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Privacy Policy

No sale of personal information

LibraryThing will not sell or give personally-identifiable information to any third party. This would be evil, and we are not evil. We reserve the right to sell or give away anonymous or aggregate information. (See LibraryThing for Libraries for a service we provide libraries.)

Email from LibraryThing

LibraryThing will not send you mass emails without your consent. By default, new members are signed up for our State of the Thing newsletter.

LibraryThing's "find friend" feature starts with no friends selected, and has no "select all" button.

Private libraries

LibraryThing allows "private" libraries—libraries that others can't see. We cannot give an absolute 100% guarantee of privacy. After all, even Amazon had a day when all their "anonymous" reviewers were exposed by mistake. If the public disclosure of your library would really damage you, by all means don't post it online.

The law

We take reader privacy very seriously. LibraryThing will not cooperate with US law enforcement unless compelled to do so by law. If you are using LibraryThing from a foreign country with an oppressive government, LibraryThing urges you not to put yourself at risk.


LibraryThing allows members to connect to various apps, like Facebook and Twitter that require application authorization. We will not use this for anything other than explicitly agreed to. The data we collect from these apps is used only for authentication purposes, and is not displayed, transferred or shared in any way. LibraryThing will not sell or give personally-identifiable information to any third party. This would be evil, and we are not evil.

Payment details

Most of our payments come through PayPal, so we never receive credit cards numbers. Remaining payment information is stored separately, and not linked to your member name.


LibraryThing is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, ethnic origin, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy status, parental status, marital status, veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state, or local law.

Mobile Apps (Android and iOS)

Privacy Policy

This section covers the policies for the following apps: LibraryThing, LibAnywhere, FCPL Mobile, LINKcat, MtLaurelLib, and Unisa Library. These services are provided to the user as is.

This page is used to inform website visitors regarding our policies with the collection, use, and disclosure of Personal Information if anyone decided to use our Services.

If you choose to use our Service, then you agree to the collection and use of information in relation with this policy. The Personal Information that LibraryThing collects are used for providing and improving the Service. LibraryThing will not use or share your information with anyone except as described in this Privacy Policy.

Information Collection and Use

For a better experience while using our Service, LibraryThing may require you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information, including but not limited to location information and access to pictures/camera on your device. The information that LibraryThing requests is retained on your device and is not collected by LibraryThing in any way, except if specifically uploaded by you (example: book cover photos uploaded to your books).

Log Data

LibraryThing wants to inform you that whenever you use our Services, in case of an error in the apps we collect data and information which is transmitted directly to our server in the form of Log Data. This Log Data may include information such as your devices's Internet Protocol ("IP") address, operating system version, configuration of the app when utilising the Service, the time and date of your use of the Service, and possibly other anonymous statistics.


Cookies are files with small amount of data that is commonly used an anonymous unique identifier. These are sent to your browser from the website that you visit and are stored on your devices's internal memory.

LibraryThing services may use "cookies" to provide automatic sign-in for certain features (example: the LibraryThing app). You have the option to set up your device to accept or refuse these cookies, and know when a cookie is being sent to your device. If you choose to refuse our cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of this Service.


LibraryThing values your trust in providing us your Personal Information, thus we are striving to use commercially acceptable means of protecting it. But remember that no method of transmission over the internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure and reliable, and LibraryThing cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Links to Other Sites

This Service may contain links to other sites. If you click on a third-party link, you will be directed to that site. Note that these external sites are not operated by LibraryThing. Therefore, I strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of these websites. I have no control over, and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third-party sites or services.

Children's Privacy

See the COPPA section below.

Changes to This App Privacy Policy

LibraryThing may update our Privacy Policy from time to time. You are advised to review this page periodically for any changes. LibraryThing will notify you of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page. These changes are effective immediately, after they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or suggestions about LibraryThing's App Privacy Policy, do not hesitate to contact us.

Terms of Use

Get off my lawn, you kids!

The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) severely restricts what information can be collected from children under 13. For this reason, children under 13 are prohibited from using LibraryThing. Children 13 and over may participate with the permission and guidance of their parent or guardian. Users of all ages are warned not to provide profile information without weighing the risks and benefits, and never to provide their phone number, address or other critical personal data on-line.


