The challenge for Week 48 is to examine online tools for cataloging your personal genealogy library and keeping track of the books you read. I am a fan of LibraryThing (http://www.librarything.com/). It is a site where you can catalog and provide tags in your personal library. I have been using librarything for about three years and even purchased the cat ISBN reader that plugs into your computer and scans the ISBN number eliminating the need to physically enter the information. The cat does not always work but when it does it makes it a breeze to catalog books. I use librarything to print out a listing of genealogy books I already own prior to going to genealogical conferences. I check my list prior to purchasing new books – yes I have a habit of forgetting what I already own. Currently I have 225 books in my personal library, I also have a copy of my inventory in the safe just in case I need it for insurance purposes. Librarything has several options for printing and sorting your inventory lists for specific purposes. I have tags that include regions, states, historical time periods – the more tags the easier it is for me to locate the books I am looking for. I also have included where the book is located (sometimes where the book should be) and I can also note whether or not I have lent the book to someone. I also click on other folk’s libraries that have similar books – like genealogy books – to see what they have in their library and what I might add to mine.
I checked out Good Reads (http://www.goodreads.com/) and Shelfari (http://www.shelfari.com/). These web sites allow you to import your list of books which may be tempting but I am a creature of habit so I think I will stick with librarything. I use the Amazon wish list to keep track of books I want to own in the future. I do this for two reasons – 1) Amazon allows me to add items from any web site to my wish list with just a click of a button; 2) my family is frequently stumped when they are looking to buy a gift for me and I know from experience they are more likely to buy what I want if I make it easy for them to purchase the items.
I am looking forward to pulling out my Cat scanner and adding new books after my birthday on Thursday and Christmas. Bring on the books!
Thanks to Amy Coffin of We Tree (http://wetree.blogspot.com/) for another wonderful challenge.