Favorite New Tool? Libib!

I don’t buy new gadgets or tools very often. I have a pretty basic stock of rulers, the same domestic sewing machine for several years, and a supply of pens, pencils and markers that wouldn’t draw much envy. I did upgrade my longarm quilting machine this year, which is exciting for me, since I do my own quilting and often make larger quilts.

And glue, glorious glue! Elmer’s basic white school glue, glue sticks, basting spray, WonderUnder. They’re all ways to stick something to something else. But I’d argue that they are supplies rather than tools. And really, they aren’t new to me, even though I’ve used more glue this year than ever before.

My favorite new tool — and perhaps simply from the glow of recent discovery — is Libib! Libib is a library management tool, available for free for personal use, and for a fee for larger needs. According to the home page: “Our library management service caters to both home and small organizational libraries. Our online software lets you create multiple libraries, catalog books, movies, music, and video games, lets you create tags, leave notes, import/export, and much more. We offer two different subscription options to best fit your needs. Libib is the best system for cataloging your media available online.” (bolding emphasis mine)

You can download an app to either Android or Apple phone, and use the phone to scan your books’ ISBN bar codes. If the book doesn’t have a code, info can be entered manually. The phone-captured data is stored in the cloud, and you can access it on your computer, as well.

My whole quilt library takes up 47 linear inches, and includes about 100 books. What is so cool about this for me, a person with a relatively small library? It took less than half an hour to scan all my quilting books. Okay, there were a few that don’t have an ISBN bar code, and I’ll have to enter them manually. All the rest, done fast and slick! Try that with almost any other listing method, and it certainly would take longer and not include as much information.

You can sort alphabetically by title or author, by date published or added to your library, or by rating of library users. I’m the only user and I haven’t rated them, so that one doesn’t help me. Here’s a look at my computer-based window to my library, with a list view by date published. You can see the ⇑ to the right of the sorting menu. That sorts in reverse chronological order. Also there is a horizontal menu for decade to display. This shows ALL:

Most of my books are older. Only 22 were published in the last 10 years.

Here’s a look at a few of the books by authors whose last name starts with “B.” This is in the grid view.

And if I want more specific info about a specific book, I can get that, too. Here is a screen showing Elizabeth Barton’s Visual Guide to Working in a Series. On the right margin of the screen shot, there are a few icons that allow editing, adding tags, notes, a price, or deleting the entry.

Why delete? As I re-shelved my library, I identified a few books I won’t need to keep, things I’ve outgrown. I can delete them once they have gone away.

Okay, so why? What difference does it make if I have an accurate list of my holdings? Maybe not a lot. But if I needed to make an insurance claim, this would allow me to provide a list to the insurer. You can’t claim it if you can’t name it. I can access the list on the phone or the computer. If I’m at the public library’s used book sale, or at a book store, and wonder if I already own a book, I can check my phone. Once I have my books “tagged” with some identifiers, I can look up all my books on story quilting, for example. I’m an orderly person. I like lists. This is way cool.

Another very cool thing about this is my guild library needs to be re-inventoried. It’s supposed to be inventoried every year, but due to technical issues (committee members not knowing how to use Excel,) it hasn’t been done for 2 or 3 years. There are about 300 items in the guild library. If it takes a half hour per 100, this app will make quick work of the listing. Your guild library could use it, too.

How do you keep track of your household or quilting books? Do you list them? Share in comments.


17 thoughts on “Favorite New Tool? Libib!

  1. Pingback: Managing your library with Libib | Serendipity and the Art of the Quilt

  2. Lynda

    I could have used this when I was teaching. I had hundreds of children’s books. I tried Excel and it worked pretty good, but wasn’t as exciting and detailed as this! Yes, this is a great cataloging tool. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Tammy Hutchinson

    I like the sound of this! Thank you! By the way, my guild made the decision to donate our library to the public library. We had the same trouble with updating and organizing, and donating the library helped fulfill our mission statement-to educate the public relations quilting.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I don’t think that’s a bad idea. We have multiple local library districts. The largest one has a pretty good collection of quilting books, and our guild one doesn’t have a lot of overlap with it. Honestly I’m not sure about my guild’s “circulation,” how many books are checked out at a time. When I was on the committee (for 3 or 4 years) I’d guess that it might have been about a dozen. Is that enough demand to make it worth it? I’m not completely sure. Things to ponder… Thanks!

  4. Kerry

    Oh gosh – techno stuff. Whoosh over my head! I think I have about 30 books, so I’ll pass on the app.
    I also have longarm quilting machine envy!

  5. katechiconi

    I’m not inventory minded (which I know is a lazy fault), so I don’t have a list of my books. I know I should…. So far, I’ve only got to the point of photographing the spines of the shelved books, which at least gives me title, author and publisher and a visual clue about the binding. I should definitely take a look at this…

  6. TextileRanger

    Very cool! I have an Excel spread sheet, but of course it doesn’t show any covers or descriptions.
    One tip I have for you — keep some sort of notation of the books you give away! Otherwise, three years after discarding a book, you might waste lots of time searching for it. Not that I have ever done this yet myself, but I think it could easily happen.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Yes, I kept a spreadsheet, too, but I didn’t keep up with it very well. I’m really not good at paperwork… but I think I might be able to deal with this. We’ll see!


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