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Lending (a.k.a. “Circulation”)

New features

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Edited: Feb 20, 2015, 2:23pm Top

Blog post: http://blog.librarything.com/main/2015/02/new-feature-lending-a-k-a-circulation/

Video introduction: https://vimeo.com/120180012

This is going to be a weird discussion, because the small libraries that use LibraryThing aren't generally active on Talk. (If you are one, make that known when you comment.) So I expect a certain amount of "we didn't want this," although certainly some regular members did. But there have been a lot of small libraries that can't use us because we had no circulation system. This addresses that.

Edited: Feb 20, 2015, 2:32pm Top

I'm not a small library, but I very much appreciate LT making an effort to provide this functionality. For one thing, I'm a patron of some of these small libraries; for another, I will use it (however infrequently) when I lend out my books. Currently I use Private Notes, but without any of the easy summary reporting this feature provides.

Mostly, though, I think this fits right into LT's broader vision of how to bring library science and practices out of The Library, and into the various non-traditional places serving as community libraries.

I like the book pocket icon, too.

Feb 20, 2015, 2:42pm Top

Thumbs up!

Feb 20, 2015, 2:43pm Top

I like - not something I'm likely to use much, but it's a great function.

One small oddity - the Settings button, which still only covers things related to the ABCDE views, is now over beyond the Sort and Power Edit buttons, not sure why. Not sure, for that matter, why it needed to be expanded and moved at all - cog attached to the view buttons seemed clear to me (though admittedly, I've told a lot of newcomers about it). If the Settings page is going to be expanded and cover more stuff, then its new location is fine, but if it belongs to Views only it should be by them.

Also - LOL about the recent declarations (by users) that LT had reached the end of new functions...

Feb 20, 2015, 2:43pm Top

I'm not a small library either, but I often lend books to friends. Like >2 elenchus:, I have used private notes to keep track of books I've loaned. I will use this feature! Thank you!

Edited: Feb 20, 2015, 2:51pm Top

>4 jjmcgaffey:

Yeah. I didn't think the cog was selling it enough. It does more than change the style, and will do more than that, as you say. Also, people don't know what cogs signify—we had that problem with the cog on the home page, which is why it's a pencil.

Also - LOL about the recent declarations (by users) that LT had reached the end of new functions...

No, we haven't. We have a good team working at present--twice the people of recent years, and four times the people for a few months. The app is coming along, and we have redoes of subjects and add books in process. (The add-books process is being redone for the app, which means it'll probably not be visible to users that it's changed until after the app arrives.) And a super-secret project I can't tell you about but which is not something anyone expects.

Feb 20, 2015, 2:46pm Top

No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Feb 20, 2015, 2:48pm Top

>6 timspalding: which is not something anyone expects.
The Spanish Inquisition?

Feb 20, 2015, 2:48pm Top

>7 elenchus: AHH you beat me!

Feb 20, 2015, 2:49pm Top

>6 timspalding:

Please don't mention a re-do of Add Books. At this point that's going to make long-time members disbelieve anything else you say in the same post. (Like how you shouldn't say something is coming in two weeks, even if it is, but probably more so.)

Feb 20, 2015, 2:52pm Top

>6 timspalding:-7

Great minds.

>9 norabelle414:

See correction. It's because the app needs it--it can't use the current thing. But the redo is on the back-end, not the front.

Feb 20, 2015, 2:52pm Top

Now I'm going to spend my afternoon wondering how the LibraryThing Inquisition would manifest...

I for one have been really excited about this feature since I knew we were working on it. Tim and Ammar did a great job, and I'm already using it to remind myself which of my friends I need to bother about finally returning my books.

Feb 20, 2015, 2:53pm Top

Dear Tim, FIX THIS!!! https://www.librarything.com/topic/188061

It's absolutely crippling batshit ugly horrible.

Feb 20, 2015, 2:53pm Top

>1 timspalding: You're right that I won't use it myself, but I'm still happy for it to exist. I do wonder how you decide which book features are important enough to go on the work page, though.

I like the general concept of having a complex feature represented efficiently in the catalogue column. It makes me optimistic for the future prospects of a social etc. field for how we found out about a given book.

As for LT development as a whole, it's certainly been more encouraging lately than it has been in a long time, and I updated my list of wished-for features in response. But I'm going to wait and see if the development is sustained and systematic before getting too excited.

Edited: Feb 20, 2015, 2:53pm Top

>13 anglemark:

Yup. On it. It's related to circulation, so it was weird to fix until this went.

Feb 20, 2015, 2:56pm Top

This is great. I am not a library, but I think it's great that you have provided this for libraries. I could foresee myself using it to track lending books to friends.

I played around with it and it works beautifully in my catalog.

Feb 20, 2015, 3:02pm Top

Thanks! And I love the feature, by the way!

Feb 20, 2015, 3:06pm Top

It is, I should have said, a very nice feature, and I hope it helps LT in the small-library niche.

(I put the couple of books I have on loan in the feature, to test it out - I've been using comments for it, but I'll use the feature if it's there even if it's more than I need.)

Feb 20, 2015, 3:13pm Top

Very nice -- thank you, Tim! At first I had used an "On Loan" tag, and then created a collection for "On Loan" to keep track of these things. (Peskily, however, that meant that the Add Books page always defaulted to checking the "On Loan" collection box, and I had to remember to uncheck it every time I added new books.) This will solve that problem elegantly!

(And keeping track of these things is important for individual members, too -- it helped me to track down several books I had lent out months and years previously before my wife and I moved away from Notre Dame. Of course, the most difficult part of that was tracking down the elusive faculty member who had one of them, and getting her to remember where she'd stashed it.)

Feb 20, 2015, 3:14pm Top

This is great! I manage edmontonhortlibrary and we will definitely be using this!

Feb 20, 2015, 3:15pm Top

>20 tardis:

You can update the "About my library" section on your Profile page now.

Feb 20, 2015, 3:16pm Top

>21 elenchus: You're right!!! Hadn't even thought of that yet :)

Feb 20, 2015, 3:17pm Top

>20 tardis:

So, you or anyone who does that, I REALLY want to hear what you want. We've looked at some of the other options, like LibraryWorld. We're not sure in what ways ours needs to conform to them, or what we're missing.

Feb 20, 2015, 3:46pm Top

This is a great feature!

Feb 20, 2015, 3:58pm Top

>23 timspalding: - I never got around to looking at other options, so I don't know what's out there, but I do know there's no money to purchase a solution so on that count, the LibraryThing option wins, hands down :)

I doubt that our circulation will be heavy, but for the first time we have an actual office administrator with regular hours, so it's possible for members to come to the office and actually use the library on a drop-in basis, as opposed to having to make an appointment to meet a board member there.

For now, the advantages I see to the system are:
It's simple and relatively fast, so the OA can do it easily, amid all her other duties.
Our collection is already in LT so an integrated solution is a plus.
We don't have bar codes for either the books or the members, so being able to type in a name works.

As we start using it, I'll let you know if anything jumps out as an issue.

Feb 20, 2015, 4:02pm Top

>25 tardis:

Well, there are things like LibraryWorld. Lending in that is UNBELIEVABLE. You can ONLY check a book out or in if you have its code. You're supposed to affix labels to every book, so that basically excludes half the small libraries I've ever seen. The user interface for the librarian looks terrible, just terrible. (LibraryThing has problems there, don't get me wrong, but this is like a bad Perl script from 1997.)

We can add bar-codes of course. But having them be mandatory is just crazy.

That said, it does some things LT does not do, like more stats and reports. And it doesn't have the central LT problem, that we're such and open and complex system that librarians are afraid patrons will be confused by us.

Feb 20, 2015, 4:08pm Top

>12 lorannen: Now I'm going to spend my afternoon wondering how the LibraryThing Inquisition would manifest...

They're much like the Spanish one, except that instead of poking you with a pillow, they whack you over the head with an encyclopaedia.

Feb 20, 2015, 4:28pm Top

>26 timspalding: Does the LT circ thing do any reports or stats? I didn't really see that on my cursory lookthrough.

Other organizations may have greater need for them (certainly could not do without them in my day job), but I don't expect the EHS will need much for stats. The Board likes to know that services provided to the membership are being used, so knowing how many books circulate is handy for the annual report.

Feb 20, 2015, 4:43pm Top

This is a cool and unexpected feature. Thank you, Ammar and Tim!

Feb 20, 2015, 4:46pm Top

>28 tardis:

Take a look at the short video, linked in the 1st post. There's a nice set of summaries showing books out, patrons using books, anything overdue.

Feb 20, 2015, 4:51pm Top

A great new feature Tim - thanks! It might help me stop losing books I lend to folk and then can't remember who has what. It also could be very useful for our Transition Town so that we can lend out books to members.

Thank you once again.

Feb 20, 2015, 4:56pm Top

Won't be using the feature, but very proud of LT for providing this. :o}

Feb 20, 2015, 5:13pm Top

>28 tardis:

Yeah, it summarizes, but it doesn't report. What I think you want is a summary broken down by months? Right?

