Tagaloging: The process of adding tags and building the wonderfully flexible self-organizing collections of information like Flickr, Furl, del.icio.us, and their ilk. Perhaps I’ve spent too much time looking at these tools and not enough time socializing with other humans, but the term strikes a chord with me, more clearly descriptive to my librarian brain than “folksonomy.”
This was probably not worth a blog entry, but there you go.


I stumbled on an article ("Geotagging Web Pages and RSS Feeds") from the January 2005 issue of Linux Journal. Geotagging is adding geographic metadata to web sites or RSS feeds. For example, a blog entry about a restaurant could give the location of the restaurant in any number of standard ways:

  • Latitude/longitude (otherwise known as "ICBM," a term dating back to the good old days of early Unix and the Cold War), or by street address, or by city, state, and country.
  • Using Geo Tags — geo.position [latitude and longitude], geo.placename [natural-language name of the place], geo.region [ISO country subdivision].
  • In RDF, the Geographical Vocabulary Workspace.

As the article points out, there are relatively few search engines that make use of this data, but among those that do are A2B and (for RSS feeds) RDF Mapper.
I haven’t been able to find a library making use of this technology, but a couple things strike me about it. Wouldn’t it be interesting to tag a local history or cultural guide with relevant metadata so that a search tool could pull together both information about the locations as well as where they are? Or to collect fiction set in the library’s home town and include, along with the reviews of the books, tags indicating where the book’s main action takes place?
Or, more broadly, simply tagging various library branches with geographical information might make it easier for someone to get from a GPS-enabled cell phone to your physical location — via your web site.

Legal Advice for Bloggers from EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published a legal guide for U.S. residents on issues related to publishing a weblog. The 9-part guide, Legal Guide for Bloggers, is formatted as a series of frequently asked questions:

This detailed resource answers many questions bloggers may have — what is defamation and libel, compared to opinion; the benefits of obtaining a press pass; and an explanation of the legal difference between what you write and what a visitor to your site writes via blog comments or other such tools.

The Bloggers’ FAQ is a very handy guide to the world of publishing that so many of us are now joining.

[Via Web4Lib.]

Note: The original posting was edited on 7 November 2016 to correct links to the sections in the guide.

Ann Arbor District Library & RSS

The Ann Arbor District Library will be launching a new library catalog and associated services next month. According to Edward Vielmetti, a member of the AADL’s technology advisory board, the new catalog will be integrated with library weblogs so that:

There’s a plan to integrate library staff and patron book recommendations and discussion right into the catalog interface. The idea is that you’ll be reading along in a library blog about books recommended in a certain area (patchwork knitting, Middle Eastern cookery, or travel books about Vermont) and be able to click straight through to put a recommended book on reserve. Blogs will have RSS feeds, and there’s plans to have RSS feeds out of the catalog.

Additionally, Vielmetti says that the new catalog has “a module to (optionally) save your reading history and to save any searches, and to have the library automatically mail you when new books come in that match a search, kind of like an iTunes smart playlist for books.” Whether this alert service will be available via RSS isn’t clear; however, since the AADL will be running Innovative Interface’s catalog, that functionality will be available with their next major release.
Too bad I moved from Ann Arbor last year — just ahead of the innovation wave!

Have You Heard the News Today?

The Highland Park Public Library is using a tool called Speakwire. Follow the link to Speakwire from their blog (Highland Park has the link near the bottom of the right navigation column — “Want this blog to read to you? Click Here”) and after a few seconds’ pause, you’ll start to hear the blog entries read to you. The voice is synthesized but utterly understandable.
Bridging the gap between blogs and podcasts, Speakwire opens an interesting set of possibilities to reach vision-impaired patrons with library news and announcements.
Another tool, called “Talkr,” goes a bit further — it will turn blog entries into podcasts that you can download to play on your MP3 player while you’re offline. Talkr offers three podcasts for free; you can subscribe to their service to receive more.
[Via Shifted Librarian and Web4Lib.]

Innovative Interfaces and RSS… Coming [Not] Soon [Enough]

[Sorry for the long gap between postings — I was on vacation.]
RSS is coming to Innovative Interfaces library management system. The Shifted Librarian highlighted this news release late last week, noting that Innovative makes a mention of RSS on page 8 of their June 2005 INN-Touch newsletter:

Innovative will use RSS to support one-to-many communication, but in Release 2006 there will also be one-to-one support. Patrons will be able to get RSS messages as part of their My Millennium suite of personalization features. Timely messages such as “Materials due tomorrow” or “New item on hold shelf for you” will let patrons know about their interactions with the library more quickly than ever before. […]
“Our users are familiar with RSS feeds as they stay current with the news or their special interest groups and it seems to us that the library should be part of that information stream,” says [Yale University Law School’s] Associate Director for Technical Services Mary Jane Kelsey. “The library will begin by providing time-sensitive patron notices in an RSS feed so our busy faculty and students can see the status of holds, recalls, and overdue materials at a higher level than their patron record. They will also have the option to integrate the library’s feed into the Law School portal or subscribe with a local RSS reader.”

Since my library uses Innovative, I’m particularly excited by this announcement. Kudos to Innovative!

Yale Group Linklog — tags for blogs

Links (beta) is a group linklog — bringing the tagging power of Flickr and Furl to the world of the blog.
From links’ about page:

links is a group linklog; you can post the links you are reading and look at what other people and groups of people are reading on the web here. Anyone at Yale (valid netid required) can get an account simply by signing in through the Yale Authentication Service (use the link at right). Once you have an account, use the bookmarklet to add your own links.
Once you’re set up and saving your links here, you can syndicate your own recent links or your group links using RSS, or export your whole set of personal links to a number of formats for use in other systems.

If you poke through the site, you can find all sorts of blog entries that Yale users have found useful — nicely tagged and organized.
RSS4Lib has been linked in the WAG [Yale Medical Web Advisory Group] group with the tags rss, libraries, and blogs. It’s not just a respository — anyone (not just registered users) can also subscribe to the RSS feed for any page in the site — so you can subscribe to the RSS feed for the WAG group, or for the “libraries” tag.
The Yale Center for Medical Informatics is developing this software — unalog — under an open source license. This might be very handy way for a public library to maintain a virtual vertical file — rather than collecting pamphlets and ephemera by subject or organization, why not use unalog to indicate web sites and assign subject tags? It would also be a handy way to organize information from community groups or local organizations.