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The Collections features let members group books into individual "collections." These Collections can have various preferences that allow them to be treated differently from other Collections. These groupings may figure into other features of LibraryThing, such as Recommendation computations or Currently_reading.


Quick Guide for Using Collections

Not-So-Quick Guide for Using Collections

Introduction and Overview

Now that you have come in from dancing in the streets due to the long-awaited release of the LibraryThing Collections feature – what do you do? How do you start?

The QuickTips section of this Wiki (above) gives you the brief low-down to get you quickly started. The rest of the Wiki contains detailed instructions for “How-To” use the Collections features/functions.

To start off you should know that all of the books that you have previously entered in LibraryThing have been added to the default “Your Library” collection. You can leave them there, add them to other collections, remove them; the choice is up to you. Note, please, that adding a book to one collection does NOT remove it from any other collections – books can belong to one or MANY collections at the same time.

A list of places you will see Collections related changes to LibraryThing:

  • Your Catalogue (aka “Your Books” tab) – now has a Collections button so that you can select a particular collection to work with. You also use this button to access your Collections Manager to edit and organize your collections. For each book in catalogue or cover view you will find a Collections icon (Collectionsicon.png) which you can use to set the collection for that particular book.
  • Your Tags page – now has a list (on the left) of your active collections. You can view all of your tags (“All Collections”) or just those of a particular collection
  • Your Profile – now has a list (at the top) of your active collections. You can click on these to enter your catalogue (i.e. “Your Books”) filtered for the books in that collection.
  • Your Home – now has a collections module with a list of your active collections. You can click on these to enter your catalogue (i.e. “Your Books”) filtered for the books in that collection.
  • Add Books – now has an area (left side – under “Tags to Add”) for selecting collections to add the book to as you add it to LT. Collections have also been added to the QuickEdit of the Recently Added area on the right. (Note – if you do not select a collection the book will be added to the “Your Library” default collection.)
  • Work Pages/Book Pages – now have a section at the top where you can select collections from a drop down list, modify tags, and access other cool features like “Currently Reading.” As an added bonus, you will be able to see this box when you access a work from somebody else’s library – see what tags/collections they have added, how they have rated the book etc.
  • Edit Pages – now have check boxes to select collections to add books to collections.

Types of Collections

Default Collections

There are 6 pre-defined default collections which all users will see at the outset:
  • Your Library
  • Wishlist
  • To read
  • Read but unowned
  • Currently reading
  • Favorites
These collections cannot be deleted nor can the names be altered in any way. Users can choose to make these collections inactive or active, re-order them, and include or exclude them from recommendations (see Collections Manager section below for instructions). The plan is that different "Special Features" can be developed for these default collections.
Most users will find that all their books are initially in 'Your Library'; however, depending on how a user has their books tagged, some of them may have been migrated to the default collections on launch (for example - books tagged "Wishlist" will have migrated to the Wishlist Collection). This hasn't been entirely glitch-free in BETA so it is advisable to check that all of your wishlist books have made it into the 'Wishlist' collection, etc. This migration was planned as a one time event at the time Collections were launched. Post-release, tagging a book with a particular tag does NOT automatically place it in a Collection.
Note: All default collection names will be translated on non-.com sites.

Special Features

  • Currently Reading
You will find a "Currently Reading" link in the left column of the work pages. Click on it to get a list of other members who are currently reading the book (i.e. who have added it to their "Currently Reading" collection in the last 60 days). The home page module "What Members are Reading" lets you see which books have been added to Currently Reading in the last 30 days. Clicking on the number of people reading the book in the "What members are reading" home page module will take you to the full "Currently Reading" section of the work page.
NOTE: This feature displays data from all Currently Reading collections even if the collection itself is "inactivated".
  • Wishlist
You will find a "Wishlist" link in the left column of the work pages. Click on it to get a list of other members who have wishlisted the book (i.e. who have added it to their "Wishlist" collection). The home page module "Top Wishlisted Books" lets you see the books that are most often in "Wishlist" collections. Clicking on the number will take you to the "Wishlist" section of the work page.
NOTE: This feature displays data from all Wishlist collections even if the collection itself is "inactivated".

