Friday, August 31, 2007

Impress Your Professor: Tag! You're it

While I was perusing through the archives of the ASIS&T Bulletin, I came across an article about a subject that has come up a number of times recently. Apparently our Chair found this story first - but I'm going to attack it from a slightly different angle.

FaceTag: Integrating Bottom-up and Top-down Classification in a Social Tagging System discusses the pros and cons of folksonomy or "consensus" tagging. These are the tags that users add to their blogs and websites like Flickr.

is a program that combines the fluidity of folksonomy tagging with the more structured and cohesive aspects imposed hierarchical tagging. In the article, the authors state:
Usability studies show that information seekers in domains with a large number of objects prefer that related items be in meaningful groups to enable them to quickly understand relationships and thus decide how to proceed.
Essentially, users want a mental map of not only where they've been, but also a path to the roads not taken - just in case they want to make a U-turn. Facetag is structured in a way that allows users to have a multi-dimensional view of their searches. It's a hybrid system that combines the fluidity and casual nature of folksonomy tagging with the structure and relevance rankings of the more academic Boolean or catalog search.

While this new program seems to work well for digital resources, the article reminded me of another attempt of combining consensus tagging with a more structured catalog. The Danbury, CT public library system has recently incorporated LibraryThing into their online catalog. Users can also add their own tags and information to the items in the catalog.

The question that keeps popping up in my head is this: What does this mean for the catalog? Is adding the user driven folksonomy tag to the catalog a good thing or does it complicate the search process since their is no imposed structure and oversight?

I'm interested to hear what you all think.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another Radio Segment

Hi All!!

Well, it seems to be my job on this blog to direct you to NPR segments. This one comes from WAMU's Kojo Nnamdi Show. On today's Tech Tuesday there is a segment that deals with children and how they interact with technology. One of the commentators is the head of the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) Lab at the University of Maryland.

As Librarians, specifically dealing with technology, it is important for us to understand how different generations interact with technology. This means not only understanding how younger children change interaction patters, but also how older generations want to approach technology.

Ok, enough lecturing from my soap box.

Here is the synopsis of the segment:

Kids today rarely think of 'technology' as something separate from themselves. Rather, technology is infused into everything they do and see. So how can grown-ups rethink design ideas based on what the next generation is thinking? Tech Tuesday explores the intersection of technology and child development.

YouTube Tuesday

What's in a Wiki?
One bit of Web 2.0 that is growing leaps and bounds in popularity and importance is the Wiki. From the world wide Wikipedia to internal company programs, wikis are taking over as the way colleagues share work and disseminate information. A CUA library science student has even created a wiki so that students may help each other study for the Comprehensive Exam.

Disney, please don't sue me...
One intrepid YouTuber has created an entertaining and informative mash-up about Copyright Law.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Save the date! — ASIST/PVC Announces First Event

Please join the Potomac Valley Chapter for our first event of the 2007-08 year!

"Working Together, Working Differently: How Millennials are Changing the Way Other Generations Learn, Interact, and Do Commerce."

Whittall Pavilion, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress
When: 2-4pm, September 24, 2007, reception to follow 4-5.
Docent's Tour: Starting at 1:00pm (Space is limited)

Cosponsored by Fedlink and Library Associates

Check back here for future announcements for registration information.

Hope to see you there!
Jeffrey R. Prater
Chair, Potomac Valley Chapter of ASIST

Meeting everyone!

This Friday, Nora and I were privileged to attend the orientation for SLIS. We met a lot of nice people, many of whom promised to read this blog and comment (hint hint wink wink)! This has made me incredibly excited about this coming year and all of the interesting things we will do! I feel like I am lapping into Dr. Seuss territory (Oh The Places You Will Go) so I will wrap up.

But I want to leave you with some food for thought. This link is to an episode of Talk of The Nation, an NPR call-in show. This segment is all about Libraries and the digital age. Mainly they are talking to the people at Google and Project Gutenberg. It is a nice introduction to some of the issues involved in Digital Libraries. So enjoy and have a good year everyone!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Impress Your Professor: MUVE

Ah acronyms. We at ASIS&T (pronounced ay-cyst) know a lot about crazy acronyms. In the current issue of the ASIS&T Bulletin, Richard Urban throws a new one at us: MUVE, or, Multi-User Virtual Environment.

In his article "Second Life, Serious Leisure and LIS", he discusses the intersection between communities engaged in "serious leisure" activities in virtual worlds (MUVE's), and library services and information.

Urban's article and this one from the spring bulletin describe how libraries have been experimenting with using MUVE's such as Second Life, a completely 3-D virtual world made up of millions of "residents", for both distance education programs as well as a platform for extending library and information services to virtual patrons.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Meet the Officers

All officers can be contacted at

Kathleen Mahoney, Chair

Sarah New, Vice Chair

Meghan Gates, Communications Officer

Adam Day, Treasurer

Kathleen Powell, Immediate Past Chair

Nora Daly, Past Chair

Join the Listserv

Occasionally we will send out emails notifying you of upcoming events, new blog postings, and other items of interest related to ASIS&T through the SLIS Student listserv.

To join the SLIS Student listserv please follow these steps:

Send an e-mail from the account you wish to subscribe to:
In the body of the message, include the following code:

subscribe LIBSCI-L firstname lastname
(example: subscribe LIBSCI-L John Doe)

If you have trouble signing up please send a message to Meghan, the Communications Officer, at

Become a Member

As a CUA Student you have a complimentary membership to CUA-ASIS&T which gives you access to this blog, our listserv and any events we sponsor on campus. However, we highly recommend reaping the benefits of student discounts, and joining the national organization of ASIS&T for a mere $40. That small bit of cash allows you to enjoy all the perks of a full membership including:

  • Subscriptions to internationally recognized publications, the Bulletin, and JASIST.
  • Networking opportunities through ASIS&T’s local chapters.
  • Reduced rates to annual conferences and summits.
  • Access to ASIS&T’s JobLine containing available position in the information science field and participation in the Placement Center held at the annual meeting.

Not to mention what it can do for your resume!

To join now simply fill out the online student membership form.

Welcome to CUA-ASIS&T

We would like to extend a warm hello to all the new students and welcome back our loyal members! Thanks to Steve, Karen, Lynette and Jennifer who handed over the reigns to us and did such a great job last year. We hope to follow in their footsteps by bringing great speakers to our campus and hosting exciting events throughout the year.

We know that information technology is a cornerstone of our profession, but we also know that it can seem a bit overwhelming sometimes.

That's why this year, on top of the great speakers and events we will have on campus, we've created a blog in an effort to distill the vast amounts of information you get as a member of National ASIS&T into palatable bites that can help in your continuing studies.

A weekly tongue-in-cheek feature called “Impress your Professor” will keep you up-to-date with exciting new tidbits from the technology front. You'll also enjoy our “YouTube Tuesdays” feature where we'll post fun and informative videos related to library science and information. Look out for guest bloggers from around the ASIS&T organization throughout the year.

So bookmark us, become a member, join our listserv, check back often, and feel free to comment and participate all along the way.