in social software

Tagging the Library

Under the category of things I’ve been meaning to note for a while: David Weinberger at Many-to-Many brought my attention to PennTags, a project of the UPenn library that allows users not only to collect and tag bookmarks, del.icio.us style, but also to tag links to the library’s catalog data, thus leaving traces for themselves (and for others) of their research processes and pathways. (More info about the project.)

While this project doesn’t yet affect the structure of the actual libary catalog (something that I’m not quite sure is clear in Weinberger’s post), it does present an exciting possibility for research libraries to explore: how can they provide user-oriented social software resources that are integrated with the library’s more traditional static archiving functions?

[UPDATE, 6.27.06: I meant to note this a couple of days ago; I was wrong, wrong, wrong. It turns out that PennTags does affect the library catalog; when an entry gets tagged, a box appears at the bottom of the entry’s page noting how it’s been tagged, and by whom, with links to the tag pages. See for yourself. Pretty darned nifty.]

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