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Planning your own flash-mob?

Flash-Mob Cataloging

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Feb 26, 2009, 5:43pm Top

We'll help you get organized, give you tips, and we'll even send you some CueCats, tshirts, and laptop stickers to give away...

Check out the Flash-mob wiki page for more on what we've done before.

Feb 26, 2009, 7:22pm Top

I have seriously thought about asking our PTO to help with a one-day catalog everything in sight event.

While our son (LT member bwa32) was here over winter break he and his Dad joined me for part of a Sunday and we put about 600 books into the school catalog. We also went to the pizza place next door for lunch. So it's possible if the right weekend can be found.

Tricia in South Carolina (aka hailelib)

Feb 27, 2009, 9:30am Top

Trish--hey, let me know if you decide to do this--I might be able to round up some help.

Amanda from South Carolina (islandisee)

Mar 2, 2009, 9:47am Top

I probably will try to set up something but don't really know when. We still have several thousand titles still to be cataloged so doing it on my own is a bit slow, especially since I only work part time.


Mar 7, 2009, 5:34pm Top

We got 1300 books added to our church library catalog this morning with lunch and good fellowship as the only incentives, very little experience, and no CueCats :) We had 11 adult volunteers plus a few kids, set up tables with power strips and just had everybody start on a different shelf and work their way along.

There's a photo posted at http://news.zionbuffalo.org/2009/03/07/1573-and-counting/

Angela in MN

Mar 7, 2009, 5:57pm Top

Good work!!

Mar 13, 2009, 10:26am Top

Perhaps I may have a Flash-Mob Cataloging possibility here in Philadelphia, PA. I will need help in locating members who can participate. Perhaps someone can suggest how that can be done.

The organization does have free parking, an amazing library room with lots of tables and chairs for working space, and a real need to catalog their more recent books. Until I get a firm answer from the organization involved, I cannot say much more.

Mar 19, 2009, 11:36am Top

We can blog about your flash-mob to get you volunteers, once you've got more details!

Mar 23, 2009, 10:39am Top

To find members, I would suggest looking for Talk threads about geographical location near Philly. Like Abby said, we can help you drum up volunteers, but we'll need to know at least some details first - email when you have enough to get us started.

Mar 25, 2009, 6:41am Top

Right now, I would guess that this cataloging would be sometime in the summer.

Apr 1, 2009, 11:02pm Top

The Puerto Rican Cultural Center library in Chicago is in desperate need of a flashmob from LT! Right now a few of us have taken on the cataloging as a class project for community informatics students at the U of I's library science school, but then we got this crazy idea that it would be way more productive to have the whole thing finished in one fell swoop, rather than having disparate classes poke away at it over a few years (which is what's been happening). We have a good start this semester, but there's still a few thousand books left to go.

Right now we've been having cataloging parties every Sunday. Any chance we could drum up a flashmob from the Chicagoland area to show up one of those Sundays sometime in the next month and a half to finish this thing once and for all?

If anyone wants to help, ask questions, or generally collaborate on getting this organized, let me know at sbjackman@gmail.com


Edited: Apr 8, 2009, 9:20am Top

We have set up a fairly firm date of May 30 for ours. It will be at Clemson Montessori School in Clemson, SC. More info will be forthcoming soon.

Tricia (aka hailelib)

Apr 11, 2009, 11:57pm Top

This Sunday, April 19, the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Chicago will host a flash-mob to catalog the 1-2,000 books left in their library! The flash-mob will start at 11 am and go until 3 - or until the books are cataloged, whichever happens first.

The PRCC is located at 2700 W Haddon in the Paseo Boricua neighborhood. Take the Division exit off 90/94, go about 2 miles West on Division, then turn left on Washtenaw. The PRCC is on the NW corner of Haddon and Washtenaw. There's plenty of free street parking.

Feel free to just show up on the day, or send a message ahead of time to let us know you're coming so we'll know how many to expect! Sarah Jackman (sbjackman@gmail.com) is the contact person for this flash-mob. Feel free to call her at (608) 330-0865 or send her an email.

We hope lots of Chicago-area LibraryThingers will come out to help - can't wait to see you all there!

Apr 14, 2009, 11:34am Top

Sorry I just saw this! I'm blogging about it right now! Let me know if there's anything you'd like me to add to it.

Apr 15, 2009, 10:27pm Top

>13 PRCClibrarycatalog:

I just saw the blog post and have sent you an email. I plan on schlepping out to help!

Apr 17, 2009, 9:54am Top

Anyone available to form a mob for the Olympia, WA area?

Apr 17, 2009, 7:20pm Top

Hey, I have my own cuecat and since I'm done with my home library, I have no where to use it, sniff. Anyone thinking of having a catalogueing (sp?) party in the south of Boston, MA area? I'm your girl!! (and I can bring world famous chocolate chip cookies..........!)

