06am Top

#24- I'm on a work computer and currently using IE 6.0. At least on this browser, that doesn't work. Will check it on my Firefox when I get home.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:13am Top

I've only played with the local pages for a few minutes and already I'm totally hooked.

Thank you for this fabulous addition!

Mar 3, 2008, 11:15am Top

>17 Papiervisje:

Wait half a second to see if the star lights up. If not, what's your browser and OS?

Mar 3, 2008, 11:18am Top

18: I feel like you should still be able to enter the author & book title and not have it necessarily imply that the author will be there, and additionally that you should be able to indicate that an author will be there without it being linked to any particular publication of that author's.

Yes, I agree. Would it be enough to add "is being discussed" to the options. I had this problem with some Melville events locally. He ain't gonna be there.

Is there a way to add multiple authors to an event?

Yes. See a little link down at the bottom "add author." I think it needs to be higher.

How do you edit an event?

If you mouse over an event you should see the "edit pencil." If not--and some members reported it wasn't working--tell me your browser and OS.

I've only played with the local pages for a few minutes and already I'm totally hooked.

Excellent. Your name sounds French. Want Paris? It's a baren desert right now! :)

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 11:21am Top

Mousing over event isn't working for me. Edit pencil doesn't come up. Again, I'm on IE 6. I have Firefox at home, so I'll check it when I get home.

Edited to add- Had a question up above. Is it possible to add more than one location? (I'm in Lawrence but moving to Lubbock). Can we call more than one place home? I've lived a few places and would like their info as well.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:24am Top

I'm just dying to get a good photo of the LC, but Flickr is stuffed to the gills now with photos FROM the Library of Congress!


Mar 3, 2008, 11:30am Top

>30 HelloAnnie:

Try it now. I changed how it works.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:39am Top

> 29 Would it be enough to add "is being discussed" to the options.

Aye, I think that would work just fine.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:41am Top


Still not able to edit it. I can try it at home on Firefox, but on my work computer (IE 6), I never get the pencil. I just added a wall comment to edit it.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 11:46am Top

--> 32

I'm on both IE6 and Firefox. Works on Firefox, but not on IE yet. Sorry!

My son said what you're doing (making an application IE compliant) "is a pain!" :(

Mar 3, 2008, 11:49am Top

What a great feature! There's not much in my area, yet -- got to start adding...

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 11:51am Top

> 29

Want Paris? It's a baren desert right now!

I could have sworn I saw Shakespeare and Company listed.


Jeez, Tim, you added it yourself! ;-))

Mar 3, 2008, 12:11pm Top

What are the rules for posting pictures - same as with authors? Or can we use a picture from the location's webpage?

Mar 3, 2008, 12:16pm Top

> 38

Yes, the rules are the same. See the box on the right of the "Add venue picture" page.

Mar 3, 2008, 12:24pm Top

>29 timspalding: See a little link down at the bottom "add author." I think it needs to be higher.

Agreed. It would make the most sense to me after "or Title" and before "Date".

Also, it's been mentioned already, but the re-setting of the date and "doing" info when editing an event is a pain.

Mar 3, 2008, 12:30pm Top

No worries, TimSharrock. Thanks for adding the correction to your earlier posts :)

Mar 3, 2008, 12:53pm Top

oooh, this is fun. Like I needed another time-suck...

Somone has already done all of the public libraries but I've added a few book stores in my area - will do a few more at lunchtime.

Mar 3, 2008, 12:54pm Top

Similar to 9 and 30: although I don't necessarily need to make more than one location my own, it would be nice if you could display the same information for a location that's not your own. The main thing that's missing there is a link to "members" in another (not my) location. Could that be integrated into the location's page somewhere?
(I don't really want to change the location on my profile to reflect all the places I've lived, much less visited, but I'd be interested in seeing those locations' information on members + venues, events, etc. all in one page like I can for my own location.)

Mar 3, 2008, 12:54pm Top

42: "Like I needed another time-suck..." Ditto! But it's so much fun!

Mar 3, 2008, 12:59pm Top

I know you're going to add RSS feeds, but I think it would also be really cool if the upcoming events was output in ics so I could integrate it with my google calendar.

Mar 3, 2008, 1:01pm Top

43 If you do a search 'by location' it will give you everything you are looking for except the members list for that location (we can see about doing that too). It even gives it to you with a handy, readable, bookmarkable URL.

Mar 3, 2008, 1:01pm Top

A want -

In addition to "events," can we have an extra site for "Special Offers" listed on bookstore sites? I realize most can get there with one extra click, but not every store offers specials (one I just added has Tuesday & Thursday and late night special coupons on a special page).

Just an idea - something to highlight when you look at a venue.

Mar 3, 2008, 1:15pm Top

What a fun new feature! I'm having fun adding new venues. I'd like to suggest you add a space to enter Fax numbers.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 1:24pm Top

Would it be possible to list events that are recurring without manually entering each event? For example, the TCPL Klondike Branch library has "Family Storytimes" every Wednesday at 11am and 2pm until April 30. This could also be useful for book clubs (although someone might still want to go through and add the book discussed). It would be nice to basically autofill the time and location.

Mar 3, 2008, 1:26pm Top

I second OsideNative's suggestion for a Fax number box. Also, it would be nice if you could list multiple phone numbers and contact emails. For example, many public libraries will list contact info for the main switchboard, circulation inquiries, reference desk, children's librarian, etc.

Mar 3, 2008, 1:33pm Top


Okay, I'm firing up my PC to search for PC bugs. I should ahve done that earlier, but it makes me feel all dirty.

I could have sworn I saw Shakespeare and Company listed.

Yeah, practicaly the only bookstore in Paris, or so I hear. It figures that it's an English-language bookstore. The French don't write much.

What are the rules for posting pictures - same as with authors? Or can we use a picture from the location's webpage?

Yeah, same as with authors, unfortunately. A case might be made for the logo, but I'm not sure.

Resetting data

Next up.

it would be nice if you could display the same information for a location that's not your own

Well, you can favorite it. I don't know if that's good enough or not.

The main thing that's missing there is a link to "members" in another (not my) location. Could that be integrated into the location's page somewhere

When you're looking at a special place, it should have such a link. We'll add that.

but I think it would also be really cool if the upcoming events was output in ics so I could integrate it with my google calendar

YES YES YES! Excellent excellent idea. Now, how the heck do I make .ics format? We'll do it though, absolutely.

Special Offers

Can that be in the description?

recurring events

That's an interesting one. If we do that, though, people will want an "ignore event" option.

Mar 3, 2008, 1:36pm Top

That's an interesting one. If we do that, though, people will want an "ignore event" option. (#51)

Can "ignore event" be patched in from "ignore group"?

Mar 3, 2008, 1:36pm Top

As long as you're answering questions, I've been asking this one:

Is it possible to add more than one location? (I'm in Lawrence but moving to Lubbock). Can we call more than one place home? I've lived a few places and would like their info as well.

Mar 3, 2008, 1:41pm Top

Can "ignore event" be patched in from "ignore group"?

The icon can... :)

Is it possible to add more than one location

Not now. I never even thought of it. It would be hard to show the map for that, wouldn't it? Would it be enough if it showed only one at a time but listed all of them? I'm not too keen on that data structure, but I'll do it if I have to. How about favorites--you can favorite in more than one place. Good enoguh?

Mar 3, 2008, 1:46pm Top

How about favorites--you can favorite in more than one place. Good enoguh? (#54)

True. Among my list of otherwise New York City favorites, I have an oddball I imported from Texas.

That said, it would be useful for those users who split their time between multiple locations to actually have multiple locations. (Thankfully, I am not one of said group of users.)

Mar 3, 2008, 1:47pm Top

"Favorite locations" would be good. I know you can already add favorite bookstores, etc. in more than one location, but could we "favorite" a location itself?

Mar 3, 2008, 1:47pm Top

Yeah. I haven't played around with it enough yet. Need to favorite some places! More and more are being added. It's been neat to see the map with the little dots this morning and then watch it explode with dots a few hours later.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 1:48pm Top

#51: The iCal/.ics format is RFC 2445. Getting it from your database to that format is entirely up to you, though. ;)

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 1:53pm Top

Is it the case that grabbing descriptions from a venue's website or other publicity for use on LTLocal is not allowed, but that getting information from them on hours would be allowed?

Mar 3, 2008, 1:53pm Top

Could there be a way to attach a Group board to the Local member's page? I know this would be most useful for larger locations to automatically create it, but even a way to link an already existing group to the local member's page could be helpful.

I really love this idea - and wish I had more time to play with it today!

Mar 3, 2008, 1:55pm Top

>59 labbit440: I believe that a short, 2-3 sentence description taken from a website is okay. I can't imagine there would be any problem with hours.

Mar 3, 2008, 1:59pm Top

re 60: We actually threw around the idea of using Talk as the engine behind each comment wall (basically each venue would become an invisible Group for Talk). The idea of linking a Group is a good one though. We'll talk it over.

Mar 3, 2008, 2:01pm Top

Will there be a "recent comments" list on the stats/helpers page?

Mar 3, 2008, 2:04pm Top

Is there a way to see which venues in a given area have been favourited by anyone?

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 2:11pm Top

_Zoe_: Search 'by location' for whatever area you are looking for. Under each venue found within that area will be a list of people that have favorited it (unless none have). If you aren't seeing it then something has been turned off and we can fix it.

Mar 3, 2008, 2:12pm Top

1. How do we know if something is a duplicate?
2. I've added bookstores in KS, UT and IL, but the dots aren't showing up on the maps.

Mar 3, 2008, 2:13pm Top

On the individual pages for venues, would it be possible to add a description of the type of venue somewhere under the address - or else the appropriate colored icon next to the name, to make it clear? The venue type is occasionally not obvious from the name.

Mar 3, 2008, 2:14pm Top

> 66

1. How do we know if something is a duplicate?

You could always do a "search by name" before you add a new venue.

Mar 3, 2008, 2:16pm Top

>65 conceptDawg: It's only visible on the individual venue pages, which isn't very helpful if you're visiting a new area and looking for good bookstores. What I'd really like is to be able to sort the venues by the number of people who have favourited them.

Mar 3, 2008, 2:16pm Top

I did a search, but it was acting funny on this browser. I did a search for something I knew was on there and it didn't find it.

3. Can we add book club information?

Mar 3, 2008, 2:16pm Top

Since each location gets its own URL, how do you deal with towns and cities with the same name in different states? First come, first serve gets the town name itself, without the state? What about when you search for a location, but there's more than one with the same name? Does one come up automatically, or can you choose between them? You might not have cases like that yet, but I suspect you will as more people add venues.

Mar 3, 2008, 2:18pm Top

I've only added one library so far (http://www.librarything.com/venue/3546/Hesburgh-Library) because I'm at work, but I can already tell this will be an addicting tool. Thank you Tim&co!

Mar 3, 2008, 2:20pm Top

This is pretty darned neat. I think the only thing I wish it could do right now is list my local venues without entering my zip code on the right. It's pretty much that I'm being lazy (hell, other people actually complain about having one or two extra clicks), so it's really not that big a deal. It just would be nice to see automatically. I'm guessing that all big cities will have this "problem".

Mar 3, 2008, 2:23pm Top

>73 kawika:: I could be wrong, but if you change the location in your profile to your zip code, it might automatically come up with your local venues here. Worth a try, at least.

Mar 3, 2008, 2:27pm Top

What I'd really like is to be able to sort the venues by the number of people who have favourited them
We can see about doing something like that.

I did a search for something I knew was on there and it didn't find it.
Give me the example and I'll see what the problem is. Can't do much without an example though.

how do you deal with towns and cities with the same name in different states?
That's all being done with the magic of geocoding.
Greenville, SC always geocodes to the same location.
Greenville, MS Always geocodes to a different location.
Greenville, AL is yet another location
Greenville just happens to geocode to the South Carolina location. Probably because it has the largest population but I can't be sure. Geocoding is a voodoo science that we have little control over in the big scheme of things. I've done my best to wrangle the best information that we can out of them.

Bottom line. When somebody asks you where you are from you usually tell them city and state unless you are from a large town in which case you just mention the city name. The same logic will work here too. Big cities can be found with just the city name in most cases.

Mar 3, 2008, 2:29pm Top

>#74 Nope, that didn't work for me. Good idea, though.

Question: Would gaming stores warrant an entry in LT Local? Around here, only Borders sells RPGs and their selection isn't all that great, so I'd like to list some of the local gaming places if it's appropriate even though they sell "games" rather than strictly "books" even though a good portion of their games ARE books. If they are appropriate to list, should they be listed under "other" or "bookstore"?

Mar 3, 2008, 2:31pm Top

I think the only thing I wish it could do right now is list my local venues without entering my zip code on the right.

It will. Edit your location by clicking on the pencil on the left side of the main Local Home page. It says
Your Location (pencil icon)

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 2:38pm Top

>77 conceptDawg:
Except on FF/Vista. Gimme my pencil icon! ;) Ooh! It finally appeared!

Mar 3, 2008, 3:08pm Top

How does this interact with privacy issues? Can I specify (or favorite) places without being attached to them in any way visbile to the public LT world? I don't keep any geographic info on my profile, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in paying attention to book-related stuff where I am. Can private users add stuff without a notation appearing on a public change log?


Mar 3, 2008, 3:20pm Top


So, as long as you don't check the box, your location shouldn't go to your profile. That said, we've been working on that feature all day. Check your profile to make sure it's okay.

As far as the changelog, I'm divided. You're the second person to ask that, but I'm still not very eager to add privacy like this. Hmm..

What should be the option. Someone come up with a wording? Is it one box—private everything—or options for event adding, for favoriting, etc.

Mar 3, 2008, 3:27pm Top

>59 labbit440:

The logic is that facts cannot be copyrighted (such as prices, hours, location) but the specific wording of a description is copyrighted. If you only take short descriptions and change them a little it should past muster.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 3:29pm Top

Right. You could make a very very strong case that an event description is implicitly released for publicity purposes. I can't see a "market" for a bookstore event description—on the contrary!

