Strength in numbers



Seattle Public Library


Originally uploaded by nengard

I thought to begin, I would first have to spruce up my own Flickr account. Nothing more embarrassing than evaluating a service you know nothing about. So for my detractors, kindly take notice of the custom “blog” embedding of a Flickr photo (at left). See also the “Libraries and Librarians” widget on the right.

Not only did I spend much too much time playing with these tools, but I also could not help being fascinated (as every time I get lost online) with the extent to which you can share and interact on different platforms. In addition, I updated my profile and re-tagged some of my 28 photos. I suppose I could upload a few more, but, then again, this is an ongoing project.

But this is digression.  My real goal in starting my project this way was to check out the popular “Libraries and Librarians” Flickr group.  Founded way back in 2005, according to libraryman’s first discussion post, the group has been around to serve exactly who it says.  A group used to share photos of libraries and the librarians that inhabit them.

The welcome description
The welcoming description

I quickly signed up, and took a look around.  This is a great forum for librarians, and a good place to share resources.  The discussion board is popular and actively moderated.  There are some 2,500 members and more than 23,000 photos added so far.  Many more are being added, as well.  I put in a couple that I had taken of VPL and Koerner library, and they had only a life of about an hour or two on the front page before being buried by newer additions to the group.

As far as accessibility goes, the group is the number one result for “libraries” when you do a group search within Flickr, but it is pretty much unavailable from Google.  A Google search for library flickr group comes up with some related resources on Flickr but not the group itself.  It is so popular in the blogs on the topic, however, it should be pretty easily noticed by an intrigued searcher.

For individual users and libraries in general, the group seems like a great go-to resource for anything from advice on what to do if you get anti-Flickr email from concerned patrons, photos for promotional material or just plain fun.

There’s a lot of writing out there about how to use Flickr in libraries, but it seems to me that once you’re ready to try it out and get your hands dirty, like I was, this is the best place to start.

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