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Edited: Aug 7, 2012, 8:03am Top

I'm new, don't bite too hard! I tried to do some searching on the site to see if these issues have been fully addressed before and couldn't come up with anything conclusive, but please point me in the right direction if they have.

I spent quite a bit of time reading/skimming most of the talk page Default "Read" collection after finally getting a paid LT account, moving my stuff from GR, organizing my books, and then realizing that when others navigate to my catalog, they're automatically routed to view the "Your library" collection, which I currently have as inactive. And no books show up. And I wanted to be able to make my created Read collection the default! But I can't.

I can solve this small problem by sending people a link to my "read" page instead, but this could be fixed otherwise by allowing users to assign a single collection as their default collection. This could be "Your library" when people initially sign up. I realize that the largest populations of LT users are people who are trying to catalog their actual, physical libraries, but IMO people shouldn't be stuck with it as the current default because it's rather vague. Or you could just have http://www.librarything.com/catalog/MEMBERNAME route to the "all collections" page instead.

I own few books out of simplicity and necessity and think of "my library" as the books that have passed through my brain, and yes, for some reason I care about which R. L. Stine books I read when I was a wee one, wudda weirdo I am. The way I've set up my own collections and deactivated "Your library" makes which books I've read and which I own more intuitive (at least to me).

Additionally, when I'm on a book page ("work page"? not familiar with the terminology), when I go to add the book, "Your library" is the default collection it tries to add the book to. But my "Your library" is clearly listed as inactive (yes I can un-check Your library and choose the Read collection, but but but).



P.S. Thank you, Oh LibraryThing Creator(s) for this wonderful resource that allows me to track and analyze yet another of the minute aspects (calories, MPG, poops) of my everyday life.

Aug 7, 2012, 12:11am Top

...but IMO people shouldn't be stuck with it the current default because it's Your Library rather vague.

But that's the point. Your Library can be whatever you want it to be. It could be the books you own, the books you've read, the books you have a special attachment to, or whatever. Since it seems that's what you want, I don't understand your objection to it.

Aug 7, 2012, 12:14am Top

Did you also reorder your collections so that "Your Library" isn't at the top? I had some problems about a year ago (iirc) where my cookies would disappear and i'd be shown the empty (inactive!) "Your Library" collection. It was kind of a lot irritating since I was using 2 computers, and eventually a fix was put in so that it defaulted to the top listed collection OR "All Collections", depending.

I think moving the Your Library collection to the bottom (when inactive) is supposed to also stop it from being the default for adding, but I only use the Manual Add, so I don't have experience with it.

Re: book vs. work pages -
In LT and certain library system parlance, there are two (or more) levels to the thing in question. Work -> edition -> book is the LT system, I believe. The work is an abstract idea of the thing that the author created. It includes all the editions and translations and bindings and whatever else, but there are things which create distinct new works.

Books are the individual records with the details about one specific copy. Some details will be the same as the work, but not all. Books can be grouped into Editions, but we don't quite have this yet on LT.

You can dig a bit and find better(?) explanations on the wiki: http://www.librarything.com/concepts#works and http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/HelpThing:Work (I think this is mainly about what each thing on the Work Page is?)

Edited: Feb 14, 2013, 10:11pm Top

>2 jjwilson61: I like things that are less vague, which is why I have the following collections:

Currently reading
To read
For recommendations

If I wanted a vague collection called "Your library" that I was stuck with as the default name, I wouldn't have posted (I'm being whiny, wha wha, sorry, I'm just bringing up a problem I encountered as a new user).

I'm not sure if the original point was to make that collection vague or not. To me, since the site is traditionally meant for people to catalog their physical libraries (correct me if I'm wrong), "Your library" was originally meant to represent physical libraries. But that's not how people use it. The fact that I can't just change the name of "Your library" to "Read" is why I deactivated it.

I dunno what that link to the F. W. Lancaster book is but it looks interesting...!

>3 keristars: Yep, I moved it to the bottom of the list of collections, but still encounter these problems.

Thanks for the run-down on book vs. work! Makes perfect sense.

Edited: Aug 7, 2012, 8:13am Top

Actually I think the English word "read" is pretty much as vague as it gets. It can be either past tense, or a command ;-)

Edited: Aug 7, 2012, 9:31am Top

>5 BarkingMatt: Touche! :) Though I'm proposing people be able to choose a collection as default, not set "Read" as the default.

ETA: (And having Read & To Read clears that ambiguity up)

Aug 7, 2012, 4:42pm Top

I'm not sure if the original point was to make that collection vague or not. To me, since the site is traditionally meant for people to catalog their physical libraries (correct me if I'm wrong), "Your library" was originally meant to represent physical libraries.

Since Collections are a relatively new feature, you're wrong that the Your Library collection had any meaning whatsoever in the original LibraryThing.

Aug 7, 2012, 5:11pm Top

I'm not sure if the original point was to make that collection vague or not. To me, since the site is traditionally meant for people to catalog their physical libraries (correct me if I'm wrong), "Your library" was originally meant to represent physical libraries.

As I recall, even from the beginning, the Your Library "collection" was for whatever you wanted to used it for. Tim (the creator of LT) has often said that he himself considers books he has read but does not own just as much a part of his mental furniture as the ones he does own.

