Books and Household Knowledge Management

The next project in my Household Knowledge Management string was to catalog the household print collection. I have been looking for a way to catalog my library and make people aware of the book(s) I am currently reading.

I first ran into this idea on Facebook. There are several Facebook applications that allow you to track the books you are currently reading and create a library. I am a fan of the Books application by Jonathan Lipps. I also like the Shelfari Books application for Facebook. They both do a good job of showing the books I am reading and pushing that information into my Facebook feed.

But I want to share that reading list beyond the walls of Facebook. I also wanted to better catalog the books in my home library.

It turns out Ray Sims of Sims Learning Connections was looking also looking at cataloging his library. Ray Sims did an excellent comparison of Shelfari and LibraryThing. The conclusion was that there was no clear winner.

I created a profile and entered about 100 books into LibraryThing: Doug Cornelius on LibraryThing.

I created a profile on Shelfari and imported by LibraryThing catalog: Doug Cornelius on Shelfari.

One limitation of Shelfari is that you cannot manually add books. The book must exist in Amazon.com to be on your Shelfari shelf. That is a big limitation on me being able to catalog my library. I have several hundred antique books that do not appear in Amazon.com.

The second limitation of Shelfari is that it does not offer an RSS feed of books added to the collection. I would like to the books I am reading to my Lifestream and FriendFeed.

The limitation of LibraryThing is that is a catalog and therefore does not keep a reading list of books that are not in my library. [I am a patron of the Newton Free Library.] I would lose the list of borrowed books that I have read.

LibraryThing does offer RSS feeds of books added to my collection, but does not offer a feed of currently reading.

Neither one is a perfect fit. Since Shelfari cannot handle my antique books, LibraryThing is my current choice for the catalog.

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