On Fri, 20 Nov 2009 14:08:15 -0500, Henriksen, Phalbe wrote:
>Is the library’s catalogue going to degenerate into a free-for-all
>political forum??? Or are we going to limit tagging to patrons who have
>active library cards, or write policies so that we have to go through
>the potential tags every morning and cancel the ones that don’t meet our
>policy? Are we going to add to our technical services staff to do that?
While I certainly sympathize with this view, I think that this may be the price to the library if we are to enter the Web2.0 world: we lose control of a lot of tasks where we were the absolute masters previously. So, we either allow tagging and enter the Web2.0 world, or we do not enter that world, or we try to manage the input from that world to retain as much as we had, which demands more resources from an ever-decreasing staff.
Another possibility is to use the API to import on the fly the tags and reviews from other online tools, which is possible to do with Amazon.com right now. Conventional thinking is that this improves your catalog, but then you have all of those tags and reviews from amazon.com….. (!!)
Still another possibility is that libraries actually decide to share our metadata all over the web in all kinds of ways (as I have suggested) and our records can then be seen on webpages everywhere. Of course, this means that we lose control over how our records are displayed, the context, and so on, and our records can still display alongside those tags.
I don’t know what the solution is. Maybe it will be an opportunity for some enterprising person out there to create a new NetNanny, “CatNanny” that will “scrub out” those dirty tags for the catalogers. Or, everybody will just get used to seeing bizarre results, just as we do in Google and Yahoo. I confess that sometimes a Google search result strikes me so much that suddenly, it seems I have been transported from the year 1990 or so, and I *can’t believe” I’m seeing all of these things that would have shocked me deeply back then. The world has changed a lot in not *all that much* time, and it seems to be changing faster and faster.
Still, I do think that it is absolutely imperative for libraries to enter the Web2.0 world, in spite of us losing control. If we don’t, I fear we will just be marginalizing ourselves too much