Do you have a particular model in mind? We will probably end up making whatever small libraries want here. We have very robust reporting logic for our LibraryThing for Libraries product, so it's not alien to us.

Feb 20, 2015, 6:15pm Top

I have used LibraryThing to catalog our church library, and this feature is the greatest thing since sliced bread! Thank you!

I did run into a bug when resetting my Display Settings--I can't seem to get it to save my choice of recommended viewing style for visitors or the number of books to display per page.

Many, many thanks!

Feb 20, 2015, 6:28pm Top

>34 GracePointeChurch: I did run into a bug when resetting my Display Settings--I can't seem to get it to save my choice of recommended viewing style for visitors or the number of books to display per page.

FYI reported here http://www.librarything.com/topic/188081

Edited: Feb 20, 2015, 6:50pm Top

Feb 20, 2015, 6:58pm Top

What an excellent idea!

I gave up lending my books long ago (except to relatives whose homes I visit and can therefore get them back easily), because I lost too many books.

But for small libraries! Splendid!

Feb 21, 2015, 1:44am Top

>35 MsMaryAnn:

Bug fixed. Thanks for the report.

Feb 21, 2015, 1:48am Top

This makes me want to go back to being the librarian of the small church library I entered on LT years ago! I dreamed of this feature, but I will happily use it in my personal library as well. Thank you!

Feb 21, 2015, 9:16am Top

>38 timspalding: Sorry, Tim. I reopened the bug report http://www.librarything.com/topic/188081

Edited: Feb 21, 2015, 9:33am Top

I think this a wonderful feature. I'm only sorry that it wasn't available back when my rabbi was in the book business.

I tried it out, and love the way it works. This is another reason (as if I needed any more) to recommend LT to others. I've learned that loaning books to others ensures that those books will never will return to me. I'll use the "lending" feature temporarily (or at least until I'm sure it's time to move those books to my "Read but Unowned" Collection). :)

Feb 21, 2015, 9:35am Top

>45 Don't give up hope! I recently got back some books that I had lent out 10+ years ago.

That said, I've also learned that I shouldn't really count on getting the books back.

Feb 21, 2015, 9:42am Top

>42 _Zoe_: It's really better to just let the lent books go and not lend out any that are precious to you alone.

Feb 21, 2015, 10:10am Top

At this point, I don't really care. If someone gets joy out of a book, I'm willing to lend it and consider its return a bonus. There's probably 25 or so that's not true for, mostly because they'd be very expensive to replace.

Feb 21, 2015, 10:15am Top

>43 SqueakyChu: Very true. A friend of mine stopped lending books when someone returned a special book of hers to her with a coffee cup ring added to the cover.

I think I once read that a gentleman would always have three copies of a book—one to display in his library, one to read and one to lend. A rather expensive proposition but haven't we all had to replace a book or two that never came home?

Feb 21, 2015, 10:20am Top

I want people to read a book I love more than I want it back. There's no media mail past the grave.

Feb 21, 2015, 12:55pm Top

>44 timspalding: Yeah, one book in particular of the loans to a Notre Dame faculty member mentioned in >19 nathanielcampbell: was a publication by the Abbey of St. Hildegard that could only be acquired from their Klosterladen - I had purchased it while on a research visit in 2008. (Notre Dame's library held the only copy in North America known to Worldcat, but it had gone missing; by chance I overheard the faculty member in question griping about this fact, and I was able to run home, grab the publication, and lend it to her. I scored major brownie points that day.)

Feb 21, 2015, 2:18pm Top

>46 timspalding: "I want people to read a book I love more than I want it back."

Especially if you lend it to George Costanza:


Edited: Feb 21, 2015, 2:47pm Top

It seems like a really nice implementation that is not overly complex and will suit small libraries very well.

I didn't particular want this feature, but I'm happy to have it, and will use it -- migrating from my notes and collection to this data. When I was a kid this would have made me squee. As a 10-year-old I set up my own "card catalog" and was desperate for people to check books out from my personal library.)

Two points / suggestions:

(1) Is this data in the "export" yet? (I have a number of books on "long-term" loan and would want that data in the export.)

(2) Suggest having this field be included in power-edit. I realize it's a bit complex but that would make it a whole lot easier to check out, say, 5 of the books by author X.

Feb 21, 2015, 3:21pm Top

No, it's not in export. To get it into export, we probably need it in search. Should it be in search?

I suppose so, although not in any of the default ones, right?

Feb 21, 2015, 5:23pm Top

I am going to use the lending info to track books I have borrowed from various libraries. It's a bassackwards way of using the feature but it works great for my needs!

Feb 21, 2015, 5:39pm Top

I would think a separate search for this.

Feb 21, 2015, 5:59pm Top

>51 MsMaryAnn: That's brilliant! I use "From Where?" for my homebrew classification system, so now I could use "Lending" as "From Where?"

(See Tim, this is why we need a dedicated section for shelf location/non-Dewey/non-LOC organization and classification systems!)

Feb 21, 2015, 6:37pm Top

>51 MsMaryAnn: That's a brilliant idea - had been trying to figure out a way to track due dates that does not involve tags and collections and comments :)

Feb 21, 2015, 6:48pm Top

>53 casvelyn: and >54 AnnieMod: I am using the "patron" as a free text field to record the library I have borrowed from.

Feb 21, 2015, 6:55pm Top

Not sure if there is a thread for books but will post it here (please let me know if we have a thread somewhere)

When you click on the Lending column for sorting in the catalogue, it sorts based on book name (and in the settings this is what is selected after that)

Feb 21, 2015, 7:05pm Top

When you click on the Lending column for sorting in the catalogue

Well, it sorts by the status type—all the checked-outs together—then by whatever you sorted by last. (That your last sort is the subsort is the way LT aways works.)

I couldn't really decide on a better way. Perhaps by status, then due date, then start date, then patron?

Edited: Feb 21, 2015, 7:28pm Top

>57 timspalding:

My sorting was set on Finished date, then entry date.
When I clicked on Lending, now the first sort criteria became Book Title, second - finished date (my original sorting criteria - expected to show up there when there is a new sorting from the columns as you mentioned).

But I did not expect Book Title to show up as first criteria (I was curious to see what will be the sorting inside of the Lending)

Correction: It does not really sort based on book title (coincidence that tripped me) but it does make that selected in the settings of the sort - where you select primary and secondary sorting). Maybe Lending just need to be added there so it does not just default to Book Title?

Feb 21, 2015, 7:25pm Top

And while you are around :)

In the "Lending Patrons" table, if no name is specified (the (No name) line), the pencil at the end allows you to try to rename but does nothing - no errors but it does not change the name in the records. The pencil next to an actual name works as expected - changes the name in the Lending entry of the book.

Feb 21, 2015, 7:43pm Top

And my next pony is a "borrowing" system to track due dates for books that I have borrowed.

Feb 21, 2015, 7:47pm Top

>60 TheoClarke: Well - no reason not to use that one for this :)

Feb 22, 2015, 6:45am Top

>61 AnnieMod: I looked at that but I cannot see a way to repurpose it for both functions (lending and borrowing) without compromising the lending function too far (for me).

Edited: Feb 22, 2015, 10:43am Top

This is a fantastic new feature for church libraries. This will be announced to CLA members, who will appreciate it greatly. Thank you!

Edited: Feb 22, 2015, 1:18pm Top

Thanks very much for this function. We are a weaving guild library and I had tried using "currently reading" to keep track of borrowed books. It was too cumbersome, and not worth the effort for our small circulation. Now with "Lending" on the books listing and on the Dashboard it will be much easier for me and patrons to keep track of borrowed books. It's like you read my mind.

Thanks again - you guys rock!

Feb 22, 2015, 11:22pm Top

Thanks to you all from the monks in two Benedictine monasteries, one in Kerala, the other in Sri Lanka for this great new library feature!

Feb 23, 2015, 12:32am Top

>62 TheoClarke:

Would you be adding and removing books from your library to account for this?

Feb 23, 2015, 12:45am Top

Just wanted to say great function! I'm from one of the many small organisational libraries that uses LibraryThing, and having the ability to track items will make my job a lot easier.

I'm also having recent buggy issues with changing styles - when I go into settings to change the column displays and hit save, they keep reverting to their original default setting (tried numerous times).

I'm using IE and Windows 7 - unfortunately can't use another browser etc due to company policy!

Any suggestions?

Feb 23, 2015, 2:43pm Top

>66 timspalding: Currently, the books move between collections from To borrow to Borrowed to Read but unowned. Essentially, I want the books in the Borrowed collection to have an associated lender and a due date. It would be nice to have a history associated with book too but the data could be ephemeral. At first glance this looks like a very similar functional design to the Lending module. The book states that I can think of are 'ordered/requested', 'on hold', 'borrowed' and 'returned' but that really is gilding the lily.

