hidden potential



Bedford – Chapter 11


Originally uploaded by uwpglibrary

First off, I have completed a good enough draft of the Resources page to recommend you take a look at it, if you are hankering for some more Flickr stuff to do.

Secondly, I dug up some better examples of how libraries are using Flickr in the real world and I am going to list them out over the next week or so. The first one I want to talk about here is Winnipeg University Library, because they have done one of the simplest things a library can do with Flickr: an slide show library tour.

And I don’t mean simple in a bad way. I mean simple good. Simple easy. And simple effective.

It is so easy to upload a Flickr set and adjust the order of things so that you can essentially “walk” through your library online. Also, because Flickr allows so many different options for sharing and utilizing your photos, it is easy to utilize and repurpose that set within the library website.

Take Winnipeg’s home page for example. They have only hidden their Flickr tour in the sense that they haven’t added it to the home page under the heading “Really Cool Flickr Tour Check This Out.” It is, instead, sensibly located under the help menu at the top. I looked first under “About,” and it may be better served there, but if the tour is supposed to be a guide, then “Help” may indeed be the better category.

From there, they have chosen to isolate several photos from the tour set to discuss in more detail, but provide a link at the top of the page to the slide show view of the Flickr set (this is a publicly available option for every set). The only problem, in my mind, with linking to the slide show view is that you don’t get to read the captions that the Winnipeg staff have written to accompany the pictures and that add utility to the tour set.  To see these, you have to click “back to uwpglibrary’s Tour set” and view them in the default one-image viewer.

Nice description, sadly hidden in the slideshow
Nice description, sadly hidden in the slideshow

While you’re out there in their photostream, you may notice that uwpglibrary has some other sets, aside from their tour.  Why aren’t these included on their help page?, you wonder.  I wondered that as well, and try as I might, only came up with one other slide show link, which I found by searching “Flickr” in their Library News blog available on the home page.

>sigh< I say, as I page through the 3 results from their blog that contain “Flickr.”  One is a news story that mentions Flickr in general, in passing.  The other contains an improperly embedded photo from one of their Flickr sets (!) but no mention that it is part of their photostream anywhere in the post.  The third is the slide show, but again, no mention of the photostream, the other sets, or even how cool Flickr is!

All in all, Flickr has served Winnipeg Libraries well, and they have tapped into some of the things that Flickr does well or can enable easily: slide shows, image hosting and displaying, virtual “tours.”  But there’s so much more potential here! Perhaps a simple message to the readers of the Library News blog, or how about a badge on the sidebar? I’m loving everything else you guys are doing!

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