Libraries and IT departments

In a recent blog post, educationalist John Connell raised the issue of what he described as the “IT head-lock” in Scottish local authorities. Referring to the education sector’s difficulties with IT departments, John notes “…the almost complete professional and attitudinal disconnect in most Scottish local authorities between those who manage the corporate IT networks and those who want to deliver a 21st century ICT experience to learners and teachers.”

Since the CILIPS and SLIC Web 2.0 experimentation commenced, the Information Team has been concerned about the disparity of access to the constituent services across library and information services. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this problem largely affects those on local authority networks, working within public and school libraries.

However, we’d like to get a more accurate view of the situation across sectors. Can you relate to the above comment about the relationship with your IT department? Are there services within the CILIPS/SLIC Web 2.0 package that you can’t access at work?**

We’re already aware of some exceptions within public libraries – East Lothian Libraries have a flickr account and East Renfrewshire Libraries (log-in required to access link) are on Facebook. Are there any others out there? We’d be particularly interested to hear about how libraries and librarians across sectors have managed to work with IT departments to resolve access issues.

**We appreciate that some CILIPS and SLIC members may not be able to access this post and are currently considering alternative methods of consulting our membership on this issue.

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Tag chaos

As part of the SLIC/CILIPS Web 2.0 experimentation, the Information Team has been looking at the process of tagging in social networking sites. When we first approached tagging, we thought that our cataloguing skills would be useful but quickly realised this was not entirely the case. The lack of consistency and control in the world of tags left us reeling!

Undeterred, we started to experiment with different approaches and came to the conclusion that some tagging guidelines would be helpful, at an organisational level at least. After much deliberation and procrastination, we’ve now battered out a final draft and would welcome any feedback or suggestions.

The process of compiling guidelines has left us with many questions and few definite answers. How should librarians approach tagging? Can guidelines work at a community, if not global, level? Should user-generated tags be incorporated into catalogue records? On a practical level, how should tags be constructed? Should we favor US spellings, ditch capital letters and insert underscores? Let us know what you think.