Friday, July 06, 2007

ALA Conference: Technical Services 2.0

Though not a technical services librarian, cataloger, systems librarian or any meaningful derivative thereof, I am an academic librarian interested in wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, social bookmarking and various other technologies included in the program description for the last session I attended at ALA Annual; Technical Services 2.0: Using Social Software for Collaboration, sponsored by Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALACTS) and Acquisitions Section (AS) was held Monday, June 25th from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Moderated by Rick Lugg of R2 Consulting, this session featured:

All three speakers were well versed in their subject areas and presented appealing information regarding the use of 2.0 technologies in libraries. However, I have to admit I was most interested, actually intrigued is more accurate, with the library social bookmarking project presented by Picknally Camden.

Penn Tags is “a social bookmarking tool for locating, organizing, and sharing your favorite online resources. Members of the Penn Community can collect and maintain URLs, links to journal articles, and records in Franklin, our online catalog and VCat, our online video catalog.”(About Penn Tags)

Developed in-house at UPenn, anyone may view the project but only authorized users, UPenn login is required, are able to create and maintain tags. This process promotes a sense of ownership and responsibility for individuals involved in the folksonomy of tagging. As with many social bookmarking products, the more people using any given tag, the larger font used to display it within the over all tag cloud (at the time of this post, items in the cloud were tags used at least 66 times). It was my understanding that the project has yet to undergo a serious marketing push, but users have found it via the best grass roots marketing tool possible, word-of-mouth. What a great indication that Penn Tags has filled a niche within the 2.0 library.

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