Monica3800’s Weblog

This blog is tracking my Library 2.0 journey.

Archive for December, 2007

Reflections on LIS768

I really enjoyed this class. It’s easy to say that technology lessens the contact we have with one another, but I don’t necessarily think that’s the case now. I think that the more engaged people are with applications like Ning, IM’ing, Second Life, delicious, etc the more in touch we become. There are deep connections forged when people get together around a common interest. This class has taught me to consider what these L2 applications add to our lives rather than what they take away. Engaging kids in games that stretch their ability to think and process information is pretty powerful.

As an extension of that learning by doing, the lab time that we had in class was really important. I do like to learn theory as a way to place things in a broader perspective, but ultimately I’m a doer. This brings me to the most important thing I learned in class: mistakes are welcome. Everyone always parrots that “learn from your mistakes” blah, blah, blah. Very few places allow you to do that, however. I currently work in an environment that is so addicted to the culture of perfect that we spend most of our time trying to anticipate what will go wrong. I am very good at anticipating because of my work environment, but this class reminded me that while anticipation helps – mistakes are when we really learn. I really do feel a renewed sense of purpose as I take my last few classes and hope to move onto a library job. Good luck to all of you and I hope you make a lot of mistakes.

Tagging in the abstract

Before jumping into my paper abstract I have to share that monitoring my RSS feeds served me well in writing my paper. Michael had a post about the Dublin City Public Library new pageflakes portal on December 7 which I was able to use in making an assessment of how the library uses tagging with their del.icio.us feed. That was cool. Also, the new DCPL page is cool. Now, onto my abstract… 

My research paper for LIS768 explored the use of tagging in libraries. Tagging is a great library 2.0 technology that takes the user from passive to active in a few easy steps. I first researched what we know about tagging in general focusing on why tagging is appealing and who is currently doing it. Next, I reviewed the websites of six public and academic libraries currently making use of tagging. The trends seem to cluster in the following areas: using tagging as part of the catalog and/or website, making use of LibraryThing for Libraries, and using a social bookmarking tool to aggregate patron recommended resources. I also briefly touched on the tension between tagging, a flat classification system, and hierarchical controlled vocabularies like LCSH. Based on what I learned from my research I made recommendations for the future of tagging in libraries. Basically I think libraries should implement tagging in whatever ways they can. Librarians also need to use the information that they gather from tagging to assist them in collection development. Finally, it will be up to us to work with vendors to ensure that all of our technologies work together and that we are maintaining the privacy of our patrons.

I really liked writing this paper (ok, I’m still not quite done). The information just kept coming. I feel like I could start researching in two weeks and have tons of additional/different info. Stay warm, everyone!

Delish!

Pretty flowersI was not a del.icio.us user before this class. I am now completely and forever devoted to it. I have found it absolutely invaluable in collecting and organizing resources for my paper. I need organization in my life. I, however, find myself very frustrated by the folder system of organizing files and e-mails. I can only put these in one place? Are you kidding? I can barely decide what to have for dinner and you want me to figure out where to put this article for all time? Ack.

I get overwhelmed, I shove the link in some folder, and never see it again. Then I recall it vaguely, go hunting in my folders, but end up back online and do my search again. Thank you del.icio.us for delivering from my self imposed cycle of folder abuse. Here’s my link, take a look. It’s been a long road. And don’t even get me started on my list of favorites (now, bookmarks since I started using firefox) who knows what I saved there? I bet there’s some link that unlocks the secret of the universe.

So to sum up my reflection on using del.icio.us this semester: easy to use, tagging rocks, and so long useless folders electronically crammed to the breaking point with who knows what. I’m free….