Feb 23, 2015, 2:52pm Top

I love it!

Feb 23, 2015, 6:58pm Top

Very welcome for us as we are a small library! I'm finding a bit of room for improvement on the date functionality:

1. After using the date picker a few times (maybe 10 with success) the date picker started getting "displayed" far below the visible screen (out of reach of scrolling as well), making it unusable. Now I have to type dates.

2. When the picker was working, it always defaulted to the current month. That's fine as a default, but it would be nice when I'm editing an entry to have the picker start on the currently selected month.

3. For period loans, it would be nice to set a default, since most of our loans are for the same period (21 days in our case). It would save two clicks.

4. Date entry formats yyyy/mm/dd, yyyy-mm-dd, and mm/dd/yyyy work, but not mm-dd-yyyy. I could understand if you didn't want to confuse it with dd-mm-yyyy, but then why allow it with slashes? This would be mostly moot if the picker were working, and it's not a big deal, just odd.

Again, thanks for implementing this and nice job!

Feb 23, 2015, 7:16pm Top

>70 GAGVLibrary:

1. Hmm. What browser/OS are you using?
2. Agreed.
3. Right. I was going to make that a setting. Will do.
4. You mean you'd like to be able to use mm-dd-yyyy?

Feb 24, 2015, 1:12am Top

This is awesome for us! We've been using a piece of software for circulation that is no longer being supported (BookCat), so this is very timely! We've not had much time to exercise yet, but at first glance, we

1) also would like to be able to set a default time period for loans
2) would like to be able to set due date default to period (saving the click from current default of "none")
3) also would love to be able to send email reminders to patrons reminding them that books are either about to come due or are overdue

Thank you !!

Feb 24, 2015, 9:15pm Top

Hmmm, subtle change - I find the "Reviewed:" line in the middle of my book info somewhat annoying. I'd rather have the Review/Reviewed (or better yet, the talk bubble) up in the header where it used to be, or at least up in the corner with the Lending icon. Took me a while to notice just because I haven't been going to book pages much - but I just did an import and had to go clean things up.

Feb 25, 2015, 9:51am Top

Change can be discomfiting. I think it's better off there. I don't see an argument for having it be a button with (sometimes) a check, other than that's the way it was before. Do you?

Feb 25, 2015, 10:00am Top

>74 timspalding: I prefer to keep the book information box minimized. It was convenient to have access to that useful button without needing to open a big space-consuming box.

Feb 25, 2015, 10:08pm Top

>74 timspalding: As I said, I find it cluttery in the book information box - before it was available but up and out of the way. I do keep the box open, but Zoë's point is even stronger for those who don't. I change tags and collections a lot more often than I review or edit a review, or even open one to read it - and I usually do all of those with the talk bubble icon from the catalog rather than opening the book page to get to it.

I noticed it when I was skimming the box and stumbled visually over a line I didn't expect. That will, of course, wear off with time - but I don't really see why it needs to be there. I'd expect it more in someone else's book info box - it would be potentially useful there (but it's not there).

I'd be happy to have it as the same icon it has in the catalog, the talk bubble, and filled in or not as appropriate. Most of the other headers on that page have icons/buttons/useful things in them - do you mean to take all of those away? If not, why make this one a blank?

Feb 27, 2015, 9:14am Top

>1 timspalding:

I like this feature very much. Thank you Tim

But I like the video introduction on vimeo also. This is great.
Please go ahead with this as announcements and explanations.
Maybee the links to the videos could be collectet somewhere on LT.

Edited: Feb 28, 2015, 5:24pm Top

This is a wonderful feature! I love it! The best thing about it for me is that I can now track which books have been loaned and how many total loans I've had. Thank you very much!

Edited to say: I went and played with this great new feature and offically checked out my 'on loans'. I see that in the future I will be able to look at a book and see how many times it's been checked out. That's great! Will I be able to pull up a page that shows all books that have ever been checked out?

Thank you!

Mar 1, 2015, 8:56am Top

Didn't think I would use it and today a friend is in hospital and I am 'lending' a book. LOVE the feature. Thank you for thinking of it!

Mar 5, 2015, 2:47pm Top

Great new feature! Thanks! We are a small lending library of Soccer books, and part of the Portland Timbers supporters group. Our mission is to enhance soccer literacy in our group and the world.

We were just about to roll out a google sheets tracking method, but this is so much better for us.

My first question after a quick look around. I notice in the video that the patron name auto-fills. I presume that each patron once entered is stored somewhere. We have a membership of several hundred people. It would be great to import patron names (and email address). I'm guessing that is not an option at the moment. Could it be?

Second, export would be great. We intend to engage our patrons via email, so having an export that we could mail-merge would be great.

Oh yeah, thank again. This will help us a lot.

Mar 5, 2015, 3:35pm Top

Another question.
We have multiple copies of some books. We have added them as separate entries in the database because we wanted to be able to track who donated the book, and and its checkout status. So currently every entry has Copies = 1.

On each book we have added a sequence number on the checkout card, and the card pocket. (yes, we are old school).

The question is, what is the best way to get that sequence number into library thing, so that we check out the right copy, and know which copy to check in when the book comes back?

Mar 5, 2015, 3:44pm Top

>81 Booked107: The question is, what is the best way to get that sequence number into library thing, so that we check out the right copy, and know which copy to check in when the book comes back?

You use the other new feature - "Your call system" - http://www.librarything.com/topic/188345

So you use your numbering as your custom call number system.

Mar 5, 2015, 4:33pm Top

AnnieMod Thanks! That's great. Do you know if that column would get exported?

Edited: Mar 5, 2015, 4:45pm Top

Not sure. Try to do the tab delimetered export and see if it is there?

If not, as a temporarily measure put the same number in the comments (or private comments) field as well? This way you can use it immediately and it will also be searchable (note that the custom call ID is not searchable yet but is sortable). Double work - I know - but if you make both columns visible in your catalog while adding the numbers, adding in two columns instead of one is not so hard. :)

Or jump in the other thread and ask there? :)

Mar 6, 2015, 12:53am Top

>80 Booked107:

Thanks. We plan on adding that. How are your patrons stored currently? What other data do you attempt to track for your patrons?

On email export, would you want all patrons, or special reports?

>81 Booked107:

Multiple copies checkouts are coming soon.

Edited: Mar 6, 2015, 11:59am Top

>85 timspalding:

The Booked team will get an extract of the 107ist database in excel format. Probably just full name, and email address. We haven't discussed what information we would like to track. Managing circulation is new to us. Until now, we've been relying solely on the library cards.

For patron import / export, I would want that work just like the catalog does. Whatever columns you are storing should be able to go in and out again.

For email export, I see this as a separate table. This is a record of transactions. The lending and returning of a book being a complete transaction. Pertinent fields would be patron name, email addr, book title, author, checkout date, return date, days out. I might want to filter the output based on a time period, or all checked out books.

Reports are great for the web page interface, but I think the export should be the raw data. It's going to end up i google sheets where we will slice and dice it.

Concerning multiple copies, I'm glad to hear you are already working on this. I took AnnieMod's advice and used Call Number to record copy number. We have a small library at this point, 177 books, so it didn't take long. And we can easily migrate to your new functionality once its ready.

Mar 6, 2015, 2:13pm Top

We would like to run reports on how many times a book has been checked out by month (for a certain time frame). Is this a possibility in the Lending Feature. If so, how do we operate it.

Mar 6, 2015, 9:46pm Top

It just occurred to me that I could use this feature for tracking reading rather than lending. I'd like to keep track of how much an individual book actually gets read, whether through my own re-reading or through passing it around to my whole family. Hmmm....

Mar 6, 2015, 11:11pm Top

>88 _Zoe_:

In terms of your own re-reading of a specific book, how would it be better than the multiple reading dates available?

But yes, for tracking your loaning an individual book out, definitely useful. Plan to do that myself.

Mar 7, 2015, 10:18pm Top

>89 elenchus: Well, the point would be to track how many times the physical copy is being read, including both my own reads and reads within my family that I wouldn't count as lending—it's only lending if someone takes it out of the house.

Mar 8, 2015, 10:33am Top


_Zoe_ -

Nice idea.
The reading dates functionality is not so good, so maybe this would work. I often start a book, drop it for a long time, pick it up again much later ... I would prefer a date + status/page, tied to a particular copy. The status could be "acquired this copy", "deaccessioned this copy", "on page n", "finished", etc. Because often I read a copy from a library, then later buy a copy, get a gifted copy, etc.

Mar 12, 2015, 11:53pm Top

This is great! We are an educational non-profit and were just finishing cataloging our collection of donated books, tapes and DVD,s when the lending feature became available. It's perfect for us. We are hoping to connect with our volunteers and with the secondary schools in our area. Is there a way to track activity (a visitor counter) on our catalog?

Mar 16, 2015, 11:36pm Top

We are a small church library (2800 items) and may use this feature. We loaned out 900 items last year and tracking them manually is a lot of work; this lending feature may help us.

