Q&A: Organising hard and paperbacks in the home.

qandasmallQuestion:  Home Design: What is the best way to organize books if I don’t have a bookshelf?

I don’t have money to invest in a bookshelf, but would like to better organize my books! I have perhaps 3 bookshelf worth of books, and would like to be able to browse them.

You could always box them up out of sight and use software called Calibre to catalogue your books. You could then browse them like a library catalogue but on your home computer. 

Calibre is very versatile and you can not only catalogue your ebooks but also your paperbacks, hardbacks, CDs, DVDs etc. Pretty much you can catalogue anything using the software.

I did something similar to this when I ran the English Audit Commission library. All our books were boxed up in temperature controlled underground caves near Bath. If anyone requested a book, I would look up the book’s location in the library catalogue. If it was in the boxes, stacked up in Bath, I would request that it be sent direct to the client. I had a very tidy library!

Calibre is very like a library catalogue. I love the ability to flick through the covers of my books or browse through genres, authors etc.

You can even use the isbns on the back of the books to get Calibre to automatically catalogue the books for you. All you need is a barcode reader, which an Android phone and probably an iPhone could do for you. You wouldn’t even need to buy a dedicated barcode reader.

A Simpler Guide to Calibre 0 catalogue ebooks and paperbacks
A Simpler Guide to Calibre has a chapter on cataloguing paperbacks and other physical media

While cataloguing, just type in the notes (or tags ) fields the box number and/or location where you put your paperbacks and you will easily find the book again in the future, just by browsing or searching your collection.
I have a chapter in A Simpler Guide to Calibre which goes into detail on how this can be done.

see question on quora
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A Simpler Guide to Calibre

A Simpler Guide to CalibreA Simpler Guide to Calibre: How to organize, edit and convert your ebooks using free software for readers, writers, students and researchers for any ereader is available now!

Buy the paperback from Amazon:

buy paperback1Buy the eBook from Amazon:

buy kindle1Do you have hundreds of e-books but can never find the one you want? Would you like to convert an e-book to work on a different device? Are you itching to organize your e-books but are not quite sure

how? Then this guide is for you!

This is the complete illustrated guide to setting up and using Calibre for organising your e-books, paperbacks and other media.. Packed full of tips and information, this simple guide to Calibre will help you to:

  • Learn how Calibre can be useful to you
  • Set-up Calibre
  • Catalog ebooks, i.e. add books, edit book information
  • Send e-books to your Kindle or other devices
  • Find free e-books
  • Browse and search your e-book collections
  • Convert e-books
  • Edit e-books
  • Discover, download and send news sources to your devices
  • And much more…

This is a comprehensive, ste

p-by-step guide that will show you how to navigate the sometimes confusing set of features in Calibre with an introduction to finding free e-books.

From where to download Calibre, Calibre setup to finding free ebooks, This guide also explains how Calibre is a Mobi, PDF and ePub converter and how you can use the free software to convert ebooks to work with your device. Calibre has everything yo

u need to start your own ebook library. Calibre is simply the best home library software you can get and it is free.

Buy the paperback from Amazon:

buy paperback1Buy the eBook from Amazon:

buy kindle1

CALIBRE SLIDER1

Contents of A Simpler Guide to Calibre

Introduction

Chapter 1: Getting Started

Chapter 2: Adding, deleting and exporting books

Chapter 3: eBook Management

Chapter 4: Converting books

Chapter 5: Downloading and reading your books

Chapter 6: Browsing and Searching

Chapter 7: Turning news, blogs and other sources into eBooks

Chapter 8: Accessing Calibre from anywhere

Chapter 9 Editing eBooks

Chapter 10 Cataloging physical collections: Books, DVDs and CDs

Chapter 11 Advanced

Chapter 12: Getting hold of books

Chapter 13: Quick Frequently Asked Questions

Index

Buy the paperback from Amazon:

buy paperback1Buy the eBook from Amazon:

buy kindle1

 

Q&A Have a small library but cannot afford a library management system (LMS) like Oliver, Unicorn or IS OXFORD? How about trying Calibre the free ebook library software?

Final - CALIBRE EBOOKI worked in libraries for over 11 years before giving up work to look after my son and write books. I understand that sometimes small libraries whether they are school libraries or corporate information departments don’t have the money to buy a full-blown library catalogue.

When you work in these organisations you may not need all the features of a full-blown library management system. If that is the case for you, give Calibre a look.

Calibre is free software downloadable from the internet. You can install it like any desktop application on your computer and use tags to catalogue your book’s physical locations.

In my book, A Simpler Guide to Calibre, I also explain how you can use tags to mark a book as out on loan or have virtual libraries so you can see at a glance which books are on loan and their due date.

If you only need a library catalogue for basic cataloguing but no budget or accessible IT department then Calibre could be your answer. Have one computer in your library set up and use it to search and loan your books.

You can not only use the catalogue to find your ebooks (which it is designed for) but you can add physical media such as music CDs or movie DVDs. The software can be used in a variety of ways with a little imagination.

It’s a great way to have a classic ebook collection. Fill up the catalogue with Jane Austen’s, Edgar Allan Poe’s or Robert Louis Stevenson’s books from the Gutenberg project and have a classic collection that will entertain for hours at no extra cost. You can add kindle addresses and get them sent to your customers’ Kindles.

