Monday, July 4, 2011

Bookmarking for Librarians

No, I don't mean the ubiquitous bookmarks that are all over the circulation desk, the computers, under the circulation desk, etc.  I'm talking about social bookmarking - marking interesting websites, articles, etc. so that you can organize them, share them and go back to them later.

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata. Instead of storing bookmarks or favorites on your home or work computer, social bookmarking tools enable you to store them on the web, organize them in a variety of ways, add "tags" or keywords to them, annotate them, and access them from any computer. In addition, you can share the bookmarks with others and you can see what others have bookmarked. 

So, who should consider social bookmarking?  Basically, anyone who has a long and unwieldy "favourites" list should think about employing social bookmarking tools.  There are a number of them available to help make your list of favourites accessible from any computer, more organized and easier to use. 

Here are just a couple of the more popular ones:

Delicious (
Delicious lets you save all of your bookmarks online, share them with other people and see what others have bookmarked.  Delicious also lets you use tags to sort your bookmarks into categories (for example, "vegetarian" or "funny").  

Diigo (
Diigo is one of the most popular social bookmarking, web annotation and collaborative research tools available online.  Diigo lets you bookmark websites, highlight specific content, use sticky notes, tag your bookmarks and more.  Diigo is my bookmarking tool of choice because it's so easy to use - just install the bookmarklet (called Diigolet) on your browser and bookmark away!  

Social bookmarking can not only keep your own web browsing organized, but it's a great way to share information with your patrons as well.  Libraries can use social bookmarking tools to make lists of materials through the use of tags.  For example, someone interested in "mysteries" or "cooking" could more easily locate a website that was of interest to them by searching for items with a "mystery" tag. 

With the Bibliocommons "list" feature, you can use this same concept.  Bibliocommons allows you to make a list on a specific subject that includes both items from the catalogue and websites.  You can also tag items in the list to enable users to search more specifically for what they're looking for.

So, whether you're looking for a way to organize your favourite sites or would like to help your patrons find quality information online, you need look no further than social bookmarking.  If you already use social bookmarking yourself or for your library, tell us about it!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you and your views.Thanks a lot you share with me this excellent posts.Keep it up...