Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Tags and subject headings in traditional catalogs

Richard Sassaman sent me a pointer to Ontology is Overrated: Links, Tags, and Post-hoc Metadata. I've adopted my response to him below.

Oh, yes!

I think Clay Shirky's observations and exposition of what's going on with regard to tags and classification are the most clear and insightful that I've seen.

A great essay based on the talk is here.

If I had to point to only one technically oriented source on the topic, that would be it.

For a less technical audiance my one best pointer is this.

A possible job implication: in 10 years there will many fewer jobs for professional, trained catalogers.

Unless:
  1. The flood of information continues and we need both folksonomies and profressional catalogers to stay afloat
  2. Professional catalogers figure out ways to add value to folksononmies.
Entrepreneurial opportunity: A folksonomy-based cataloging system for public libraries, possibly in partnership with del.icio.us and/or Amazon.

When will the first public library be cataloged with a folksonomy to the exclusion of traditional subject headings?

Care to make book on that?

2 Comments:

Blogger CHARLOTTE R. MORRILL said...

One of the most interesting things I ever read about library catalogs was an article in The New Yorker several years ago which has, since then, become a classic.

When libraries all over the country started to digitize their catalogs many of them threw out their old cards when they were finished. Years and years of handwritten comments and tidbits were lost. This happened at several major libraries, as I remember. There was quite an outcry over it.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Talkabout said...

Annals of Scholarship: DISCARDS: The New Yorker

11:32 AM  

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