Mar 3, 2008, 3:36pm Top

>79 bcobb:, 80

Check your profile to make sure it's okay.
Mine still says what it used to, and not what I've got entered in Local.

Can private users add stuff without a notation appearing on a public change log? and As far as the changelog, I'm divided.
People probably could deduce information on my location based on which venues I've entered, but I've been trying to dilute this by adding in a bunch of other places as well - amazing what one can find on the internet. :) Although, honestly, I think we could lose the "Added by" on each venue - especially since it's editable by the community, I don't know what function "added by" has other than seeming like stalker-fuel.

Is it one box—private everything—or options for event adding, for favoriting, etc.
Two? One for "Display my location/find me in local member searches" and one for "Keep my favorites (venues and events) private".

Mar 3, 2008, 3:40pm Top

Maybe this is a bit much to ask, but considering how many people have asked for multiple "default" locations, an option to consider is having the default be wherever that person is when they log in - if they're using a computer in Seattle, then they'll get Seattle as a default, if they're in Trenton, then they default to Trenton.

I don't know well this would work, but I've seen it on Outside.in, so it's something to consider.

Mar 3, 2008, 3:43pm Top

As the SysAdmin person for the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, I would love to have a way to facilitate getting all our members' venues listed. I've already informed them of the opportunity, but I am wondering if it would be possible to work out some kind of mass import option for interested members (most of whom are not what I'd call tech-savvy)? Or does that violate some law? We have over 300 stores in the Southeast, US and I'd love to see them represented here.

Mar 3, 2008, 3:43pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Mar 3, 2008, 3:48pm Top

Well we would certainly want the venues listed also. We don't have a mass-import tool at the moment so you have two options:
1. if they are willing, have them send us a file with the venue information in it.

2. (probably the quicker/better solution) Post a link to the list of Alliance members and ask for help putting them in the system. You'll be amazed at how quickly 300 will be entered. We have great members here!

Mar 3, 2008, 3:48pm Top

I haven't seen this mentionded yet, unless I missed it. It seems there can only be one venue per a specific address. For example I am listing area libraries and some of them (not all) also contain a Friends of the Library Bookstore. Bookstore has different hours, phone. Even if I have listed the library as a Library-type, if I try to make a Bookstore-type entry for the bookstore it changes all the information to that. It deletes the Library.

Mar 3, 2008, 3:52pm Top

You should be able to have multiple venues at the same address. In fact, I just tested and it works for me.
Add a venue, give it an address.
Add another venue, give it same address.

Make sure you're not editing the original venue.

Mar 3, 2008, 3:53pm Top


Thank you for the quick response. I could provide a file if necessary, in any format required. But I'll try the link option first, since I'm sure you are all madly busy.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 4:01pm Top

>90 southernbooklady:

Here's the link to southerbooklady's Alliance stores (hope you don't mind) - clicking on a state gets you the list.

I'd get going on them myself, but I need to get *something* work-related done today. :) The rest of y'all, have at it.

Mar 3, 2008, 4:01pm Top

>#77 Thanks! I think I didn't even notice it because my pointer didn't change icons when I ran it over the pencil, as it does when I hover over the pencil in Your Library.

Mar 3, 2008, 4:05pm Top

>89 conceptDawg: The fix is only partial maybe doesn't work for libraries already entered?

Examples: Venues 1971 & 1972. Different name, same address. Only 1972 shows up. Also, the event for 1972 does not show up.

Also, all the libraries at 309 19th Avenue S., Minneapolis. All the libraries at 222 21st Avenue S., Minneapolis.

Mar 3, 2008, 4:06pm Top

Although, honestly, I think we could lose the "Added by" on each venue - especially since it's editable by the community, I don't know what function "added by" has other than seeming like stalker-fuel.

It's an incentive to do it. You get to be the adder.

Privacy options

Okay, so we're talking?

X Display location on profile
X Show my favorites
X Show venues and events I edit


For now, we're not going to try to "geolocate" your IP.

Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance

It would be great to have you all in. My feeling is that a mass-entry form has too man risks—after all, some will be in already, but under a slighty different name. This is the sort of thing BookTour did, which is why we're not using them. We want clean data.

I'm guessing, however, that if you post your list on the site, people will step up to help you with it. Christopher, the lead developer on this, is from the South :)

Mar 3, 2008, 4:06pm Top

93: I'm looking into it. I did get it to screw something up...just not sure how. :)

Mar 3, 2008, 4:10pm Top

Just a hypothetical question...will there be Librarything Local touchstones down the road?

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 4:13pm Top

>88 OsideNative:, 89:

I have tried a second time to add a second, different venue to the same address and am not having success. I am not editing the original entry of a Library, I am adding a new Bookstore entry. I am able to make these entries okay. But afterwards when I search for venues within XX distance of my Zipcode only the last entry appears. The first one, if it is still there, does not appear.

Oops, I see you are addressing this on 93, 95.

Mar 3, 2008, 4:12pm Top

We've already talked about touchstones for Local. No decisions yet, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Mar 3, 2008, 4:13pm Top

97: Yep. The venues exist. They aren't being deleted or over-written, but the distance search mechanism is mangling them. I'm all over it and should have a fix soon.

Mar 3, 2008, 4:14pm Top

>94 timspalding:
It's an incentive to do it. You get to be the adder.

Yes, exactly, I feel so AWESOME. I love this site.

Maybe there should be a way that some people can opt-out?

Mar 3, 2008, 4:27pm Top

>91 fyrefly98: Thank you for posting that link, firefly98

>94 timspalding: Tim, I've begun letting our members know. Some are more proactive than others, of course, but I'm hoping you'll see a bunch of indies show up soon. I've already had a comment from one LT member offering help, how lovely.

SIBA is only one regional association. There are nine across the country, each with their own notification lists. I'll forward the opportunity on to them.

Mar 3, 2008, 4:30pm Top

Just on the privacy issue, it doesn't bother me but it might bother others....I didn't click the "use in my profile" check box but all my favourite bookshops and libraries are listed there anyway. I can see how this might make some people antsy as a list of your favourite bookshops etc can give away your location.

Mar 3, 2008, 4:31pm Top

It would be really helpful if, under the even description field, there were a "more space" link the way there is under comments & reviews on work pages. Some event descriptions are long, and having to scroll around in that little box is a pain.

Mar 3, 2008, 4:45pm Top

>103 philosojerk:

Good. I'll do that. Do you have an example I can play with? I haven't seen any short ones.

We need guidelines for descriptions. I'm happy with commercial descriptions, but they need to be descriptive not trying to "sell" the store too much.

Mar 3, 2008, 4:46pm Top

This isn't exanctly a request or a bug, but something worth noting anyway.

I favorited an out-of-town bookstore I liked. But on the list of my favorite venues the map gets thrown off (see below). Has anyone else noticed this? And if so, what can be done about it (if anything)?


Mar 3, 2008, 4:50pm Top

Harvard's Widener Library entered two times with different entries by two people at the exact same time

Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library
Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA 02138
Added by rjohara (Today 4:42pm)

Widener Library
Harvard Yard, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138
Added by markell (Today 4:42pm)

Mar 3, 2008, 4:54pm Top

For my local library ( http://www.librarything.com/venue/1339/Hale-Library ) It would be convenient to have a "real address" and a "geocode address".

The library's real address is "Leigh Road, Hale, Altrincham, WA15 9BG, UK" and it does not have a house-number (if it did it would be -1, as on its side of the road the houses go 1,3,5... and it is before 1). If I don't use a house-number, the location appears at the other end of the road :(. If I use a number 4, then the location appears correctly on the map as number 4 is the house opposite the library, but then the displayed address is not the official one.

I could give you GPS-reported coordinates instead perhaps?


Mar 3, 2008, 5:02pm Top

>106 alibrarian:

Wow. Harvard is popular. I'm going to kill the latter. I added a photo to the former.

>107 TimSharrock:

For now, I'd do the address that works, and then note it in the description...

Mar 3, 2008, 5:07pm Top

Yikes! Duplicates are going to be a pain. I've already re-edited two just in the past 15 minutes or so. Someone had favorite-ed one version of both venues, so I went into the non-favorite and changed it to something else. However, once these duplicates start getting favorite-ed, what happens? Ick.

Mar 3, 2008, 5:08pm Top

I changed it to the Div School's libary, and found the best Flickr photo of a library evar:


Mar 3, 2008, 5:09pm Top

>106 alibrarian:/108 - Is there any way for there to be a big, red message for people to search for venues before adding them? Also, maybe with something about a format? It's great this is so popular, but it's going to get ugly, quick.

Mar 3, 2008, 5:09pm Top

>109 Talbin:

So, why are the duplicates happening, do you think? Did the first one not geocode so the person was unaware, or are people entering events all over and not checking?

So, what's the solution. Choose one: combining or a check while you make the event?

Mar 3, 2008, 5:10pm Top

>111 Talbin:

That's a good start. I'll start with a not-so-big message, but a message even so.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 5:17pm Top

> 106/108 -- Huh. Widener doesn't have a street address, so it was necessary to invent an approximate one to get a dot in the right place. It was probably just the identical time that caused us to duplicate; I did search for the name, and the other user may have also.

(Same with Houghton. I've made a page for it, but I can't see where the dot is being placed on the map:


Is there a dot for it?)

Mar 3, 2008, 5:17pm Top

Mar 3, 2008, 5:19pm Top

>112 timspalding:/113 It's actually the venues that are being duplicated. I have a feeling people are just really excited and entering some of their favorite places. (Full disclosure: One set of duplicates was my own fault - Last week I entered a University library one way then entered it another way. Today someone favorite-ed the one I should have gotten rid of. There, it's out - I feel much better now.)

Mar 3, 2008, 5:21pm Top

>115 timspalding: Thanks, Tim!

Mar 3, 2008, 5:21pm Top

> 110

Wow! Talk about Edible Books!

Mar 3, 2008, 5:23pm Top

>112 timspalding:

So, what's the solution. Choose one: combining or a check while you make the event?

It would be good if everyone did a good search before they entered, but you can never depend on it.

Can you automate a check for exact or similar matches while a person is entering a name?

Suspect that combining will be the final answer

Mar 3, 2008, 5:24pm Top

On the library pages, how about a field for the OPAC's URL?

Mar 3, 2008, 5:30pm Top

Seems to be. They're putting it on the street, though.

Mar 3, 2008, 5:32pm Top

I'm sort of afraid of combining. I can imagine all 100 branches of a city library turning into one.

Mar 3, 2008, 5:33pm Top

>104 timspalding: I'm not sure how to link to an event I've already added to give you an example (maybe that's another suggestion? Permalinks to specific events?) But you can see some longer ones that I've entered under the venue Brazos Bookstore in Houston, TX.

Mar 3, 2008, 5:33pm Top

>121 timspalding:

If you mean Houghton, I can't see any blue dot that corresponds to it on the map. All the other ones are identified but no Houghton dot seems to appear:


(When entering this record at first I didn't see the radio buttons for "bookstore", "library", etc. They defaulted to "bookstore" so when I looked at my own profile page for "Favorite Bookstores" it listed "Houghton Library" ;-)

Mar 3, 2008, 5:41pm Top

>122 _Zoe_: I'm sort of afraid of combining. I can imagine all 100 branches of a city library turning into one.

That's a valid concern, but I don't think it's a reason not to have venue-combining, any more than the very real risk of all of an author's works being combined is reason not to allow work combining.

Mar 3, 2008, 5:47pm Top

> 121, 124

OK, it looks like we're just at the resolution limit of the map. I see that there are a few pixels of the Houghton dot peeking out from under the Widener dot. I've changed the street address a couple of times trying to get it to move, but short of a big jump, it doesn't seem possible to nudge it.

Mar 3, 2008, 5:50pm Top

>126 rjohara: Once this gets going, you're going to find a lot of libraries and bookstores that will overlap on the map. I'm sure this will especially be true in the neighborhoods right around Harvard. The best way to find them is to use the search, not the map.

Mar 3, 2008, 5:54pm Top

>125 lorax: I think it would be worthwhile to have venue combining restricted to, say, paid members, though. The key distinction between venues and works is that everyone is entering their own copy of a work, so there's going to be much more combining required than in the case of venues, when multiples are only going to be entered by accident. Once the initial entering is done, there really shouldn't be any need for venue combining at all, whereas lone works are constantly going to appear.

Mar 3, 2008, 5:54pm Top

I just added this to the lower right of the helpers page:

Places to look for events

Here are some good places to find events.

Author websites
Author pages on publisher sites (eg., Random House
Borders Store Locator
Second Life Community Events

Any ideas what else to add?

Mar 3, 2008, 5:56pm Top

To prevent duplicates, maybe the system can do a quick address search before it enters the new venue? Like it'll compare against what's already in the database and then say, "Hey, is it this place? If it isn't, then just click 'OK' to go ahead and add the new venue."

Mar 3, 2008, 5:58pm Top

126 & 127: Yes, we know that will be a problem in the future. We'll think about solutions that don't involve us writing our own mapping engine. :)

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 6:01pm Top


So, my plan was as follows:

1. Users can nominate a venue to be combined. When you do that, it puts a note at the top of the venue, like "X has suggested this venue be combined into Y."
2. Every once and a while LT staff combines the venues for real.

I want it this way because the system was not designed like the work system. The work system has this "middle layer" between books and works that hooks everything up. So, book 1 can be work 1 one day and work 2 the next day. This sort of system is flexible, but also a bear to build and slows everything down. It's more than I want here.

Rather, I proposed a "destructive" combination system. When two events are combined, one wins. The combination switches over data that is related to the combined event--favoriting, events and picture. It does not try to combine the descriptions and etc. It cannot be reversed.