If you don’t have a budget but you need an easy way to organize your books why not give it a try? The software is free after all!

Please stay tuned for other ways to get the most out of Calibre.

Thanks for dropping by.

Now for the obligatory mention of my relevant book:

Final - CALIBRE EBOOKA Simpler Guide to Calibre: How to organize, edit and convert your eBooks using free software for readers, writers, students and researchers for any eReader.

Buy from Amazon:

eBook | Paperback

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A day in the life of a busy School Librarian

I have decided to repost some of my old blog posts from the distant past when I was working as a School Librarian. Kids do the funniest things and I really enjoyed working in a school. Posts may be edited from the original blog. So this is part of a series from my old Batty Librarian Blog…

I’ve had a monster day today so I thought I would write it all down to see if I actually achieved anything!

8.30

  • Go straight up to the library. I haven’t got time for the staff meeting today.
  • Put all the extra missing things the cleaner found in the lost property box and the books back on the shelves (Will kids ever learn to put things away?).
  • Put computer on
  • Put the other computers on + photocopier/printer
  • Unlock all doors
  • The computer finally has the log on screen. Log in.
  • Wait another five minutes for the screen to come to life.
  • Open Thunderbird. Swear under breathe as computer takes another five minutes to open it.
  • Get a couple of books to catalogue and open Firefox because our catalogue freezes in Internet Explorer.
  • Let the little darlings into the library.
  • Sort out riddle of the day.
  • Ring up accounts to order new chairs for the library. Get told that I need to provide an estimate of the library’s value by the end of the morning.
  • Save the cataloguing done so far and put to one side.
  • Do some photocopying for the children/teachers.
  • Open up evaluation already started by pure luck. Aargh its break-time.

11.00

  • Shout at children not to run in the library as they try to grab a computer.
  • Listen to inane but faintly amusing conversation about girl’s pet horse. Smile politely and try to sneakily to do a bit more on the valuation while they are not looking.
  • A girl wants to take out the Jane Austen Emma DVD. These come in pairs and I don’t allow them to take more than one DVD at a time. Especially as a really expensive one has been ‘mislaid’ lately. Spend five minutes searching for said DVD. Under the shelf, on the shelf, on the desk, in the box. To be told, “you mean the one the other librarian put in the box ready up there?” Grrr
  • Check out/check in about 10 books.
  • Accept donations for the library by one of the pupils
  • Shout at the kids break is nearly over. (They can’t tell the time by themselves.)

11.20

  • Peace at last. Finish evaluation – pat myself on back.
  • Rush to loo – am desperate by this time.
  • Send valuation to accounts with instructions to order chairs and get quote for other thing. There are three things in that email.
  • Ring up to check they’ve got it. Yep, but forgot about the stuff that belongs to other departments which they’ve dumped in the library storage room.
  • He deletes e-mails and tells me to send it again – except there was other stuff on there!
  • Finish valuation and send it off making sure the other stuff is on separate e-mails. I’m not checking to see if he’s got it – too much to do.
  • More people come in and ask me to do photocopying.
  • Enquiry to find out if we have a book. It is very urgent. They need it for coursework. Not in library. OK will order.
  • Processed books for teacher who wanted books urgently. Stamped and covered them.
  • More photocopying
  • Put an order together for some more books – tunnels, the looking glass wars etc and sent it off. Processed purchase order etc.
  • Put some memos together telling teachers of new additions in the library relevant to their departments
  • Process some invoices of books that arrived yesterday.

12.00

  • Assistant arrives. Woohooo – LUNCH
  • Drop off post in teachers pigeon holes at lunch while looking at Softlink catalogue and eating hurriedly and sneaking a peak at the Times.
  • Received another book package.

12.15

  • Back in library
  • Open up book package
  • Process invoice. i.e. stamp, put date on, photocopy, put arrival on computer
  • Check event is on later.
  • Ring up another school to confirm attendance at Carnegie Shadowing event in April.

1.00

  • Juniors come in
  • Check in and check out books
  • Reply to enquiry regarding Barrington Stoke books. Get really annoyed because the teacher doesn’t want to do any work and tries to get me to do everything! Her excuse is she works part-time. well join the club! So do I but I don’t fob off my work to others. I already made a leaflet for her telling her what books we had relevant for her subject. What does she want from me? Blood?
  • Allow Seniors to come in early because the library will be closed earlier because of the ‘event.’
  • Talk to teacher about world book day and get distracted by another teacher demanding attention.
  • The gigglers come in but are remarkably restrained. They are really nice kids when they are not trying to be annoying. …and by trying to be annoying I mean making funny noises and asking “Is that annoying?” They still require my attention though 🙁

2.00

  • Assistant goes to lunch
  • I show six former new book I bought which is relevant to her subject area. She takes it away to look at it and then borrows it. Oops, maybe I should have shown it to the teachers first. Never mind I do tend to get too excited about new books.
  • Quick chat to catch up on what happened during the day with assistant and the last shift.

2.30

  • Toddle off to catch the bus. Gosh I am KNACKERED.