Library of Congress on Flickr
The Library of Congress has truly embraced the role of a “Library 2.0” leader. From blogs, to Facebook, to Twitter, to podcasts, to “you name it,” the LOC’s virtual footprint is impressively large.
The following link includes a list of all of the LOC’s virtual spaces: http://www.loc.gov/homepage/connect.html
I am particularly impressed with the LOC’s Flickr photostream, located here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/library_of_congress/.
The LOC has an impressive “Prints and Photographs” online catalog through its official site; however, it’s often not the most intuitive catalog to navigate. Not all of the items are digitized at a decent resolution, and many of the collections are, frankly, a little lack luster.
With over 14,000 items, the LOC’s Flickr Photostream is quite impressive. Each photo is accompanied by its most pertinent cataloging data. The LOC has also taken pains to group its photos into themed sets, each carrying a unique, descriptive title. Furthermore, one can sort the photos based on the year they were taken (with an “earliest date” of 1834!). The photos have also been carefully tagged; the “tag cloud” for the LOC’s collection is quite impressive.
Moreover, unlike the LOC’s online catalog, Flickr’s format allows commenting by users, thus adding additional “value” to the user/visitor. This is the heart of the Web 2.0 world – users adding value. The LOC is “America’s Library”; it’s good to see the LOC reaching out to America through social media, making its content the joint property of the web world.
Not everyone searches the LOC’s digital catalogs, but many people frequent Flickr. It’s wonderful that the LOC is taking advantage of social media platforms in order to extend its reach and its information to new populations.