Where do you keep details about the books you own? For most of us, whatever we know about the books we own can be found in one or more of three very distinct locations. The first is obvious. The books on our shelves.
The second is an increasingly important location. Think Amazon Kindle. Kindle app on iPhone, iPad, and even the Mac. That’s where we store digital books. Also in the running is Apple’s own iBooks. I keep digital books in both. No preference. Competition is good. What about all those books you have on shelves in your home or office or in boxes in the attic?
As it turns out, someone else in the Mac community had exactly the same kind of problem. What about an app that catalogs, organizes, and manages libraries of books? Think database, but easy to use. Also, think free. Free is good. theLibrarian app for the Mac is free. Despite Apple’s attempts to remove skeuomorphism from our digital lives, the physical world look thrives.
theLibrarian for the Mac mostly is exactly what you think it is. A digital library for collections of books, magazines, articles, even comics. All digital, of course. And free. The app lets you create multiple libraries and it comes with a built-in search mechanism. There’s a built-in reader, too, so you can read most eBooks and export book metadata as bib, CSV, tab separated files, or as HTML (rather geeky, but many Mac users with digital libraries of documents and articles know the value).
You can also share libraries over the internet, and because theLibrarian supports Dropbox and Google Drive you can save books online for more secure backup. My favorite feature is the PDF option. I work in a school and keeping track of documents, research papers, schoolwork, staff and faculty publications can be a challenge. iBooks works well. So does theLibrarian and they’re priced the same.
Nicely done. Works well. Priced right. Easy to try. Nothing to complain about other than the need for an iPad and iPhone version with document sync through iCloud.