Colored Checkmarks

Several of the default collections have specific checkmark colors associated with them - namely the "Wishlist","Read but Unowned" and "Your Library" collections. Books you have catalogued that are not in one of these three collections will display a gray checkmark.
PurpleCheck.png Wishlist - displays purple checkmark
BlueCheck.png Read but Unowned - displays blue checkmark
GreenCheck.png Your Library - displays green checkmark
GreyCheck.png any other collection - displays gray checkmark
Only one checkmark will be displayed, so if a book qualifies for more than one checkmark LT will display the color that is nearer to the top of the list above. (For example, if you borrowed a book from the library and read it and now want your own copy, you may have the book in your "Wishlist" collection and your "Read but Unowned" collection - a PURPLE checkmark will be displayed because "Wishlist" is higher on the list than "Read but Unowned").

"All Collections"

In the “Your Books” tab the left-most button in the toolbar at the top (under the tabs) is your Collections button. Here you can select whether to look at ALL the books you have entered on LibraryThing or select a specific Collection to view. The sum total of ALL the books in ALL the collections is – “All Collections.” This is not, strictly speaking, a “Collection” itself, but a Meta-Collection containing all the books you have entered in LT. As you move your books in and out of different collections this is the one place where you can go to find ANY of your books.
So how is “All Collections” different from “Your Library”?
Initially “Your Library” will contain the same books as “All Collections” because this is where your current books are placed when collections come online. The difference is that you can remove books from “Your Library.” For instance you may decide that you don’t want your “WishList” books to appear in “Your Library” – so you add them to the “WishList” collection and remove them from the “Your Library” collection.
The only way to remove a book from “All Collections” is to delete it from LibraryThing completely. Even if you manage to inadvertently remove a book from every other collection you have - it will still be available in “All Collections”. (Hint: check and see if you have a new Collection, "Lost and Found"; books in "Lost and Found" are not assigned to any Collections.)
Why can’t I see “All Collections” on the “Add Books” page/in the drop-down menu to change collections on the work page …etc?
Since “All Collections” contains ALL the books you have added to LT, whenever a book is in ANY collection it is also in “All Collections.” You don’t have to “add” a book to “All Collections” – you did that just by adding the book to LT!
All of the specific Collections that you are using (i.e. those that contain books and are "active") will show on your “Profile.” All of your active collections can also be seen by you on your “Home” page. Since “All Collections” is not a Collection per se, it will not be listed with your Collections in these places but is always available in your catalogue (i.e. “Your Books” tab).

"Lost-and-Found Collection"

This is not a true collection but a place where you may find books that have somehow managed to evade being assigned to ANY collection. You will only see it if it has books in it and it is not instantaneous (i.e. books may percolate into it as LT finds them). If you have books in this pseudo-collection you will be able to see them in the collections column on your Tags page.

A new Collections Statistics page under Statistics/Memes provides information as to which books are in more than one collection and which books aren't in a given collection. To reach this page, select "Stats/Memes" from your Home Page; scroll down the column along the left side of the page to "Collections" (listed under "Other") and click on it; the last heading on the "Collections Statistics" page is "Books not in Collections."

User-Defined Collections

A collections button showing default and user-defined collections.
In addition to the pre-defined Collections, each individual user can add their own personal Collections to their catalogue. This enables you to personalise the Collections function in a way that suits your own usage of LibraryThing (or, to quote conceptDawg, "It's a crazy, crazy world"). It really is up to each individual user how they use these Collections or whether they use them at all. The possibilites are endless. Instructions for setting up user-defined collections can be found in the Collections Manager section below.

Collections Manager

Most of the editing of specific Collections (names, positions, etc.) is done via the Collections Manager lightbox. This lightbox is accessible from several places: on the Your Books page, click on the 'Collections' drop-down menu on the left-hand side of the toolbar; or on the Add Books page, click on the "edit Collections" button under Add to Collections. To access the edit functions, select the final option 'Edit Collections'.
NOTE: You can access the Collections Manager via the Collections button from any of the Views under the "Your Books" tab - List (Catalogue) View, Cover View, even the Tags page! You can also access it from the work page of any book already in your catalog, by clicking on the collections icon in the "Your Book Information" box.
From here you can:
The collections manager showing both default and user-defined collections (click image for an enlarged view).
Note: All of the instructions in this section assume you have already opened the Collections lightbox by selecting 'Edit Collections' from the drop-down.

Creating User-Defined Collections

  1. Click 'Add New Collection' button on the top-left of the box - this will add an Untitled Collection.
  2. Change the collection name to your personal choice.
  3. Select appropriate check boxes depending on whether you want this collection included in recommendations etc.
  4. You can add more than one collection at a time but the changes won't 'stick' until you save it. To add another collection, repeat steps 1-3 above.
  5. To expand/collapse collections within the manager box, just click on the arrow head to the left of the title of that collection.
  6. When you've created all the collections you want, click 'Save' in the bottom right-hand corner of the box.

