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One approach to "tagging" in OPACs

I'm a little late coming to this, but I wanted to point out some new functionality that the Ann Arbor District Library has put into their catalog. The "card catalog" function generates an image that resembles an old, dog-eared card for a selected book. Users can leave comments on cards, which are designed to mimick handwritten notes. users can also save cards to a personal collection.

An example record is here, click on the "card catalog image" link to see what I am talking about; a post explaining the genesis and use levels is here.

Your thoughts? I can think of a few enhancements and critiques, but is this an approach that deserves more exploration? Is it more or less suitable for a public library, vs. other types of libraries?


The tagging idea is fine. The card image presentation is gimicky, hard to read, and has severely limited space. I'd rather use other techniques to let commentors add a "personal" touch to their comments.

Indeed, the image presentation has some issues - it is not possible to restrict the viewed comments to those you yourself have entered. In addition, it has mere curiosity value in terms of seeing others' comments, because you cannot associate them with other comments that person has made.

There is also a "critical mass" issue - what percentage of books will attract comments? Full-text comments, as opposed to tags, also limit the utility of searching across user-submitted metadata.

I'm skeptical, but appreciate the effort into working toward an interface that "grabs" people. It is a big challenge to encourage tagging or commenting efforts over any length of time (if my own tagging experience is any guide).