I've been playing with this feature and see one thing that makes me nervous:
On the "book's main page", as it is seen by the general public (under "Book Information/Lending"), the checkout and due dates are listed along with "(Edit/Details)". Anyone can click on "Edit/Details" and then can click on "Status", type in 'changes' to that "Status", and hit "Save". Luckily, those 'changes' are not actually made but it's still scary.
Why is "Edit/Details" shown to "the world" on the book's main page?

Mar 16, 2015, 11:52pm Top

>93 StJosephIssaquah: Not to worry, only you (when signed-in to your account) can see or edit books you have cataloged, including the lending information. If you go to a work that is not in your catalog you will see that this is the case.

Mar 17, 2015, 12:40am Top

>94 MsMaryAnn: mmedeiros:

Anyone can see the main page of any of our books unless the books are in a private collection. Only someone who is logged in can edit those books but anyone can see that main page.

What I want to know is why the "(edit/details)" option is shown on the main page to someone who is not signed in to my LT account. I can see it when I am not signed into LT and am viewing LT from a computer that I've never used before to access LT.

If, from the main page, I click "edit/details" and then "status", I can appear to make changes and then hit "save" but what actually happens is the "LENDING" data all disappears from that main page. If I leave that page and come back in again, the original data is back unchanged.

So... What is the purpose of having "edit/details" there on the main page? It doesn't do anything and will confuse patrons.

Mar 17, 2015, 12:53am Top

>95 StJosephIssaquah:

I do not see an edit option when I look at a book from your catalog - when I am logged in or not. As it should behave.

What browser and OS are you using when you are seeing it?
What is more - you should not be seeing the lending information in the main work and book page if you are not logged it. And a quick test with one of my books that have lending information do proof that.

Are you sure noone had ever logged from this machine (LT uses cookies so something may still be in the browser)?

Mar 17, 2015, 12:55am Top

And let's make it easy

Do you see the edit/details when you look at this book:
https://www.librarything.com/work/1266378/book/116616994 (it is in my library and has lending details which you should not be able to see from the book page) If you cannot - then you are logged in (or half logged in anyway) on the other machine; if you can - I would love to know the details on how.

Mar 17, 2015, 12:56am Top

>95 StJosephIssaquah: I've just had a look at Children's Stories of the Bible From the Old and New Testaments - http://www.librarything.com/work/1364838/workdetails/114280922

I don't have any ability to edit details anywhere in the work or book details, nor in the circulation column in viewing your library. No 'Edit your book' link is displayed on the work page. If I look at a book that we share, I do get an 'edit your book link' on the main work page. Are you sure that there isn't some other LT account logged in to the other computer?

Edited: Mar 17, 2015, 2:42am Top

I've managed to produce the same thing that StJosephIssaquah is seeing.

1. I took a book from my library and checked it out to myself while using Chrome.
2. I copied the link from the address bar to IE (after deleting all cookies, etc.)

IE clearly says I'm logged out, but at the bottom of the Book Details I see:

Checked out 2015-03-17 — Due 2015-04-07 (edit/details)

(Note that the name of the checker-out doesn't appear.)
Clicking (edit/details) gives me the circulation interface, though trying to add a new check out just makes the "Lending" part disappear.

The link in question is:


I see the same here:

for that matter, even when logged in.

Okay, this only happens if you have your "Lending" settings set to show information to visitors. (Which makes sense for a library.)

Mar 17, 2015, 2:39am Top

>99 Scorbet: OK. I'm seeing the same thing using Firefox on a Mac. The books that I looked at above can't have been checked out or had any relevant circulation information. If I make a change on "Handle with care" the Lending line disappears, but then if I reload the page, it looks as though the change has stuck!

Mar 17, 2015, 2:43am Top

That is a major bug. You should report it in Bug collectors.

Mar 17, 2015, 2:45am Top

>100 rodneyvc:

Ah, so you're the one who made it missing? Thought I'd gone mad and done it myself without realising :-)

Mar 17, 2015, 7:05am Top

>95 StJosephIssaquah: I am reporting this as a bug. Now that I have gone to the book http://www.librarything.com/work/9637110/book/103846638
that has lending info in your library I was able to edit the information and it appears to have saved even after refreshing, signing-out, etc.

Mar 17, 2015, 9:57am Top

Fixed that bug. Good catch, thanks.

Mar 17, 2015, 11:09am Top

That problem only could be seen on books that were actually checked out. Since I only had 1-2 books checked out yesterday, none of you (besides the LT employees) were able to see what I was talking about. Sorry. I will attach links next time I ask a question.

Mar 17, 2015, 7:12pm Top

The "Lending" feature is just what we've been looking for so that we can begin lending books to our volunteers.

One question: Before we initiated this feature with our volunteers, I trouble shot the feature by using several phony borrower names and formats that included a contact phone/email number. Is there any way to delete these phony names from our database?

Mar 17, 2015, 7:40pm Top

>104 timspalding:


There is some debugging code left behind. :)

If you look at a patron's All Transactions and there is more than one page and you try to click on the number 2 (or anything in the line there), there is a popup saying 1 and nothing happens. If you need a library to look at, my only patron is like that so you can see it there.

Mar 21, 2015, 12:19pm Top

I have a library collection with some books that have multiple copies. At the present time there does not seem to be an option to "lend" individual copies of one book. It would be more efficient to have this feature included. Until that happens it seems necessary to create duplicate records of each book to reflect the number of copies in the collection and be able to lend each copy at any time. I would like to avoid such a practice if possible to avoid taking up unnecessary space in the collection. For example, I currently display 20 books per page in any given collection but if I have to add multiple copies of each book, eventually I believe I will need to display 100 books to accommodate the multiple copies in between the single-copy books. I think it's great that we can specify the number of copies for each book in a collection and I hope it's possible for the lending feature to become more synchronous/integrated with the cataloging feature.

Edited: Mar 21, 2015, 2:02pm Top

>108 FERNlibrary: There are plans to do this. See post #85. >85 timspalding:

Mar 21, 2015, 11:30pm Top

Used this to log books I borrowed from my public library.

I have my Lending set up on style D. I entered data on 2 books, and it showed in the lending column. When I left style D an went to A and then returned to D the column for both is empty?

I refreshed the page but no joy. I double clicked in the column and when it opened on Status, I clicked on the Lending tab and it said there were no records. I re-entered twice and both times the data disappeared. Am I doing it wrong ? I hit save when I entered my data. Is this a bug ?

Edited: Mar 28, 2015, 9:14pm Top

I love this feature, we are a small rural library and this will really come in handy, but I do have a few specific questions after playing around a while and viewing the video.

No. 1: Is it possible to reset the circulation data back to zero on a monthly basis? But not the overdue, of course.

No. 2: When I go to the LT Home page and click on books as instructed, it does not show the circulation on the top like it does in the video. Is there a setting I have to change?

No. 3: How can I get rid of "no name" or any other patron for that fact in the patron list?

No. 4: Did I read correctly that we are going to be able to use LT to create a database of our patrons?? That would be great!

No. 5: Can we (or will we be able to in the future) be able to set our due date to a default? Ours is 3 weeks and it would be nice to not have to set it everytime.

No. 6: When I click on the overdue option, it shows me the book and the dates due, but it does not show the patron who has it unless I click on the books. It would be great if I could just print out a list of overdues with associated patrons.

Thanks so much for all your hard work! A real altruistic undertaking!


Mar 27, 2015, 7:39pm Top

>111 GraftonLibrary: I can answer no. 2. When you are in catalog view there is a button next to the tags button. I believe the default is "authors". Click on the button for the drop down menu. Lending is one of the choices.

Edited: Mar 27, 2015, 7:40pm Top

>85 timspalding: It would be nice to check out one volume of a multivolume set, too.

Edited: Mar 28, 2015, 9:16pm Top

How do I ask a specific person a question? I see others have their names with the > sign, but not sure how to do it. Thanks

Mar 28, 2015, 9:50pm Top

>114 GraftonLibrary: Just type the arrow sign, and then the number of the post you want to reply to. The username will fill in itself.

Edited: Mar 29, 2015, 3:49am Top

The >number is to reference a specific post, the @member is to reference a specific member

Mar 29, 2015, 2:04pm Top

>114 GraftonLibrary: No space between the > and the post number.

Mar 30, 2015, 3:46pm Top

>111 GraftonLibrary: Happy to answer:

1) Do you mean to ask if you can clear out all Transactions by all patrons on a monthly basis (except for the overdues)? I don't believe you can do this, not yet anyway. Is there a good reason to have this feature? I ask out of interest and because I'm not a librarian. If there's a compelling reason to do so, it might be something considered for development.

2) @mmedeiros answered nicely.

3) To remove any patron from your patron list, you'll need to remove all Transactions associated with that patron. "No name" exists for all Transactions that were not assigned a patron name, so you know to add them later if you need.

