To be absolutely frank, the first time I encountered LibraryThing, I did not see the benefit of making a list of favorite books and putting it in the Internet for others to see. This opinion was due mainly t the fact that I had never relied on other people's opinion, like friends or family, to tell me what was a good read. I grew up in a family and lived in a place where there were more pressing matters than worrying about what books were out there for us to read. My family had so many other things to worry about that concerns about reading material were never their top priority. It is true that everybody works for a living, and a reading habit makes for a healthy family, but, in the place that I lived when I was a kid, worries about where our next meal was going to come from occupied my parents' mind every hour of the day. In short, I grew without the concept of recommending readings.
It took me a while to realize that I am an isolated case. Most of the people are in the habit of reading and sharing what they read with others since early childhood. and it is very typical for me, when I engage in conversations about my reading habits with others, to say "there is this very interesting/exciting/funny/sad/etc. book, but I can't remember its name. I think the author's name is so and so, but it talks about...". In situations like these, sharing a favorite list of books is very easy and convenient.
I signed up for an account in LibraryThing. I uploaded some books in it and I found it very easy to use and convenient, given that now I have people around me who are habitual readers and I can share with them the books I like. Nevertheless, I have seen other sites like this one that look more attractive, that might appeal more to people. Another, perhaps unexplored possibility of having an account here is that people can tell who you are by looking at what you read. so a list in LibraryThing can tell more about your personality that you might want to let out.
I can see the usefulness of this tool for libraries in many ways. Most libraries have a "staff picks" shelf area reserved. This list can be incorporated in electronic form for library patrons to see away from the library. This tool can be very useful to organize items in non-traditional ways, in lists tailored to patron's general preferences.
This is a great tool, and I will be sure to take advantage of it constantly, both in my personal and professional life