Changing the order in which Collections are displayed

  1. As you mouse over collection names, the mouse pointer changes to a 4-way arrow or a hand.
  2. Left-click on the collection you want to move and hold it.
  3. Drag the collection further down the list and release. Note: you cannot change the order of 'All Collections' as this is a specially generated meta-collection.
  4. If you have a long list of collections, note that the list does not scroll down as you drag and drop; you will have to drag collections around the list in stages to move them from the top to the bottom or vice versa.
  5. When you have the order you want, click 'Save' in the bottom right-hand corner.

NOTE: Changing the order of your Collections changes the order that they display on your Profile, on your Home page, and on the Add Books, Work, and Edit pages.

Important Note: The first collection on the list will be the default selection on the Add Books page - if you are using Your Library as your primary collection you may want to leave it at the TOP.

Renaming User-Defined Collections

  1. In the Collections Manager lightbox, click on the arrow to the left of the collection name that you wish to change.
  2. Type the new name in the box. Note: It is possible to create duplicate collection names.
  3. Click 'Save' in the bottom right-hand corner.

Deleting User-Defined Collections

"Delete Collection": Books will be removed from that collection but they will remain in your account (click image for an enlarged view).
  1. Click on the arrow to the left of the collection that you want to delete.
  2. Click the 'Delete Collection' button.
  3. Select 'OK' from the pop-up window.
  4. Click 'Save' in the bottom right-hand corner.
Note: Deleting collections does not delete the books contained in the collection; it removes the specific collection assignment from the books contained in it - your books are safe, because you cannot delete them from here.

Make a Collection Active or Inactive

An Active collection (click for enlarged view)
…Inactivated! (click for enlarged view)
Collections are "active" by default, but you can also make particular collections "inactive," as well as change them back to "active" whenever you want.
  1. Click on the arrow to the left of the collection that you want to make active or inactive.
  2. Select the check box to make the collection 'Active' or deselect it to make the collection "inactive."
  3. Click 'Save' in the bottom right-hand corner.
  4. Making collections inactive does NOT hide the contents from LibraryThing: you are NOT creating a private collection.

Include/Exclude Individual Collections from Recommendations and Connections

  1. Click on the arrow to the left of the collection that you want to include/exclude.
  2. Select the desired combination from the check boxes.
  3. Click 'Save' in the bottom right-hand corner.

Adding books to Collections

Individual Books

You can change the Collection assignments one book at a time in several places:
(aka "Catalogue View" or "your catalogue")

Adding via Add Books Page

When you want to add a new book to your Catalogue through the Add Books page, you will follow the steps that you are already familiar with: add search info, click search, and choose the correct edition from the right-hand box. Previously, you could already assign Tags to those books you added here by filling in the “Tags to Add” box on the left before you clicked the search button. This is also how you will add new books to your Collections.
Adding a book to Collections from Add Books
  1. Add search information (title, author, ISBN, LC card number, etc) into the “Search” box.
  2. Add any Tags that you choose into the “Tags to Add” box.
  3. Choose the Collections you wish this book to be added to by checking the appropriate checkboxes under “Add to Collections.” You can see all your Collections by clicking the “show all” button. Note: All new books are added to “All Collections” and “Your Library” by default. You may choose here for them not to be added to “Your Library,” but as long as they are in your LibraryThing catalogue they will remain in “All Collections.”
  4. Now click the “Search” button and choose the correct edition. Your selected Tags and Collections should show under each title in the “Recently Added” box.
Troubleshooting:
Q: Why didn’t my Tags and Collections show up under the title in the “Recently Added” box?
A: If you click the “Search” button before entering the Tags and Collections you choose, the information will not be used for your search and, therefore, will not show up in “Recently Added.”
Q: If I’ve already added a new book, can I still modify the Tags and Collections from the Add Books page?
A: Yes. You simply click on “Show Quick Edit” under the book you want to modify. Add any Tags to the “Tags” box and click “Save Tags” or check the correct Collections checkboxes and click “Save Collections.” You should see your Tag edits instantly in the Quick Edit box, but you will have to visit the Works Page or your Catalogue to see the Collections edits.