4) As you add patrons to transactions in Lending, they're automatically saved in auto-complete (for adding the same patron names later), as well as added as a patron on the Lending page. There's a link to "Patrons" to view all of your patrons at once, where you can edit Patron names easily by clicking the pencil icon next to each patron row.

5) We currently don't have that option, but it seems easy enough to add. timspalding says yes. :) (so, coming soon!)

6) Definitely helpful feedback, thanks!

Hope that helps!

If you have further questions let me know (kristilabrie) or you can always email us at info@librarything.com.

Apr 2, 2015, 10:00am Top

I like many of the suggestions by >111 GraftonLibrary: - Another feature I would like to see is an email notification for overdue items. Like a daily digest.

Question: Can LibraryThing members (Organization member) use LibraryThing for video libraries and lending, too, or does LibraryThing prefer members stick to books?

Overall, I absolutely love the the new lending feature!

Edited: Apr 2, 2015, 10:49am Top

If you enter video/DVDs... please, please mark them as such in the titles.

You will find that LT isn't really set up for these, but it can be done and is done quite a lot. However it is sometimes hard to tell the books and the movies apart. Combining is a lot easier if the title makes it clear where this particular item belongs.

Apr 2, 2015, 10:47am Top

>119 IRC-Maine:

What MarthaJeanne said.

Also, if you are entering movies based on books, please put something in the author field that is not the author of the book the movie is based on. It can be the studio, the director, the star, whatever, just so it's not the author of the book. That keeps the book and author data cleaner, and will mean people who prefer not to see DVDs on LT don't have to see them unless they go looking.

Apr 2, 2015, 10:21pm Top

I'm cataloging our church library of about 3,000 books, then moving on the the audio-visual section. Thanks for this tip.

Apr 6, 2015, 2:12pm Top

This has been tremendously helpful with our small library. We have had the library for a couple years without anyone really maintaining or cataloging. I started this past year and found LibraryThing and it saved my sanity. When you added the lending feature, I was amazed. It works great! You are awesome! Thanks!

Apr 6, 2015, 6:37pm Top

The reason I would like to reset our circulation activity is because I have to submit a monthly report with my stats to the board, also clear for EOY would be helpful probably as well. Of course, I can retain a running total.

Apr 9, 2015, 1:28pm Top

Found a bug!

I updated the checkout status of many books in my library to 'unknown' in preparation for a physical reconciliation with the database. The idea was to mark everything 'unknown' and then update this status when we confirmed that the book was on the shelf or checked out.

When I changed the first book from 'unknown' to 'checked out', several books were updated with the 'checked out' status. I'm guessing there is an issue with the update query?

note, this happened 10 days ago, just in case you've addressed it in the mean time. (sorry for the slow reporting)

Tonight we plan to use a more physical approach to the reconciliation. I've printed out the librarything db, and we're going to mark each book we find.

My concern is that then we will update the books found missing, several at a time. Will I experience the same problem when I go to update one of these books? Is there a work around to avoid this?

Apr 9, 2015, 2:12pm Top

At this point, does it make sense to log such requests as >125 Booked107: in the Bug Collectors group, to be sure each receives the standard review and follow-up? Not implying that Booked107's post was improper in any way, merely observing this thread is now over 100 posts. Early bugs often get attention on the New Features thread, thought perhaps this feature had moved onto "established feature" status.

Apr 9, 2015, 2:30pm Top

I'd definitely put it into Bug Collectors - I suspect it will get read here (the feature is still relatively new) but the tracking features unique to BC will make it easier for Tim et al to deal with the bug.

Apr 9, 2015, 3:32pm Top

I've entered a Bug report, and linked to the original post in >125 Booked107:

Here it is for reference:


Edited: Apr 16, 2015, 8:30am Top

>125 Booked107: Wow, thats an interesting case.
I will definitely need to look into that!

>128 elenchus: thanks for bugging it up!

>125 Booked107: The bug has been fixed. Please let us know if anything else 'strange' happens.

Edited: May 21, 2015, 6:12am Top

Hi, I am a school librarian and have used LibraryThing before for a small school library. I worked around the circulation problem kinda clunkily by naming collections 'checked out' 'missing' etc and adding the loaned books to the relevant collection and then taking them off when returned. I added the student name and due date in a comment. Like I said, clunky!
However, I am in a new school recently after a period in the NAtional Library and am so delighted to see the new lending feature. I think it's fantastic, actually having patrons saved and being able to see overdues easily. So happy! Thank you.

One question I have though is about barcodes. I have multiple copies of lots of books that are popular with the students so I am wondering the best way to add them separately. Would barcoding all of the books, and adding the barcode into the isbn field after adding the edition be a good way to work that? I just think each book needs a unique entry that will pop up when scanned and thats the only solution i can come up with...

Also, and this may seem silly but in order for students to see and search the catalogue, will they have to join LibraryThing? Or is there a way to have recently added books show up more prominently from the perspective of a non member?

Thanks again!


Edited: May 21, 2015, 8:15am Top

Non-members can see your account. See the links on your profile. (The full URL will copy and paste even though only part of it shows there.)

The profile also shows the most recent additions, but only a few, so you probably want to create a separate collection or use a special tag and point it out to them.

May 21, 2015, 6:11pm Top

You could put the barcode into Comments - or better yet, into the new Call Number field (if you're not using it for your own call numbers! There is a DDC and an LCCN field as well, if you use Dewey or Library of Congress codes). Putting it into the ISBN field will cause problems, especially if it's in a format that could be mistaken for an actual ISBN. You can search for anything anywhere, it's not just the ISBN field that's searched if you scan in a barcode.

Though if you're using an unmodified CueCat, I'm not sure whether LT's translator can manage things-that-aren't-ISBNs, or will just say it doesn't know them. A modified Cat works fine, as does a normal bar code reader - anything that outputs the actual numbers (or other characters) encoded into the bar code.

You can set up a default style, but it doesn't include the sort, so you can't sort by date of entry as the default. Yes, a tag or collection for New Books is probably the simplest way. You can filter your library by a tag or collection, then copy the Permalink from the bottom of that page and pass that to your students labeled New Books (or equivalent) - but that would give them _only_ the new books, so you'd have to give them two URLs. The Permalink does include a sort (which sometimes works...) so you could try it that way - it would show them all the books, but finding something would be confusing (easier by search than by paging through, which is true anyway if they know what they're looking for).

Jun 22, 2015, 3:16am Top

Ooh - yum. I shall have to check this out properly, but I think we could use it; I volunteer at a club library with (I'm guessing) about 5,000 books. Currently we're using MS Access on Office 97.

I'm also intrigued by the new barcode stickers.

First, I have to convince the rest of the library committee to look at it, and then convince the budget holder that we can stretch to a barcode scanner ...

Jun 22, 2015, 4:00am Top

How about a $15 CueCat, from the LibraryThing store? OK, a bit more for shipping, and it only works plugged in to a computer (not a stand-alone scanner), but the price is certainly right and it's quite functional. I've modified all of mine, but if you're just searching on LT, you don't need to do that - it works right out of the box.

Jun 25, 2015, 3:32pm Top

Really loving the potential of the new lending feature but I'm waiting to implement until there is multiple copy functionality. I know that's something that was being worked on... is there any word on that?

Jun 30, 2015, 6:35am Top

A few questions, if we're to set up LT to replace our current system (I've probably missed pages of discussion on it; sorry) :

- we usually cover our labels with tape, to prevent them coming off / becoming illegible. Would we still be able to read barcodes through tape?

- our system works on a minimal charge per week, and we do accounts monthly. Would we be able to incorporate that?

- would we be able to track a book's / borrower's lending history?

Jun 30, 2015, 11:37pm Top

>136 libraian:
- Probably, especially if you use matte rather than shiny tape - it really depends on your barcode reader, and to some extent on the printing on the barcodes. Not really related to LT; if your current setup lets you read them, using Circulation shouldn't change anything.

- dunno

- Yes, there's a patron history...not sure about the book history, but I think so.

Edited: Jul 27, 2015, 4:58am Top

I'm really stuck trying to remove a few duplicated patrons. This duplication happens as people hit 'enter' when part of a name they're trying to find comes up in the 'lending' 'patron' field. This adds the part as a new patron. :-(

When I go to their transactions, I can't find any way to delete them, as suggested by Grafton Library in #111.

Is there a workaround?

Jul 28, 2015, 11:08am Top

>138 VicRML:

Ok, so I assume the issue is the following

1. You have a patron named John Smith
2. Users are entering book circulation details and press ENTER early in the Patron field
3. This results in books being checked out to John Sm or John Smi or Joh .... etc

If this indeed is the the problem, the simplest solution would be for us(LT) to change what happens when ENTER is pressed by not submitting the form.

I want to get feedback from timspalding

In the mean time, if you edit those circulation items to the correct patron, the incomplete patron names should disappear.

Thanks for pointing out and I will post again when an update occurs.

