On Mar 8, 2006, at 4:06 PM, Ian Nebe Barnett wrote:
> While this is less of an issue for sites that are obviously
> community-driven (like the ones you mention above) and can be
> expected to
> reflect the opinions of that community, a library catalog is
> primarily a
> fact-driven thing and, as such, needs to take care in allowing open
> end-user additions.  No matter how well you delineate the user-
> supplied
> data, you can bet that the person who takes offense at someone's
> tag will
> also be the one with a spectacular failure of comprehension as to
> its source.

I think you can eliminate 90+% of the potential for abuse
in patron initiated tagging by simply requiring a patron
login for adding tags and tying the tags to an individual
accountable user.  If someone systematically defaces
the catalog tags, you quietly turn that capability off.  It's
not like they're going to run out and get another library card.

Patron initiated tagging will get you around some large
proportion of the problems with catalogs that use controlled
vocabularies that have archaic or obscure terms for common
patron requests.  In the last few months I've run into two
of these in the LC terminology - "fire extinction" as the preferred
index term for "fire fighting", and "cookery" as the index term
for "cookbooks" - that absolutely cry out for patron tags
to start to get around that problem.