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Collections Wiki Update/Discussion Thread

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Edited: Jun 21, 2009, 4:50pm Top

Collections Wiki Update/Discussion Thread

Before the general release of Collections a number of LT volunteers in the Beta Group put together a Collections Wiki as a resource for use of this new feature. Hopefully this has proven to be helpful!

Collections Wiki Link –

As we all know, LibraryThing is not static – features and functionality change as Tim and his team constantly work to tweak and improve LT. This is one of the great things about this site, but it means that Wikis and Guides can quickly become out of date or incomplete as the software evolves.

With this in mind I propose that we use this “Collections WIki Update/Discussion Thread” as a means to try to keep the Collections Wiki relatively up-to-date. A link to this thread has been placed at the bottom of the Wiki to encourage those who have questions/suggestions to let us know.

What this thread is intended for…

If you see an error in the Collections Wiki – something that is just wrong, or has been updated since the Wiki was written: Please feel free to update the wiki yourself or post here so that the correction can be made.

If you have a question that is not answered by the Collections Wiki (that you think should be): Please ask here – and maybe someone will be able to answer it for us and we can update the Wiki accordingly.

If you have a suggestion for updating the Collections Wiki (but don’t feel comfortable updating it yourself): Please post it here.

Discussion … of the above (and other relevant topics that I inadvertently left out).

What this thread is not intended for…

Bug Reporting – If something related to collections is not working the way that it should be, please post in the appropriate Collections Bug threads in the “Bug Collectors” group.

Bug Collectors Group Link –

Improvement Recommendations (for the feature, not the Wiki) – if you have a great idea about how collections could be made even more fantastic, please post in the “Recommended Site Improvement” group.

RSI Group Link –

NOTE: The Collections Wiki and this thread are volunteer efforts – any and all are encouraged to join in and help make LT as pleasant and as useful for all as it is for us.

Jul 15, 2009, 4:34pm Top

Anyone up for going through other WikiThing pages to make changes to reflect the fact that Collections is now live? No big changes are probably needed, but there are several pages that have sentences like "this will be dealt with by the proposed Collections feature," which could be edited appropriately and linked to the Collections WikiThing page.

For example (and I'm sure there are more):

Some other links that might be useful - search results from the Wiki, pages mentioning:
- collections:
- wishlist:
- "currently reading":

The Widgets page might also need a note on Collections:

Edited: Jul 16, 2009, 8:47am Top

I went to look at some of these thinking I'd help do some changing and, on my first one, found something I thought might be better discussed!


The current text is: Can I have a wishlist that doesn't count as books I own?

A wishlist will be included in the soon-to-be-debuted feature "Collections". Always, you can feel free to add the books you want to your catalog, and tag them 'wishlist', 'wantlist', etc., if you like.

This seems to be a larger 'philosophy of collections' question than just indicating that now collections arrives. It seems to me that the entire question is now rather erroneous - it implies that everything not in the 'wishlist' collection should be something that you own.

I see what the question is getting at, but is there another way we could phrase it, or in fact an entirely new series of questions for this page that enlightens about collections, that gets around that default assumption?

Thoughts, suggestions?

ETA: Glancing at this page, it occurs to me that with other new changes (specifically, the edit box on the 'works' page, but probably other things too), this project could be bigger than just 'collections'!

Jul 18, 2009, 11:20am Top

I would probably take out the reference to ownership entirely, and possibly also the reference to keeping them separate, and so maybe I'd change the question wording to something like: Can I make a wishlist? or if necessary Can I have a wishlist that's separate from my library?

Then the answer could explain briefly that wishlist is one of the default collections, and point to the collections page. If it's necessary to say something about whether or not it counts or is separate, we could explain that the user can decide whether or not collections overlap.

Jul 26, 2009, 8:31pm Top

Collections and "Members with Your Books" -

Collections, specifically the include in connections option, now impacts results and the numbers you see in the members with your books section on the profile page.

How are these numbers now calculated?

Collections and "Books you share" -

Collections are now impacting the results list on the books you share section when viewing other people's profile pages.