Welcome aboard, treestar!

Edited: Aug 7, 2012, 5:23pm Top

I didn't imply that collections were in existence from the beginning of the site, but referred the intent of "Your library" when collections were instated, based on the intent of the site itself. ;)

To more succinctly summarize my two problems by being unable to choose a default collection or change the name of the default collection:

1. http://www.librarything.com/catalog/MEMBERNAME routes to an empty page
2. "Add to library" feature attempts to add a work to an inactive collection ("Your library")

Aug 7, 2012, 5:44pm Top

9> Yeah, that 1st one needs to be fixed. I thought it had been done with the same fix last summerish so that if Your Library is inactive, you're shown All Collections instead, but it sounds like that's only for the user in question, and not everyone in general.

For the second, I think that the workaround is to go directly to the Add Books page rather than Add to Library. I think now that Add to Wishlist is working properly, it's going to be an automatic attempt for Your Library or Wishlist, depending on the button? I don't remember exactly (since I don't use anything but the Manual add page (addnew.php!)

Edited: Aug 7, 2012, 5:47pm Top

@9: Regarding the first problem, when I go to http://www.librarything.com/catalog/treestar, I don't get a blank page, I get "All collections" — regardless of whether I'm logged in or not.

Edit - Ah, keristars has the right of it. You get a blank page, everyone else gets All Collections.

Aug 7, 2012, 7:18pm Top

11> But it shouldn't. I think maybe it doesn't work if you're logged out? Because the blank page thing is specifically what was fixed, and I haven't had the problem since - but I never view my catalogue when I'm logged out, so I wouldn't know, and that seems to be what treestar is describing in the OP.

It sounds like it might be a bug.

Aug 7, 2012, 8:05pm Top

9> Doesn't Add To Library add the book to the top collection? So the answer is to reorder your collections so that your default one is on the top. You supposed to be able to reorder your collections by dragging them on the edit collections page, but I believe there have been reports of it not working.

Aug 7, 2012, 8:13pm Top

13> That's what I thought, but Treestar says it's at the bottom of the list...

Aug 8, 2012, 5:11am Top

11> Huh. And I get a blank page (and Your Library selected in the Collections dropdown), while logged in. I wonder what the difference is - and yes, I'd say it's a bug.

The philosophy of Your Library is one thing. But if a collection can be set inactive, it shouldn't be poking its nose into things while it's inactive...so quite aside from the meaning and intention of YL, we've got a bug or two here.

Aug 8, 2012, 6:26am Top

Isn't it defaulting to the last collection you had seen in your own catalog (or someone else's)? Something like that nags at the back of my head.

Edited: Aug 8, 2012, 10:23am Top

>16 AnnieMod: Yes, when I'm logged in and go back to my books, it'll show the last configuration of my books that I was viewing (it knows from the cookies, I spose). But for others viewing for the first time, it just shows up as blank, which is troubling for people who are unfamiliar with LT and don't just know to click to view a collection.

Aug 8, 2012, 2:22pm Top

I got my results from msg #11 in Chrome. I thought to try it in IE8, and I immediately got the blank page. I was also logged in (which surprised me) so then I tried to get the blank page again, and couldn't do it; I kept getting All Collections instead.

Aug 30, 2012, 9:34am Top

Bah, and when I've accidentally added a book to "Your Library" (because it was the default selected when adding via the work page), I have to reactivate the collection before I'm able to uncheck it for that book:

Edited: Aug 30, 2012, 9:49am Top

One thing that should be mentioned that I don't think has been: getting rid of Your Library will cause you to lose the green checkmarks next to books in various places:


Just wanted to make sure you know what you'd be missing in case it's important to you.

Aug 30, 2012, 10:05am Top

Nah, not missing anything important as "Your Library" doesn't mean anything to me. But thanks for the link to that page, news to me!

Aug 30, 2012, 10:19am Top

Well I don't know if anything has been done in the last few weeks, no official comments so I guess no? But when I go to http://www.librarything.com/catalog/treestar I am on All Collections, not a blank page.

While making these changes does sound like a good idea, until they're (potentially) done/fixed, you can always just use Your Library and specify on your page what you put in it, as I've seen tons of peoples' profiles say (e.g. "My library contains books I have read and do not necessarily own; my other collections are fairly self-explanatory").

Aug 30, 2012, 10:52am Top

>22 PolymathicMonkey:

It does because you are doing it from a browser that has a cookie that tells LT where to look.
When I look from my LT browser, it goes to All Collections
My "clean" browser (never logging in anywhere) defaults to My Library

Aug 30, 2012, 11:13am Top

Ah you're right, my other - with LT cookies wiped - goes to blank. I suppose it's not a huge deal, since it's generally going to be users doing that sort of thing, but yeah it should be fixed.

Aug 30, 2012, 3:53pm Top

And here I thought the "Fix" was to default to All Collections if ML is deactivated as a rule, not just for those with the right cookies. :/

Basically, it should fail more gracefully. Any random person visiting my catalogue (which I use as my "webpage" link all around the web) is going to be confused when it comes up blank...

Aug 30, 2012, 4:37pm Top

Yeah I agree, it would be nice to have it work as intended- always.

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