Apr 28, 2009, 2:07am Top

If some friends and I were going to Flashmob a Legacy Library, could we snag some cuecats?

I've been slowing entering E.E. Cummings library from the Uni of Texas, Austin catalog... and then remembered that I JUST MOVED TO AUSTIN! So I'm chatting with one of the librarians at the school about just coming in and Flashmobing it. Has anyone else Flashmobbed just a particular specialty library within a larger library?

Apr 28, 2009, 8:24am Top

If the Cummings books are already entered into the UT catalog, I'm not sure I understand the point of the flash mob. (I.e., you don't need people to be physically present in Austin to catalog them).

Apr 28, 2009, 1:27pm Top

I agree with #19 -- couldn't you just recruit helpers from all over to create the Legacy Library from the online catalog?

Apr 28, 2009, 7:41pm Top

>19 Katya0133:, 20

yes, and that's basically what we've been doing- manually entering his whole collection.

it was just that i realized that i could physically go down to the library and scan books faster than i could enter them. but then i realized that most of his books aren't going to have handy barcodes, so that idea is probably bust anyway.

Apr 28, 2009, 8:47pm Top

>21 leahbird:

Ah, I see. Yeah, if there were barcodes, that would help.

Still, though, there might be something to the idea of an orchestrated push to finish a particular Legacy Library . . . a "virtual" flash mob? :)

Apr 29, 2009, 4:08pm Top

Actually, you could use a flashmob on site as an incentive for folks to be able to actually see and touch his books and get it done. That would be cool!

May 1, 2009, 10:50am Top

I suppose part of the flash-mob concept is the socialization of the mob - we just can't let it get out of hand:

Oct 11, 2009, 7:15am Top

The global flash mob community meets up on http://www.flashmob.tv . Flashmobbers from all over the world get the opportunity to register their events, search for events, post videos, find videos from other flash mob events and much more.The website flashmob.tv is multilingual. The database is international/ global.

Edited: Jan 29, 2010, 10:57am Top

Has anyone tried to do or considered doing some flash-mob cataloguing in London?

May 22, 2010, 12:33pm Top

We are a one-room log cabin library in the North Woods of Wisconsin--Wabeno, Forest County, and if there are any LibraryThing folk out there who are year-rounders, or who vacation in northern Wi or environs, I would love to be able to have a flash-mob event. We will appreciate advice and tips even if we can't round up new volunteers from LibrayThing users.
Carol Lee Hughes
Director, Wabeno Library
You can contact us at

May 25, 2010, 1:58am Top

How many books do you have?

Feb 8, 2012, 2:20pm Top

I've been slowly plodding through cataloging my daughter's 5th grade classroom books. I've been doing an hour or two alone for months and I've hardly got a quarter of the way through. But I have been learning how LibraryThing works and thinking through the best tags and collection labels to use. It is definitely time to have a flashmob here! I am in Western Mass if LibraryThing is interested.

Jan 14, 2013, 4:22pm Top

The Indiana Historical Bureau (IHB) maintains a reference collection to support its research for historical markers and other publications. The collection does not circulate, but we do allow researchers to come in and use our resources. We've started cataloging in LibraryThing, so that it would be easier for the public to see what we have, but winter weather and real life chased away our single cataloging volunteer.

We have some oddities in our collection--including a huge number of items that aren't books at all (pamphlets, brochures, coloring books, self-published works etc., all about the history of the state of Indiana and retained so that we can track down and debunk historical myths and prepare historiographical statements). A previous staff member organized everything into a homemade thematic call number system, and I'm retaining those numbers for the grey literature and relegating them to a special area of our library. We're using Library of Congress for the remainder of the collection, and I'd love to reorganize all the books into LOC order once we've gotten them all entered.

We have nearly 600 titles listed now, and we've only made it through half of our first (of 5) rows of shelving in the past year, as there was a steep learning curve for our volunteer (not a digital native) and our staff have a half-dozen other job responsibilities to attend to.

We're located fairly centrally in downtown Indianapolis.

I'm seeking volunteers to assist, and I'm wondering if a flash-mob might be advisable? What would my next steps be if I wanted to organize one?

And, one final question (the most important one--we are a food-obsessed bunch here): Is pizza the generally-accepted food for flash-mobbers, or do they prefer more exotic refreshments while they work?

Thanks! ~Aimee (IHB staff)

Jul 24, 2015, 7:00pm Top

A very encouraging report. We are going to try this soon at Trinity Lutheran, Athens , GA. Any advice?

Oct 13, 2015, 11:36am Top

I posted the details of this weekend's Flash Mob Cataloguing event at the Wiki:


Group: Flash-Mob Cataloging

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