Mar 3, 2008, 6:00pm Top

As heard on LibraryThing Tim-to-Chris chat :)

CK: I can't friggin' keep up with talk.


Mar 3, 2008, 6:02pm Top

>132 timspalding: That sounds good (the idea, if not the wording ;)). I'd feel much better knowing that the actual combining was being done only by LT staff.

Mar 3, 2008, 6:03pm Top

I can't keep up with Talk today and actually get any of these changes done. You people are talking like mad today! :)

re 105: That's the way the map on your favorites is supposed to work. It expands to show all of your favorites on the map. Actually, it works that way on all pages....it expands to show all of the venues listed in the left column, except venue pages themselves, where it tries to center and zoom in on the venue location.

Mar 3, 2008, 6:05pm Top

Just added yellow thingy to top, for members who don't read the blog.

Hey, guess what. LibraryThing Local was picked up by Mashable!

Mar 3, 2008, 6:05pm Top

>134 _Zoe_:

I can't promise we'll be sober.

Mar 3, 2008, 6:21pm Top

Would it be possible to mark the current venue differently from the others on the map? Possibly just by making the marker a different shape or size?

Mar 3, 2008, 6:26pm Top

>132 timspalding:

I think that sounds like a great system.

Mar 3, 2008, 6:26pm Top

*raises hand* Ohhhhh I have another question (still waiting on input from the one posted on 76)...If there is a store listed that is a specialty store (eg New Age books, Horror, Sci Fi, etc) would it be more appropriate to enter that in the store description or the comment wall on the location page?

Mar 3, 2008, 6:43pm Top

140: Store description.
76: If you buy your books there then it sounds a lot like a bookstore. In this case anyway. Enter it.

Mar 3, 2008, 6:44pm Top

>140 kawika: That sounds exactly like what the description field should be for.

Also, I like the proposed combining system sounds good, and like #138's idea - maybe with a star inside the dot map marker?

Mar 3, 2008, 6:46pm Top

I've entered my library's booksale as a Fair/Festival (mostly because it's not at the library - it wouldn't fit!). But that puts it as a venue, on the left side of Your Favorites. Isn't it closer to an Event, in that it has a particular time/date existence? I'd be very pleased if its listing in Favorites included the dates, is basically what I'm asking for.

Mar 3, 2008, 6:49pm Top

>143 jjmcgaffey:

You can add an event and note that it happens somewhere else. I think a booksale is an event, not a venue. A fair/festival would be appropriate for something like Book Expo America, which isn't eternal, but has hundreds of events attached to it.

Mar 3, 2008, 6:56pm Top

>144 timspalding: Well, yeah, but the Event choices really don't fit. There's no author(s) attached, no individual book, it's over three days at different times each day - the Held Elsewhere works fine but... I suppose I could enter it as three separate events, but that's serious clutter for something that's really one event.

Mar 3, 2008, 6:57pm Top

reply to message 129

My local library system does a regular newsletter that lists Friends sales, author appearances, etc. So look for those. Also library system websites.

Mar 3, 2008, 7:01pm Top

How complicated would it be, when someone posts an event, to have that information, or a link to it, appear on the author's page and the work page?

Mar 3, 2008, 7:02pm Top

Good point. I was thinking we needed different event types. How about?


Anything else?

Mar 3, 2008, 7:05pm Top


Mar 3, 2008, 7:06pm Top

Tim this is really neat, thanks for adding it. It has my book group I belong to and the library branch by my house. Cool.

Mar 3, 2008, 7:12pm Top

This is rad. I got to enter my closest bookstore and my local library system! Yay!

Question: Is there a plan at all to have a way to automatically add events for a venue. Right now everyone is adding events for their fave places, but will they continue to add them as time goes on? If the store/library has an RSS feed would there be a way to do it? Right now I haven't added events for any of the places I've entered. I suppose if places are "claimed" then the store or library can take charge of that, but I bet that won't happen for everyone. Anyway, just a thought.

Mar 3, 2008, 7:14pm Top

>147 lilithcat:

Not hard. Not hard at all. Just need to get to it :)

Mar 3, 2008, 7:16pm Top

>151 AntiLeah:

I'm of two minds on the RSS issue. SOME stores have RSS, but most don't. Indeed, I want LT to become where stores MAKE their RSS.

The biggest problem is that the RSS will be full of crap. That's how BookTour got its data, mostly from RSS. And it's perilous. Maybe if the RSS could be explicitly linked to a venue, however, we could at least avoid some problems.

I think I'll try doing an automatic parsing of the Borders RSS and see if it works okay.

Mar 3, 2008, 7:19pm Top

>132 timspalding: You should consider allowing owners of venues to combine their own venues. Might LT staff some work, too.

Mar 3, 2008, 7:20pm Top

>154 mvrdrk: Mmm. True.

Mar 3, 2008, 7:25pm Top

> 148 types of events

add panel discussion

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 7:32pm Top

The RSS question reminded me of one I forgot to ask -- is there any chance of getting BookSense to (a) update their services to include feeds or (b) at least allow LT access to the event data? That's 1200 or so good, bookish stores that all have their events in a common format, and it shouldn't have a lot of duplicates since it's drawing from the canonical source for each store rather than trying to put together a feed from multiple local media sources or the like.

Mar 3, 2008, 7:35pm Top

>157 sabreuse:

I'm interested, but also not holding my breath. I've been trying to get data from BS for years. Some times the best way to do something is to do it.

Then again, I can try to parse the RSS for them, and then just take it.


I added a checkbox for whether the venue has been contacted about LTL.

I added an RSS feeds URL. I'm not giving it the RSS logo, because it's not OUR RSS feed, but something we want so we can try to parse it.

Mar 3, 2008, 7:36pm Top

>153 timspalding: I want LT to become where stores MAKE their RSS

That would be very cool, especially for the stores that don't have great websites and resources to make great websites. I don't know if RSS is the solution (IANAProgrammer) but I just think that relying on users of the stores to keep up with the manual data may not work in the long term. You probably know this.

Mar 3, 2008, 7:39pm Top

I suspect it will work some places, but maybe not everywhere. Getting authors and publsihers involved will be key.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 7:59pm Top

Could you add a way to search for events by author? Or, even better, flag or otherwise alert you to local events featuring your favorite authors?

Mar 3, 2008, 7:42pm Top

Another event type you might want to consider adding is a "book launch". I don't know about other shops, but the place where I work hosts a few of these each year for local authors. They usually include both a reading and an author signing as well as an intro by a prominent person eg. for our book launch next week, as well as having the author, we have one of the reviewers from the Canberra Times coming to give an intro to the book and the author. This sort of event doesn't really fit into any of the current categories.

Mar 3, 2008, 7:47pm Top

These new little boxes keep popping up

When did the contact box go up?

And I only noticed the RSS box a little while ago

Mar 3, 2008, 7:49pm Top

158: I just noticed the "contacted" checkbox, so went back to check that box (having previously made the contact with the store), and clicked "submit" - it did not change (through several more tries, either). http://www.librarything.com/venue/4040

Mar 3, 2008, 7:52pm Top

Would it also be possible to cross search by name and location? I was getting ready to add a bunch of Borders and BNs in my region, but I wanted to search to make sure they weren't added. Just searching for Barnes & Noble or Borders brings up a lot of stores all over the place. I was able to just search by location and make sure there wasn't another dot on the map, but that may start to get cumbersome when there are a lot more stores in a small area.

Mar 3, 2008, 8:08pm Top

> 164 The same thing happened to me:

So I then added a comment to the "Comment Wall" - which may be a completely inappropriate use of the wall, I don't know - can it be deleted later???

I haven't checked the "Bugs" topic to see if this was already reported there - should have done that, sorry.

Can I add that this is just as exciting as the first couple days of Common Knowledge - or maybe even MORE so? VERY VERY COOL. :-)

Mar 3, 2008, 8:12pm Top

>164 countrylife:


>165 AntiLeah:

A good idea. Maybe it should list them by distance from you. Would that be good?

Mar 3, 2008, 8:16pm Top

Would it be possible to have some options for sorting the listings on the Local Homepage? Currently they're listed by distance from my location, but it would be useful in many ways to be able to change the list to alphabetical. If I'm looking for a particular bookshop, I'm more likely to know its name than its distance from my location.
Just a thought.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 8:27pm Top

Duplicate entry found when searched by name "Seaside"

2 venues found

Monterey County Free Libraries - Seaside Branch
550 Harcourt Ave, Seaside, CA

Monterey County Free Libraries - Seaside Branch
550 Harcourt Ave, Seaside, CA

Mar 3, 2008, 8:40pm Top

Venue 4231 is a duplicate of 2617; 3777 is a duplicate of 2591; 3822 is a duplicate of 3786

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 8:43pm Top

>169 alibrarian:

Don't forget Book Off - it shows up as venue 646, 648, and 650.

And then there's the listing I created at 1170 after these (the store is BOOKOFF, no space, so the others didn't show up in a search).

Mar 3, 2008, 8:45pm Top


I'll get a feature for it :)

Mar 3, 2008, 8:48pm Top

Okay, but don't forget the two Donnell Library Centers

Mar 3, 2008, 8:51pm Top

169: My bad. I fixed it by editing the duplicate into a new venue. Probably the easiest thing thing to do right now.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 8:55pm Top

Observation before taking a break.

The reception of LibraryThing Local has been strange:

1. Users are overwhelmingly happy about it. I was braced for complaining about collections, and somehow it didn't happen. (Don't worry, I'm heading right back to the whole checkbox thing. Don't get me started on whether that is a step to or a replacement for collections, please.)
2. Traffic is up.
3. Venue adding is simply stratospheric. I think we'll beat BookTour's venue count *IN ONE DAY*! You are the best users in the history of web sites.
4. Mashable picked it up; they're one of the most influential tech blogs.
6. So far I count only two blog mentions of it

1-5 doesn't make sense in the context of 6. It's completely strange. I have no explanation.

Mar 3, 2008, 8:55pm Top

tim and company, you are awesome

Mar 3, 2008, 9:00pm Top

175: Of course we're happy! We just got a new toy to play with (which also keeps our minds off the toys we don't yet have!). Seriously, this is very cool. My love for books and maps all rolled into one... Not to mention, I'm learning more about what's going on where I live, which was, I guess, the point.

Mar 3, 2008, 9:20pm Top

I think you've managed to stave off the collections criticism for a few reasons.

Firstly, LT Local is FUN! And it's something that is easy to use and of immediate use to most users. It's not some obscure or hard to understand cataloguing feature which, while useful, many users will never use.

Secondly, you've explained in quite a few places why this took priority (the payment thing....though whether that's still the case now that BookTour is out of the picture I don't know). People tend to be OK with things if there's an easy to understand reason for WHY something is or isn't happening.

Thirdly, we've all been so busy slamming you over it in the currently reading threads that we've run out of angry steam here :)

Mar 3, 2008, 9:25pm Top

Wheww....thanks for the currently reading threads then! Helps make this project have a good reception. :)

Mar 3, 2008, 9:26pm Top

>175 timspalding:

6 makes perfect sense in light of 1-5: all the bloggers are too busy adding venues and events to actually go blog about it.

And screw collections, when are we getting other authors for old books?? ;)

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 9:28pm Top

One suggestion, related to privacy and listing of locations.
I'd like to be able to use my zip code or, better, my street address on Local (but not on my profile), to make the map and distances more precise. (LA is a big place.) Now I've got Local listing my city and zip together, but my profile listing just the city. I've noticed, though, that even though my zip isn't showing up on my profile, it is showing up when Local pulls up the list of members in my area. (However, if I remove the city name and use just the zip on Local, I don't appear on the list of members for my area at all.) Needless to say, I don't want to use my home address in Local if it's going to show up on the list of members, but I would like some option to make it more precise, while only listing the general location that's on my profile (the city) in the members list. Does that make any sense?

Mar 3, 2008, 9:44pm Top

Can an option be added to make my favorite bookstores/libraries private? I'd like to have the list for my own use, but putting it on my profile page gives away way too much about my private life.

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 9:52pm Top

Tim, you're going to kill me, but the system just stalled on me and I ended up making another duplicate entry.

But uh, I'll wait for the permanent fix to this duplicate/deletion issue. Because I don't want to make you cry anymore. I'll just file it away to fix later.

Am trying to add more events, but it's not really as pleasurable as creating venues. In fact, it's a tad bit frustrating, which is probably why events isn't growing as fast.

Mar 3, 2008, 9:56pm Top

I have a question & thought about something that's unavoidably going to be an issue down the road: what happens when a venue ceases to exist? (The most obvious scenario: a bookstore goes out of business.)

As nice as it might be, for the sentimental among us, to keep the venue on LTL for memory's sake, that's not really what it's for, I guess. But it seems to me that a venue shouldn't just disappear without warning. Could there be a procedure to notify users who have a particular venue listed as a "favorite" if that venue is going to be deleted (e.g. because it's closed)?

For those of us who have favorites listed in several cities (and so who might not be aware of new developments in cities other than where we live), it'd be nice to know when a venue shuts down. For me it would be particularly nice... I've long kept a list of "source" bookstores on my profile page; now I'll have a list of favorite bookstores thanks to LTL, but I'll also keep an "in memoriam" list of stores that have closed, and that way I would know when it was time to add another one to the list. Not that I expect a feature just for me, but I think this could be good for lots of users (?)

Also, while I'm here, props to Lilithcat for her hard work on Chicago venues!!

Mar 3, 2008, 9:57pm Top

>#175 Tim,

I think that there was a good amount of heat over collections and all that entails due to two main factors:

1 - Collections has been promised for a long time and feedback about it has been spotty, at best. A good amount of the vocal userbase is very passionate about it and the tweaks going on with the check box discussion unsettled some because it can be seen as an intermediate step, but doesn't fulfill some of the functions many people seem to want. I think it relates to expectations and the lack of results being frustrating.

