Flickr Four by Four by ProQuest


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									     »    tech tips for every librarian                                                                                                        b y d o n n a f. e k a r t

         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,
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