Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Week 6 Thing 13 - tagging and

“People still think of libraries as old dusty books on shelves, and it’s a perception we’re always trying to fight,” said Michael Colford, the director of information technology at the Boston Public Library. “If we don’t provide this material for them, they are just going to stop using the library altogether.”

I found this quote on one of the SJLibraryLearning2's bookmarked Delicious links. Colford was referring to providing technology and what I'll call "eservices" to patrons who wouldn't normally be reached by traditional library services. I couldn't have said it better myself. I see so much potential in each of the 23 Things we've learned about thus far and they can only provide value-added service to our patrons, students and teachers if we can apply them effectively.

I have seriously been neglecting tagging my blog posts, but I'm going to try to do it more often for practice and to get in the habit, if nothing else. Tagging not only promotes "favorites," it also helps point to useful, authoritative and informative sites and ideas.

I had to do a project on PennTags last fall. (For those who aren't familiar with PennTags, it is Penn State University Library's system of tagging.) This is an amazing example of how useful tagging can be for libraries, especially in the academic setting. Students working on papers, reports or projects can see what other students have used and found helpful. It also allows for groups of students to collaborate and share tags, ideas, etc. I guess what I'm trying to say is that whereas PennTags is exclusive to Penn State, any library can use Delicious to help patrons/students tag and claim for themselves what they deem important and pertinent to their own experience, be it academic or recreational. Students being able to bookmark and tag research material for future use and/or to share with classmates is invaluable - sure beats carrying a bunch of note cards around!

Public library patrons can see what other library users find interesting, good reads, good library services, etc. A little tweaking here and there is all each library needs.

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