Friday, October 31, 2008

Flash-Mob Cataloging Party

We're having a "flash-mob" cataloging party November 15th, Saturday, in Beverly, MA (just north of Boston). We'll descend on St. John's Episcopal Church, catalog their 1,200-odd books, eat some pizza, talk some talk and leave them with a gleaming new LibraryThing catalog. Books, bibliophiles, conversation, barcode scanners, pizza! (Not to mention Mike, Sonya, Tim, maybe Abby, with a slight chance of Liam.)

Why: Quite a few small libraries use LibraryThing as their catalog—schools, churches, synagogues, Masonic temples, companies, museums, and even a couple of embassies! They find LibraryThing much cheaper and easier to use than most "library automation" software. (More about organizations using LibraryThing here.)

But it's not always easy for a single overworked volunteer to catalog a big collection. So we thought we'd try a "flash-mob" cataloging party and see how fast we can enter an entire library into LibraryThing. A bunch of us will be there with laptops and barcode scanners in hand—and we're inviting anyone in the area to join us.

Details: Join us..Talk? Ride? I've started a discussion on the Bostonians group. I'm sure we can figure out how to get even car-less people there.

Come on: Pizza. Laptops. CueCats. Take pictures. Leave after a day's work with a LibraryThing catalog in place. Do good. Have fun.

Just email Abby for details/to RSVP.

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Blogger Ed said...

What a good idea! And I'm sure you'll all have fun cataloging together. Too bad I'm a few thousand miles away . . .

10/31/2008 1:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I look forward to reading how this went. I have a cataloging effort soon for a semi-private library and this idea might be the best way to have enough barcode readers to get the job done.

10/31/2008 2:27 PM  
Blogger Torin/Darren/Who Ever... said...

This sounds very cool. Look forward to how it goes and what you learn. Will a general guide on how to do this be posted somewhere on LibraryThing?

10/31/2008 2:40 PM  
Blogger Samuel J. Howard said...

Man, this is awesome. I'd love to be part of something similar in NYC.

10/31/2008 2:48 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

This is such a good idea - cataloging for a cause!

If this works out well maybe you should arrange similar things for other places.

10/31/2008 3:24 PM  
Blogger MaggieL said...

Don't forget you will need internet access.

10/31/2008 5:51 PM  
Blogger Sam Dodge said...

This is an awesome idea! I wish I could go, but I'm in Wisconsin. If you ever try to plan one in Wisconsin or the Milwaukee area I'd love to help.

10/31/2008 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had one of those for our church library. It was fun — but a scanner would have been a wise investment! Hope you guys have a good time.

10/31/2008 10:48 PM  
Blogger jmgold said...

This is a brilliant idea, I just wish I still lived in the area.

11/01/2008 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is quite brilliant. Take lots of pictures!

11/01/2008 9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone should tell Simmons College about it. They've got a library school in Boston, after all. I bet there'd be oodles of happy catalogers willing to help

11/01/2008 7:29 PM  
Blogger Carl said...

That sounds like loads of fun. Please report a followup in the blog letting us know how it went.

11/02/2008 12:52 AM  
Blogger Lilithcat said...

What a fantastic idea! If I were in the area, I'd join you. Hope you had a good time and accomplished lots.

11/02/2008 2:40 PM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

I'm confused, it says "this Saturday" but then lists the date as November 15, which is 2 Saturdays from now (and 3 from when this was posted)? So did this already happen?

11/02/2008 8:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Your intelligent benevolent task reminds of the ancient missionary's spreading literacy into distant lands. Some work cannot be done through the Internet alone. Good luck and have fun.

11/02/2008 9:16 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Many hands make light work -- I know I'm good for a hundred entries at least. I'll do my best to be there!

11/03/2008 8:42 AM  
Blogger Σmpire said...

That sounds fun! Too bad I am on the West coast.

Good luck!

11/03/2008 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 15th is also NEA, an archivists' conference, in Boston. Maybe they'd like to get in on the action too.

11/03/2008 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is such a fantatic idea! I'd really like to help with such service work in my home state of Ohio, in partuclar the Cleveland area. I'm sure you and your gruop has inspired many of us.

I'd be interested in how you group organizes this and the your guidelines.

Best wishes

11/06/2008 8:02 PM  
Blogger shadowpuppy said...

What a great idea!

11/06/2008 9:48 PM  
Blogger Bizzybee_638 said...

Very disappointed I'm in Australia! I'd love to attend your flash party, its my type of thing...I once catalogued all night...we had a scout jamboree thing so I stayed in the building with another workmate, and I catalogued our backlog. In the end, it became a mission!!

11/07/2008 6:02 AM  
Blogger Bob Campbell said...

I hope you all give plenty of tags to these books.

11/07/2008 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI - part of a Simmons GSLIS cataloging class may show up for the event! For those travelling from Boston, you can take the train from Boston's North Station to the Beverly Farms station and walk about 1/8th of a mile through Bev. Farms. It look as if there is a 10:15 am arriving just before 11 am (check out:

11/08/2008 6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a good idea. I hope it spreads. It's shame I'm thousands of miles away.

11/15/2008 12:27 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

We're going to try this (on a smaller scale) in Buffalo MN on March 7.

We are new to Library Thing and besides the two of us who have tried it out and decided it is the right solution for our church library, none of the volunteers have seen LibraryThing before.

2/10/2009 3:43 PM  

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