By posting content to LibraryThing, you grant—and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, represent and warrant—LibraryThing a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, omnipotent, royalty-free, fully-transferable and sublicenseable right to display, use, analyze, aggregate, modify, adapt, publish, translate, transform, create derivative works from and perform in any venue or media, online or offline, as well as

"In Painting, Sculpture, and rapt Poesy, / And arts, though unimagined, yet to be." (Shelley, Prometheus Unbound)

We do NOT assert copyright over the things you post to LibraryThing. The phrase "non-exclusive" above means you can post your content elsewhere. By posting something to LibraryThing you let us use it, but you do not restrict what you can do with it. We love it when people post their reviews on their blog, on Amazon and other sites!

As stated above, LibraryThing will not sell any personally-identifiable information to any third party.

You can control whether your reviews will ever be made available to libraries or others. Click here to edit your profile and change your preference.


If you believe that your copyrighted work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please notify LibraryThing as set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 ("DMCA"). For your complaint to be valid under the DMCA, you must provide the following information in writing:

  1. An electronic or physical signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner;
  2. Identification of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
  3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing and where it is located on the Service;
  4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit LibraryThing to contact you, such as your address, telephone number, and, e-mail address;
  5. A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or law; and
  6. A statement, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information is accurate, and that you are the copyright owner or are authorized to act on behalf of the owner.

The above information should be submitted to:

LibraryThing, Inc.
Attn: DMCA Notice
286 Spring Street #2, Portland, ME 04102
Email: infoAT SIGNlibrarything.com


Please note that this procedure is exclusively for notifying LibraryThing and its affiliates that your copyrighted material has been infringed. The preceding requirements are intended to comply with LibraryThing’s rights and obligations under the DMCA, including 17 U.S.C. §512(c), but do not constitute legal advice. It may be advisable to contact an attorney regarding your rights and obligations under the DMCA and other applicable laws.

HIPAA Compliance and Patron Privacy

If you're a health industry organization considering TinyCat and LibraryThing for tracking patrons and lending data, please be advised that LibraryThing does not ensure full HIPAA compliance.

Consider these tips to maintain patron privacy within TinyCat and LibraryThing:

  • Do not share your admin login with anyone unless you expect them to have access to all of your library and patron data.
  • Do not add patron information, such as names and phone numbers, but use only patron barcodes or IDs.
  • If you have Simple Circulation enabled, go to your Patron Accounts Settings, and select Barcode/ID under the 'Patron list' setting. This will protect the privacy of your patrons’ names.
  • If you have Full Circulation enabled, go to your Patrons Settings and make sure that all patron fields except 'Barcode/Patron ID' are set to Admin only. Set the 'Barcode/Patron ID' field to Patron can see, if you prefer.

Social features

Freedom of discussion and personal attacks

  • LibraryThing has no speech code. You can dispute ideas and words without limitation.
  • LibraryThing prohibits personal attacks on members. As Wikipedia's policy states, "Comment on content, not on the contributor."

Good advice

  • Use common sense. Be polite. Think before you post.
  • If you're upset by something or someone, try to calm down before responding.
  • Discussions can become heated and passionate. Don't forget that the person on the other side is human.
  • Remember that LibraryThing Talk is a public space; don't say anything to others that you wouldn't want a room full of people to overhear.
  • Avoid quoting or otherwise exposing private communication. While this does not necessarily violate the Terms of Service, you should consider whether it qualifies as a personal attack or a disclosure of private information.
  • Consider the context before posting. A political religious dispute does not belong in a knitting group.

How to deal with abuse

  • If you come across an abusive post, click the "flag abuse" link. The flag will be visible only after it has been flagged twice. After four different users have flagged a post, it will be deleted.
  • Please do not flag posts as "abuse" simply because you disagree with what is said, or if someone criticizes your favorite book, author, or idea—that's not abuse, it's a difference of opinion. We welcome differences of opinion!
  • LibraryThing staff do not review all flags. Severe abuse should be reported to LibraryThing staff.

