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Recommend Site Improvements

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Edited: Dec 3, 2014, 8:47pm Top

On another thread, I've been reading remarks about how out-of-date much information on LT Local is...to the disappointment of those who use the app Readar to find used bookshops.

My idea is to have one week at LT dedicated to "helpers" who wish to work on updating the information local to the area in which they live both for the regular entries and Little Libraries.

This would be too much work for one person, but if we get all LT active members interested in doing this, our data base will become much more thorough and helpful.

For example, there are now about 20,000 Little Free Libraries worldwide, yet LT lists only about 3,000 or so of them. The mapping at the Little Free Library website (littlefreelibrary.org) has not improved all that much since we did the original "Little Libraries" feature here on LT.

There are many, many defunct bookstores, but it's often hard to tell online which ones are still open and which are defunct. A quick "drive-by" by an LT member who lives near these stores and an LT update could help immensely when it comes time for visitors to that area who are looking for them.

So, Tim, could we have a "LT LOCAL WEEK" some time in 2015 to work on this issue?

Thank you! :)

Dec 3, 2014, 6:49pm Top

>1 SqueakyChu: What a great idea. I am willing to help out in my local area.

Dec 3, 2014, 9:43pm Top

Thanks. I'm asking Lorannen to put this on her list to think about. I very much like the idea. I think, to succeed, it needs to be tied to a revamp of something.

Edited: Dec 3, 2014, 9:51pm Top

Great! Whenever you or Lorannen get around to it would be fine with me. No hurry, though.

A lot of effort went into making LT Local. I'd hate to see it become less useful as the information it contains gets more outdated, and information we could be inputting never gets entered at all.

Dec 4, 2014, 12:46am Top

I think it makes sense, too.

I go on binges every so often to add events, and to clear out non-book events (such as sing-alongs and movie nights). But what really drive me nuts are the duplicate events, the events with missing info, events labeled "OFF-SITE!" that don't say where they actually are, Closed for Christmas "events", etc.)

> 1

Squeaky, is there a way you know of to locate Little Free Libraries? I know of one that doesn't show anywhere on the LFL site's map, and wonder if there's another source.

Dec 4, 2014, 1:20am Top

Events is hard. We add them automatically. It's hard to do much more.

Dec 4, 2014, 1:24am Top

> 6

I know. But if we did a dedicated week, that could include cleaning up some of these events as well as venues.

Dec 4, 2014, 7:09am Top

Definitely a thumbs up, +1, whathaveyou for this!

Dec 4, 2014, 7:26am Top

I would add some different sections to the page, splitting public libraries from academic libraries, giving booksellers a separate section. I live in a university town where the Local Venues section is overwhelmed by the academic libraries.

In fact, the current list for Cambridge (UK) has an additional 200+ venues, but clicking the link doesn't bring up the full list? It just seems to give the original selection without the link?

Edited: Dec 4, 2014, 9:57am Top

>5 lilithcat:

is there a way you know of to locate Little Free Libraries?

There are two current sources of this information. Both of them can be found on the Little Free Library website:
1. http://littlefreelibrary.org/ourmap/
2. http://littlefreelibrary.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/World-Map-Appendix-1.1-1...

Little free libraries that are not registered at the Little Free Library website have no charter number and are just known in the neighborhoods in which they are found. These are simply not "official" Little Free Libraries. It is also possible that you have found an "official" Little Free Library that has not yet made it to the LFL website's map or index. There is a time lag (sometimes a long one) between when the LFL fee is paid to that website and when that LFL gets listed on the index. New LFLs are no longer listed on their map due to a "map malfunction".

Feel free to add any other Official BookCrossing Zones or other "Little Libraries" that are not part of the official Little Free Library website here to LT Local as well.

RaveTracer (a Bookcrosser) is setting up a new web-based database of such information because the information about "little libraries" is still woefully incomplete. You can read about what this BookCrosser is doing here:

Ironically, as more bookstores close, little libraries are continuing to multiply everywhere!

Dec 4, 2014, 9:59am Top

Another project for "LT Local Week" might be to get add pictures of the venues for those that have no picture at all. I like to add pictures of Little Free Libraries near me because they are so unique and interesting, but I can't take pictures of 20,000 of them worldwide! :)

Dec 4, 2014, 6:19pm Top

As I wrote in the other thread, my use case (and that of others) involves visiting as many used bookstores as I can in a city I may be visiting. The current Local system lets me down in a couple areas:

* There's little or no distinction between new and used bookstores. When traveling, I don't wish to see new stores most of the time. In an ideal world it would be nice if the Readar app could allow a filter to see just locations of a type (e.g. used stores or stores with used books).

