UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

All indexing is wrong; some indexing is useful : social tagging in libraries Yousefi, Baharak


Social tagging, the activity and process by which users add descriptive tags to shared, digital content, is a socio-politically significant form of indexing. Adding social software to library OPACs challenges the legitimacy of traditional indexing languages and can enhance the information literacy - the ability to seek, find, and evaluate information - of library patrons, rendering social tagging a matter of import in the pursuit of critical librarianship. This thesis uses Sidney Tarrow's (1994) four basic properties of social movements - collective challenge, common purpose, solidarity, and sustaining collective action - to present social tagging as a social movement. It argues in favour of adopting an anarchist, and specifically Kropotkinist, paradigm for the future study, development, and implementation of social tagging. Most significantly, social tagging is carried out from the bottom upwards by means of patron contributions and not from the top downwards by means of authoritative rule. By choosing an anarchist paradigm, librarians and LIS scholars can make certain that social tagging continues to be maintained, developed, and studied as an anarchist social movement

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