LibraryThing for things that aren't books

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LibraryThing for things that aren't books

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Apr 1, 2018, 11:15 am

I've been using LT for a couple of weeks and I'm pretty impressed. It does all I need for my books, and a lot more. It's easy to use and to understand - well done for that!

I am also interested in constructing a catalogue or database of a small number of (non-book) curiosities I've collected over the years. It's an eclectic mix which I won't attempt to describe. Some have value, most not. It struck me that by repurposing some of the fields from LT I could make a useable catalog of this collection of junk - er... odds and ends.

Since I hate re-inventing the wheel, I thought I'd ask if anyone has done this before. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Apr 1, 2018, 7:18 pm

You may include whatever you like in your catalogue--but be warned you'll likely get some criticism! :)

However, I would only advise you to take care that your items, whatever they are, don't get combined with books and other media, since LT uses work combinations to make connections between users' catalogues.

You might, as an example, want to add something to the entry (a designation, phrase, symbols...) that would help distinguish it from possibly identical media titles--combiners will want to know that "blue dress", a piece of clothing, is different to "Blue dress" the book. This is especially important as a lot of combining happens automatically, so a lot of bad data could be generated before anyone notices.

Apr 2, 2018, 6:20 am

Thanks for your remarks about combinations.
Would this problem still arise if the 'library' of objects were designated as 'private'?

Apr 2, 2018, 6:29 am

Yes. Private books (be they books or "books," anything cataloged is a "book" by site practice) are at large in the system like everything else.

Edited: Apr 2, 2018, 6:53 am

While they aren't shown as related to your member name, the 'work' information is visible to everyone, they show up in search, and they are very much disliked by those who are serious about cataloguing their books. In fact, having the items in a private library makes it much harder to figure out what the problem is if they get combined.

If you show a manufacturer as 'Author', that manufacturer will have an author page.

Apr 2, 2018, 10:41 am

Thanks for the helpful and informative replies. I can see I would run the risk of aggravating a lot of members if I pursued this scheme. Unsurprisingly this wasn't clear from the site Help pages, since it was rather an eccentric idea.

So, if anyone can suggest a cataloguing system for a heterogeneous collection of unrelated non-book objects, I'd be interested to hear from them (don't all rush...)

Apr 2, 2018, 10:48 am

>6 asfbeh6: You're not going to aggravate many users (and some of the ones you do aggravate will be aggravated no matter what!). If you are careful with your data, and your items are not inappropriately connected to actual books on the site, hardly anyone will notice that you have cataloged them at all.

If people get *very* aggravated, they might even add your items to this list:

Apr 2, 2018, 10:56 am

>7 norabelle414: I had no idea that list existed!

Apr 2, 2018, 11:22 am

>7 norabelle414: You almost made me long to have a list (but in the end, common sense got the better of me). I just looked at every SINGLE entry. I recommend it, of course. I note that there's an actual deserving author on the list (and it nearly caused me to spray coffee on the keyboard).

Excellent way to start off the morning (reading the list, that is, not spraying coffee, on keyboards or otherwise). :-}

Apr 2, 2018, 11:32 am

>8 gilroy: I find adding things to it to be very cathartic, especially with all the nonsense data that got imported from GoodReads when that wave of people moved over here (and then never logged on again...)

>9 Lyndatrue: Please add stuff to the list!!
My personal favorite is "It Does Have a Title, I Just Can't Tell You Yet" by Cynthia Hand. Super helpful, whoever cataloged that.

Apr 2, 2018, 1:44 pm

I'll echo others in this thread: I don't really care what it is that you catalogue, as long as your non-book items don't get mixed up with the books. Untangling similarly-titled books, films, cds, sheet music, lecture videos, etc. is often hard enough as it is.

Disclaimer: I myself keep a separate account for cataloguing a few non-book items. I append things like {film} and {video} to the title, and most of them listed as only catalogued by me (i.e. not combined with other items). In most cases, that's exactly as it should be.

Apr 2, 2018, 11:36 pm

>7 norabelle414: I'm surprised the bobcat isn't on the list. I did laugh though to see a couple of titles that have recently been hotly debated.

Apr 3, 2018, 8:57 am

>12 bernsad: I don't think the bobcat is actually cataloged on LT! I have searched for it but never found it.

Apr 3, 2018, 9:02 am

Yeah, I think the bobcat was an example that somehow took on a life of its own, heh.

Apr 3, 2018, 10:23 am

>14 .Monkey.:

It was a reference to an actual library that has an actual stuffed bobcat in its collection. I've seen it. It's at Northwestern University, and its name is "Willie".

Go here and search the issue for "bobcat" or "taxidermy" and you can see his picture.

Apr 3, 2018, 11:05 am

Objects and what’s not, I kinda understand. But the All/All Books/ X Books entries for living and active authors and the entries with the author name as a book title and the author picture as a cover mystify me. I guess someone may be using their comments to make that useful but why?

Apr 3, 2018, 11:07 am

>15 lilithcat: Ahh, an off-LT library-cataloged thing, interesting.

Apr 3, 2018, 11:30 am

>16 AnnieMod: I think "all books" is usually used for two reasons, 1) people are too lazy to catalog each book individually, and 2) occasionally people are trying to get around the 200 book limit for free accounts. They're not really concerned about the integrity of their data with regard to living/active authors.

I feel like there was a reason that someone/multiple people were cataloging author pictures but I don't remember what it was. Maybe they wanted to see a collage of all their books' authors' pictures in "cover" view?

It's been interesting to see the list change over the years. When I first started it in January 2012 there were several DVDs, CDs, coloring books, etc. on the list but now seeing those items cataloged is pretty normal and accepted. Now it's half dresses and half ratty data imported from GoodReads.

Nov 21, 2019, 1:44 pm

I am trying to manage the Ipads in school that get shared. Would it be wrong to enter them so they too can be checked out?

If so does anyone have a good management app they can recommend?

Nov 21, 2019, 2:01 pm

I just saw another library enter equipment for circulation:

Just add them manually and establish IDs for each.

You'll find lots of expertise in this group:

Edited: Nov 21, 2019, 2:07 pm

>19 Ms.AbbieLib: Would it be wrong to enter them {school iPads} so they too can be checked out?

I understand it's generally accepted that cataloguing non-book items is not "wrong" nor against site policy. There are strong preferences about how it's done and how frequently, but these are metaquestions. For your specific case, I encourage you to make entries for the iPads, especially if you are using LT for the school's books, as well.

Point of clarification: are you using Tiny Cat to manage your school's collection? I assumed so given your use of "checked out", which is a specific Tiny Cat function.

ETA Ignore my last point, the guidance in >20 2wonderY: is much more useful.

Edited: Jan 4, 2020, 9:15 pm

I deleted my question because I found the answer by reading many questions in the forum.

Edited: Jan 5, 2020, 3:43 am

Lending is not just a TinyCat function.

You can access it in your catalogue or in the book information box of anything you have entered.

Feb 12, 2020, 2:25 pm