Library catalog software
March 17, 2008 10:00 AM   Subscribe

In order to continue putting off packing for an upcoming move, I am looking for software for cataloging home libraries.

What would be ideal is some sort of web-based application where I can enter in the author and a few characters of the title and it will scrape the internet for the rest of the information (ie, genre, year published, etc, etc). Even cooler would be the ability to just enter the ISBN number and have all the fields filled.

Then at the end I would like it all to export to Excel.

Is there such a thing? Does anything come close?
posted by ian1977 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Librarything will let you do this.
posted by drezdn at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2008

Libra seems to be a good software, so far. It is still in beta, but has been working ok for me. Also, it will scan barcodes through webcameras, though YMMV.
posted by slavlin at 10:11 AM on March 17, 2008

Unfortunately, Libraryanything only handles up to 200 books for free, while Libra is free for non-commercial use.
posted by slavlin at 10:13 AM on March 17, 2008

Software for PC:

Software for Mac:


Hmmm...your problem may just have changed from "What can I use to catalog my home library" to "Which of these will I use to catalog my home library".
posted by gillyflower at 10:14 AM on March 17, 2008

2nd vote for libra although I have had no luck with the webcam scanning the barcode (apparently it does not work with fixed focus webcams)
posted by GrumpyMonkey at 10:19 AM on March 17, 2008

I use Readerware for my 600+ collection, and it's absolutely outstanding. Easy to use and very well designed.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 10:23 AM on March 17, 2008

I have Readerware and 3,500+ entries. I have debated the Library Thing but am a bit lazy. If you can get Readerware with the scanner then it is well worth it. Manual entry is painful unless you have a small collection. Readerware will export to various formats so you can use it in a pinch and transfer out once you settle on a final product.
posted by jadepearl at 10:30 AM on March 17, 2008

Response by poster: Woah! There is more out there than I thought. Thanks everyone!

For the record, right now I am leaning towards LibraryThing. I will test it out with the free 200 entries, and see if it is worth the $10 to get unlimited entries.

posted by ian1977 at 12:14 PM on March 17, 2008

If you are on a Mac, try Delicious Library. You can use your iSight camera to scan bar codes with it, and it will grab all the metadata automatically from the web. It is much faster than manually typing in the ISBN. You can export the library to a tab-delimited text file that will work in Excel. Also, it is delicious.
posted by daser at 12:24 PM on March 17, 2008

Note that LibraryThing will also work with CueCats (the scanner jadepearl mentions).

A year long membership to LT ($10) + CueCat ($15) is still less than the what Readware would cost you.

Finally, $10 (or $25 for the lifetime membership) is merely the suggested amount. I believe you can start as low as $6 (I've got a lifetime, so it's not letting me into the "upgrade your account" section).
posted by natabat at 12:26 PM on March 17, 2008

Response by poster: natabat - I just looked, you are correct. As low as $6 for yearly membership and as low as $19 for the yearly. They even have cute little adjectives describing the various membership amounts. for example, if you give $12 for a yearly membership you are deemed 'generous' and if you give $20 it states "We Love You!"
posted by ian1977 at 12:32 PM on March 17, 2008

I would just like to say that LibraryThing, aside from doing the job well, is a HUGELY important service for libraries at this point. Tim is pushing all the data from LibraryThing out into the world, and is using it to enhance library catalogs and many other cool tricks.

He also just won an award from Library journal.

I can tell you that I would not hesitate to pay $25 for fact, I have.
posted by griffey at 4:15 PM on March 17, 2008

I love Librarything. I bought a lifetime membership I think almost as soon as they created them....
posted by FlyingMonkey at 2:24 PM on March 22, 2008

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