Category Archives: LibraryThing!

Come work with me, and LibraryThing!

LibraryThing, my kick-ass jobbity, is looking for a few new people.

In fact, they’re offering $1000 worth of books to whomever finds them a new employee! So, think about who you know who fills any of these spots:
* Hacker. We’re looking for PHP hacker, JavaScript genius and library-data experience. We hope we get two of three.
* Graphic designer/user-experience guru. Experience designing for data-rich sites like LibraryThing a must.
* Brainy, overworked assistant. Smart, flexible, organized, relentless—willing to do both high-level (strategic analysis) and low-level (send-out-these-CueCats) work. The job is non-technical, but you need to be super-comfortable around computers.

The catch? They need to live around Portland … Maine. I love going there – it’s a gorgeous town, and it’s less expensive than going to work for a high-profile .com in Boston (let me tell you). Boston is a two hours away by train, and these people get to work with ME! What could be better?

Open source library classification (or: eff Dewey)

(My apologies to the hundres on drinking_GSLIS who also read my blog.)

So, as you know, I work at LibraryThing now, and Tim (ye olde founder) just declared war on the Dewey Decimal System at the American Library Association conference last week.

Anyway, the point is, he’d like to start an open source classification system. That means instead of the Dewey System that public libraries tend to use (and you have to pay for, and is antiquated), we build a new one, based on everyone’s expertise – think hot wiki action.) Now, will this work? (My paycheck tells me ‘yes’.) Is it possible to get consensus? Is it possible to get enough crowdsourcing? Will it be discovered that everyone lurves Dewey and there’s no need for change, and we like paying for DDC access? Probably not that.

Having spent a goodly amount of time as a grad student thinking about things just like this, I’m totally enamored with this as an idea. (Also I get to spend work time thinking about it.)

His blog post outlining the idea.

The LibraryThing group that has started in on it.

Any questions or thoughts not meant for the group? You can email me at my work email
– sonya at

If this post is completely uninteresting, watch this instead.

Gork gork gork, says Keem.

What’s better than one Sonya?

Nothstar Cafe in Portland ME

Root beer cupcake, originally uploaded by sundaykofax.

Maybe not the best name.,
originally uploaded by sundaykofax.


At least two Sonyas! During my last LibraryWeek in Portland,
we decided that we could use some help getting everything done. We figured the best way to do this would be to clone ourselves and expedite the growth process. And then a quick trip for matching outfits (like all good twin sets).

106 books unread (meme)

Below are the top 106 books tagged “unread” in Librarything. If you didn’t know, I totally work for them now, so I figured I’d better participate! (Whatever, I totally wanted to.) I learned that I don’t re-read a lot.

The rules:
Bold what you have read, italicize books you’ve started but couldn’t finish, and strike through books you hated. Add an asterisk* to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your tbr list.

Jonathan Strange & M. Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One hundred years of solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose – I think my dad likes this one. I know he owns it.
Don Quixote
Moby Dick – I have to, having lived in New Bedford
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Atlas shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury tales
The Historian
A portrait of the artist as a young man
Love in the time of cholera
Brave new world
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A clockwork orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A people’s history of the United States : 1492-present
Cryptonomicon – I keep starting it
A confederacy of dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The unbearable lightness of being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
*The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
* Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers

Underwater BFFs

My new friend Trinity mentioned that he keeps cat-hair-levels down by using the Furminator.


I agree. Stella liked being groomed (she fell asleep), and all this undercoat fur came off. It’s kind of gross and kind of awesome.
In thanks for guiding me to my neat new job,
I decided the best way to show E my gratitude was to buy matching whale tail necklaces.

on Flickr”>Whale tails! Whale tails!


I’m in Washington DC this week, exhibiting with LibraryThing at Computers in Libraries.

I’m staying with Shane and E, which has been wonderful, because they’re part of my friend family, and they don’t get mad when I come home late from working, or care that I fall asleep on the couch while Shane watches baseball mans.

