I need a database to organize books
November 14, 2016 1:10 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for a way to categorize and search a list of books using database software. Details inside.

I am a librarian and I need a way to keep on top of new titles for young adults. I have a csv file of each month's book order and I would like to turn it into a database that I can search. I would like to be able to assign multiple keywords to each book. I've made databases in Access before and I've had to put multiple keywords in multiple fields. I want to be able to search across all fields at once. An ideal system would remember keywords I have already used so if I type "dys" it would suggest "dystopia".

I have Excel and Access and Google Docs. I'm open to a free websites or software as well.

We of course have an online catalog of all of our books, but it does a poor job of isolating YA titles. This is meant to be a quick and dirty list to help me with teen patrons on the fly and a tool to help me make reading lists.

I am a competent computer user and I don't mind messing around with a system to make it work for me.
posted by Biblio to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You could do this with LibraryThing. You can import from Excel or other formats, tag as you wish, and search by any number of keywords or against certain fields. As a bonus, you could also make your library public, so teens could search it themselves.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 1:26 PM on November 14, 2016 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Well that was simple. I am playing with LibraryThing right now, but i am still open to any other suggestions!
posted by Biblio at 2:09 PM on November 14, 2016

I am curious why you would not work with the vendor or cataloger to add these keywords to the MARC records? I have done this for numerous books in my own school library, and it has made life easier for me, and I know when I leave my replacement will have access to the MARC records. In addition, your teens would also be able to look up books in the OPAC. You might have some people standing in your way, but it seems to me this would be the ideal thing to advocate for, because it would improve your catalog system, get teens searching on their own, and less work for you in terms of creating an additional system. Just a thought.
posted by momochan at 2:31 PM on November 14, 2016 [4 favorites]

You can also use WorldCat to create curated lists of books. It doesn't sound like you're using OCLC, but if so you can integrate, so your lists are created from (and link back to) the library record. A private list is fine, but you really want something that is accessible to your patrons. I suggest creating a LibGuide or equivalent resource guide that contains links to whatever lists you create.
posted by LKWorking at 3:01 PM on November 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Adding a further comment about LibraryThing: you might want to look specifically at TinyCat, which (quoting the FAQ) 'turns a LibraryThing account into a full-featured library OPAC and ILS. Your patrons use TinyCat, and customization and circulation customization is done on TinyCat. Cataloging—including copy-cataloging, importing MARC records and editing records—is done on LibraryThing.'
posted by davemack at 2:35 AM on November 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

https://calibre-ebook.com/ if you're the only person using the software.
posted by GiveUpNed at 10:02 AM on November 16, 2016

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