Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cataloging Zines on LibraryThing

I’m very excited about Katie Haegele’s article, "Visit to LibraryThing Can Bring Together Readers and Collectors" in this past Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer about cataloging her personal zine collection in

Please See: Or, Philadelphia Inquirer for Dec. 2, 2007

One of the most exciting things to me is that she was able to upload catalog entries that zine librarian, Jenna Freedman, had entered for the Barnard Zine Library, because BZL uses the Columbia University Library catalog (CLIO), which is one of the online catalogs that LibraryThing users may draw from.

Another exciting point the article touches on is that independent zine libraries (like Papercut Zine Library or—by extension of logic--something like the Edmonton Small Press Association collection of small press items) OR zine collections within academic or public libraries could each use LibraryThing to catalog their collection. This could be a viable alternative to adding these records to the regular library catalog—as many libraries are able to have a zine collection but not enough funding, staff, or perhaps incentive to catalog (rather than merely circulate) it. Or, a LibraryThing catalog could be made in addition to the records in the “regular” catalog. CLIO, for example, does not offer pictures of the Barnard Zine Library’s wares, and of course LibraryThing offers all sorts of extra metadata fields and other possibilities like images, tags, fields to rate books and to add longer descriptions, and social options like conversations about the cataloged books, and the ability to associate certain books with the book lovers whose catalogs (and therefore, taste) contain them.

This comes back to what I’ve liked about the idea of cataloging the micropress (see older posts), especially online and with images—it gives the small/micro press all sorts of chances for Visibility, within budget constraints, no less. With the social possibilities of LibraryThing, not to mention all the librarians on LT, it just expands the Visibility that much more.

Could LibraryThing be the new Cataloging-in-Publication for the Micro Press?

Find Katie’s LT catalog at: