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Private library

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If you do not want your library to be publicly viewable, your edit profile page allows you to set it to "private" status. This influences a number of things on LibraryThing and elsewhere.

Consequences of setting a library to private

  • Your books/catalog can only be viewed by you (when you are logged in).
  • That means your books and all other information in your catalog are hidden, including most of your reviews (except Early Reviewers reviews - see below), what collections and tags you are using, and any other information you've entered about your books.
  • Also, you can no longer link publicly to your catalog, your books, or any of your specific collections (e.g. your wishlist): the URLs will not work for other people.
  • Your profile is still visible to others, but the public version is only partial.
  • At a minimum, your public profile will always show some basic information: number of books cataloged, account type, member since date).
  • Other members will be able to see "Groups you share."
  • Your public profile will also show some other optional information if you enter it: profile images/member images (and your member picture gallery), favorite bookstores or libraries from LT Local, "About me," "About my library," Homepage, "Also on," "Early Reviewers," real name, location, email address, favorite authors.
  • Other information on your profile will NOT be visible to others: Most recent activity, Random books from your library, Members with your books, Member connections, RSS feeds, the full list of your groups, the search box to search your books.
  • Others can also still interact with you via your profile, leaving you comments*, adding you to their friends*, interesting libraries, or private watch list, and inviting you to groups (*if you have not disabled comments and friends requests).
  • A few parts of the profile are no longer visible at all, even for you: random books from your library, RSS feeds, the "Clouds" links in the main text of the profile (though there is still a Clouds link in the top navigation bar).
  • Other information about your account and activity is NOT visible to others:
  • Your Connections, Recommendations, Reviews, Statistics/Memes, Tag/Author Clouds (including Tag Mirror), and Gallery can only be seen by you.
  • Work pages will not show others that you have cataloged a book (your username will not be listed under "members").
  • Tag and author pages will not show your username under "Using the tag," "Recently tagged" (or "Tag watch" on the homepage) and "members with books by," even if you are using the tag or have books by that author.
  • Information about your activity will not show up in anyone else's Connection News, even if they've added you as a friend, interesting library, or on their private watch list.
  • Some of your information and activity will still remain public:
  • If you write reviews for the Early Reviewers program, however, these will be public (with your username) on the work page. They will not, however, be linked from your profile.
  • If you join groups, your username will be listed on the group's page under members (although the group will not be listed publicly on your profile).
  • Talk/group posts and public comments you leave are always visible, regardless of your public/private status.
  • Contributions you make to LibraryThing Local, Common Knowledge, or WikiThing are always public and identified by your username.
  • Some information on your tags will be published on LT, although not identified with your account:
    - Your tags will show up on work pages along with other people's tags.
    - Also, there will still be a tag page for any tags you use, which shows the books that have that tag -- even you are the only person using that tag -- although the page will not show the username of private members. If you are very concerned about absolute privacy, it is recommended that you do not use tags that would easily identify you ("books my idiot boss at X company made me read") and/or that you use tags that are also used by other members.
  • A few LibraryThing features will not work at all with private accounts:
  • Blog widgets
  • LibraryThing Mobile
  • RSS feeds
  • email signatures
  • Other miscellaneous effects of going private:
  • LibraryThing Local:
  • Any venues you indicate as favorites will appear on your profile, but your username will not be listed on the venue page under "Favorited."
  • Private account status does not affect whether or not your location is public (e.g. whether or not your username is listed under "Local Members" in your location), which is determined by whether or not you have set your location in Local to "use in profile."
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