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While controlled vocabularies, such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings, are an essential component of bibliographic classification, a controlled vocabulary excludes all possibilities of semantic variance by design. Also, a controlled vocabulary tends to lag behind the organic nature of language and does not account for the introduction of new or discipline specific vocabularies. These limitations present unique challenges for our users searching the OP AC. Can importing social tags in the online catalog effectively address the lack of semantic variance?

As part of the Web OPAC redesign project at UNO, LibraryThing tags were added to matching bibliographic records in the online catalog. This presentation will cover the practical aspects of adding LibraryThing tags to most vendor-based OPACs, address the variety of tags employed and offer ideas for effective tagging. In addition, we will explore how a collaborative service learning project with discipline specific university classes encouraged patron participation. We will also examine the overall quality and utility of LibraryTiring's folksonomy. Lastly, additional features to be added in the near future by LibraryThing's developers will be discussed.


Presented at Brick & Click Libraries: Proceeding of an Academic Library Symposium, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, MO

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