Texas Bklvr

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tag It

When asked if tagging belongs in the library, my first thought is that libraries have done 'tagging' for years. Whenever we assign a subject heading to a book or create an index, we are in essence tagging. If the purpose is to assist people with finding information, pictures or memorabilia, then tagging is just another term for what libraries do, just in a controlled environment.

Should tagging replace subject headings? Well, as a librarian working to help people, I want a controlled vocabulary so that I can quickly narrow down my search. I also want to be able to search other library catalogs knowing I can use the same term to find the same concept. So I don't think tagging can replace subject headings. However, I do think tagging can complement our existing form of subject headings in some fashion. The problem is that we are asking everyone in the world to start describing things so people can find them. I don't see anything wrong with that as long as we don't have any expections for consistency in terms or definitions. Tagging will generate numerous different terms for the same item which in turn will generate unusual hits in a search, making it more difficult in some ways for people to find things. But in the Web 2.0 world I don't think it matters as much. Users are looking for something; they find something; if that something meets their needs, the end justifies the means.

As for encouraging the practice, I don't think we as librarians have a lot of say in the matter. Tagging is already an accepted practice in the Web 2.o world and trying to change it or control it would be a vast undertaking. We just need to recognize it for what it is, personal descriptions by individuals of different backgrounds, cultures and languages.

Tweet Tweetly Tweet

I actually set up a Twitter account last week because this is one Web 2.0 tool that I think we can use right now without spending a lot of staff time and effort in getting started. We could use to send quick updates on what is happening in the library that day or right now. I think the biggest hurdle will be informing our customers that we have the service available and to sign up for it. After I tweak my thoughts a bit, maybe we can start Tweeting!

IM Thing

Instant messaging is something we already do in our library and city, at least between staff. It comes in handy when you need a quick response. What I think would be useful is to have an IM reference service if we could be assured that we would be able to staff it properly. I think many of our teen patrons would really like it and possibly more adults would use it once we got it started and marketed. So..... perhaps we can think about how to effectively offer IM services. Food for thought.

Friday, June 19, 2009


For anyone who has an interest or hobby of any kind, NING is the place for sharing information. I conducted searches for several topics just to see what would pop up and for most everything I searched there were thousands of communities you could join. So if you're a gardener, a hockey nut or interested in raising chinchillas, look here for advice, pictures or just passing the time.

Thing 9: Advanced Facebook

Learning more every day about Web 2.0. Today I joined a group, the Allen Americans, a new hockey team starting up this fall in Allen, Texas. Using Facebook to join was very simple. I also read some posts from friends and searched for some high schools friends which I found! I think I'll post a picture next time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Put on a Happy Face!

Signed up for my Facebook account today. Was able to request several Friends to add me to their list; hope they respond soon! It was quite easy really although I did skip some of the profile stuff for now. I'm not sure how we would use Facebook in our library; perhaps to connect with teens and keep them informed on what the library is doing? ask them to contribute book reviews? ideas for programming? Not sure yet.

Web 2.0 is definitely a lot easier than I thought it would be. I think many of us are a bit intimidated by the 'technology'. I will be able to encourage people to use these tools now that I've tried some of them. Thanks North Texas 23!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Really So Simple

There was a time I had signed up for numerous RSS feeds so I would get the most current information available. The problem was there was way too much information for me to keep up with and still do my job! I ended up pretty much ignoring the feeds.
I've since learned to be more selective about what kind of RSS feeds to subscribe to. It's really simple; only choose those feeds that offer useful information and then devote a small amount of time each day reviewing them. Just like blogs, reading feeds could potentially take up most of your time. Doesn't e-mail do that already????

A Blog Reading Thing

Today I set up a blog reader using Google Reader. It was easy enough and I was able to set up several blogs that I go to regularly. I can see where this would be a useful tool if you read a lot of blogs or websites on a daily basis. However, at the moment I don't read a lot of blogs so it may not be of much benefit to me...right now anyway.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I never would have imagined that I would find using these Web 2.0 tools so facinating. I wish I had more time in the day to try them all out.
This week I looked at some image generators. They were relatively simple and I put together two different images, one using my own photo and one that was part of the tool. I used Billboard in the BigHugeLabs site to create the following billboard; this photo was one I took in D.C.
The second image came from Image Chef where you can choose from a variety of background pictures to create your own message. There are many other image generator tools out there. They would be very useful in spicing up a website or promoting library services.