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Flickr Four by Four
I’ve looked back at the last few years brary name, city, state, the acronym or numbers that your camera gives it. If
of columns and found that we haven’t nickname your patrons use, and what- that seems too obvious, try searching
talked about how to use Flickr very of- ever you think might help someone dis- flickr for “dscn.” You’ll be amazed how
ten. That’s interesting, because I think cover your library online. Then toss in many people don’t title their photos. Ti-
that, of all the social applications, it’s the the words “library” and “libraries” as tles and captions are searchable, so the
most flexible and has the most potential well as the year. For each photo, add text you provide there gives people
for serendipitous discovery if you make the obvious data to define what you’ve more ways to discover your photo.
good use of the tagging function. I’m sure photographed—title, creator, etc.—but
Flickr’s use in libraries isn’t without con- also colors, subjects, feelings, and any-
troversy in some circles—protecting pa- thing else descriptive. You don’t need
tron privacy and putting their photos standard tags as this isn’t cataloging,
online seem at odds—but you’re not so just be free and use your words.
likely to be photographing their catalog There’s no such thing as too many tags.
searches or checkouts at the circulation
desk, and some of the best uses of Flickr
for libraries don’t involve photographing
your patrons at all.
Adding a simple note can provide instruction or informa-
tion about details that might otherwise be missed.
Four Flickr Rules
Rule three. Third, organize. Make
We’re going to start with four sim- sets that showcase connections be-
ple rules for making your Flickr col- tween your photos, and remember that
lection both discoverable and worth photos can be in more than one set. So
discovering. We’ll then look at four an architecture collection might over-
completely different uses of Flickr by lap with art, or photos of events might
libraries that you could implement to- share with a set of photos of your li-
day without spending a second worry- brarians. Sets of technology, sets of
ing about privacy, legal release forms, A sample of tags from a K-State Libraries photo. There’s no books, sets of events—you get the idea.
or what to say to parents about photos such thing as too many tags! If you’re saying to yourself, “Wait a
you took of their children. minute, this kind of reminds me of sub-
Rule one. First, tag, tag, and tag Rule two. Second, describe in every ject classifications in library school,”
again. Part of the fun of flickr is that place that you can. Give photos robust then you’re getting the picture.
many people don’t approach it saying, captions. Use the notes feature to high- Rule four. Finally, connect. Search
“I wonder what photos Suburban Li- light small details that might be for other libraries, organizations in your
brary has online,” but instead say, “I missed with a pop-up note. To do this, area, and people from your library board,