Social networking for bookworms, by Aaron Rutkoff (Wall Street Journal, June 27th, 2006) succinctly outlines the history of LibraryThing and the roles played by its creator, software programmer, Mr Spalding and business partners, AbeBooks.com, who in 2006 bought a 40% share in the site. It was the perfect introduction, which I followed with :
LibraryThing and the library catalog: adding collective intelligence to the OPAC,by John Wenzler (San Franciso State University Library) whose paper presented at a Workshop on Next Generation Libraries (September 7th, 2007) describes how libraries in the United States are using LibraryThing, including a helpful list of instructions for installation.
I then looked at how Nuffield College Library and the Central Science Library are using LibraryThing but could not see any major advantages over our existing library catalogues. Whilst the addition of a picture of a dust jacket might assist in locating a copy, the image does not show the spine, most commonly the only part of the cover visible on a crowded bookshelf and I failed to spot the linked library classmarks.
However, I can imagine that pictures of dust-jackets/front covers would look good on a virtual display of new books, so look forward to learning how to do this next Thing.