It looks like the responsibilities of my job are about to expand to take on managing a (currently extremely small) library. I'm thrilled by the opportunity, but a bit daunted. I'm looking for advice on: a) Building a functioning catalogue/borrowing system (e.g. I've looked at Evergreen and Koha, are they good? Pros/cons?). b) How-to-be-an-awesome-librarian-despite-lack-of-formal-training-as-such (I've seen Jessamyn's work on here and its an inspiration that I'm looking to, but top tips'd also be great). [more inside]
The librarian at my local library just alerted me to the fact a book I have been hunting for months is available in the library's small store. What's the best way to say thank you? [more inside]
Librarians, researchers, logisticians: I'm working on a research project that centers on a court case from 1910. There appear to be only two copies of the transcript in existence. Please help me figure out my options. [more inside]
I am responsible for a library of about 1200 books, which I've cataloged in a database. I'd like to put the database on our website so that readers can search for a book without having to visit the library. I have experience with Python and to a lesser extent, MySQL. What is the best way to create a searchable database online using these tools or something else that's relatively easy to learn?
What's the best way and least time consuming way to catalog my gazillions of books? And is Zotero really the greatest thing since sliced bread? [more inside]
I've just finished adding all of my owned books into a personal database app. Now what can I do with that information? [more inside]
Please help me decide how to ethically consume books now that I'm the owner of a brand shiny new Kindle. [more inside]
The scenario: access to the internet has been cut off due to (insert your worst fears here). Your only reading/reference material that you now have access to is what is on your shelves at home. Question: what are the best books to have stocked your shelves with beforehand?
I'm moving my approximately 900 books to a new apartment and will be combining them with my fiancee's books. I need tips for organization. [more inside]
Librarians and school book buyers of Metafilter! When you are looking at an author's website, what kind of information do you want to see when deciding what books to stock? [more inside]
Google doesn't seem to help in regards to what I'm looking for, which is personal blogs written by either bookstore employees or librarians, detailing their day-to-day adventures (or misadventures); perhaps an anonymous blog would be even better, because I appreciate reading snarky and critical posts, too, about dealing with weird costumers, for example. Also, when it comes to librarians' blogs, I'm not looking for the more technical aspects of the library world (that's why Google didn't help). Thanks! [more inside]
Trying to find a pair of novels set in the near future North America that I read sometime between 1990 and 2004 approximately. The "big idea" is that neopagan magic "returns" (or at least everyone believes it does, and acts accordingly) with the millennium. The protagonist of one novel is pregnant with the next world spiritual leader. In one scene, a prophet yells at her, "you're full of fish!" Another novel with the same setting (perhaps the same novel) involved a conspiracy and had a genderqueer magical cyberpunk/hacker as a minor character. I remember them as similar to Galveston by Sean Stewart but I'm pretty certain they're not by Stewart. It's not Bone Dance or DeLint, and they had nothing to do with Shadowrun. Help appreciated. They're probably not all that great, but the pair were striking enough that a few things stick out.
I'm going to be stocking a small bookcase with 5 to 10 books, and placing it in a room inside a college. I need a way to prevent the books from being stolen. Options seem surprisingly limited. Any help? [more inside]
I love reading nonfiction about pharmaceutical drugs, their development, use, methods of action, etc. What's out there lately that I should read? Recent books I've read inside. [more inside]
Sometimes, one of the first pages of a library book will bear an identifying stamp made of perforations punched through by a special tool. This practice seems to have disappeared, and Googling for it has only frustrated me. What is the tool called and where can I find one? [more inside]
Do children care about old, out-of-date picture books? Should I weed these books? [more inside]
What should I do with a large collection of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries? [more inside]
I am buying a bookshelf to centralize the books (<500) currently strewn about our office at work. I would like to setup a simple system for keeping track of books in inventory, and manage who borrows what. Ideally there would be a simple web-based piece of software built specifically for this, but I am open to a more lo-if solution if necessary. Bonus points if its not specific to books, but able to manage more things to let people borrow among a trusted group. There are about 150 people in the office.