* There may be some stale listings in terms of whether a store is open and also details such as hours, phone, etc.

The LiteraryTourist.com site tries to cover some of the things that Local is working towards.

I can go into further detail, if desired.


Dec 4, 2014, 7:40pm Top

>1 SqueakyChu: The mapping at the Little Free Library website has not improved all that much since we did the original "Little Libraries" feature here on LT.
>10 SqueakyChu: It is also possible that you have found an "official" Little Free Library that has not yet made it to the LFL website's map or index.

I am aware of six Little Free Libraries with charter numbers in my city (I've added all to LibraryThing w/ photos), and only one of them is on the LFL map; another is listed in the PDF. Some of the charter numbers are old, but in addition to paying for a charter number, it’s necessary to officially register by sending in a form and photo, and apparently many people (including me) don’t bother.

Edited: Dec 4, 2014, 7:52pm Top

apparently many people (including me) don’t bother.

So the only way to find and list these LFLs here on LT is to happen upon them by chance...or to have one of our own! :)

A friend of mine did actually spot a LFL with no charter number. She drove by this structure and then later asked me if it was a Little Free Library. It was! :)

Little Free Library in Catonsville, Maryland, USA

Dec 12, 2014, 7:02pm Top

>3 timspalding: Well, a revamp is always nice...but what I'd like to see is a regularly-scheduled LT Local Cleanup Week. Something like...the last week in June, or the third week of February, or whenever; announcement via blog and State of the Thing a few weeks in advance, plus threads; and maybe something (badges?) as rewards. Nothing tangible, that's too much - and accurate is more important than volume, anyway.

Ooh, I know! Next time you plan a revamp of whatever (Add Books, a bug-fixing spree, whatever's next), have a Fix LT Local week just before. So the revamp is our reward, even though it's not directly linked. It would work on me.

Edited: Mar 24, 2015, 12:05pm Top

This is a fun idea. If you're looking for Local improvements to make beforehand, here are some that I'd like to see:

-Ability to sort bookstores in a city by number of favourites/number of books purchased there
-A map view that highlights how many favourites/book purchases a given bookstore has
-The ability to write personal reviews of venues (ideally with ratings), like we can for books. The comments feature doesn't seem particularly effective.
-Add "remaindered" as an option for the type of books sold
-Give some indication from the main venue page when there are more venue photos available
-Tag mirrors of the books purchased at the venue

Nov 10, 2015, 10:06am Top

Is this still an idea floating around in someone's brain? Maybe a 2016 project? *grins*

Nov 10, 2015, 10:52am Top

Times flies. *sigh*

Nov 10, 2015, 10:55am Top

There are now 3,452 Little Free Libraries on LT Local, but there are now about 32,000 of them worldwide. Obviously we're not keeping up with this on LT.

As an FYI to LFL stewards and visitors, LT Local is a great way of printing up local LFLs to visit when you're traveling. A printed list is not something that the littlefreelibrary.org website provides.

Nov 10, 2015, 11:13am Top

I say we organize this ourselves. Like flash mob cataloging...only flash mob venue-ing?

Nov 10, 2015, 12:57pm Top

I have very limited time to do this now, but I'll be happy to do what I can.

Edited: Nov 10, 2015, 3:38pm Top

It will be much harder to do LFLs now as there is no one long list of LFLs. Each LFL must be located on the organization's website map, and none of the information can be copied and pasted elsewhere. It has proven very frustrating for me as I've tried to simply enter those LFLs near me.

Nov 10, 2015, 3:11pm Top

I add local Little Free Libraries as I encounter them in RL, and I have vague aspirations to deal with the LFL site map for the entire state, but time is limited. If there's an official LibraryThing effort, I'll contribute my bit if I can.

Nov 10, 2015, 3:14pm Top

I'd happily add the Little Free Libraries in my neighborhood, but I haven't had enough spare time to look up charter numbers or take photos as SqueakyChu suggested previously, so I haven't done so yet.

Edited: Nov 10, 2015, 3:37pm Top

I also add them as I encounter them in RL and try to add charter number, picture, and add a comment...as some are better than others! :)

Nov 13, 2015, 7:55am Top

I rarely find them. I added one earlier because I stumbled across it. Thought about the huge stack of books to cull from my set, figured I'd go back... Just haven't had time. LOL

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