Jul 28, 2015, 11:13am Top

Okay, Ammar but the problem is that patrons with no current records should not necessarily disappear. How are you handling that?

Jul 29, 2015, 11:02pm Top

I've put all the books loaned to each person into single patron accounts for each person. That leaves behind the duplicate names for those people as additional patrons.

For example, "Anna Wxxx" is the patron, and 'Anna' got entered as a new patron. I've moved all of "Anna's" borrowings to ""Anna Wxxx's" account, but I can't get rid of "Anna's" account. She didn't disappear.

A couple of months ago I was able to delete a patron after I moved their lendings across, but for some reason it's not happening - or there's a rulebook or link or incantation I'm not aware of.

On another completely different matter, I see to the right of the field I'm typing in right now a "touchstones" definition and examples that have me totally confused. I really don't get why I'd want a touchstone, nor do I see why there's odd punctuation in the examples. Can someone do an explanation for Dummies please?

Thanks :-)

Jul 29, 2015, 11:07pm Top

We need to provide a way to eliminate patrons. It stores them because, although Tom Jones may not have any books out now, you may still want him in the systme.

Touchstones are an easy way to reference a book. Using brackets around a title and double-brackets around an author creates just suck links.

Jul 29, 2015, 11:25pm Top

a way to eliminate patrons

sounds a bit harsh; isn't an overdue fine customary?

Jul 30, 2015, 12:01am Top

We give them a week's notice!

Jul 30, 2015, 2:01am Top

That's alright then, time to start running!

Jul 30, 2015, 6:09am Top

>141 VicRML: A little more detail than Tim provided in >142 timspalding: - if you wanted to reference a particular book (ok, work), or author, you would use the square brackets to create a link to LT's record. For instance, if I type [The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe] The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, it automatically makes a link to it, both here in the message and up at the top of the thread, on the right. Not particularly useful in this thread, but in the more common threads in which we're discussing books we've read or want to read, very helpful.

And as it shows on the right, putting double square brackets around an author's name will provide a link to that author's page. If you put single brackets around an author's name, it will try to find a book named that (and depending on the author, may find it - a biography or the like); similarly, if you put double brackets around a book title it will try to find an author named that.

It doesn't always work perfectly - you may have to click the (others) link to find the right book. But it's extremely useful as a quick way to link to books and authors.

Jul 30, 2015, 9:47am Top

Jul 31, 2015, 1:37am Top

Jul 31, 2015, 8:34am Top

Sorry I wasn't more lucid, Taphophile. I want to purge the patron list of phantom patrons created accidentally. We in our library LOVE patrons, and wish more would wander in!

Jul 31, 2015, 8:35am Top

We love them and love them and love them until they see the light! Our patrons are our beloved worshipping community, you see.

Jul 31, 2015, 8:39am Top

Thank you so much! I understand everything you said, jjmcgaffey. And I apologise for not responding sooner, but I only just now am beginning to understand how to wander back to this thread. Perhaps the whole shebang could be renamed LibraryThingMaze. :-)

Also, I think the bookmark I just made might work.

Edited: Jul 31, 2015, 8:41am Top

Thank you for the example/reference, elenchus. Just what I needed. Gonna create a crystal bracelet now.

Edited: Jul 31, 2015, 8:59am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Edited: Jul 31, 2015, 8:59am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Jul 31, 2015, 9:11am Top

>152 VicRML: By typing >post_# first in the message, you can indicate which post you are replying to. This message system doesn't support threading.

Edited: Jul 31, 2015, 11:30pm Top

>post155# Thank you anglemark Well, it didn't come up blue, but at least it identifies the post.

Aug 1, 2015, 12:07am Top

>156 VicRML: You are taking what was said too literally. Just use the angle bracket (this thing ">" ) with the number of the post (you were trying to reference 155), and it'll all be fine. No need for the word "post" or for the pound sign (#).

Here's what you'd meant to put:

>155 anglemark: (Note how there's a nice colon at the end)

Aug 1, 2015, 2:01am Top

>157 Lyndatrue: anglemark: Thanks again. Slow learner, lots of errors - which I need to make to find out what doesn't work. (That's my story and I'm stickin to it!)

Aug 1, 2015, 2:40am Top

LT does have a rather different system than any other site (that I'm aware of). It takes a while to catch on to its tricks. But then you can do things other sites can't...fun.

Aug 1, 2015, 12:17pm Top

>159 jjmcgaffey: And there are books!

Aug 1, 2015, 1:35pm Top

LT doesn't actually have books, it just lets you catalog yours. Some people get confused by this.

Aug 1, 2015, 2:48pm Top

>161 jjwilson61: Yes, we have books. I have seen newbies get confused. LT just lets us find out about more books - always a good thing.

Aug 1, 2015, 7:53pm Top

It has book records, which let us find out all sorts of stuff (_how_ many books are there in that series!?). And people who talk about books, which is a very dangerous thing (to our TBR piles/boxes/bookshelves...).

Aug 1, 2015, 7:55pm Top

I expect my obituary to read "crushed by TBR pile."

Aug 2, 2015, 8:56am Top

Wait ... no books? :0(

Aug 2, 2015, 8:57am Top

We are getting ready to catalog our Church and Church School libraries. I am thinking of using barcode labels to begin with, but possibly without scanners that would have to be installed on several computers.

Does anyone have advice or comments on this plan?

I also think we should put PROPERTY OF labels on each book as we process it.

The School library has abt 1000 books, with shelves of borrowed books in each classroom.

Thanks for any thoughts.


Aug 3, 2015, 1:27am Top

Well...it would probably be difficult at best to see and (correctly) type in the bar code every time. If you're going to use bar codes, I'd go for CueCats - they're only $15 (plus shipping), and the way to "install" them on a computer is to plug them in (USB).

They get more useful (useful off LT) if you modify them to output straight numbers/text rather than the scramble they put out by default - it's a minor fix, but scary if you're not used to poking around chips and circuits (personal experience - but by the third one, I had gotten pretty casual about it). But if all you want to use them for is to scan bar codes to LT, an unmodified Cat will work fine.

And yes, a label or stamp with Property Of would be useful - both as an identifier, and to tell you which books you've already cataloged (well, the bar code sticker would do that, too). Actually, the stickers have text above the bar code - the sample in the blog post about them shows "Tim Spalding's Library", you can set the text to anything you want, up to 25 characters. So you could combine the two into one label.

Aug 3, 2015, 7:30am Top

Thank you very much for the input, especially as to installing/plugging in the USB and the fix to output text. And the legibility of the small numbers.

I am not sure that we have an IT person except for repairs. No response to my question on the person's existence.

Have you actually found the barcode and cuecat set up works. I did plan to have church name on the barcodes, so as you said, that might be enough to remind people where they got the book.

Aug 3, 2015, 6:52pm Top

I haven't used the barcodes, but I've used my CueCat (modified) to enter some 2500 books back when I started my library (all the ones that had ISBN barcodes!), and use it occasionally now to enter a batch of books.

For entering, for 5-10 books, I find it as easy and nearly as quick to just type in the ISBN; on the other hand, I don't have the Cat plugged in all the time (because I don't use it all that often - a bit of a Catch-22).

I've used it to search (on ISBN) only as a test; as I said, I don't have the barcode stickers, and my Cat is modified (I did it almost as soon as I got it, the scramble was annoying). So I can't say for certain that it would work for you - but at the price, it might be worth getting a Cat along with some stickers and trying it out.

BTW - the modification consists of unscrewing two small screws, identifying the correct chip and leg (that's the hard part! but there are good pictures on LT and the web), and snipping said leg. I've done it with an Exacto knife, and with a pair of nail scissors - the scissors were a lot easier, and quicker.

General CueCat info: http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/CueCat_Guide
Modifying a Cat: http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/CueCat:_De-clawing

Aug 3, 2015, 8:51pm Top

>167 jjmcgaffey: My store uses the regular barcodes that are on products, but when we need to print a barcode for whatever reason (something to scan during inventory, the manufacturer sent us the product with an incorrect barcode, etc) we use one that's based on our item number, a 6 or 7 digit sku. The point being, if the barcode is for a small enough number, it's usually not that hard to hand type the number either.

Might even get to the point where you have the barcode numbers for very popular books memorized and can recite them off the top of your head.

Aug 5, 2015, 7:11am Top

Thank you!

I naively volunteered to tackle the church library after I did about 500 of my personal nonfiction titles over a weekend. Church has several collections, including the choir's music holdings. A choir member is going to work on that. Also the pre school collection, which the teachers say they'd very much like to be cataloged so they can tell which teacher has checked out which book.

Aug 5, 2015, 7:24am Top

>168 TrinityLuthAthens: As to identifying the books as belonging to your library: at our Club library, we use a sticker at the top of the spine which identifies where it should be shelved (author's name and section) and another sticker at the bottom of the spine with the Club name on. We just use the label sheets you buy at stationery shops and the Word proforma. We get books returned on an infrequent but regular basis from the school where a lot of the Club members children go.

