After reading these articles:

Redefining RA: The Ideal Tool

Libraries and Crowdsourcing

, I was struck by the similarities between tagging and what I learned about subject headings in ETL505 Bibliographic Standards. During this subject, the importance of selecting appropriate subject headings for cataloging was highlighted. For librarians need to think like users when cataloging to ensure searches for articles in OPACs are successful.

The projects outlined in the above articles could provide a user friendly tagging approach to cataloging that will ensure a more rounded success to OPAC searching.

When tagging first emerged, the assumed lack of formal structure worried many. Everyone has different perceptions of what they are reading. Therefore, there is a concern about the lack of precision. Conversely, some new topics don’t fit the existing structured taxonomies.

Tag clouds and folksonomies automatically help create communities as users with similar interests gravitate toward similar, searchable word tags. Tagged content increases the amount of usable retrievals by providing more than one place you can look for information on the same topic.

Fernandez, B. (2009). Advantages and challenges of tagging and folksonomy. In Educational technology resources and tips. Retrieved from http://annamaebell.wordpress.com/2007/10/09/advantages-and-challenges-of-tagging-and-folksonomy/

The idea of breaking open the traditional and structured subject headings or tags takes a leap into web 2.0 and even beyond into the semantic web.

While I haven’t had much to do with tagging platforms such as Delicious and Pinterest, I have opened accounts and started to tag interesting topics. This speaks to my need to organise and I can see a real purpose in using such social tools to navigate and collect a small amount of what is on offer. I will be investigating these accounts further after my studies to fully investigate the varied ways they can make a TLs role effective.

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