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Are L.A. Readers LibraryThings? (Thieves Sure Are!)

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Many small libraries use web resource LibraryThing to help sort their inventory, as do readers all over the world who want to keep track of their tomes. The site is now urging users to form FlashMobs to catalog complete library inventories. They explain that the event usually entails a gathering where "LibraryThing members descend on some small library with laptops and CueCat barcode scanners, catalog their books in LibraryThing, eat some pizza, talk some talk and leave them with a gleaming new LibraryThing catalog." Two FlashMobs to-date have done this for small libraries on the East Coast, and since our Los Angeles Public Library has an existing online database of their holdings, they won't need our help--except as avid readers and library supporters. But some smaller cities in SoCal might need a hand going digital with their listings; if you're a LibraryThing, think about getting a FlashMob going. Although the LAPL won't see a FlashMob soon, they do see some LibraryThings. The Central Library is listed on the site as a favorite venue for Angelenos to check out books.

Unfortunately, it's also become a favorite venue for crooks. "Los Angeles Police say the crown jewel of the city's library system recently earned a dubious distinction: It had more thefts last year of personal property -- excluding shoplifting -- than any location in the downtown area," reports L.A. Now. The thieves prefer the History section--not because they are non-fiction buffs, but because it's the most remote spot in the building; they like to take stuff they can sell or trade for drugs, too. Maybe if the crooks read the books they lurked among they'd be LibraryThings, too...