My kids' school libraries / class libraries use something similar, so it's fairly easy to spot the different library books, especially since I (try to) keep them together on one shelf, and I can pull out the relevant books by looking at the spines.

Aug 5, 2015, 11:19am Top

What a good idea, libraian! thank you!

Aug 6, 2015, 6:14am Top

No problem!

Though I can't really take the credit ;0)

Edited: Aug 6, 2015, 7:56am Top

>138 VicRML:

I have disabled form submit when ENTER is pressed while the patron field has focus.
This should prevent future mishaps of unintended duplicate patrons

>142 timspalding:
I agree. How about keeping it simple and including a link ('Delete this patron') in the patron history page?

Aug 6, 2015, 5:28pm Top

I think we need a more general solution LT_Ammar.

Aug 7, 2015, 6:56am Top

>176 timspalding:
We can always do a patron CRUD(Create-Read-Update-Delete) page. We can also still keep the current way of auto-adding a patron if you specify him/her in a circulation item and they do not exist.

Aug 9, 2015, 3:42pm Top

My display does not show a column for lending even though I changed to display style "B". Under the selections I don't see "lending" under any of the options. Was it removed?

Aug 9, 2015, 10:26pm Top

No you need to add lending to whatever style you want. Go to https://www.librarything.com/settings/styles to change it.

Edited: Aug 10, 2015, 1:17am Top

>175 LT_Ammar: LT_Ammar
>142 timspalding: timspalding:

Thank you for working on this little niggle. Being able to simply delete patrons would be a great help!

Perhaps a way to archive patron activity while preventing further activity could be helpful?

Aug 12, 2015, 12:25am Top

>177 LT_Ammar: If you do keep the auto-adding of patrons when they're not already in the system, could you put a check box? Something like 'this patron is not in your system; do you want to add them?', or some way of disabling the auto-add. I can see that for other libraries it wouldn't be an issue, but as a Club library, we do charge a nominal borrowing fee, so we need to have patrons' account details in the system before they can borrow books. (That's how we get our budget for new books and library supplies.)

Aug 12, 2015, 11:30am Top

>181 libraian:

Im a little confused. If you want to prevent patrons from borrowing books unless they register, that means you will not need to add them temporarily and they will be filled out in the form only when they do have the book. Patron is an optional field so nothing should be entered unless you want that patron tied to that book copy.

Perhaps I misunderstood what your use case is?

Aug 12, 2015, 12:02pm Top

I think they want an option to not have patrons automatically added just because that box was filled in on the form.

Aug 12, 2015, 12:05pm Top

See >138 VicRML:. The problem is when mistakes are made.

Edited: Aug 13, 2015, 2:49am Top

I may be getting a bit confused because of the way our system is set up currently. Because our library system is essentially a database (MS Access, I think) it isn't connected to the main Club system, so if a Club member wants to become a library patron (and they haven't been before), we have to put all their details into the library system. We generate a list of fees for books borrowed at the end of each month for the Club to add to its accounts.

When I tried out the LT circulation feature, when I added a patron as borrowing a book, that patron was added to the LT circulation database. (Plus I accidentally added part of the name, so I have the same patron twice.) So, I assume, we could absent-mindedly add a patron without having their account details to be able to charge the borrowing fees to their account.

Of course, for all this to be relevant, I have to wait for TinyCat to include accounts and fees. :0)

Aug 13, 2015, 10:08am Top

>183 jjwilson61:
>184 MarthaJeanne:
>185 libraian:

Ah ok. In that case, what do you think timspalding regarding what I said in >177 LT_Ammar: ?

Aug 13, 2015, 1:33pm Top

Maybe an auto-add _with_ a confirmation button if the patron doesn't already exist? It doesn't solve libraian's problem, because that's related to external systems, but it would make it harder to add a partial (or misspelled) name. And no confirmation if the patron _does_ already exist, so that distinguishes a new patron from an established one. The confirmation popup should include the patron name as LT sees it, so that the librarian can look at it and see if it's correct.

So lots of popups and extra clicks as librarians establish the new TinyCat system, tailing off thereafter until it's only errors and actual new patrons that require the extra click (and hopefully, the extra moment of thought).

Aug 13, 2015, 2:29pm Top

Why not an option to never auto-add patrons into the system from the check-out page. When that option is set then the only way to add a patron would be through CRUD page that Ammar was talking about. As that could be onerous for a lot of patrons it would probably be worthwhile to also have the option to import patron information using a csv file.

Edited: Oct 9, 2015, 2:00pm Top

Hello. I am just looking into the fabulous Lending feature for our school library, member: RSSAA, but I do not see the "Lending" menu! I can add the Lending column to our Styles, but the dropdown menu next to Tags is not in our bar. Suggestions?

Edited: Oct 9, 2015, 5:41pm Top

>189 RSSAA: There has been a bug reported. I will be taking a look shortly.
Sorry for any inconvenience and happy cataloging!

Update: The bug has been fixed.

Oct 9, 2015, 7:25pm Top

>190 LT_Ammar: Fixed again by the Amazing Ammar.

Oct 15, 2015, 2:09pm Top

Super, thank you so much for fixing the missing Lending menu bug!

Oct 19, 2015, 2:24pm Top


First off we want to thank you for adding the lending tool in LibraryThing. As a small library in a school office we rent out books a few times but it has been hard to keep track of what is lent out and what is returned, however thanks to this lending feature we can better keep track of what is lent out. One question we have is that we are unable to view the Lending button on the top bar. We changed our style and added lending so we can view when a book is lent out however we cannot reach the page which has the lending summary of all the books in our library. Is there anything we can do to see the lending button?

Oct 19, 2015, 2:58pm Top

>193 ovpillinois: There is a button at the top of the catalog page displays a drop down menu of choices. I think it defaults to "tags" until you change it.

Oct 20, 2015, 8:25am Top

>193 ovpillinois:

There is an available lending module that can be placed on the home page, so you don't have to go into the catalogue view for it.

Oct 20, 2015, 10:36am Top

>193 ovpillinois: Additionally, you can set your style in the 'Your books' page to include a lending column. This will show you the current lending status for each book in your catalog.

Let me know if you need further assistance.

Oct 22, 2015, 5:44pm Top

I am not able to find the lending module on home or books page, even though I have experimentally checked out a couple books. I see the lending column displayed, but no module. Would appreciate suggestions.

Oct 22, 2015, 9:36pm Top

>197 TrinityLuthAthens:
In your catalogue, above the list of books, you'll see a series of styles, from A through E: these are different sets of columns that you can view your catalogue with, and they are customizable. Note that your current/default viewing style is highlighted blue.

Click the settings button to the right of that list of styles. That will take you to a page where you can drag and drop column titles into your styles. The lending column is sorted under Personal. Just drag the button labelled lending into your favourite viewing styles. Then click "save changes", and voilà: you've added the lending column to your catalogue view.

Oct 22, 2015, 11:20pm Top

He might also be looking for the Lending setting that's under the third button along the top. I think it usually says Tags but it says Media for me because that's the setting I used last.

Oct 23, 2015, 7:28am Top

Thank you jjwilson61 and petroglyph.

As I understand gilroy and the video abt the new lending feature, there is a MODULE, a bar that appears across the Home page options such as YOUR BOOKS , RECENTLY ADDED, etc., that is LENDING.

I can add the tag in settings, and have checked out books experimentally, but I don't know how to find the option for including a lending MODULE bar across the page.

I looked in junk.

I will send a message to the tech help people and share the info.

Edited: Oct 23, 2015, 7:50am Top

>200 TrinityLuthAthens: heh, youre right! In the video, at the 2:25 mark, Tim mentions a 'Lending Summary' section we are supposed to have in our Home page. I can't seem to find or add it.

timspalding, was this feature removed?

Oct 23, 2015, 8:13am Top

Are you not talking about what >199 jjwilson61: answered? www.librarything.com/circulation/MEMBERNAME ?

Also, I see the module at the bottom of the page on Home > Books

Oct 23, 2015, 8:25am Top

Interesting that some can see and others can't. I just checked all my pages again and don't see the MODULE at the bottom.

I will log out and try this again this afternoon.

Thanks for any further thoughts!

Edited: Oct 23, 2015, 8:40am Top

To find the Lending Summary Module:

Click on Home in the LT title bar.
On the front page, click on Books which is under the Discover heading in the left hand nav bar
Scroll to the VERY bottom of the page.

There should be an add to option on it's header bar to be able to place it on your primary dashboard.

Edited: Oct 23, 2015, 8:44am Top

That'd be what I see. And since I haven't fussed with modules since the module setup was new, that must be the default location for it.

Oct 23, 2015, 8:43am Top

Yes! Thank you and found it! Got it to the top of this page and now I'll try getting it to the primary dashboard.

Edited: Oct 26, 2015, 4:25am Top

>204 gilroy: >205 .Monkey.: Ha! Guess even LT employees learn new things about the site every now and then! ;-)
Thanks for the help guys.