What is being done here? Is it just wishlists being excluded or is it only Your Library being included or something else?

Not sure if the answers to these questions should be on the collections wiki, the profile wiki or both.

Jul 27, 2009, 12:08am Top

>5 eromsted: Not sure if the answers to these questions should be on the collections wiki, the profile wiki or both.

Mmm. I'd go with both. But first we kinda need the answers to the questions. I think the algorithm only uses the works you have put in connections with "use for collections" when showing you numbers on the profile pages Members with Your Books/Books you share. When you actually go to the persons catalogue I think you are seeing "All collections" numbers - I could be wrong.

Edited: Jul 27, 2009, 8:41am Top

I can tell from my catalog that the "Members with your books" numbers are reflecting my "include in connections" settings. Do the other user's settings also influence these numbers?

The "books you share" numbers are doing something else. My large wishlist is included in my connections, but those books are not shown in the "books you share" box on other users' profile pages. My other collections not in "Your library" are fairly small so it's harder to tell about them. It could either be excluding the wishlist or only using the "your library" collection.

In the catalog it does look like books from all collections display in the special "share with other user" search. But there's something fishy here too. If I look at books I share with Tim in Tim's catalog I see 97 books. If I reverse the search and look at the shared books in my catalog I see 90 books. Huh?

One book that displays differently is Michael Shermer's Why People Believe Weird Things. In my library that book is in "Your Library," "Unread," and "Connections-Recommendations." In Tim's it is in "Your Library." This is so odd that it may be some other bug, but it makes it hard to know what's going on.

Mar 29, 2011, 6:34pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jun 25, 2011, 1:32pm Top

Does anyone know if there is a way to get your collections to display on your profile page in a list format (like they do in the Collections Manager) as opposed to a paragraph format? Once the number of collections gets beyond a small number, the paragraph format just gets difficult for me to read.

Jun 25, 2011, 1:58pm Top

9> No, there isn't a way, though I think it's a good idea for a RSI.

Jul 17, 2011, 9:37pm Top

Is there a way to make a collection not visible to the public?

Jul 17, 2011, 10:00pm Top

11. No, there's no way to do that.

Several of us clamored for private collections when the feature launched, but the staff decided book privacy was more practical at the book level than at the collection level. Right now there's a beta feature (in development) for "private books." You'll see a checkbox at the bottom of the edit book page for any book you have. HOWEVER, I'm not really sure if it's working, or if so, how well. So, if you're concerned about people not seeing certain books, I would not rely on the private books feature right now: your best options are either not to catalog those books, or just go completely private.

Aug 28, 2011, 8:39pm Top

Is there a way to search for the intersection of two collections? For example, I have a collection for "to read." Books assigned to this collection include both books I own and books I don't. I also have a collection for books I own. Can I search for books that appear in both collections; that is, something on my shelves that I haven't read yet? Obviously, the search needs to yield books found only in both collections, not books found in either.

If there isn't a way to do this, I will repost on recommended site improvements, because this seems like a needed feature to me. But first I want to make sure there isn't a way to do this already.


Aug 28, 2011, 11:03pm Top

Great! Thanks for the quick response.

Edited: Sep 27, 2011, 1:59am Top

Is there a maximum number of collections that can be created - have added 11 and doesn't seem to want to add any more - using Iceweasel 3.5.16 (i.e., Firefox 5.0).

Update: I've just been able to add a collection using a mobile 'phone browser and 3G connection, but I'm still unable to using my laptop and that's even having just booted a copy of Tails https://tails.boum.org/ -- LibraryThing when logged in is a https site and I'm surfing though Tor, so I'm not sure what is going on here!

Sep 27, 2011, 9:15am Top

I currently have 21 collections including the default ones. I am also using FF but version 6.0.2. 11 is not a limit but there may be one.

Jan 21, 2012, 12:14pm Top

Can I view two collections at once? I.E. I have the collection "to read." Then I have collections for "hardcopy", "audio" and "ebook". I want to view "to read" and "audio" so I know what audio books are next on my list to listen to; I don't want to view all of my "to read" and have to shift through all the information. Is selecting two collections possible?