Adding via Works Page

For New Books
Adding books from the Works Page hasn’t changed much from before Collections. While on a Works Page, you should see Plus2.png and “Add to your library” at the top of the page. Clicking on this will take you to the Add Books Page. However, if you want to edit the Tags and Collections information while adding from the Works Page, you have two options.
Option 1:
Normally, when you add from the Works Page, Add Books does the search for you automatically, which means that any information you add to the “Tags to Add” and “Add to Collections” sections won’t be used. You can counteract this by entering the correct information (see Adding via Add Books Page for instructions, steps 2 and 3) and then clicking the “Search” button. This, in effect, ignores the first search and re-searches. Now when you choose the correct edition, you should see your selected Tags and Collections information under the title in the “Recently Added” box.
Using Quick Edit to put new book into Collections
Option 2:
After clicking Plus2.png, you are automatically redirected to the Add Books page and the search has already been performed. You can go ahead and choose the correct edition in the “Results” box and then edit the Tags and Collections information in the “Recently Added” box. You simply click on “Show Quick Edit” under the book you want to modify. Add any Tags to the “Tags” box and click “Save Tags” or check the correct Collections checkboxes and click “Save Collections.” You should see your Tag edits instantly in the Quick Edit box, but you will have to visit the Works Page or your Catalogue to see the Collections edits.


For Books Already in Your Catalogue
From the Work Page:
In the book information section at the top of the Works Page, you can use the drop down menu to edit Collections. Select the Collection that you want to add the book to and then deselect the Collection from which you want to remove it.
NOTE: You should select the new Collection first. If you try to remove the Collection it currently belongs to, thus leaving the book assigned to NO Collections, the change will not take effect.
From the Edit Page:
On the Edit Page, simply check the boxes for the Collections you would like the book included in. Make sure to click the "Save" button on the top or bottom of the page for your changes to take effect.
WorkPageToCollections2.png
BookDetailsToCollections.jpg
Adding to Collections from the Work page Adding to Collections from the Edit Book Details page

Adding via Catalogue (Your Books tab)

Toolpad with Collections icon circled
Lightbox in Cover view (click image for an enlarged view).
To change Collections while in the "Your Books" tab use the Collections Icon(Collectionsicon.png) on the Toolpad on the right in List View or in the lightbox in Cover View. Just select the Collection that you want to add it to and then deselect the Collection from which you want to remove it.
Troubleshooting:
  • Q: I clicked but nothing happened! Why didn't it work?
  • A: If your book currently only belongs to one Collection you need to select the new Collection first and THEN remove the old Collection. If you try to remove the Collection it currently belongs to, thus leaving the book temporarily assigned to NO Collections, the change will not take effect.
NOTE: Currently, double-clicking on the box in the Collections column will NOT allow you to edit Collections as it does in other columns - i.e. it will not bring up the Collections list. (This has been suggested for a future improvement.)

Groups of Books

Adding to Collections via Tags page

This is a very efficient method of adding books to collections. It enables you to select all books under a certain tag and add them to a specific collection in a single step.
  1. Before adding books from this view, set up all the User-Defined collections that you want to add to as described in the 'Collections Manager' section
  2. In your catalogue, make sure you are in 'Tags' view (there should be a list of collections on the left and all your tags on the right)
  3. Mouse over the tag you wish to add en-masse to a collection and select 'Edit'
  4. Click on the link at the bottom that says 'Change collections for books tagged "-your tag-" (check that the tag name between the inverted commas is the tag you want - if not, cancel and re-select)
  5. Check that the 'Add to collection' check button is selected
    Adding all books with a particular tag to two collections at once
  6. Select the checkbox next to whichever collection name you want the tagged books to be assigned to (you may select more than one option)
  7. Click 'Do it!' (it may take a little while for a tag with a large number of books)
  8. The number of books should now have changed next to the collection name in the left-hand column
  9. To remove books from a specific collection, follow the steps above but at Step 5, make sure the 'Remove from collection' check button is selected (this will remove all books under a specific tag from a specific collection but will NOT DELETE THE ACTUAL BOOKS)

