Tagging can be a useful way for people to categorize things using their own words, which makes it easier for them to find it later. It is also useful in instances where controlled vocabularies are lacking, such as slang or new technology. It can also be interesting to click on a tag and see how it has been used by others. The problem of tagging, though, is that not everyone thinks the same way, and tags that are meaningful to some people might be completely meaningless to others. Allowing users to tag items in the library catalogue makes it more social and provides more opportunity for patrons to feel involved in creating the content of the website. But how can the library control for appropriate tags? And what is “appropriate”? Should it limited to removing any tags containing profanity or other potentially offensive terms? On the other hand, subject headings such as Library of Congress are not always up to date on certain topics, and seeing how users tag items might give librarians insight into additional terms they might consider when cataloguing.
For this week’s activity, I decided to join delicious. I had been meaning to look into it for a while, but had never gotten around to it. I like the idea of being able to check my bookmarks from any computer, since I currently have a laptop and a desktop and I know for a fact I do not have all the same sites bookmarked on each. I first had to create an account (delicious.com/kimthelibrarian) and then bookmark a few sites. I thought it was interesting to see the tags other people have given sites that I bookmarked, and I had fun making my own tags and notes as well. So far I have only marked a few sites that I could find easily without a socail bookmarking site. However, I could see this being really useful for those times when you stumble across something that you want to check out later. The ability to add tags and notes makes it easy for you to remember later why you thought that site was so interesting. I could see libraries using a site like delicious to bookmark useful reference sites that could be acccessed by any staff member anywhere in the library or at home, using the tags to make it obvious how the site might be useful, for example, for answering a certain type of reference question.