Edited: Jan 21, 2012, 12:30pm Top

>18 BarbF:
It's rather buried, but yes you can view the overlap of two collections.

From your profile or home click on Statistics/Memes.
All the way at the bottom left click on Collections.
Find the heading for "to read" and then click on the link for "audio."

Jan 21, 2012, 5:47pm Top


There's no hard limit, but the UI is deliberately designed to be unwieldy for large numbers of collections (more than a couple dozen or so); the thinking is that Tim wants to subtly push people to use tags for things where tags should be used (like subject matter), since there's an entire useful social cataloging scheme built around them, rather than to have several hundred collections. Eleven is entirely reasonable, though, so I'm not sure what's going on in your case.

Jan 22, 2012, 11:06pm Top

Very helpful! Thank you, thank you. That works perfectly.

Feb 3, 2012, 12:36pm Top

A question phrased as a hypothetical situation.

Let's say I have Book A in two collections, "Read" and "Recommendations from Friend X", and Book B just in "Recommendations from Friend X". I have also un-check any/all the check marks for collection "Recommendations from Friend X", so there not in my connections or recommendations, and are currently inactive.

Will Book A still be included in my connections and recommendations?

I'm assuming Book B won't because its only collection has those features disabled, but does disabling those features in one of the collections a book is in override the enabling of those features in other collections?

Thanks in advance for the help,

Feb 3, 2012, 12:56pm Top

Will Book A still be included in my connections and recommendations?

Yes. Enabling takes precedence over disabling. That's the reason that you can't have a "Don't use these books for recommendations" collection for books that you own or have read that you rate poorly, since if you still put those books into My Library or Read But Not Owned then they will still be used for recommendations.

Apr 24, 2012, 6:39pm Top

Is there a way to find books which aren't in a specific collection? I want to know what's not in "my library".

Apr 24, 2012, 6:49pm Top

No, there's not really a good way to exclude one collection for just viewing. However, if you want to do some bulk editing, there are steps you can do with power edit to help do things to all books that aren't in a particular collection.

Apr 24, 2012, 8:51pm Top

Actually, there is, though it's rather buried. From your profile or home page go to statistics/memes. Then way at the bottom of the left column select collections. Then down at the bottom of that page you will find "Books not in collections." Here's a direct link to that page.

Apr 24, 2012, 9:17pm Top


Apr 25, 2012, 1:47pm Top

That's perfect. Thank you.

Edited: Jun 3, 2012, 6:43pm Top

Is there a way to export or print a collection rather than one's entire catalog?

Actually, I just realized it seems to be possible to print what's in a single collection. That may be all that I need.

Jun 19, 2012, 6:19pm Top

H E L P! I was trying to delete this book thatwas on currently reading from 3 years ago and I delete all of my books. How do I get them back?

Jun 19, 2012, 6:38pm Top

I just looked at your catalogue and you have 629 books. How many should you have? When you are looking at the Your Books tab, do you perhaps have it set on Currently Reading rather than All Collections? (look at the top left)

Aug 29, 2012, 2:32pm Top

I want to be able to add a book to my library and have it end up in Your Library, not in any other collection, without my having to remember to uncheck the little tickbox for my custom collection every single time I go to Add Books. How to do this?

(I'm using collections to tell me that to find a book in collection 'box 1' I must go open up the Uhaul box labeled 'books 1'. I suppose I could do this with tags instead of collections, because I know books default to Your Library when I haven't any custom collections, but my feeling is that tags are for characteristics of any copy of this book and collections are for my specific copy of this book.)

Edited: Aug 29, 2012, 2:44pm Top

Only other collection it needs to end up in is "all collections" - that can't be helped.

But I think you can pretty much get it to function the way you like if you make "your library" the default collection - in other words: when you move it back on top. Right now you seem to have "box 1" as default. You can change the order of your collections from your "home" tab.

Aug 29, 2012, 3:15pm Top

You can also edit them from the Add Books page. You drag the lines to fall into the order you desire.

Apr 1, 2013, 10:58am Top

Hi, I'm not sure if this has been answered elsewhere, but I couldn't find it, so sorry in advance.