2 - With scant real information (at least, I saw hardly anything) about what LT Local was supposed to be, it was easy to discount it as lame, unworthy, and time wasted, especially in relation to collections. We had no idea how cool LT Local would actually be due to a lack of information about it while there was an expectation (there still is, no doubt) over how cool collections should and could be.

At least, that's how I see it.

Mar 3, 2008, 10:23pm Top

LT Local is great! I already found another LT user in my area and I'm about to add some venues.

Love it!

You always seem to know what I want before I do - how do you do it? ;-)

Mar 3, 2008, 10:34pm Top

Awesome feature. I've already recommended to a friend that he add his mythology book discussion meeting to Local. Now if only I could convince him to add his library... (He's out of town or I'd enter it myself like I have for other friends.) :)

Mar 3, 2008, 10:56pm Top

184 - Good point: I've been wanting to add one particular local bookstore, but it is closing at the end of April, and I don't want to create disappointment for others who might find it in LT Local later on.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:04pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:07pm Top

>Thirdly, we've all been so busy slamming you over it in the currently reading threads that we've run out of angry steam here :)

Ha. True.

>And screw collections, when are we getting other authors for old books?? ;)

Just talking to Casey about that. It's not his top priority, but we agreed it had to get done in the next couple of weeks...

>181 rsterling:

Hmmm. Okay, we need to look at that. It should use the better if it can, but fall back to the profile one.

>182 koffieyahoo: Private favorites list.

Well, that's an idea. I suppose my initial reaction is "why make it a favorite if not to share," but we did add features to track events at our favorites, so it's not just self-expression.

>183 lampbane:

I'll get duplicates working tomorrow, if I can. I need to focus on something else right now.

We need to make events more pleasurable. Ideas welcome

>184 markell:, 188

I wouldn't mind allowing dead venues, now and in the future. I'd love to favorite Avenue Victor Hugo in Boston. But they should only show up when searched for and on profile pages, not normally.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:11pm Top

Like to add my vote for a "book launch" option.

The other thing – what about secondhand bookstores? is there any way of giving them separate status, or do you want them in there with the rest?

And another other thing (sorry) – can you explain the "bookstore notified about librarything local" button? How do we notify them, and what do we notify them of? (Handy link?)

But this seriously rocks. I can see another month's worktime waving goodbye ...

Mar 3, 2008, 11:21pm Top

The other thing – what about secondhand bookstores?

Yes, certainly. The question is, should we have categories, tags, or rely on the descriptions field?

can you explain the "bookstore notified about librarything local" button?

Well, it's a place to keep track of whether the bookstore has been notified, by LT or by members, in case they want to claim the page and get on LibraryThing. We should draw up a quick email, for us or others to send.

Like to add my vote for a "book launch" option.

I think events needs to be easier, and more fun. Less fiddly.

I'm thinking of redoing the events completely, reducing them to the bare facts, a list of books and a list of authors. Then the semantics can be done in prose, without trying to encode them, but we can still link to appropriate author and work pages.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:30pm Top

> 190 - "I wouldn't mind allowing dead venues, now and in the future. I'd love to favorite Avenue Victor Hugo in Boston. But they should only show up when searched for and on profile pages, not normally."

You can use this one to experiment with:


Mar 3, 2008, 11:33pm Top

Yes, certainly. The question is, should we have categories, tags, or rely on the descriptions field?

The argument for having the data in a fielded form is that it can be searched and put in buckets much easier than when in other forms. CK might be useful here?

Mar 3, 2008, 11:34pm Top

>193 rjohara:

Ah, but they're reviving it—although frankly, I find the whole thing icky. on multiple levels.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:49pm Top

> 148

Let's not get carried away.

Right now, when I add an event, half the time I don't know whether to use "discusses", "promotes", "signs", or "reads", because it's usually all of the above!

As long as I know whether it's the author talking about her book, or someone else, I don't really need the rest. It's a reasonable assumption that an author promoting her book is also going to read from it and sign it.

I'm not bothering with "book tour" because I'm not always sure if that's the case, and, if it is, how is that different from "promoting", etc.?

Edited: Mar 3, 2008, 11:54pm Top

Wow! This is great!! Just a week ago or so, I suggested adding author events, and Tim was so coy about it.

Re listing people on the venue page:
>94 timspalding: It's an incentive to do it. You get to be the adder.

Just the sheer addictiveness (?) of it is sufficient incentive. I don’t mind appearing in the helper’s log, but would prefer not to be listed on the venue page. Plus, it clutters up the page. I don’t mind being added in the “favorited” field (is that even a word?), because it can draw some attention to the smaller stores.

>112 timspalding: So, why are the duplicates happening, do you think? Did the first one not geocode so the person was unaware, or are people entering events all over and not checking?

Can you add a toggle for displaying the order of venues by distance or alphabetically? Right now they are displayed by distance from the location you entered. This is great if you are from out of town, and want to find the nearest ones. But in cities with more than a few venues, the entries just go on and on. Portland already has 48 venues listed within 5 miles of downtown, and it is not fully populated. It would be very helpful to toggle to alphabetical order for editing purposes, and back to location order for visiting.

ETA: And one more thing. On the map, the smallest area is a 5 mile radius. Again, this is fine for smaller cities, but not in places rich with possibilities. Could you add an option for a smaller area? Maybe 2 or 3 mile radius.

Mar 3, 2008, 11:58pm Top

>183 lampbane:, 190: I'm more interested in bookmarking favorites for my own use than displaying them on my profile, so private favorites (ideally on a one-by-one basis) would be useful. There are some things I might bookmark but might not put on my profile. I bookmark my favorite bookstores elsewhere too, though, so it's not that big of a deal.

>94 timspalding: - on "added by": similarly, I don't care so much about whether or not I'm given credit for adding a venue to the system. I don't need more incentive! (In fact, I need less, so I can get back to the work I should be doing....)

Mar 4, 2008, 12:03am Top

>148 timspalding:

To repeat: I'm thinking of redoing the events completely, reducing them to the bare facts, a list of books and a list of authors. Then the semantics can be done in prose, without trying to encode them, but we can still link to appropriate author and work pages.

Agree? I think you do.

Mar 4, 2008, 12:08am Top

Is a book group an event? How would that be listed since there is no author in attendance?


Does my example look as if the author will be at the book group? I don't want this event to appear as if the author will be there.

Delete it? Change it? Have a special place to note book groups?

Mar 4, 2008, 12:09am Top

94> "added by"

The incentive is the Helper/Stats page. I also feel that having an added by on every venue/event page might lead to slaker-ish behaviour.

Mar 4, 2008, 12:17am Top

> 199


Mar 4, 2008, 12:53am Top

It'd be nice if the Country selector defaulted to where I am!

Mar 4, 2008, 12:56am Top

I think it would be good to have the events be a bit more bare bones. However, some events are not affiliated with a particular author or book, so there would have to be a way to deal with those as well. I added Portland's (awesome) Wordstock Festival as a Fair/Festival, and it has many events that are on more general topics, etc.

Mar 4, 2008, 1:10am Top

I upgraded the geocoder with some more mojo. It should do better at finding really odd addresses. Basically, if it comes up in Google Maps then it should come up in Local at the same place.

Unless.....and there is always an unless....
Unless the google geocoder service provides a lat/long for your search AND tells me that it is highly accurate to the street address level. I have no choice but to go with that one at that point....computers never lie. right?

So when you geocode an address it goes through the following steps (stopping when it gets an "accurate" result):
* Google's geocoder service
* My secret mojo data source
* Geonames.org geocoder service
* and if yahoo will ever lift their stupid usage terms, I have code built to access them too.

If it gets to this point without an accurate lat/long then the address fails to geocode.

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 1:17am Top

LOVE LT Local! I think it's a great tool for community building. But I do have a question.

Is there a way to alter the name of the person who set up a venue? I registered the three branches of the library where I am employed using my personal account, but then set up a separate account to maintain the venue information. I'd really rather not have patrons being able to link to my personal library so easily; is there a way to change the "added by" username? If not, is there a way to delete the venue and re-add it using the other account?

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 1:33am Top

We'll be offering a way to delete venues soon. We don't quite have it ready yet. Maybe in the next day or so. In the meantime, email me with the venue numbers (look in the URL of the venue page) and the usernames that you want referenced and I'll see if I can get to it before then. email address is christopher at librarything.

Mar 4, 2008, 2:39am Top

Re: Fairs and Festivals

Chiming in here to agree with wikkywikky at #204. Can you change Fairs and Festivals to events instead of venues? They would have to be a special type of event, not connected to venues.

For an example of the problem, see her entry for Wordstock. Entered as a Fair/Festival type venue, it doesn’t appear in the Upcoming Local Events column.

In order to enter it as an event, it would have to be attached to a venue. But book festivals are very different from author readings, which take place under the sponsorship of one venue. Right now, Wordstock 2008 has 20+ sponsors, so it wouldn’t be right to attach it to just one of the sponsors.

Mar 4, 2008, 3:17am Top

I think the idea is that you can add the whole festival as a "venue" and each of the events for that festival can be created separately with the festival as the sponsor "venue". The list of actual sponsor venues can be listed in the fair/festival description.

Feel free to correct me if interpreted that incorrectly. That just seemed to be the most logical explanation to me. It solves the multiple event problem of festivals.

Mar 4, 2008, 3:39am Top

Online Bookstores

I wanted to add The Mountaineers Books. This nonprofit publisher currently has over 500 outdoor titles in print, which they sell either through retailers or direct from their website. They so have a small retail outlet in Seattle, but their bookselling business is primarily online. Their events calendar lists Mountaineers author events at retail stores, not at The Mountaineers Books.

However, when I checked the "online" option, I got this warning (in red, no less):
Management and members take a very hard line about online venues. Online venues must host bona fide, time-limited and interactive events of interest to book lovers.

Can I list them as a "real" bookstore at their physical location, and use the description space to point out that they are mostly online? Or do you just not want this type of thing at all?

>209 dreamlikecheese: Good point on book festivals. I hadn't thought of it that way. Then again, if you list each activity individually, it is going to be overwhelming.

Mar 4, 2008, 3:58am Top

It could be overwhelming I suppose, but without individual event listings you won't know what actual events are happening. Very few people go to every single event of a long festival. They pick and choose. I suspect that there wouldn't be many other non-festival events happening at the same time because all the venues would be used for the festival....and in larger cities you have stacks of events happening all the time anyway. Have to wait and see what happens with that I suppose...

Mar 4, 2008, 5:36am Top


I guess that as they do have a proper shop they can be added as a 'real' venue. I don't think anyone would mind a link to their website in the description. The way I read the warning is that Local isn't meant to be an directory of online bookshops.

Mar 4, 2008, 5:44am Top

Please don't geolocate by IP - apparently I show up on such things as being in Graz, which is still in Austria, but quite far from Vienna.

Now to tell my favorite bookstores about LibraryThing so they show up here.

Mar 4, 2008, 5:56am Top

Even if we ever did start geolocating based on IP we would only use it as a fallback for times where a member hasn't entered their address manually. But we don't have plans for doing that right now.

Mar 4, 2008, 6:33am Top

At least here in Germany it has the "normal" bookstores which sell all the new books, and specialized sellers who have only antiquarian books in their stock. Maybe it'd be worth to add antiquarian as another option in the type, bookstore would be somewhat misleading and other is not specific enough :-)

Mar 4, 2008, 6:34am Top

209 I think the idea is that you can add the whole festival as a "venue" and each of the events for that festival can be created separately with the festival as the sponsor "venue". The list of actual sponsor venues can be listed in the fair/festival description.

Yes, exactly. We'll work to have them added to the events feed, or above it separately.


By our structure, their offline bookstore can be entered. Their online bookstore is a commercial site with no events to speak of, so it can't be entered.

The way I read the warning is that Local isn't meant to be an directory of online bookshops.

Absoluely right.

Please don't geolocate by IP

So far we haven't, mostly becaus we're lazy and don't wwant to pay for something. The whole "date girls in your area"-type ad takes a lot of effort!

214 (5:56am)

Chris is a monster!

Mar 4, 2008, 6:38am Top

Chris is a monster!

Mar 4, 2008, 6:38am Top

I like to nit-pick a little about formatting the addresses:
now the postal code comes after the city, but in many countries the format is different, see this:
International Mailing Address Formats.

The addresses look odd when the format is not correct. Would it be too complicated to have a choice: postal code before or after the city name?

Mar 4, 2008, 7:30am Top

Maybe I'm missing it, but how would you go about adding events that aren't held at bookstore/library/festival? For example, a reading at a cafe?

Mar 4, 2008, 7:35am Top

>219 collsers:
Yes, I was wondering about that, too. There are book cafés even.

Mar 4, 2008, 7:35am Top

The automatic conversion of the address to the location in the map is nice, but it fails miserably for those countries not well covered by Google Maps, or like for Thailand where it has hundreds of different ways to spell the address in English. I have tried with one bookstore in Bangkok, Thailand - http://www.librarything.com/venue/5963

The english address 7/1 Borom Rachachonnanee Rd., Arun Amarin, Bangkok Noi gives a location several kilometres away, the address in Thai 7/1 ถ, บรมราชชนนี แขวงอรุณอัมรินทร์​ บางกอกน้อย gives an empty map. So it would be nice to be able to modify the location in the map manually.

Mar 4, 2008, 8:00am Top

> 212

That's exactly what's intended. Tim has said elsewhere in these threads* that "online" is meant to be for such things as online author chats.

I don't think anyone would mind a link to their website in the description.

No need to put it in the description! There is a field specifically for links to the store website!

*I'd hunt it up but these threads have gotten so long!!!

Mar 4, 2008, 8:24am Top


Well there might well be separate URLs for the retail shop as opposed to the online store. But in general the field will work even better.

