What is a library?

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What is a library?

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jul 30, 2009, 1:52 pm

I mean, in the context of LibraryThing? What is my personal library? Is it everything I own? Everything I've ever owned? Everything I've ever read?

I sold some books a while back, donated others when I couldn't bring them home from Russia - are they no longer part of my library? I feel like they are, or should be, like my library should just be a catalogue of my reading experience - I should almost go back and delete from my library the books I haven't read...

How do you define your library?

jul 30, 2009, 1:53 pm

Your library is whatever you say it is.

My library is books that I currently own, or that I have reviewed here and no longer own. (The latter are in a separate collection.)

Redigeret: aug 1, 2009, 2:29 pm

There are many creative uses for Library Thing, I imagine. When I joined I took it literally and listed books I have on my shelves at home and at work. But your question intrigues me. What are the metaphorical implications if "library"?

aug 2, 2009, 12:20 am

Theresa, I also took it literally originally - but now really think that was the wrong way to go. My parents are pressuring me to take a lot of my books out of storage and sell them, while meanwhile I'm reading more and more that I don't actually own, and in two years I'll be a librarian and I'll be surrounded by books that are simultaneously mine and not mine... So I'm really leaning towards reassessing my concept of library. Was hoping people here might have ideas of ways that a library could be defined, more than how they do define them, I think.

aug 2, 2009, 2:47 pm

I have a sort of virtual library which is every book I've read & enjoyed so much that I's like to read it again, or give it to someone who I know will enjoy it ,too.

My actual library is made up of books (shelves in every room) that I've read but mostely the dreaded TBR pile, when I finish a book, I give it to the library we are trying to start here on the Peninsula so folks won't have to drive in to the county seat.

This is not a good time for libraries in Ohio as the budget has been drastically cut.

aug 5, 2009, 1:24 am

Marion, I'd like to know more about the library you are trying to start. I may donate some books!

The old definition of library is a collection of books and other materials and also the house where they are stored. If we stretch that a bit, we can say that each of us is a library. How we organize and present what we know is what will give our collections value.

It is an exciting thought!

sep 6, 2009, 5:37 pm

I started by listing all the books that I own, both fiction & nonfiction. Now that the "Collections" feature of LT is up & running, I've added the many library books that I've read as "Read, Not Owned", keeping that list separate from the books I actually own. As I add titles, I'll recall other books I know I've read in the past, and add them to my LT library.

sep 7, 2009, 3:02 pm

The more I think about it: Technology may make the physical presence of a book unnecessary in terms of "library."

sep 18, 2010, 8:44 pm

For the most part, I use LibraryThing to catalog the actual books that I physically own. As I entered titles, I discovered that I owned duplicate copies of several books and hadn't realized it! But many other people here use the catalog to keep track of books they have read or of books that have been particularly meaningful to them (regardless of whether they own physical copies). I'm starting to do a bit of the latter now, myself, since I've begun reviewing books. I can't keep them all, but it's useful to keep a record of what has passed through my hands.