Daily Archives: December 13, 2005

Folksonomy: Friend or Foe?

Folksonomy was given a blurb recently in the New York Times Magazine’s “Year in Ideas” issue. I first heard about folksonomy from a professor of digital art who pointed to the democratic possibilities of del.icio.us and flickr. When I ask catalogers about this phenomena they just kind of blink a few times and point out the need for authority control. Fair enough. But with more and more “libraries” moving to people’s desktops, isn’t knowledge of tagging, even just for one’s own information, an information literacy skill? Might we use the example of folksonomy to teach about the need for standardized headings? Or is folksonomy another example of the chipping away of the authority of the librarian and another sign of the death of the old world and the birth of a new one, one that includes librarians less and less?