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 8:39am Top

Posting pictures of venues and "public domain"

Venue pictures have to follow the same guidelines as author pictures. Please see Contributing photos to LibraryThing

Public domain is a legal status. Simply finding a photo on the web is not public domain. In fact, it is the exact opposite. A website is a publication (even a personal blog) and automatically protected by copyright. Permission must be granted to use the image, if not explicitly granted on the website. (But many websites play fast and loose with their images in the first place so beware, even Wikipedia) Follow the trail to the source of the image if possible. Ask libraries and bookstores for permission to use images on their websites

PS And asking venues is a good way to draw their attention to the venue sites

Mar 4, 2008, 8:32am Top

I haven't had time to read through all of this thread yet (I will I promise!). So, I'm sorry if this is repeating something already requested/said.

Would it be possible to create repeating events? Instead of having to enter in every 2nd Sunday of the month by hand that there is a book club meeting? Or that every Wednesday night there's boardgames? Etc.?

Mar 4, 2008, 9:17am Top

A little thing: Could the date for an event include the day of the week? That way, if I'm planning ahead, I know if something is at 1:00 pm on a Tuesday (during work) or 1:00 pm on a Saturday (when I'm free).

Mar 4, 2008, 9:36am Top

If anyone wants some books to add, this is a wonderful website for UK christian bookshops. I've done a few, but there are over 500 listed here:


Mar 4, 2008, 9:41am Top

I like seeing who added a venue.

Mar 4, 2008, 9:48am Top

>228 _Zoe_:
I agree, the fun thing about seeing who added the venue is seeing who else is most likely local and might be going to events there and such.

Mar 4, 2008, 9:49am Top

>229 KarenElissa: Which is exactly why people who are concerned about privacy *don't* want their names on there.

Mar 4, 2008, 9:52am Top

>230 fyrefly98: So you should have the option of hiding your name; the feature doesn't have to disappear altogether.

Mar 4, 2008, 9:55am Top

>135 conceptDawg: (man, is it hard keeping up with this thread!)

Can't there be an option to zoom in on your area? Or am I obligated (karmicly, contractually, or otherwise) to have a map of two green dots just because I liked a bookstore in Texas?

Perhaps I should issue a challenge for other people to favorite bookstores in states other than the one they live in.

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 10:33am Top

Maybe I'm missing it, but how would you go about adding events that aren't held at bookstore/library/festival? For example, a reading at a cafe?

There's an "other" option.

>221 MaewNam:

You should use whatever you want and can get to geocode, but I think all adresses should also be available in English, perhaps in the description. LibraryThing is international, but we are still very much majority Englsh.

PS And asking venues is a good way to draw their attention to the venue sites


Repeating events

Yes. It's on the list. Should have anticpated it...

Could the date for an event include the day of the week?

Yes, that's a good idea.

Zooming in

There's a + and a - you can use. By default, I think it sizes to contain all dots. My favorites are therefore messed up by the fact I have one in Paris...

Mar 4, 2008, 10:55am Top

Perhaps the sizing could toggle, like searching by location or by name. So people could view all their favorites or just the ones in their area.

Mar 4, 2008, 11:20am Top

234: The favorites map is just that, it is a map of your favorites. A map of your area is your main local page.

Mar 4, 2008, 11:20am Top

Can the date function be modified to include multi-day events? Like a Con or a booksale that lasts an entire weekend? I've currently got each day listed individually. It looks....clunky.

Mar 4, 2008, 11:25am Top

I think conventions would fall under venue events, since they tend to be comprised of different events.

>>219 collsers:, 233

Yes, I've added several "book cafes" in NYC to the list. As well as some other non-bookstores/libraries. I think the "other" category is still small enough that we won't have to worry about breaking it down further for a long, long time.

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 11:28am Top

>236 VictoriaPL: I was just going to ask the same thing.

I want to enter an exhibition that's running from Feb. 29 through June 14.

I don't want to enter it as a Fair/Festival since it's an exhibition (unless we get a new category or a new label). And Fair/Festival is the only category with beginning and starting dates possible.

But there's only a single date under an event. If I enter Feb. 29, it will look like a past event)

I've done one book sale that ran for only two days as two separate events (but it was only two days)

Need a solution for longer events that are not stand alone conventions, fairs, festivals, etc.

Mar 4, 2008, 11:29am Top

Quick Question - is there a reason that the bookstores/libraries aren't in Alphabetical order?

I noticed that on mine - someone was kind enough to enter the bulk of the Columbus Metropolitant Libraries in Ohio and the libraries appear to be in entered order. I can easily see how someone would enter another one thinking, "well, I see "Columbus Metropolitan Library - Hilliard Branch" already in the list, so it's obvious no one has entered "Columbus Metropolitan Library - Dublin Branch" and I'll enter it right now!

Mar 4, 2008, 11:36am Top

Opening hours: I'm currently putting these into the "Description" field, but would it make sense to have a separate field for them?

Mar 4, 2008, 11:40am Top


I think they're in distance-from-you order. I want that to be an option, together with alphabetical.

Mar 4, 2008, 11:41am Top

236 & 238 That's exactly what Fair/Festival is to be used for. The label 'Fair/Festival' is just a representative label because we couldn't put every possible form of a transient multi-day affair in the name of the venue type.
"Fair/Festival/Convention/Conference/Booksale/Meeting/Get Together" is a little long for a label. :)

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 11:51am Top

242> That's not exactly intuitive... in my instance, the Friends of the Library is a charity, not a fair or festival. The options under this category make it appear that after the dates we'll "end". We're a physical location year 'round and we hold 2 sales a year, each sale is 3 days long.

Mar 4, 2008, 11:53am Top

See, it keeps getting longer. Now it's:
"Fair/Festival/Convention/Conference/Booksale/Meeting/Get Together/Auction/Charity Event"
Any better names than "Fair/Festival" out there? It really needs to be labeled "Event" (and we thought about it) but that would become REALLY confusing in the context of the actual venues/events structure.

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 12:01pm Top

Yes and the event referenced in 243 is one I clicked to make a favorite and yet the event doesn't show in my list of local events. Is that because it's pretty far away?

Also, the distance in miles is deceptive for me because I actually live pretty far out of town on a rural route. The location listed for me is just the town where the post office that serves us is located and not the town we are closest to. Anyway, I think of places more by how long it takes to get there than by how far away they are physically. My eventual favorites will end up being , literally, all over the map!

Mar 4, 2008, 12:09pm Top

245If it's far away from you then it won't show on your list of local events. It will show up on your list of interested events (under the My Favorites sub-page).

The distance that we are doing is based on straight distance and not travel time or travel distances. It's really the only way to do it for the amount of data that we're throwing around. I can do the straight distance with a database call and some fun math with the haversine function, but to do travel distance (taking streets into consideration) would take a separate call to google's geocoder for each venue shown on the page....everytime a page was loaded. Obviously that's bad.

Mar 4, 2008, 12:17pm Top


"Fair/Festival/Other Multi-Day Event"?

Mar 4, 2008, 12:23pm Top

"Multi-day Event that's not Really Like the Other Events"

Mar 4, 2008, 12:30pm Top

>240 brunellus:

I think the consensus is that since hours are transient and changeable, and almost always available on the venue's website, it makes more sense not to have a codified field.

Mar 4, 2008, 12:53pm Top

Having a wonderful time adding to Local, and am discovering all sorts of new places in the process!

I agree with #s 181 & 182 above.

Mar 4, 2008, 1:33pm Top

Chris or Tim - Could one of you please delete my comment from the comment wall on this one:

I posted it before the "Contacted about LTL" bug was fixed - and now that it's fixed, my comment looks idiotic. I really don't like looking idiotic, please help me! (Just when you can fit it in, of course - it's not urgent.)

Thank you! :-)

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 1:45pm Top

Quick query. Right now I have my location set as just my city, but I'd like to put my actual address in so that I can have a true picture of what is actually closest to me. I obviously wouldn't put that in my profile, but I just want to make sure that info would be totally private were I to put it there. I know there were some quirks with location showing up on the Local Members pages even though people had marked not to put location in their profile (or something to that effect, I can't remember exactly and can't be arsed to search the thread).

I know there is talk of more robust privacy options coming up for Local in the next few days, so should I wait on this until that happens in order to make sure I am as private as I want to be? I suppose I can leave the city how it is and then just search for my address when I want more precise data. That might be a safer solution if I am crazy worried about it.

I've just talked myself out of my question ;) But maybe someone else has the same one.

ETA: Oh, and I would like to agree with whoever suggested above a smaller increment than 5 miles for search distance. If I am not going to put my real address on my local page and just search for it, I would like to be able to search a smaller area.

Mar 4, 2008, 1:51pm Top

Straight distance vs. driving distance

I like that, after entering the Peaks Island Library it's one of my closest. It is very close--in a boat!

"Multi-day Event that's not Really Like the Other Events"

Lets put some clarification on the event and venue page--a green box like:

Event or Venue?

Blah blah blah.

Anyone want to write the blah? Damn. I'll write it.


We'll put in a delete thing, for the person who added it. I'm sorry I can't do individual deletes. Also, I don't think you sound like an idiot.

Mar 4, 2008, 2:00pm Top

> As the pigeon flies/car drives

How about non-automotive forms of transit, where applicable? I wouldn't mind waiting until the other bugs have more or less worked out, but not everyone bothers with car ownership. (Perhaps you could bring Hopstop.com on board for this aspect of Local.)

> Full address & address pricacy

I'd like to see the ability to add full addresses, too. Since I live in "Brooklyn, NY" this venue is listed as being closer than this one, when it should be the other way around. That said, I don't want my full address shown. I had my zip code up for a while, but I'm not even entirely comfortable with that much: I'd much rather be one of three million than one of some subsection of 3 million.

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 2:16pm Top

As the pigeon flies/car drives
Perhaps you could bring Hopstop.com on board...
You can get driving distances from google...etc.
The problem with this is that we would have to do a call to whatever service we use for non-pigeon distances for each venue that is on the page for every page that we build. That would be terribly slow. There are caching schemes, etc, but those aren't a panacea.

Right now I just do some fancy schmancy haversine math voodoo to get the venues within the radius of distance in one very quick query.

We can't really save the venue-to-venue or even the user-venue distances in our own database because it becomes an order of magnitude problem as each venue is added to the database. It's one of the same issues we were having with affinity (although not the main one). I'm not saying we won't do it, just that we'll have to figure out a good way to do it first.

Mar 4, 2008, 2:17pm Top

A second/private/exact location box is on my list of things to add.

Mar 4, 2008, 3:08pm Top

I've added comment deletion ability for the venue comment walls.

Mar 4, 2008, 3:13pm Top

It seems to me that a multi-day sale is a single event and events should be changed to allow multiple days to be specified. A festival is more like a venue than an event. It exists so that events associated with the festival can be attached to it. I'm not sure what the location for a festival should be though as many festivals occur at multiple venues. Perhaps just the city could be entered.

I'm also concerned about entering every place that an event occurs at as a venue that is put on the map forever. Is the map going to be cluttered with every coffee shop and park that at one time had a book-oriented event? What about book clubs meeting at people's residences? How about a new type of temporary venue that is automatically removed as soon as the event is over?

Mar 4, 2008, 3:15pm Top

Re: #120.

I would like to request the same field and more, if possible.

A single URL is not enough for large libraries, especially those that work as a network of distinct branches. There is often a main website for the entire library system, and a main catalogue, and either one would suffice for the URL; but the individual branches also have their own websites with more specific information such as hours of operation. Since this is LT "Local", I think it makes more sense for people to link to specific library branch sites (especially if they happen to be spread over 5-10 mile stretches, as with the Toronto Public Library or the University of Toronto), and use a separate URL for direct access to the catalogue, and/or to the main page (having all three, in fact, would be great.)

I know this increases the work of manual entry significantly, but we can leave it open to people to add as much or as little as they like, so long as they put stuff in the right fields.

It might also be helpful to write a concise guide to adding information, to prevent people from simply adding a number of venues with just a name and phone number or website, leaving it to other contributors (who don't get any credit either) to add to or "clean up" the information. It would be nice to have a log for all these contributions too.

Mar 4, 2008, 3:17pm Top

Can we also have an option to delete our comments from the comment wall, since they can't be edited?

Mar 4, 2008, 4:19pm Top

> 253 Tim said, "We'll put in a delete thing, for the person who added it. I'm sorry I can't do individual deletes. Also, I don't think you sound like an idiot."

Thank you, Tim, that's very kind! :-)

> 257 Chris

I just went back to the page, saw the "X" and wiped it away. Thanks for making that change so quickly!

> 260 Existanai - This wish has been granted!

Mar 4, 2008, 4:48pm Top

Read to 254. Coming back after swimming.

See http://www.librarything.com/talktopic.php?topic=31307
LibraryThing Local, Moving forward

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 5:04pm Top

One small improvement which suggests itself (especially for people who aren't familiar with the location they're looking at) would be to highlight the map-marker of the venue currently being viewed?
We're doing Ireland for you Tim! Next time...

Mar 4, 2008, 5:04pm Top

Good idea. And one that we had talked about before but not when we were making the list.

Mar 4, 2008, 5:49pm Top

>199 timspalding:
The problem with reducing events to 'a list of books and a list of authors' is that it doesn't handle stuff like booksales. If they're going to be events and not venues-with-times. Or will some of the event types have different data in them? Complications...

Mar 4, 2008, 7:03pm Top

I think it would be nice to list an end time for some events.

Mar 4, 2008, 7:05pm Top

266 The_Kat_Cache
Can you give us an example of why you think it would be nice?

Mar 4, 2008, 7:14pm Top

Is the time of the event set on LibraryThing time or on the local area's time zone? This probably isn't a big deal right at the moment, but if more features become available with this at some point, it would be important to be more specific about that. This also hearkens back to previous discussion in other threads about being able to set your own time zone on the site so that we see messages on Talk (for example) in our own timezone instead of LT time. But if events will be "expiring" off the site, it will be important that they don't expire early because of time zone issues.