Is there any way to see all the books within specific multiple collections? For example, I wanted to see all books except "Wishlist"...

(I have the same question for tags, is there a way to view books in multiple tags, but this is probably the wrong place to ask...)

Apr 1, 2013, 11:03am Top

>35 ScarletBea:

Some options are available here for collections:


e.g. inverses (all except) are at the bottom.

Apr 1, 2013, 11:13am Top


There is, but it's pretty well-hidden.

From your profile, go to "Stats/Memes", and then scroll all the way down to the bottom. The very last option, under "Other", is "Collections". Click on this, and you'll see "Collections Overlap", which will take you to all books in any two collections (for instance, in "Library Books" and "Currently Reading") or to all the books that aren't in any particular collection (like your "All except Wishlist") example. You can't do anything more complicated - you can't see all books in A and B but not C - but it's pretty good.

Here's a direct link to yours:


As for tags, unfortunately the search function isn't working right (and hasn't ever really worked right); you should be able to select the "tags" dropdown in the "Search your library" box and put in two or more tags, but it doesn't work (it instead searches all the fields whenever more than one option is entered).

Welcome to LT, by the way!

Apr 1, 2013, 11:54am Top

Thanks all, that worked.
And... I found the Stats page :))) (both books AND numbers slight geek hehe)

Oct 3, 2013, 2:01pm Top

I'm interested in producing a list of books in a particular category from My Books. I'd like people to be able to get more information about books on the list if they want--as though they were looking at a database. But I don't want them able to go into my books and start making changes in entries. I have tried exporting a link to a page, but I can't restrict access if I do that. I've played with widgets a bit, but am not sure if that's working. It seems like there should be an easy way to provide a list to others on the web without allowing them to muck around in my records. Also seems like a good way to introduce people to what LT can do.

Oct 3, 2013, 4:03pm Top

Nobody can muck about with your data. They'd have to be logged in as you before they could.

You can create a link to your catalog which other people can see. Just see.

Oct 4, 2013, 3:40pm Top


Just to clarify what JerryMmm said, the regular link to your catalog is the one to use. Look at my catalog - you can see it, but you can't edit it. The reason why you can edit it when you follow the link to your own catalog is that you're logged into your account. Try looking at the link when you've logged out if you don't believe me.

Oct 7, 2013, 10:02am Top

Thanks JerryMmm.

Oct 7, 2013, 10:03am Top

And thank you lorax. These answers make sense. I thought I was emulating what a visitor's experience would be, but of course I was logged in at the time so objectivity wasn't really possible.

Oct 7, 2013, 11:32am Top

43 > It's handy to remember, too, that your experience looking at someone else's catalog even when you're logged in, is the same experience someone else will have looking at yours.

Oct 17, 2013, 12:16pm Top


sorry if this has been asked before, but I tried to read the collection page and I didn't found what I was looking for

Question: I need to have a direct URL link to a given collection, is that possible ?

Rationale : my whole collection is here.

In particular I have a collection named "Self help, IT, Work, Business, Life" that will be useful to me for finding interesting jobs and/or business partners

But the idea is that they jump right to this collection.

And maybe I will have tomorrow a second collection for music lovers for example, that don't care about IT at all.

Hence the need for direct access with URLs

Maybe even a private URL, because if I had a "porno & cie" collection, I wouldn't want to mix it up with the others.

Oct 17, 2013, 12:21pm Top

When you're viewing the desired collection, scroll all the way to the bottom and you will see a little "permalink" icon (a chain). Click on that and you'll get a large monstrous URL:


There is no collection-level privacy and no working book-level privacy. Don't put any books in a public account you don't want the world to see.

Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 12:47pm Top

http://www.librarything.com/catalog/jmfayard/selfhelpitworkbusinesslife should also work. I find the permalink more useful for things like a combination of a certain collection and a tag. http://www.librarything.com/catalog.php?view=MarthaJeanne&tag=Biography&... will show you all the biographies in my 'to read' pile, sorted by author. That is overkill for just the collection.

Changed the URL. Did the first search wrong.


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