INF506 Activity – RSS Feeds

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The activity posed: Find two additional examples of RSS in action and develop a 350 word post to your OLJ on how RSS can enhance a library or information service’s ability to meet the information needs of its users.

When completing this activity – I have chosen to discuss the use of RSS feeds in the context of the library. The two additional feeds I have found are below:

http://www.themillions.com/rss-feeds-of-new-releases-for-books-movies-music-and-more

and

https://www.dailylit.com

The above RSS feeds have been chosen as the school that I currently work in is trying to begin a wide reading program for year 7 and 8 students. The first site listed provides RSS feeds based on book genres (for example; literary fiction, biographies, graphic novels etc.) I thought this was an excellent site as it enables students to select which feeds to subscribe to based on their interests, it also has a feed for Kindle readers as well, which is the way many students now read novels of their choice.

The second site was chosen as students are able to read books via email or RSS feed. I chose this site as many students at the school I currently work at say that they dislike reading books in a traditional format. By utilising this feed they are able to access books in ways that they are more comfortable with (many students even being able to access it through portable technology such as iPhones) thus hopefully encouraging students to begin to read more.

I think that RSS feed can enhance a library’s ability to meet the information needs of its users in many ways. A library is able to provide useful links to RSS feeds on their website (links can be suggested by subject teachers and may even form part of a homework or assignment task.) Added to this, a school library may even be able to create its own RSS feed for its users. I think that this is important in a high school setting as students are often reluctant to visit the library in person and are also often completing work outside of school hours, therefore an RSS feed may assist them in their studies in various ways.

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INF506 Folksonomies

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The question posed: What value does a user-generated folksonomy offer in comparison with a taxonomy designed by information professionals?

I have only recently become familiar with the term folksonomy and I find it an interesting one. I feel that tagging is something that could be useful in the library (I would actually love to start a wide reading blog involving a class of students – they could then tag their blog posts, and readers of the blog would be able to find books that interest them through using the tags.)

What value does a user-generated folksonomy offer? I agree with Rosenfeld’s point when he states ‘…controlled vocabularies often miss out on input from content authors and become rigid, stale, and distant from the vernacular of users’ (2005). I believe this is especially true when looking at the concept of folksonomies within a high school context as the vocabulary of students compared to that of staff can be very different. If educators want students to find the tags useful and to be involved in the creation process, I believe that user-generated folksonomy offers some real advantages.

References:

Rosenfeld, L. (2005). Folksonomies? How about Metadata Ecologies? Retrieved from http://www.louisrosenfeld.com/home/bloug_archive/000330.html