April 15, 2008

Going High-Tech in My Library

As you may know, there are several buildings on my Bedford property, and when I first bought the place, one of my dreams was to utilize an entire structure as a library, housing my collection of more than 7,000 volumes. I thought a great deal when designing this building, and it was very exciting to watch as skilled craftsmen lined the walls with gorgeous bookcases. When the painting was complete, cartons and cartons of books were moved into the building. You might wonder how one would organize and keep track of such a collection. Enter computer technology and a very practical yet inexpensive computer program called Book Collector, with which anyone can become a librarian.

My MacBook Air helps to make the task easy, as it is nice and light!


When using this program, you simply type in the International Standard Book Number (ISBN), or the title and author. An optional wired or wireless Bluetooth scanner is available for recent books printed with barcodes. Book Collector automatically connects to sites such as amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and the Library of Congress, where all possible data on that particular book is retrieved.

In addition to the correct title and author, up pops the year it was published, the particular edition, a summary and description of the book’s contents, and even photos of the book's cover. This information is then stored in the database for easy retrieval, and the volumes can then be placed into proper categories on the shelves. A book can then be located in your library by searching the database by author or title. Another wonderful feature of this program is that the can be loaded onto a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) or an iPod. This is especially helpful if you travel a lot, as I do, and are always searching for new books to buy.  With your database at your fingertips, you'll never again purchase the same edition twice.