Other rules

  • LibraryThing is not an advertising medium. Egregious commercial solicitation is forbidden. No matter how great your novel, this does apply to authors. (See Tips and Guidelines for Authors.)
  • Do not spam member comments or group invitations. Inviting people in your town to a new group is okay; inviting hundreds of members is not.
  • Do not repost flagged content in Talk. If you believed you were flagged unfairly, go ahead and discuss the issue (without getting personal). You can discuss it, with short selections. But you may NOT repost it. If people want to read it, they can; Talk allows you to click something to see the flagged content.
  • Do not create "pointless," "meaningless" or "random" groups or topics. We give all groups the benefit of the doubt, but the creation of multiple, duplicative and contentless groups is against these terms.
  • Do not intentionally disclose sensitive private information about another member.
  • One violation of the Terms of Service does not justify another one.

System integrity

  • Do not subvert or misuse site features.
  • Do not set up "shell" or "sock puppet" accounts for any purpose whatsover.
  • Common Knowledge, covers and other core, shared bibliographic data must be edited in good faith.
  • LibraryThing is for your books—books you own, have read or want. It would not be appropriate to fill your LibraryThing catalog with all the books in your local library or Project Gutenberg.
  • Except by permission or through an authorized API, you may not add to or query your library automatically. See our APIs.

Account types

Individual accounts are designed for personal collections. Couples and families are fine too. Organizations, like churches, companies, schools and museums, can also join, with some restrictions. (See organizational accounts.)

Lifetime memberships

People who pay for lifetime memberships get what they paid for, and probably a lot more. If, however, LibraryThing adds major new features, including but not limited to tracking your borrowed books by satellite and punishing malefactors with a death-ray, using these new features may require an additional payment.

LibraryThing asks for $25 (life) or $10 (year) for over 200 books. If you go to pay, you will discover that you can pay what you want.

Account ownership

In event of dispute, account ownership is determined as follows: If a paid account, ownership belongs to the party that paid for the membership. If a free account, ownership is determined by the email address linked to the account. If there is no email address linked to the account, LibraryThing staff will make a good faith effort to determine ownership. Our decisions are final.

Pay-for-review schemes

LibraryThing encourages members to participate in book give-away programs. (LibraryThing has two: Early Reviewers and Member Giveaways.) We forbid reviews from "pay-for-review" schemes.

  • Reviewers must be free to write what they think. They may not be required or rewarded to write positive reviews, or punished for writing bad ones.
  • Reviewers must own and control their reviews, granting other parties only a non-exclusive license.
  • Reviewers must act on their own volition, cross-posting their review when and where they want. Companies that sell services based on how many sites get reviews are explicitly forbidden from using LibraryThing.
  • Reviewers must not be paid for their reviews, except in free books and similar non-monetary perks.

Member recommendations

In adding a Member recommendation to any given work page, you are expected to make good-faith, disinterested recommendations. You can only make three recommendations per book, and cannot recommend the same book more than five times overall. Recommending your own book is strictly forbidden. Members can rate the validity of other member recommendations from the Rate Recommendations page. You are free to recommend books already listed by others or by LibraryThing itself.

What, more?

  • You may not post any content that violates copyright or other intellectual property law.
  • LibraryThing may not be used for any illegal activity.
  • LibraryThing may not be used to injure, threaten, stalk, impersonate or harrass someone.
  • Do not plagiarize another member's content.
  • Do not upload X-rated pictures.
  • Do not upload suggestive images of minors or seeming minors.
  • Your username may not be an insult, either general or specific. Sheesh!
  • We reserve the right to remove accounts with no books after three months. (We have never done so.)

We take it all back

These terms and conditions are subject to the usual change-at-any-time rule that websites put on their terms and conditions and which seem so unfair. ("What, I have to submit a DNA sample?") We have edited them as new situations have come up, but we promise not to change any of the core principles, particularly with regard to sale of information, copyright and death rays. We promise to make all changes openly, with tracking and with the opportunity for users to withdraw their accounts.


Credit where it's due

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