Tagging

PDF Version

Tags are keywords chosen by users of a system to describe an item (e.g., a website or book).  Tags gained popularity at Web 2.0 sites like Delicious, Flickr, and LibraryThing, and have now begun to appear in a few library catalogs.  Tags, which usually consist of single words but can extend to short phrases in some systems, offer an alternative to the assignment of subject headings in traditional cataloging.  There are four strategies libraries can pursue with respect to the relationship of tags to subject headings, in order of most conservative to most radical: Ignore tagging and continue to exclusively use subject headings; allow tags to Coexist with subject headings, but maintain a clear boundary between the two; utilize tags and subject headings side-by-side, permitting each to inform the other (Cooperate); or deprecate subject headings and Replace their function with tags.

View full document