There was a bonus Angela weekend, which I thoroughly took advantage of – eating food, lazing about, etc.

Ooh, I just read Shane and E’s blog post about me coming, and I echo all the sentiments. And then some.

too tired to think of a witty or useful title

So many things happened so fast, after moving to Boston. I had just started getting the hang of my job when Easter weekend hit. Luckily, I had just indulged in an iPhone, so I could continue to do my job whilst barreling down I90 with Jason at the wheel.


We had a fabulous weekend. I’m so lucky to have a sig.oth. with a family I like. We got into Buffaloland around dinnertime, so Jason’s parents took us out for a fish fry (I love Lent for the fish). We then drove into the city to meet up with some of Jason’s rad high school friends. We went to the coolest history-themed bar of all time, I drank too much, and we partied till dawn. (I haven’t done that in a loooong time.) I may or may not have won a game of darts, but definitely bragged that I did.

The rest of the weekend was cozy family hanging out. Saturday night we watched Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Sunday we familied it up, then drove alllll the way back home.

Today I was kind of zonked, but Abby had taken care of the loose ends of printing info and businessmarks[1]. I’m legit!


So now I pack up my giant rhino and fly to Minneapolis to be an exhibitor at PLA, and hang out with various and sundry friends.

[1]A business card bookmark

Richard, what kind of mittens do you want?

The regular stockinette kind, or felted?

Now that part of my job is to be hyper-organized, my brain has started clicking along those lines. I’m finally reading “Getting Things Done” (GTD)* and I’ve reinstitute rememberthemilk to keep track of the bits of spizz that come up while I’m working that I want to remember, but don’t want to deal with at the time.

I was reading a comment Richard left on my post about knitting mittens for reformed smokers, and decided that I wanted to knit the man some mittens. My brain clicked into GTD mode, and without actively thinking about the best place to note this or that adding it to rememberthemilk would probably result in me forgetting about it, thought to myself “OK, I need to add this to my Ravelry queue.

Stickies alone don’t do it, rememberthemilk alone doesn’t do it, and a tiny notebook alone doesn’t do it. I’m discovering that I need all of these thing, and I need to be aware of what kind of information should go in them.

*I’ve always felt weird about the part where I link to the book I’m blogging about. The first Google hit is always Amazon, and I feel trashy throwing them that particular bone. It just now occurred to me that if I link to LibraryThing, I’m providing useful information about the tome (reviews, tags, etc) but also if you happen to be logged in, you can see where to buy/swap/borrow it.

My bucket runneth over

I can’t tell you enough how much I’m loving my job. Right now the reason is that I like attention, and I’m getting it. Today Tim introduced me (and the other newish employee Chris) to the world on LibraryThing blog.

Sub-happiness comes from two of the four comments so far being from friends who are also LibraryThing geeks.

Tertiary happiness comes from getting Tim to use the term ‘bucket of sunshine’ (albeit with a disclaimer) to describe me.

OK, also, I look totally cute in the picture. Thanks to Abby and her iPhone for the hott picture.

LibraryThing, or My New Jobbity Update

I’m sorry I haven’t posted sooner about my fabulous new job at LibraryThing, but as usual, it was some little detail that inspired me to actually write.

Here’s the life synopsis: On Monday, I jumped in with two feet (holding a wedge of brie and laptop). I’m working on the LibraryThing for Libraries (LTFL) stuff. LTFL is this fantastic idea that any old library can add widgets to their OPAC, joining the LibraryThing data to their catalog, which means tag clouds! similar titles! hottness!

So, that’s what I’m up to now. I work from home, or wherever, so I’m now online 100% of the day. If you IM me, and I can’t chat much, it’s because I’m busy making libraries’ catalogs more awesome.

That being said, part of joining LibraryThing is learning more about what the damned site can do. The answer? A lot.

Right now, my favorite thing is that along with Library of Congress records and member-generated tags by the millions, you can make your own records for things that aren’t already out there.


Zine collections like Paper-Fort.