Mar 4, 2008, 7:25pm Top

267> For multi-day events for one. Did you read my message 258?

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 7:44pm Top

There are many events which only run for 1 hour (eg a lecture) which have very set start and end times, while others may run for several hours eg a book launch with a fluid end point. It would be nice to be able to indicate an end time if you want to (ie make it optional).

Mar 4, 2008, 8:12pm Top

218> "Addresses"

It's actually a lot more complicated than just the postal code, e.g. Japanese addresses are usually written completely in reverse of what you think is normal (I haven't actually seen anyone encode a Japanese address the way it is displayed on the reference page you gave).

253/255> "Other distances"

My best guess is that this is a bit more intricate than people think, it probably requires a full blown route planner... I would not like to try to figure out the distance by car between two of my favorite book shops, which are roughly 6000 miles apart and which would take me all across Siberia...

Mar 4, 2008, 8:30pm Top

Timezone issues

Right now, we give everything an extra 24 hours, using Maine time. So nothing expires early but stuff can hang around. I think this is a good compromise. Having a timezone field? Well, it's the sort of lilly-gilding that will make some of you happy but reduce the total amount of interest, I think. Every extra element on a web form is like another 10% of your audience missing. I think it's largely because they're fiddly that events haven't taken off quite as fast.

Mar 4, 2008, 8:36pm Top

--> 229

I very much like seeing who adds venues and events. I also like the stats that go along with the process. I think that's what makes it fun. It becomes almost like a game. If I would simply be adding things with no kind of feedback at all, I'd most likely get tired of doing it very quickly.

For people who value privacy more, there are other ways in which to contribute to LT. CK is a great place to begin.

Mar 4, 2008, 8:42pm Top

I don't see the need for a time zone. Presumably people thinking about going to an event will be in the same zone as the venue.

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 8:47pm Top


That's not a very well thought out thing to say: Personally I find Local a lot more useful than CK, so I would be tempted more to add data to local. But since my name is displayed it currently gives a lot of information about my background I really don't want to give way (for the same reason I already emptied my list of favorite bookshops, which would have other uses like tracking events held there). I value my privacy!

I'd really like a clear statement on this from Tim's side, otherwise I would definitely start to consider to ask the LT staff to remove all the venues I added.

Mar 4, 2008, 8:48pm Top

They've said that privacy options are coming.

Mar 4, 2008, 8:53pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Mar 4, 2008, 9:03pm Top

I agree with 259.

I spent some time last night "cleaning up" information.

I really appreciate all the hard work everyone is putting into adding venues, but I'd really like to encourage our volunteers to take a bit more time to add correct and complete information.

Look up the correct websites. Check websites for email addresses and phone numbers. Add a line or two to describe your venue.

I'd rather not be logged as person who cleans up (I have enough of that to do at home!). I'd rather know that people who were adding information were taking the time to do it right the first time.

I also agree that Library branches (and chain stores) should be linked to their own individual websites and not to the grand master website of the main library or store.

Mar 4, 2008, 9:23pm Top

>278 SqueakyChu: I actually disagree. When there are huge library systems, I think it's more important to get the basic information there and elaborate later. It's one thing if you have enough time to do it all at once, but I'm still only about halfway through the 100 branches of the Toronto Public Library, and already I have to check each one because some people have entered a few random branches from later down in the list. If instead of entering only the information that was available in the listing of all branches (address and telephone number) I spent time tracking down who to email at each branch, I would end up giving up at about F when I found that half of the branches I considered entering had already been done.

The venue listings are presumably there for people to use, so the users can add any additional information that they think is necessary. I'd rather have the basic structure in place and know that it's complete than have a few branches entered completely and others not entered at all.

Mar 4, 2008, 10:02pm Top

I was reading the Local Plan, and I'm excited to see RSS for authors, but I also think it would be really helpful to be able to search for or within individual events, not just venues. I live in a large metro area, and I'm more interested in if/when my favorite authors are going to be in town than in the events that are taking place nearest to me. If I could search events by author and date that would take this feature from interesting to useful for me.

Mar 4, 2008, 10:51pm Top

>280 echobeach:

Would you want to search or to see events on author pages—or both?

Mar 4, 2008, 11:00pm Top

>267 conceptDawg:

I thought this was fairly obvious, but perhaps not. Some events last for several hours and don't require a person to show up at the very beginning (maybe something like a book signing?). Therefore, it would be important to know whether said event lasts one hour or four.

For kid-friendly events, parents would probably like to know how long they can drop their kids off.

Mar 4, 2008, 11:09pm Top

>272 timspalding:, ok, that makes sense. As long as there is something in place to prevent things from expiring early, that is fine. After I posted that initially, I started thinking about how it would be weird if for events held in other parts of the world it showed the date/time in your "home" timezone, which would be confusing if you were trying to plan a trip to another city. So as long as there is something preventing early expiration, then I am a-ok with no timezones.

Mar 4, 2008, 11:09pm Top

Thanks. It's fairly obvious, but when we are reading 300 feature requests per day yours will make it to the top much easier if we don't have to do too much guessing as to what you are really asking. A concise description of exactly what and why you want a feature is the best plan of action. And your response was right on the money. :)

The same goes for the rest of you crazies!
And stay off my lawn!!!!

Mar 4, 2008, 11:34pm Top

And stay off my lawn!!!!

LT members are invited to visit my lawn. I suspect I'd wake up the next morning to discover a gazebo, a maze and a topiary garden.

Mar 4, 2008, 11:37pm Top

I tried to do a search to see if this question were already asked, but you know how it is with exact syntax. Anyway, hoping this hasn't been a topic already: I live in one city but frequent another, and would like to have access to all the local options. But local keeps trying to default me back to (my main) place. For example, it will show me the bookstores in the second city, but then when I try to click on other menu titles, it flips me back to the first city. Any way to be a "local" in both places?

Mar 4, 2008, 11:40pm Top

>286 nbmars:

We're working on that.

Edited: Mar 5, 2008, 12:47am Top

#279: Zoe

You are probably talking about me.

Since we're editing the same pages, I think it's worth mentioning here that editing a venue takes as much or more time than adding one. So while you may be putting in a lot of work (it takes a lot of diligence to add a hundred venues, of course) and thinking that you are improving the efficiency of LT Local contributors, you are also simultaneously increasing the amount of work everyone has to do when you don't edit your entries; and that means you actually end up lowering the collective efficiency. As SqueakyChu mentioned, I would rather be adding new venues than spending the same amount of time or more cleaning up data which should have been as complete as possible in the first place.

In the specific case of the TPL branches, although my edits and additions appear to be completely random, the fact is I was editing/adding branches that have WiFi access. I haven't finished yet, but the fact some branches have WiFi has been omitted from all your entries which means more double-checking and editing for me. It's not fun. I am also adding, in the process, as many branch-specific URLs and Events URLs as possible (which lead directly to the catalog; the opposite is not true if one simply links to the main web page.)

Further, I am focused on the WiFi for now, because I initially began editing all the branches in alphabetical sequence in order to provide branch-specific profile URLs AND Events URLs (yes, each branch has its own Events URL!) when I gave up and decided to finish something on a smaller scale - because it was taking so long.

On top of that I am adding and trying to write comments for many bookstores - not just locally but ones across the globe I have frequent or shopped in. I stayed up all night despite having to work today because I was busy with this. If I hadn't started on the TPL edits - which again aren't yet done - I might have had more sleep and done a better job of my own tasks.

Don't get me wrong - you are putting in a lot of work, it's unpaid, it's consistent, and that is fantastic (which goes for all the other contributors as well.)

But I do think you needn't take on the burden of adding 100 venues.

I'm quite certain that you would actually be saving people more time by doing a small number as completely as possible, than by making as many entries as possible.

(I get credited as Melquiades due to an LT bug, by the way, but it's me.)

Edited: Mar 5, 2008, 12:55am Top

So, once again to the LT staff: can we please have something like a brief guide or at least the equivalent of a disambiguation/notice page (perhaps visible only to those logged in) at the top of each Local page?

The latter would help contributors communicate and ensure that fields are edited with consistency. There will no doubt be further edits and omissions, but fewer ones.

Reason? (You probably scrolled past my above post because it was so long, so I'll repeat the last thought from above as well.) A few complete entries save more time than a large number of incomplete entries that need to be done all over again.

Edited: Mar 5, 2008, 1:13am Top

>281 timspalding:

I'd like to see upcoming events in any location on the author page, but also be able to do a search by author that is filtered by distance from the local page.

In other words the author page would list events by date, and a search for the same author from the local page would return those events listed by distance from my location.

Mar 5, 2008, 1:14am Top

>>288 Existanai:

I think it's worth mentioning here that editing a venue takes as much or more time than adding one.

That's kind of subjective, isn't it? I personally find it easier to make minor changes to an existing entry than to build an entire entry from scratch. Which I suspect, is why Zoe (and others) are trying to put as much into the system as possible - because later, someone may come across the entry who knows for sure if a place has say, Wi-Fi, and they can just make that minor edit.

It's the principle that Wikipedia (and other wikis) work on. Once someone gets the ball rolling, there are others who will join in. I saw it for myself when I created an article, which ballooned in a few weeks because lots of people were making small edits.

BUT I do advocate filling in as much information as possible for each venue, because a skimpy entry is just bad form.

(And on an unrelated note, why I can't post into this thread from Opera anymore? I had to switch to IE to get it working again.)

Edited: Mar 5, 2008, 1:35am Top

#291: That's kind of subjective, isn't it? - lampbane

Of course it's subjective, like most things in life. Your analogy between Wikipedia and Library entries is subjective too. For instance, to add an events URL for each library branch (in this case) requires one to go to a second page with a scrolling menu to choose the branch one wants, after which one is redirected to yet another page. And then the branch names have to be cross-checked and the two separate URLs entered field by field. And this has to be done over and over for each branch. Add to this the fact the LT Local pages tend to stall on Safari and need to be refreshed because the Google map causes some sort of bug to crawl out. This is a little different from opening a Wikipedia entry and throwing whatever one knows into a blank box to start or complement an article...

Our sources - other websites - have little or no consistency. A contact page may take one to an email form, and the contact information might be tucked under a logo on the front page. Encouraging people to find complete information relies on subjective judgement; and completeness and consistency are subjective words. No one is suggesting that everybody fill in the phone numbers with identical spacing and punctuation.

In brief: it is always in the nature of large amounts of data to be inconsistent, and for any kind of large-scale group collaboration to be highly uneven and very diverse in approach.

I am trying to suggest ways to reduce this unevenness rather than compound it.

Mar 5, 2008, 1:48am Top

You now have the ability to delete venues.
Go forth and multip.....well...er...delete. Yes. Go forth and delete.
But use discretion while going forth. Maybe you should just go third. You know, just in case.

Delete them from the respective venue page. I haven't yet filtered this down to remove events associated with the venue so they may still show up in the listings (I'll do more in the morning when I'm not so exhausted).

Edited: Mar 5, 2008, 2:11am Top


Maybe I am asking far too much, but - returning to the case of the Toronto Public Library with its 100 branches - would it be feasible for LT to design a way to use templates? This would save a lot of people the trouble of entering identical data repetitively across many fields. And if a change had to be applied to several entries, it could be done to a customized template, or a duplicate template applied to those selected entries, instead of having to manually enter this stuff again and again.

Of course, that might bring down the whole site...

Google maps already seems to be freezing the pages on Safari. After you create an entry the page refuses to respond and the only way to make it do so is to refresh, losing all the data you entered...

Mar 5, 2008, 2:18am Top

I notice there is a private LibraryThing Local group. Is it possible to have a public one so that we can continue such discussions there?

Mar 5, 2008, 2:53am Top

>293 conceptDawg:

I'm not sure you should be allowed to delete a venue that other people have favourited. Perhaps if there is such a venue, you should be allowed only to relinquish ownership, with ownership passing to whoever's favourited it.

Of course if it's been favourited more than once, I guess you'll just have to pass ownership to whoever did it first.

Edited: Mar 5, 2008, 2:56am Top

Sheesh. I've been entering lots of "incomplete" information - partly because I don't like entering other people's/organizations' email addresses, even if they're public (call it a quirk), and partly because I don't always know all the relevant information like wifi etc., or have the time to do the research to find it out every time. It's a collaborative effort. I generally enter enough information for someone to find a venue and contact them by phone, and other people can add more information if they want to - and this is not always a lot more than the required fields. But I don't think we can say everyone should do anything any particular way, in an endeavor like this.
(edited for omitted word)

Mar 5, 2008, 6:45am Top

When you delete a venue, the "10 most recently deleted venues" shows "deleted by X"...but X is the person who added the venue, not the person who deleted it!

Mar 5, 2008, 6:53am Top

I'm not sure you should be allowed to delete a venue that other people have favourited. Perhaps if there is such a venue, you should be allowed only to relinquish ownership, with ownership passing to whoever's favourited it.

When you delete, it could ask why; if it's a duplicate, get the venue number it's a duplicate of and redirect people who have favorited it there (send them a message saying they should do that, I suppose, to avoid people malignantly deleting venues and sending people to some unrelated place; if it's unarchived, that can be cancelled for the others)

Mar 5, 2008, 8:38am Top

So, once again to the LT staff: can we please have something like a brief guide or at least the equivalent of a disambiguation/notice page (perhaps visible only to those logged in) at the top of each Local page?

I agree that it would be useful to have some way to communicate with other contributors. I'd like to have a comment wall or something on the main Local page where people can discuss how to go about adding venues.

I think it's worth mentioning here that editing a venue takes as much or more time than adding one.