Edited: Nov 4, 2015, 10:58pm Top

Wow! Can't believe I missed this feature for the past 9 months. Shows how little work I have done maintaining our small parish library. Thanks so much for creating this.

As others have commented, I would like to be able to keep summary stats of circulation by month and then rolled up to year so that I could compare these stats year in and year out.


Nov 6, 2015, 11:29am Top

Thanks for the input, SSPPLibrary.

Nov 19, 2015, 10:55am Top

Agreed to all of this. We are a small library as well and really really need a way to keep patron data for overdue notices.

Or at least a notification function when books are overdue so that we can manually alert patrons that their books are overdue.

Any tips?

Nov 20, 2015, 11:08am Top

You can view your Lending History by Status type (which includes "Overdue"), which should help with notifications to patrons:

1. Start by adding Lending Transactions, either within "Your Books", or from the "Main page" of book pages (there's a catalog icon in the top right of "Your book information", which you can edit for Lending).
2. Go to the "Lending" tab in "Your Books" (http://www.librarything.com/catalog/UT_GSC), found in the Top Bar (underneath the Main Menu) next to the List | Covers buttons.
3. Here, you'll have a summary of all of your Lending Transactions. - You'll need to add some Lending Transactions before they show up on this page. Here's a direct link to that page: http://www.librarything.com/circulation/UT_GSC.

Example: If you take a look at my Lending Summary page (http://www.librarything.com/circulation/kristilabrie), you can view Transactions by "Overdue" Status, from the left-hand menu.

We're in the process of improving Lending a bit for TinyCat, so you may see some changes for this feature. We'll announce any new changes when TinyCat is released. If you have any other questions, you're welcome to email me at info@librarything.com! I hope this helps.

Dec 20, 2015, 11:44am Top

I started using this feature this weekend and it was going great until I clicked on the checkbox saying something along the lines of "check here to stop dialog boxes from being generated" or something close. I was under the impression it would prevent the "Do you really want to create this patron?" pop-up every time.

So I clicked and now whenever I try and lend a new book I click "Save" like I was doing and then nothing happens. I'm not sure if it thinks I'm still supposed to be clicking on that extra approval pop-up or what, but I am no longer able to lend books.

I tried to find a place where I could uncheck that setting, but haven't found it. Have a I made a misstep? Am I alone with stumbling here?

Any insights or direction would be greatly appreciated.

PS - Not sure if it matters but I'm on a Macbook Pro and using Chrome Version 47.

Dec 20, 2015, 11:58am Top

>212 trav: I think what you're talking about is a browser dialog box asking if you want to keep seeing more of them, which they tend to do when you keep repeating something popping up boxes. Never tell the browser to stop if it's on a site you use, because this problem will happen - you will no longer get the dialog asking you to approve the action therefore the action will not be done. I don't recall if/how to tell your browser to get rid of that disapproved setting, perhaps clearing cookies/cache? Maybe someone else knows how to reset it, otherwise internet searching is your friend. ;)

Dec 21, 2015, 4:33am Top

Usually just shutting the browser down and restarting will fix it; sometimes just shutting down the tab and opening the page in a new one will do it. If it doesn't, there's a Reset All Settings under Advanced at the bottom of the Settings page in Chrome - but that resets _everything_, not just the dialog boxes. And yeah, that "prevent dialog boxes" looks so helpful, but it doesn't really do what you (or I) want...

Dec 21, 2015, 9:46am Top

>212 trav: I answered this same issue 2-3 weeks ago, and >214 jjmcgaffey: is right. Let us know if you're still having trouble after you try those fixes!

Dec 28, 2015, 11:22pm Top

>213 .Monkey.:, 214, 215 Thank you. A simple restart indeed fixed it for me. I've learned not to click. Thank you for the swift (and helpful) replies. Hope you each have a happy New Year.

Feb 9, 2016, 1:43pm Top

Happened to me today! I thought the net was down and I had students waiting in line.. I used another computer and the lending worked fine as long as I didnt check the dialog box not to pop up.

Edited: Feb 10, 2016, 9:50pm Top

Yeah. It's a "helpful" feature of all three major browsers...sigh. Oh, that would have been a solution too, >217 Magolibrary: - open LT in a different browser.

Aug 12, 2016, 11:45am Top

Are there any plans to brings this to the iPhone app? My wife was recently looking for a way to track her classroom library and was hoping for a quick way to track which student borrowed a book.

Aug 12, 2016, 12:06pm Top

>219 acdha: Not in the near future, I'm afraid. You might suggest TinyCat to your wife for this. We built it for small libraries (like classrooms), circulation is built-in, and it works great on mobile devices right in your browser—no app download necessary. If you have any questions about TinyCat, feel free to email me (loranne@librarything.com) or our TinyCat support staffer, Kristi, at tinycat@librarything.com.

Edited: Nov 10, 2016, 9:21am Top

Yes,please!!!!! I run a school library and the middle school students are very forgetful (yeah..). Would be nice to email them for overdues.

Nov 10, 2016, 9:10am Top

>70 GAGVLibrary: GAGVLibrary
#2 and 3-That would be nice indeed, especially when you have 30+ students waiting in line.

Nov 10, 2016, 9:15am Top

Good day,
How do I get ALL the patrons who are overdue to show up in the Status:Overdue? Right now, If I have more than 15 patrons overdue, only 15 patrons show on the screen.
Thank you

Nov 10, 2016, 9:36am Top

>223 Magolibrary: Yes, sorry about that. That's a current bug, which I've just "bumped" to the top of all bug reports in our Bug Collectors Group, here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/223197. We'll be sure to post any updates/progress for that bug on that thread, so please stay tuned. Thanks in advance for your patience.

If there's anything else I can do in the meantime, please let me know!

Dec 16, 2016, 5:02am Top

Can options for autofill under Patrons be generated after typing in a few letters? It seems as if it starts to but then stops. I have a lot of patrons and would like to not have to retype full names every time.

Edited: Dec 16, 2016, 8:37am Top

>225 KGS1986: If you enter at least 3 characters of a patron's name that already exists in your system then yes, LibraryThing's patron autocomplete feature will list any matching names with that character string below the "Patron" box. This way, you can click to add the patron, rather than typing the entire name out. The patron autocomplete feature does take a second to run, so if you type faster than the system can find your matching patrons, then it may not work for you all the time. (Disclaimer: I type ~100-120 wpm, and still couldn't type faster than the autocomplete worked, when testing this).

If, however, you're waiting for the autocomplete to run and it just stops—if you see the 3 bars start running at the right of your Patron field and then nothing else happens—either it's not finding any matching patrons or there could be some other issue at play.

If you can, please email me at info@librarything.com some examples of patron names that you expect to see with the autocomplete, but you're not seeing them. Also, give me the characters that you're typing in to see the autocomplete, along with your operating system (i.e. Windows 8, etc.) and web browser (i.e. Google Chrome 46, etc.) that you're using. I'll be happy to take a closer look at this! Thanks for your help.

Edited for clarity.

Dec 31, 2016, 4:11pm Top

Not generally active on talk but am excited about this circulation/lending feature. The only problem is that no "Lending" appears in the tool bar, even if the B format is selected. Okay, so I clicked on "Settings" but "Lending" still did not appear. Rather, it opened a whole other page with all kinds of options but not one even close to lending. This is a feature I really, really, really, really want but feel totally helpless. (Admittedly, I am somewhat of a Luddite at times.)
Looking forward very much to your response!

Jan 2, 5:07am Top

In Settings there are drop down menus on the right (basic, personal, bibliographic etc). 'Lending' is in the Basic menu, if you click on that. Then just drag it over to the format you want to use it in and save. Once you go back to Your Books, you'll see it in whichever format(s) you put it into.

Jan 29, 5:01am Top

If I create a custom-labeled status, and I select to mark it as available, I am now unable to change the option with the same text to become marked as unavailable. Unfortunately, this means if I make a mistake, there is no way of undoing said mistake...

May 5, 12:28am Top

142 timspalding
Jul 29, 2015, 11:07pm
Touchstones are an easy way to reference a book. Using brackets around a title and double-brackets around an author creates just suck links.

* *
I laughed at the "such links" typo because I have been reading the Site Improvements thread about crazy Touchstone lists.

May 5, 12:46am Top

LOL! lmao. :D suck links o that's funnny

Sep 12, 5:53pm Top

How do I lend multiple copies to different borrowers. I can specify I have multiple copies of a book but can only lend 1 copy at a time.

Sep 12, 6:13pm Top

>232 LaveenBaptistChurch: Currently, we don't have full multiple copy support, though we're working on adding this in the future. Entering a number of copies doesn't create a new record (which is what you'll need in order to circulate multiple copies), it's just a copy count.

You'll need to add another copy and record of the book to your library via Add Books (or the app—however you're cataloging) in order to check out copies to different patrons.

Sep 12, 6:48pm Top

Ok thanks for the help.

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