Tellico – library catalog software

Tellico - logoTellico could be a good stand-alone cataloging program for individuals or small libraries who find Koha too daunting.

I have about 1,400 books in my personal library and use LibraryThing to keep them cataloged but it has all the downsides of web site based programs.  (slow interface, privacy issues, etc.)

Tellico - mainscreenTellico worked great for searching, sorting, annotating, and even checking-out my books.  It was speedy and efficient on my aging laptop.

The biggest strength of Tellico is it’s ability to retrieve data from a wide variety of on-line resources including Google Books, Amazon and Library of Congress.  If your book has a good ISBN number, the program works great. It is especially great for adding new records to the catalog.

I had less luck importing titles from my current collection after I downloaded the ISBNs from LibraryThingTellico found less than half the records although, presumably, LibraryThing has solid records.
Tellico - online resourcesTellico - import
Another seeming strength is its ability to import records from a wide variety of file formats but, in practice, it didn’t work so well for me.   I also have a Goodreads account but could not get that feature to work, even though that feature is prominently listed.   I did have success with a a CSV file exported from Library Thing although all my tags, call numbers, and personal comments disappeared, despite my having worked hard to maintain them during the import.

For me, this is a deal breaker  — programs must never, ever delete data!  It happened to me three times, so I don’t think it was user error.

Even so, I could imagine Tellico being useful for some people if they needed no custom cataloging information since Tellico seems to work fine with the pre-defined fields.  It also might be worth keeping installed just for the ability to search multiple book databases for cataloging information.

Tool: Tellico
Description: Stand alone cataloging software with useful connections to on-line databases. Runs on Linux.
License: GNU (free and open source)
Alternative: Koha, Evergreen, Goodreads, LibraryThing
Rating: potentially useful

Digital Dewey — organize your digital collection like your physical library

The Digital Dewey Project 1.0

DigitalDeweyLogoThis project is a “zipped” collection of folders which mirrors the Dewey Decimal System as listed by Wikipedia. It has approximately 2500 folders and nested sub-folders, one for every major Dewey subject. Version 1.0 doesn’t go down to the decimal level but may in the future.

Users can unzip these folders on to their hard drive and organize their digital collection by dropping the documents in the appropriate folder.

The inspiration for this project happened when I was digitizing documents for a speciality library where scans of documents were simply dumped into one gigantic file folder. While this works fine if the documents are hyper-linked to an OPAC entry, it is almost useless for browsing. If a library were to use the Digital Dewey system, a user could browse through the digital collection similar to how they browse in a physical library. Be sure to set the file permissions to read-only.

Get the Zip File