I disagree here. Certainly, the things that I've left out are the things that require more time to check, but that's the same whether it's done with the initial entry or later. Entering everything at the beginning would have led me, like you, to give up and focus on something smaller.

a large number of incomplete entries that need to be done all over again

I strongly disagree here. An incomplete entry does not have to be done "all over again"; it takes a significant amount of time just to enter the address and phone number, time which is saved for the subsequent editor.

But I'm happy to leave the rest of the TPL to you, to enter in whatever way you see fit.

Let me know when you're done; I know several local librarians who are on LT and I want to introduce Local to them, but only when it's in a more complete state.

Edited: Mar 5, 2008, 8:59am Top

Would it be possible to add a "number of" upcoming events and maybe wall comments to the summary listing of venues on the local and favorite pages?

Tattered Cover Book Store - Historic LoDo
(0.7 miles) Upcoming Events(9) Comments(2)
1628 16th Street, Denver, CO 80202

Mar 5, 2008, 9:48am Top

>295 Existanai: The private LT Local group is part of the group Board for Extreme Thing Advances. Tim has invited anyone who would like to join to leave him a comment.

That thread was used before Local went live. It's no longer being used - all comments are coming here.

Mar 5, 2008, 9:53am Top

Has anyone written an e-mail for contacting venues about LTL? I'd contact some of our local places, but I'm not exactly sure what all I need to tell them.

Mar 5, 2008, 10:00am Top

There are two Left Bank Books added in St. Louis. (Duplicate venue). What is being done about all the duplicates?

Mar 5, 2008, 10:18am Top

Letter for LT Local - I have been entering used and independent stores. I have sent the following note to some of them and had a few replies. I will send more notes as I have time.

Hi - I just wanted to let you know that I have listed your bookstore on LibraryThing Local. I knew of your shop because (whatever).

If you are not familiar with LibraryThing, you can read about it here.

How can bookstores use LibraryThing?

I listed your store here:
(LT Local page - if multiple locations, list all)

LibraryThing Local is a new feature that just went live. Members can add bookstores, libraries, book fairs, etc. and list upcoming local events. This is going to be a wonderful resource for the book-insane, especially those of us who travel.

Other members have already entered many locations for the big box stores. I wanted to make sure that used and independent stores get some attention too. The books are more interesting and the service is better.

Anyway, please check it out. I think you will like it. At the very least, please check the way I entered your information, and feel free to clean up, enhance, add a photo and/or RSS feed, etc.

Mar 5, 2008, 10:29am Top

I like your letter, oregon - ok to borrow it?

Mar 5, 2008, 11:19am Top

Sure, maybe post some improvements if you change it.

Mar 5, 2008, 11:37am Top

#285, timspalding:
"LT members are invited to visit my lawn. I suspect I'd wake up the next morning to discover a gazebo, a maze and a topiary garden."

Barbecue??? (I'd swim across.)

#275, koffieyahoo, re. privacy:
I am also looking forward to privacy options (other than making the library private and emptying the profile) :-)

Mar 5, 2008, 2:05pm Top

289 Partial info

In general, I think that partial information isn't that bad. Whether users focus on it or not, it will get better. It's only two days old. The Wiki principle is a powerful one.

If someone doesn't know if a place has free wifi, that's okay. It's not, after all, saying "Does NOT have wifi" if it's not clicked. Often a place has it, but it's new, or hasn't been mentioned on the website.


I was thinking it could list the last "X" you entered on the right and allow you to click one to copy-populate the data. That would work, right?

a private LibraryThing Local group


Ah. The Board for Expreme Thing Advances. So the idea of that group is that it's for unreleased features. It's not an elite group. I'll let anyone in. But you're expected not to talk about the features--which are often public and simply not ready for prime time--outside of the group.


Nice letter. I have some changes that I think improve it. I'll move it to the wiki as soon as the site is up.

Mar 5, 2008, 2:41pm Top

Question about wifi--does checking the box imply that it's available to anyone? I think all the University of Toronto buildings have wifi, but you need to sign in with a University of Toronto account to use it.

Mar 5, 2008, 3:00pm Top

re: Private LibraryThing Local Group
The private group was created by me last night in the expectation that we could open it up today. I've talked to Tim and he feels like we can just roll Local discussion into the current standing groups so that's what we'll do. No separate group for Local right now. Maybe later if the need arises.

298 Fixed that. Sorry. I also changed the sort so that the most recently deleted venue is at the top.

299We may add some optional deletion information to the delete mechanism but for now I just wanted to get it working. We'll visit it again soon.

Mar 5, 2008, 3:28pm Top

Hmm. I think Local could use its own group.

Mar 5, 2008, 3:34pm Top

#309 - Tim, and #297: "But I don't think we can say everyone should do anything any particular way, in an endeavor like this." - rsterling

I guess my posts aren't clear enough (or long enough :) !) I don't think there are any specific ways of filling out information that we should impose on people. However, given the widespread availability of information for most places with websites, I think it's important that people check out as much information as possible. If I can't find an email despite looking at the front page, the contact page, and the "about us" page, then I don't bother with an email. If an Events URL isn't obvious, I don't bother with it. If the only website available is an ABE search page, I don't input it (of course, the value of this is "subjective".)

But I try to complete the fields. My point is simply that people should enter as much information as they can in one go, especially when it is right there on the site. Further, two or three people working on the same city can help each other out by pointing to sources or suggesting ways in which all the information can be filled out. To me the benefits of this are obvious, but for some reason people almost seem to be looking for a reason not to do this.

Since Wikipedia is a favoured example, let me repeat what I guess you already know: each article comes with a talk page and notices that people can use for the editing community alone and for the readership at large.

Message 300: _Zoe_

"Certainly, the things that I've left out are the things that require more time to check... it takes a significant amount of time just to enter the address and phone number, time which is saved for the subsequent editor.

As I've said before, you're doing a great job. However, whether I spend more time checking your entries or editing your entries, I am still spending time on them, when I could be doing something better; and if on the long term I have to recheck or edit most of them, then more time has been lost in the collective effort than has been saved.

"But I'm happy to leave the rest of the TPL to you, to enter in whatever way you see fit. Let me know when you're done; I know several local librarians who are on LT and I want to introduce Local to them, but only when it's in a more complete state."

I am not in the least interested in entering every branch of the TPL, as I mentioned above. I stick to whatever I think is notable and useful. Of course, if everyone decides on a way to add entries consistently and split up the work, I'd be happy to complete my quota. I only started adding and editing TPL branches because some major branches and useful data were left out.

My current LT Local projects include adding notable bookshops around the world that I have frequented or know of. This has already taken up many hours simply to research, because not only do some of these stores have no online presence, they aren't known to those who've never lived in or visited the respective neighbourhoods, cities or countries. Besides, my memory is unreliable so sometimes I am just honing my search terms. Most information on the net is clustered around the English-speaking West.

As for introducing your librarian friends, I don't think it is necessary to wait for any reason. They could lend a hand themselves.

Mar 5, 2008, 4:04pm Top

I'm very much hoping that libraries and bookstores stumble upon this and help out. We seeded that a bit with notices to a major listserv for library web professionals. And I think it's going to go out in the next Abe booksellers email, and to a regional association.

Issues of data quality and integrit aren't ones I want to get into. I think most contributions help, and find that the more you try to tell people what to do, the less they do. That said, I understand the potential for frustration.

I'll shut up and get venue combination working.


Mar 5, 2008, 4:07pm Top

I've moved the "Delete venue" option off of the main venue page. You must now go to "Edit this venue" and you can delete the venue from there (on the right side over there).

Edited: Mar 5, 2008, 4:19pm Top

What do people think about this one I just added?

"Museum of Fine Arts (museum and shop)"

I was going to add two venues--the museum, which hosts events, and the gift shop, which is one of the better art-book stores in the area. But even if the same-location issue were fixed, I still think it would be overkill. Adding "museum and shop" seems like a good compromise to me. I kept it as an "other."

What do people think?

Mar 5, 2008, 4:28pm Top

>316 timspalding:
It's possible that they also have an excellent library--three venues. And each may have their own events.

Could venues that are related be linked--cross referenced-- to one another in some way? (address, maybe)

Mar 5, 2008, 4:32pm Top

>316 timspalding: My inclination would have been to list it as a bookstore, because while I can see myself browsing for places to buy books, and wouldn't want to miss it, I can't see myself browsing for places to other... but that's totally a personal preference issue.

Other (heh) than that, I think it's a completely reasonable way to do it - more so than making two separate listings for two obviously affiliated venues, I think.

Mar 5, 2008, 4:39pm Top

I am not in the least interested in entering every branch of the TPL... I only started adding and editing TPL branches because some major branches and useful data were left out.

That's the problem: it's boring, and even entering only the basic information it's slow going, so not all of the branches can be done immediately.

However, whether I spend more time checking your entries or editing your entries, I am still spending time on them

You have no obligation to check them. I can tell you immediately what they do and don't contain: they do contain the address and telephone number; they don't contain the website, events site, or wifi status. This has been done for all branches up to P.

I wouldn't advise editing them systematically until we have the option of sorting venues alphabetically; until then, you would have to waste time searching. But I expect that alphabetical sorting will be available in the very near future.

Once alphabetical sorting is available, I really don't think the time spent is greater if one person enters the basic information and someone else (or the same person at a later time) adds the websites, compared to one person adding everything immediately. This is especially the case given that with the wireless I use most of the time, loading extra pages to check the events address would actually cause a significant delay.

each article comes with a talk page and notices that people can use for the editing community alone and for the readership at large.

I really think we need something like this. For now, though, I guess this is the place for TPL discussion.

Have you finished entering which branches have wifi, and if not, is there a list of them somewhere, or have you just been finding that information from each branch site?

Of course, if everyone decides on a way to add entries consistently and split up the work, I'd be happy to complete my quota.

I think everyone agrees that ultimately the goal is to include all the information, including websites. I don't think the process matters, as long as we do it systematically and keep track of what's been done (e.g., I know that I haven't included the websites. At a later time I can go back and add them, or someone else looking for a way to contribute can go back and add them). If you want to work on the TPL on top of everything else you're doing, I'd suggest starting at the bottom of the alphabet and working your way up.

Edited: Mar 5, 2008, 4:52pm Top


I think keeping it as a single venue is good. Many museum libraries have all kinds of rules for those not closely associated with the profession that museum is run by. I think it is easier to get to the LT venue, go to the website, and then figure out what you want to do from there. I did note that the MFA Library is not located at its main building. Other seems ok, too. It seems to me that the MFA has little book buying places, perhaps associated with special exhibits, which obviously are inaccessible to the general public without paying the admission.

Mar 5, 2008, 5:02pm Top

>313 Existanai:

Okay, for the event website in particular it makes absolutely no sense to enter it for each library as that library is added, going to the trouble of selecting the right branch from a drop-down menu, when the event site is shared between upwards of 20 branches. In this case, it's really just much less effort to copy the address once and then add it to multiple venues at one time (as soon as there's alphabetical sorting, that is).

Mar 6, 2008, 12:03am Top

This maybe a stupid question, but I ask it anyway: isn't wifi same as WLAN (wireles local area network)? Or does it mean some special kind of WLAN? Many public libraries in Finland have free WLANs. I don't think that people in Finland use the term wifi so I translated wifi into WLAN.

Mar 6, 2008, 12:18am Top

Yes, it's the same.

Mar 6, 2008, 12:28am Top

>310 _Zoe_:

I think yes, it should be free wireless networks. It doesn't much help to know that there is a wireless network if you cannot use it.

Mar 6, 2008, 12:50am Top

Well, technically even non-free wireless networks are available to you....you just have to pay the fee to use them. Like in most airports (damn them). I would include those but might make mention of the fact in the description or comment wall: "Wifi is not freely accessible" or something. On the other hand, closed wireless networks (password needed or VPN needed) that you can't pay to access should not be considered because you really can't get to them in any way.

Mar 6, 2008, 11:28am Top

Hey, 12% event satuation is pretty good!

Mar 6, 2008, 5:51pm Top

> 322

According to Wikipedia:

"Wi-Fi (pronounced wye fye, IPA: /ˈwaɪfaɪ/), a wireless-technology brand owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance, promotes standards with the aim of improving the interoperability of wireless local area network products based on the IEEE 802.11 standards."

Should we be using their brand at all?

Mar 6, 2008, 6:28pm Top

No, I don't want to get into the trademark issue. Not all wifi equipment is approved by them.

Mar 6, 2008, 8:34pm Top

> 316 "Museum of Fine Arts (museum and shop)"

Other things are already starting to appear, because the interface is easy to use. I've seen a theater already. You may have to decide what you want to do about this (if anything; it may not be controllable in any event).

I'm restraining myself from starting to enter historic cemeteries.

Mar 6, 2008, 9:52pm Top

Well, if there are events there...

Mar 7, 2008, 9:46am Top

--> 330

Well, there are "readings" at cemeteries...

*great idea follows:* :D

By the way, I know what else might be *really* fun for LT Local. How about listing the top comments for favorited places? I would love to be able to see these new comments as they swing by. It might help others discover a new and charming book-related venue. Whatcha think?

Mar 7, 2008, 10:11am Top

Marvelous, (no, really.. I even added some shops near me, and I'm in the middle of nowhere) but really what I want to do with my catalogue is to split it into "Own" and "wishlist" and have the "Own" split further into rooms/bookcases/shelves. Then I want to be able to carry both lists around with me on my iPod so that when I am in a second-hand book shop, I can know whether I need this book or not.

LTL is fun, but let's get back to basics.

Mar 7, 2008, 10:35am Top

330> I posted a suggestion about that got nary a comment. To repeat, do we really want every coffee shop or cemetary or private residence where someone is holding a reading or a book club to become a permanent dot on the map? I suggested a new venue type of temporary that is removed as soon as the event is removed. Though, come to think of it, that could still leave a private home that is the location of a book club on the list for a long time. Perhaps a venue type that doesn't show up on the map, only the associated event does?

Mar 7, 2008, 10:52am Top

--> 333

Perhaps a venue type that doesn't show up on the map, only the associated event does?

