The joy of tagging with BiblioCommons

One of my bugbears is that non-fiction books published in the ‘old days’ don’t have indexes. This means that we only have the catalogue record to describe the work, and maybe chapter headings inside the book to give us any idea about the book’s contents. If you have a thing for New Zealand history or family history this can be a little irritating. Does this book mention people or places that I want to know about? You won’t know until you read the book. Hence the joy of tagging.

Here is one I prepared earlier: Mythology and Traditions of the Māori by Rev. J.F.H.Wohlers published in 1875. Check the catalogue description and then look at the tags that I have added. You can see the greater variety of information covered with the tags. As one of my colleagues commented “that looks interesting enough to read”.

When you do a keyword search in BiblioCommons it will search the tags as well. If you are searching for information about preparing a hangi, this booklet will now appear in the search results.

All tags appear in lower case so people and place names won’t have capital letters.

So go forth and tag and make those obscure publications accessible.

You can also gain community credits. I earned one for adding tags to that item. For those of a competitive nature this is a good way to encourage our library community to tag, make lists or review books. Some libraries that are using BiblioCommons use Community Credits to reward customers.

Leonie Miller
Upper Riccarton

Online questions for the doctor

A visit to the doctor can be a stressful and confusing experience.  Many people  find it difficult to think of good questions to ask about medical conditions and treatments during their visit.

To deal with this, Merck and Co have produced Questions to ask your doctor which helps the patient compile pertinent questions about their medical condition.

It’s a fantastic resource and easy to use:   the condition, Dry eye syndrome is just one example of the kinds of questions a patient should have ready before going to the doctor.

Glenn Coster
Information & Learning


Are libraries finished? Five arguments for and against

With more than 400 public libraries under threat of closure in the UK, the campaign to save them is gathering pace. But in an age of downloads, cheap books and easy online shopping, can this great British institution survive?

Some of the UK’s best-selling authors have joined the fight against “cultural vandalism” by backing a national day of protest read-ins against library closures on Saturday.

But no matter how eloquently Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy or author Colin Dexter extol their virtues, the fact is library visitor numbers – like their budgets – are falling … Read more

(This article has some interesting points on both sides…but I have to say I disagree that “library visitor numbers, like their budgets, are falling”.  Tell that to the staff who opened up following New Years! 😉

Sargia Harrison
Learning & Information

The quiet rebellion

Budget cuts put more than 375 libraries under threat.

We should be outraged, says Robin Ince (but keep the noise down).  Rebellion can be messy, noisy and violent.  But between 12 and 15 January, there was an act of rebellion that was quiet, ordered and fabulous to behold.  It took place on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, not always known for the fabulous and rebellious … Read more

Gillian Roncelli
Information & Learning