I set up a Del.icio.us account last Spring when I was Interim Librarian at Burlington College and looking for a decent solution to the LexisNexis prohibitive price increase. I asked around to law offices, law libraries and law school associations to get some ideas of where to look next. I got some great leads which other small libraries wanted me to share. I set up the Del.icio.us account for this purpose, but I’m pretty sure I just ended up emailing everyone. I think I just hadn’t had the ah-ha moment with it yet…kind of like the ah-ha I had when I read this part of Mara’s description for the 23 Things:

By the way, this includes library patrons using the internet who don’t own a computer. Helping them set up a del.icio.us account would give them a way to consistently access their favorite websites.

If ever there was a forehead slapping, doh moment, this was it. When I think of all the patrons this would have been useful for…and the perfect way to prove that all this spangly new web stuff isn’t all fluff…gah!

Also, just imagine all the things you could do with it for reference! If we constantly had our library Del.icio.us account running and tagged every website that a patron found useful in answering a reference question, we could make the most incredible library FAQ for that institution! And for us to have that as a shortcut if the question is ever asked again. Wow.

I find it interesting that in Firefox 3 you can now add tags to your bookmarks. It’s like they watched that video on the 23 Things site, too, and thought it was time to respond. I don’t know that I find Firefox tags as useful as my folder system, but maybe that’s just because it’s my system and I’ve taken years to develop it. What firefox has is still not social tagging, but come on people, not EVERYTHING needs to be social. I don’t think I want the contents of my Firefox Bookmarks Folder labeled “Financial” to be public knowledge. You all don’t need to know where I bank or how many credit cards I have, in fact, that seems like inviting trouble, don’t ya think! But the entire contents of my folder labeled “Crafts” or “Retail Therapy” would be fun for the general public. And maybe even financial searching would be useful, just maybe not the shortcuts I have to login to check my statements.

Basically, I am arguing that there is still a place for those “old-fashioned” favorites…that place being the private place where you only want the information on one computer available to you, but you want that information fast. Also, I would say that clicking through to Del.icio.us and then on your link is still one click too many for sites you use all the time, like my Gmail account. This belongs in my browser hotlinks…one click and I’m there. But for all else, I would say Del.icio.us will unclutter your bookmarks and bring others enjoyment, and be available to you everywhere, so why not use it instead?

I added the Del.icio.us widget that comes with my WordPress skin, so now you’ll see them turn up in my sidebar. Or you can just go check out the few I have so far in Celestihel’s Del.icio.us I am totally planning to use this more, so stay tuned. And also, if you haven’t seen the trailer for the new Harry Potter…pst, it’s in there! Go…GOOOOO!!!!

Evidently I already had a LibraryThing account. Typical of me to sign up for something and forget all about it. So, I didn’t try something new, but actually bothered to play with LibraryThing properly.

I had never made adjustments to the catalog records. I have to say, it was kind of liberating to edit records without a manual. It felt more like playing, figuring it out as I went. At the same time, though, I kept thinking of better ways to arrange information, or more information sources, and kept going back to edit all the records so there was consistency. I then realized that was futile because there is no standard by which to enter information, so everyone is just doing their thing. I’m not criticizing LibraryThing for that…if I did I’d have to point the finger at OCLC, too, and look how many standards they have! I regularly find myself choosing between 5 records for the same book. Hmmmm.

I found myself adding information free-form at first, but with every subsequent edit it started to look more and more like ISBD. I capitalized all the words in the title, didn’t use abbreviations, and used some different punctuation, but I’m not fooling anybody with those cosmetic differences. It is hard to teach and old dog new tricks, even old dogs who want to learn new tricks! It’s not that I don’t think there’s something to ISBD, it’s that I’m finding that my politics and practice don’t necessarily match up. I want to try new things and think outside the box, but the box is so solid and so familiar that I just gravitate to it, almost mindlessly.

I love the social aspect. I remember when I started my LibraryThing account, I was only the second person to add The Joy of Cataloging by Sanford Berman. I was so excited I sent the other person a message and we had a lovely exchange about radical cataloging. This is the money as far as LibraryThing is concerned.

So here’s a link to my tiny library. I tried to use their tool for adding the library to my page, but I can’t seem to get it to show up? I saw a note that LiveJournal doesn’t support JavaScript, and maybe that’s the case here, too. Let me know if you find out.

Forgive the lack of attention to the Harry Potter books. The whole set is out on loan to a friend and I just can’t edit without the item in hand ;)