Since I move a lot, I try not to keep too many books. I don't mind getting rid of the English ones. But with the foreign language ones, I get anxious about sunk costs, and how hard they would be to replace... how do I decide what to keep, and what to discard? [more inside]
After years of academia & the endemic rootlessness that comes with it, I have finally gotten myself a Permanent Job (yay!!) which means, among many things, that I can finally consolidate my book diaspora into one place. I've a huge number of books which are both physical and digital. Here's the problem: I want my library space to reflect both. Any suggestions? Details below. [more inside]
What's this novel? I just got a reference request to identify the book/series that has vampires and "bats with big bladders under their bellies". Vampire books are not my forte. Complete question inside. Help? [more inside]
All my books are assembling in one house. Help me figure out what is a reasonable amount of books to keep, and which books I should stoop. Also, how to emotionally handle letting go of lots and lots of books. [more inside]
What's this humorous SF mystery? [more inside]
Are there any good dramatizations of the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols? [more inside]
I saved some interesting books from being thrown out by my public library. Apparently they were discarding part of their local historical collection. I grabbed a bunch that looked cool/interesting and it turns out one or two of them have sold online for decent sums. I'm not interested in selling any of them (they are cool!) but I am curious as to how their ex-libris-publica condition affects their worth. [more inside]
Help me pick out what books to check out from the library next. (Snowflake details inside.) [more inside]
I am looking for a software solution to help organize a small personal library. [more inside]
When should I let my child read Harry Potter and Diary of a Wimpy Kid?? [more inside]
How do I choose an image from a large collection of rare (or rare editions of) illustrated children's books at the public library? The Friends of that Library would like to use one of the images to promote a fundraiser for the collection, and I need some help navigating copyright and practical issues surrounding that choice. [more inside]
How do I find, collect, beg, borrow (but not steal) new books for a school library that is filled with 30 year old, out of date, books?
Boy brought home this ancient science book from the school library. I mean, so ancient that it was just flat out false. (It was about global warming, and had been written in the 80's and 90's. It was hopelessly out of date.) When I talked to the librarian about it, she said that they had almost no books newer than 10 years old, and that more than half the collection was over 25 years old. It is one of the oldest library collection in North Texas schools. [more inside]
Have library of 7500 print books. Have Android phone with barcode scanner. Want to order them by Library of Congress number. Is there an app for that? [more inside]
"Happy families are all alike," which presumably makes things difficult for novelists, who need conflict to drive plot. But since I don't have a lot of great relationship models in my life, I'd like to read some novels about people with good marital or romantic relationships. Suggestions? [more inside]
What should I know about long-term maintenance of a large library of personal books? [more inside]
Help me prune my book collection! I have over a thousand books and really need to slim it down. I'd like to reduce the book count by at least one hundred but can't seem to do it. Many have sat unread for years. In the past, I've said to myself that I'll read them 'someday' as an excuse for keeping them around. I'm fooling myself. What process, criteria or rule of thumb should I use to help me prune my library, overcome the (admittedly) irrational tome attachment, and make my collection a plum size once more.
All great libraries have books in them, but how many great books have libraries in them? I just finished reading "Big Machine" by Victor Lavalle, and am currently reading "Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami (yes, finally!), and it's purely coincidental, but they both happen to feature libraries prominently. So now I'd like to know what other really good novels feature libraries in a significant way. [more inside]
What book should I choose to be dedicated to me in honor of my recent graduation? [more inside]
[LibraryFilter] Can I lend a collection of art books to a library? [more inside]
I have many books - several thousand. I may soon be moving to a house with more limited space. I'm considering scanning all the books, and then destroying them or putting them into storage. Is this feasible? What hardware and software would I need? Has anyone done this already, and are there any internet resources to help with this? [more inside]
How do I protect my book library with renter's insurance? [more inside]
What books can you use to judge a person's fiction preferences? [more inside]
How long do libraries keep fines "on the books"? [more inside]
I have a bookshelf covered (on the front) with a flat surface). I would like to cover this flat surface with photographs of the bookshelf (minus the cover) with books in it. I'm hoping for a trompe l'oiel type effect so it looks like a bookshelf with books. Three questions: 1. How do I work out the angles/math etc. of the photographs 2. What light should I take the pictures in? 3. Is it ok (and how to) take the call numbers off of library books and replace them before returning the books? [more inside]
Personal Library Filter: Over the last couple of years, I've been helping an elderly couple with their massive book collection. After a lot of searching, I ended up finding BookCAT which seemed to be great. But these people really want to have lots of print-outs. (The husband does not use the computer at all.) BookCAT is way too complicated for even me in this regard. What else is there? [more inside]
Help me find some fun books for my commute. [more inside]
I have about a thousand books and a burning desire to reorganize them. [more inside]
I was once shown how to prepare a brand new book before reading it– it had something to do with opening the book at various places and smoothing down the pages. Supposedly it would make the binding last longer. Does this actually work, and if so, could anyone describe the process clearly? Any other advice on good book care and repair for this new librarian would be greatly appreciated.
I've taken responsibility for a very small children's library and I'd love your ideas for making it awesome. [more inside]
It's the end of the world and you have time to save one book. Which one will you save? [more inside]
Will be living between Joshua Tree and LA county for 3 months...how do I get a library card? [more inside]
If you were building a library collection around the history of business—guilds, apprenticeships, royal charter companies, corporations, and so on—what books would you select?
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