del.icio.us

One of my favorite 2.0 applications is del.icio.us.  The most basic thing to love about del.icio.us is how it offers librarians a way to gather useful, authoritative, and free websites together making them easy to share with patrons and staff.

In my current job our library website only lists the databases that we pay for and that section of the website isn’t updated very often.  Sites I use and recommend frequently, such as MedlinePlus or the BBC Language pages, may remain unseen by patrons looking only at the system website. Once patrons know that our del.icio.us account is online, they have the ability to check back frequently for updates and to look at a collection of free websites hand picked by librarians.  Another benefit: even if they were to access our del.icio.us account from home, they wouldn’t need a library card to get in.

The true genius of social bookmarking is the opportunity for collaboration. My tags and bookmarks are shared with others and they in turn share with me.  I have found many great websites and articles by scrolling through my del.icio.us network, which contains some library and librarian del.icio.us pages. For more guided searching I can start with a keyword in the main search box and branch off from there. What might have taken one user days and weeks to research and find is now available to many people with a few keystrokes. Everybody benefits because today I might be the person accessing information with a few keystrokes, but tommorrow I could be the person spending days compiling information so that somebody else can have the easy access the next day.

Some of my favorite del.icio.us pages:
The page I created for Greenbrier
Library of the University of Paris-Sorbonne
Cleveland Public Library has separate accounts for many different subjects.

CommonCraft video showing the basics of how to use social bookmarking:

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The Concept of Radical Trust

One of the things I find most exciting about the library environment today is the idea of Radical Trust (RT). I love the idea of using  technology to empower our patrons to be a part of their own library experience. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept, I’m going to turn to Collin Douma, who writes about RT as a business concept and defines it as: A notion that influence, rather than control, is more effective at guiding culture, commerce and communities. He also lists the 6 Principles of Radical TrustYou must radically trust that consumers:

  1. are best equipped to determine their own needs, and left to their own devices are best equipped to get those needs met.
  2. would rather be communicated with than spoken to.
  3. require freedom of expression, but often require guidelines to create expressions within.
  4. will self-regulate communities to the level guidelines suggest and that the collective group they comprise will accept.
  5. will disconnect with a brand that silences them and will align with brands that give them a voice.
  6. (This one is the hardest) consumers are people and people are inherently good.

If you substitute the word ‘patron’ for ‘consumer’ it is easy to see how this concept applies to libraries.  John Blyberg wrote directly about libraries and radical trust in This blog entry.

Sesame Street

 

Think about “cookies” as something new – a new service, or something not “traditional” – gaming, for instance.  By thinking out of the box, we can continue to grow with our community and expand the definition of “library”.