Web 2.0 review — del.icio.us

5 03 2008

Del.icio.us is a social bookmarking tool created in 2003 that allows users to collect and organize Web addresses. Unlike the bookmarking feature found on Web browsers like Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, del.icio.us allows users to access their bookmarks from any computer anywhere, not just the computer on which the link was originally bookmarked. Del.icio.us makes it possible for users to quickly and easily share their collected links with other people, making it a useful tool for librarians, who are in the business of collecting and sharing information.

Del.icio.us uses folksonomic tagging to organize Web sites, which means each user tags, or assigns, each Web site with whichever words they think best describe the site. For example, if you come to a Web site about intellectual freedom that you think is the absolute best, you might tag it “intellectual.freedom,” “libraries,” and “absolute.best” (each tag is separated by a space, so I use a period or underscore between words to tag phrases). Later, when you’re looking for information on intellectual freedom, libraries, or the absolute best Web sites, you can use your tags to search for them in your own collection or to find other sites with the same tags throughout all of del.icio.us.

Libraries have started using del.icio.us to provide patrons with up-to-date links to credible Web sites. Nashville Public Library’s del.icio.us links to Web resources on subjects that were specifically chosen by librarians, like teen pregnancy and financial aid, and also includes links to bibliographies on the library’s own Web site. The University of Michigan’s Health Sciences Library has bundled (or grouped) it’s tags in interesting ways – by “information type,” so users can browse specific kinds of sources, “geographic focus,” so they can find information from different locations around the world, and “sources,” so they can find resources by who produced the information. Other libraries, like at the College of New Jersey, are using del.icio.us as pathfinders and subject guides.

In the youth services department at the public library where I work, del.icio.us would be a great way to provide children and teens with up-to-date Web resources for their assignments. Currently, when a big project is assigned, teachers let the public library know and we pull books out of the collection to display on carts. Using del.icio.us is a similar concept, except instead of collecting books for a physical cart, we’re collecting Web resources for an online one. When an assignment is announced, any librarian who helps a child find a useful Web site could add it to the del.icio.us page so that others could use it as well. Tags could include the name of the assignment, name of the teacher, grade level, and the information found on the Web site.

Although the tagging process isn’t perfect because it’s not controlled vocabulary, I think patrons will appreciate the speed at which libraries can collect and distribute pertinent information using del.icio.us.

-Laura

*Information for this post was found in this article from Library Journal.

 

 

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One response

28 03 2008
ginnybelle

What a great idea for collaboration between schools and libraries! Just create a del.icio.us account for Public Library/School Library and start in. Any teacher or librarian could add helpful links! So much better than those stupid assignment alert forms that no one ever fills out!
~Renee

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