Adding to Collections via Power Edit

Another efficient way to add books in bulk to particular collections is via the 'Power Edit' function in the List View of your Catalogue under 'Your Books'. For those not familiar with Power Edit as a function, it enables the selection of multiple entries in your catalogue in order to perform certain bulk editing actions. Collection assignment has been added to the selection of actions that it is possible to apply in bulk to your catalogue.
  1. Before adding books to collections, make sure that you have set up your individual user-defined collections as described in the 'Collections Manager' section
  2. To access 'Power Edit', make sure you are in the list view of your catalogue
  3. Click on the 'Power Edit' toolbar icon (Poweredit.png) - this opens a 'Power Edit' section at the top of your catalogue and changes your catalogue view slightly
  4. There are several ways to select books under power edit: click on individual check boxes at the right of the page; click on a tag to bring up a sub-set of your books contained under that tag and then select individual books; use the 'Search' box to search for specific selections
  5. Within any of these selections, you can pick individual books by clicking the check boxes at the right of the page or use the 'Select All n Books'/'Select Books on Page'/'Deselect All Books' option in the power edit section
  6. Once you have selected the books you wish to move to a collection, click on the 'Collections' tab in the Power Edit section
    Adding books to Collections via Power Edit
  7. Select the collections you want the books to belong to by clicking on the checkboxes next to each collection (you can select more than one collection)
  8. Check that the 'Add to Collections' check button is selected
  9. Click on the 'Change Selected Books' button to the right of the screen
  10. The new collection assignment should now appear in the far right 'Collections' column
  11. Close the 'Power Edit' function by clicking on the lightning bolt icon again (the power edit section should disappear and your catalogue should revert to the normal list view)
  12. You can remove books in bulk from collections by following the steps above but choosing 'Remove from Collections' in step 8

Collections and...

Tags

"Tags and Collections: Fighting Chaos Together"

  • Tags and Collections go hand-in-hand for organizing your Catalogue. Tags can work like sub-Collections. For example, if you designate a Collection for Literature, you can place tags for Classic Literature, Modern Literature, Russian Literature, etc, inside that Collection. Furthermore, you can set a Collection for Classic Literature and place tags for each century or movement or language inside that Collection. This will, in effect, give you nested subdivisions to your Catalogue.
  • These subdivisions will also give you greater ways to search and view your tagged books. When you are viewing All Collections on the Tag Page, all of your various tags will be shown, and, by extension, all your tagged books will be represented. By switching to a different collection, Your Library for example, you will isolate those tags and tagged books from the whole, allowing you to search your tags with greater specificity. So in the Tag Page, if you want to find only those books you've tagged Mystery that you have read but don't own, you simply need to choose the Read But Unowned Collection and then click your Mystery Tag. If you are in your Catalogue (Your Books tab), you simply choose the Read But Unowned Collection from the drop-down menu and then put "tag: mystery" in the Search Box. And voila!

Profile

Your Profile displays your active collections (click for enlarged view)
  • Your Profile now has a list (at the top) of all the specific Collections that you are using (i.e. that have not been inactivated and that contain books). If you have changed the order of your collections in the Collections Manager, then they will display in that order. You can click on these to enter your catalogue (i.e. “Your Books” tab) filtered for the books in that collection.

Home

Collections Module on your Home page shows active collections (click image for enlarged view)
Added entry for Collections
  • Your Home has a Collections Module with a list of your active collections. You can click on these to enter your catalogue (i.e. “Your Books”) filtered for the books in that collection. You can edit this module to display the active collections that you choose.
  • Your Zeitgeist module has a new entry for Collections - this shows how many total (active and inactive) collections you have (everyone should have at least 6 - the Default Collections described above). Clicking this will take you to the new combined Collections/Tags view of your catalogue ("Your Books" tab). (You can bring up your Collections Manager here by clicking on the Collections button of the toolbar and selecting "Edit Collections.")

Search

  • Is there a way to see all books that *aren't* in a certain collection?
Access the "Collections" section of the Statistics/Memes part of your profile. There is a "Books not in collections" heading at the bottom of this section. From here, you can see all books that aren't in a given collection.

Statistics/Memes

  • A new statistics page under Statistics/Memes provides information as to which books are in more than one collection and which books aren't in a given collection.

Importing

  • You can choose collections for universal import. You can choose 1 or more collection that the imported books will end up in.

Widgets

  • There's an option on the widget builder page that allows you to show books only from designated collection(s).

Twitter

  • Now when you twitter to LibraryThing books can be added to collections in addition to being tagged. Example:If you want to add a book to "Favorites" and "To read" collections direct message LThing like: "D LThing 0385334206 #wishlist #toread"
NOTE: collections names are lowercase without spaces. If the collection is there it gets added and tagged. If not it just gets tagged. Some basic documentation can be found on the profile page: http://www.librarything.com/editprofile/sites

Miscellaneous Q&A

  • I read this whole Wiki and my questions wasn't answered, what now?
Please feel free to post the question in the public discussion thread located in the Common Knowledge and WikiThing Group: http://www.librarything.com/topic/67295
  • Is there a way to link directly to a collection?
Yes, you can link directly to a collection. The permanent link at the bottom of the page now includes the collection in the link.

See also:

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