That venue type is covered by "other" which can be an organization or "festival" which is a generic term for a recurring event.

I see no problem with listing any non-bookstore venues as other as long as they are holding bona fide book-related events.

I would draw the line, though, at listing a person's private residence. That situation can be listed by the book group's name (and, yes, each book group will need a name to be listed!) with "Call Mrs. X at 999-999-9999 for further information."

I disagree about "temporary" venues. I don't think that is compatible with a database that seeks to compile a list of permanent information. (For example, Tim wants to hold on to past events for a while even though they no longer exist. Why? Perhaps because they would have associated "wall comments" which would be helpful to those trying to decide whether to attend upcoming events.

Mar 7, 2008, 12:51pm Top

I had thought that perhaps, by default, the maps would show only types 1-3, and not "other." I can't see a good UI for this, however. Is it perhaps enough that you can select only bookstore, only libraries and so forth?

Edited: Mar 7, 2008, 12:56pm Top

> 335

Tim, not showing "other" would eliminate places like the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Cultural Center, and other cultural institutions that often host author events. That would be far more problematic, I think, than not showing "Fairs/Festivals", which are, after all, time-limited.

I like the idea of being able to select what you want to see on the map, as we can in the listing. That makes a good deal of sense.

Mar 7, 2008, 1:00pm Top

I don't know how many private residences are being added, but I believe that coffee shops are. I don't want to see the map watered down with every coffee shop that ever held some book-related event since this feature was introduced.

Mar 7, 2008, 1:06pm Top

I agree with not wanting the maps to get watered down too much with coffee shops and other venues that just happened to have one or two book-related events in the past. As my local map shows NYC, you can see how this could become a problem (hell, the map takes long enough to process as it is).

Maybe there's a way we can put these locations to "sleep" so they don't show up in active listings but are still in the system for when they need to be referenced again?

For the time being I've been limiting my input to cafes that specialize in readings and so forth, like Pete's Candy Store, which hosts a regular series.

Mar 7, 2008, 1:45pm Top

> 338

No kidding about the load time. Can we have a profile preference that we only want to see bookstores initially? And as someone just outside of NYC, I wouldn't mind the map *only* showing the stuff within 5 miles, which is kind of what I expected in the first place.

Mar 7, 2008, 2:05pm Top

I would love an option to turn off the map (at least temporarily). I was adding events this morning to a bookshop in NYC, and having to wait for the map to reload after each one on my slightly-older-and-slower work computer was no fun.

Mar 7, 2008, 2:15pm Top

Can someone point me to the bugs thread?

Mar 7, 2008, 2:24pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Mar 7, 2008, 2:27pm Top

Mar 7, 2008, 2:28pm Top


Mar 7, 2008, 2:39pm Top

--> 343 and 345

Found it now. Thanks for your help!

Mar 8, 2008, 1:28pm Top

I would love to have some way to zoom in on the map (maybe this exists and I just haven't found it?) because in my major urban area the dots overlap so much that I can't click on individual bookstores with any accuracy.

Mar 8, 2008, 1:29pm Top

>347 aviddiva: Top left of the map--there are + and - signs for zoom in and out.

Mar 8, 2008, 1:40pm Top

Thanks -- I guess I'm going blind.

Mar 8, 2008, 1:58pm Top

Best name of a library for the day. Just entered a venue for:

Deposit Free Library

Yes, it really is in the town of Deposit, New York

Mar 8, 2008, 3:07pm Top

You're not the first person to miss the signs. Chris—if you'rer eading—can we get different icons there?

Edited: Mar 8, 2008, 7:59pm Top

Late replies.

#309 Templates: I was thinking it could list the last "X" you entered on the right and allow you to click one to copy-populate the data. That would work, right? - Tim

Yes, this would be great. I think the Google toolbar Autofill feature offers the possibility of customizing fields (instead of recognizing just Name, Address etc.) and I guess I have something similar in mind.

#319 Have you finished entering which branches have wifi, and if not, is there a list of them somewhere, or have you just been finding that information from each branch site? - Zoe

Yes, I'm done. There's an icon on the respective library pages that links to a page with a list of libraries with WiFi.

#321 it's really just much less effort to copy the address once and then add it to multiple venues at one time - Zoe

Yes, it's less work for us, but personally I prefer to provide the direct link since it's right there. One step less for the reader just makes an entry more useful. Of course, it is optional.

Mar 8, 2008, 7:46pm Top

Copying the previous entry would be a big help, especially with libraries, where they seem to have a shared event list, one main phone number, etc.

Mar 8, 2008, 11:32pm Top

I am officially fed up. I've been here for hours and I've still only been able to add a handful of stores to St. Petersburg, Russia. Now, St. Petersburg has a lot of bookstores - probably well over 300 - although "only" 233 are listed at this directory : http://www.shopingplaces.ru/spb/i1_575.html . I can't possibly add them on my own, unless I skip the fine points and simply add contact information in the "description" field (which I am tempted to do.) Besides, there are lots of other neglected venues in other places that need to be done as well.

Despite the warranted euphoria over the ~14000 venues that have been added so far, the current method of adding venues is far, far too time-consuming and inefficient for high volumes.

Part of the problem is Google Maps, which is unreliable. The same address and/or postal code in Google Maps is not recognized when pasted into an LT Local entry. Further, the same address in a foreign language can be transliterated in more than one way, and Google sometimes recognizes its own transliteration, and sometimes doesn't. Also, if you want to add a street name in two different languages it becomes highly unpredictable - sometimes it allows both in the same line, sometimes it only allows one, sometimes it doesn't allow one that it allowed before. This of course is beyond LT's control, but it has to be mentioned because it really bogs down the editing.

The second thing is the lack of a duplicate/template feature as mentioned above. If it was possible to simply enter 20 branches of a chain store at a single shot and then go about adding the street addresses and zip codes later, a lot of time and effort could be saved. I guess this is being worked on, but if it isn't, I think it is absolutely essential, and the sooner we have it, the better.

Taking this a step further - it would be nice if we could simply "import" a location directly from Google Maps, or from the "Saved Maps" feature available in Google accounts. Alternately, a way to parse a well-formatted block of text and turn that into a entry.

Thirdly, if we had a forum or common thread for Local helpers, and we could request collective work with some tips (one or two web pages, what to skip and what to include) the work would be much smoother and/or faster.

Thanks - looking forward to seeing one or more of these implemented soon.

Mar 8, 2008, 11:47pm Top

Alternately - some way of handling "main" entries and branches. One entry with all the key information, such as website, main phone line, central branch/flagship store, etc. and 'sub-entries' that can be added at will, with just an address line, other details being optional.

Mar 9, 2008, 12:31am Top


Thanks for the push. I agree with your basic assessment. I can't change the Google Maps stuff myself. Chris will have to do what he can, if it can be solved.

But I *CAN* add the "duplication" feature you mentioned. So, I just did. (It was easier than I thought.)

I called it "cloning" a venue. You'll see whenever you edit or add a venue. When you edit a venue you'll have an option to clone it instead. And whether you edit or add, you'll always have a list of the last ten venues you've added, with links to clone them.

I hope the way I did it works for you. Clearly event-cloning is a desideratum, but I want to revamp and simplify events before I add this to them.

Mar 9, 2008, 12:34am Top

>356 timspalding:

Let's do comments here: http://www.librarything.com/talktopic.php?topic=31661

This post is simply too long, so I suggest members move off it, unless there's a strong need to backreference.

Mar 9, 2008, 12:45am Top

Wow, fast! Thanks... Will continue in the other thread.

Mar 9, 2008, 12:51am Top

Thanks. I thought it was going to be this hairy thing, and then I realized it was about six lines of code. It felt so good. Well, it's hard to explain sometimes how satisfying programming can be! :)

Mar 9, 2008, 4:18pm Top

Since there's nowhere else to put something like this...

This should really be a fair/festival, shouldn't it:


Mar 9, 2008, 6:22pm Top

--> 360

I think it shouold be listed as a fair/festival because it has a start and end date which are different.

Mar 9, 2008, 8:31pm Top

I just started a group for all LT Local-related discussions:
'LT Local Locos' at http://www.librarything.com/groups/ltlocallocos .

Mar 9, 2008, 10:52pm Top

>>361 SqueakyChu:

I've created a separate page for P-Con and suggested that Central Hotel be merged into it. I would have deleted the hotel page, but two users have favorited the event.

Mar 10, 2008, 2:42am Top

I've added event cloning and some related features

Mar 13, 2008, 4:21pm Top

Help! The venues in my area (see Local area: Redondo Beach, CA) have expanded in seems 10-fold in one week! All the many local public libraries are noting ALL events, not just book events. We see listed: origami paper folding events, view the moon through a telescope event, a local travel program for kids, birthday parties for American Girl girls, fashion fun with paper dolls, etc. If you continue to allow libraries and other venues from entering ALL events, not just book-related events, the Local feature pages will get so cluttered that users looking for book events will not see them. Are these other non-book-related events allowed? Are you doing anything to discourage them?

Mar 13, 2008, 4:30pm Top

I would help clear out some of the event clutter if we could view events by library / bookstore / festival / other like we can for venues.

Mar 13, 2008, 6:43pm Top

Cristiguc, I don't think if your suggestion would help my clutter problem much. It wouldn't stop the non-book events from being added by venues that offer them along with more traditional book events. In my neck of the woods (a beach city of Los Angeles -- Redondo Beach to be exact) it seems like some of the best book events are at "Other" venues ... for example: The Hammer Museum has Michael Ondaatje reading from Divisadero, and UCLA's Royce Hall has the following fascinating authors coming up:Stephen Sondheim, Garrison Keillor, Azar Nafis, ec...of course, in time I could make these two sites and others I find, my "Favorites;" however, I haven't been successful in figuring out how this works.
Again, my problem is too many non-book-related events being entered from traditional book-related venues like public libraries.

Mar 13, 2008, 8:48pm Top

>367 msbaba: (good lord!)

To favorite a venue, you need to click on the little grey star until it turns yellow (one click, but you may have to wait a second). The grey stars are either at the bottom of the venue listing (just above the Edit venue, etc link bar), marked Favorite this venue, or to the left of the venue name in the list (on the Local Home page or a location search page).

Edited: Mar 14, 2008, 3:16pm Top

>>365 msbaba:

Unfortunately, it looks like the idea of "book-related events" is subjective, since as the one who entered in the American Girl stores and their events, I only added the events that WERE book-related (to me at least). There were events like beauty tips or financial advice (seriously!) for young girls, but I didn't add those because they were not connected to a book in any way. But the birthday parties and crafting events were added because they directly tied into the AG books. I don't see why the idea of a book-related event has to be limited to readings and signings; I think say, a historical lecture where you learn more about the era where a book was set, or a costume party where you dress up as the characters can be just as valid a celebration of the book.

It might be nice to have a feature where you can put venues on "ignore"; like the opposite of "favorites."

(Edited for typo.)

Mar 14, 2008, 1:39pm Top

>369 lampbane:

Agreed. I think that's the only answer, other than some gentle prodding in the help text. Almost everything that happens in a bookstore or library can be book related, and to some degree I want to know what's going on at the library, especially when I look at the venue page, not just readings and etc.

Edited: Mar 14, 2008, 1:51pm Top

...and to some degree I want to know what's going on at the library (#370)

Exactly. For example, Brooklyn Public Library holds things like homework help and ESL classes, which aren't really book-related (at least, not to a particular book), But these events are still held by and at Brooklyn Public Library branches.

Mar 14, 2008, 4:15pm Top

No, the problem is that—well, for example, every library in 25 miles has story time, often almost every day. That can really junk up the results.

Mar 14, 2008, 6:01pm Top

We've reached 20,000 venues!

Mar 14, 2008, 6:44pm Top

I think it very cool that LibraryThing Local events show up on an author's page. I was dismayed, however, to notice that an "upcoming" event was dated yesterday.

I do know that it's a problem of a 24 hour span of time not being deleted until that particular day has ended around the world. Perhaps the statement instead should say something like: (The author) has 1 "current" event.

Mar 14, 2008, 6:49pm Top

>374 SqueakyChu:

Whoops. They're not supposed to be showing up yet. Another piece of code that got pushed wrongly.

Anyway, I don't mind them showing up, but they're messing with the styling a bit.

Mar 14, 2008, 6:51pm Top

By the way, I just realized now that they're not just showing *local* events, but rather all events by a particular author. Local events seem more reasonable, but I'm not sure what you (and others) prefer).

Mar 14, 2008, 6:53pm Top

The intent is that the area is hidden until you click for it. I'll get to it after dinner.

Mar 14, 2008, 6:54pm Top

Back to the 'other' question. I have added the shop at the Tate Britain gallery today. It is a good source of art books and, despite selling all sorts of other stuff, deserves IMHO to be designated as a bookshop. Now the Tate Gallery hosts lots of events - art related and generally nothing to do with the shop - which I would not expect to see here, nor would I make the Gallery a venue. Is that OK by others?

Mar 14, 2008, 6:58pm Top

--> 378

Sounds fine to me. I'd do the same thing.

Edited: Mar 25, 2008, 11:19am Top

Are there any 'rules' regarding adding borderline professional-type events? I've no wish to see LTLocal disappear under the plethora of library conference but there's an event of fairly broad scope (Cities of Reading, Cities of Literature
- organised by the Scottish Centre for the Book in partnership with the Scottish Arts Council and Edinburgh City of Literature) which is intended for arts administrators, reading development officers, librarians and others who wish to learn about this field and might also appeal to non-professionals involved with community reading, book groups etc

Mar 25, 2008, 9:20am Top

> 372

What about a "recurring events" section for a venue?

So that, rather than a dozen listing for the "Story Time" that's held every Wednesday at 2:00, there would be one listing in a separate area: "Story Time: every Wednesday at 2:00".

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