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The new cooperative cataloging

Tom Steele (University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 6 March 2009




This paper aims to examine the social phenomenon known as tagging and its use in libraries' online catalogs, discussing folksonomies, social bookmarking, and tagging web sites. The paper also seeks to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a controlled vocabulary such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings, and how tagging can assist the LCSH in information retrieval. LibraryThing and the University of Pennsylvania's PennTags are examined.


Review of recent literature in print and online, as well as browsing Library OPACs using tagging, was the basis for the paper.


The paper concludes that access to information is the main purpose of cataloging, and use of both traditional methods of cataloging as well as interactive methods such as tagging is a valid method for reaching library users of the future.


The paper lists many problems and concerns of which to be aware, if a library should choose to adopt tagging for their catalog. It looks at the options of using outside web sites to provide the tags as well as creating tagging systems on the library's web site itself. The focus of the paper is how libraries can use tagging, as opposed to the phenomenon of tagging itself, as well as a discussion of how tagging compares with controlled vocabularies.



Steele, T. (2009), "The new cooperative cataloging", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 68-77.



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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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