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Using LibraryThing as an Integrated Library System

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What LibraryThing doesn't do

There's no circulation feature, meaning there's no integrated way to check out an item to a patron, get notification if the book is overdue, notify patrons, or keep track of circulation statistics.

How you can use LibraryThing for your circulating library anyway

  • Record a patron name and lend/due date in the private comments field.
    • Why private comments? Because it would be a breach of anonymity if the whole world could see that John Doe had checked out sensitive material.
    • You could get around this by using patron IDs (numerical strings, or usernames), but you'd have to keep the list of ID=name on a spreadsheet elsewhere.
  • Indicating availability
    • For example ONLOAN (to show it is on loan) and DATE-DUE:2010-03-13 (to show when it is due back).
    • Or move loaned books to an ONLOAN collection

Cataloging materials other than books

LibraryThing is built to catalog books. That being said, you can catalog other materials (DVDs, newspapers, etc.)

  • On the Add Books page, there is a link for "manual entry"
  • Although this is set up for book data, you can use it to add an item such as a DVD
    • When entering the title, please include [DVD], so combiners know not to combine "Pride and Prejudice" with "Pride and Prejudice [DVD]".
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