Photo-sharing Site as Library Tool : A Web-based Survey
peer-reviewed article for Digital Library Perspectives: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/dlp
opportunity to user to develop a sense of ownership over the library resources.
Photo-sharing sites already have taken sharp inroads into the field of teaching-learnin encouraging a shift from teacher-led approach to user centred engagement (Kawka, et al,2012).
Introducing photo-sharing sites and integrating with other social networking sites, libraries are now making their web presence outside the “traditional web platform”. With facility of online managing and sharing of digital images, photo-sharing sites enable users to get remotely connected with others and interact with comment links. Photo-sharing sites that are commonly being used by libraries are Flickr (www.flickr.com), Instagram (instagram.com), Pinterest (in.pinterest.com), Photobucket (photobucket.com), Picasa (picasa.google.com), SmugMug (www.smugmug.com), etc (Bradley, 2007; Kroski, 2008; Salomon, 2013).
The results showed that blog and RSS are among the mostly used applications and web 0 applications are associated with overall website quality, particularly to the service quality.
Stvilia and Jörgensen (2010) suggests that controlled vocabulary terms may be
37 complemented with those user generated tags which users feel more comfortable with for information The study also reflects a growing interest among the user community to be involved in “social content creation and sharing communities in creating and enhancing the metadata of their photo collections to make the collections more accessible and visible”.
2.1 Steps to increase accessibility to photo-sharing sites
a) Improve visibility: To make photo-sharing sites of the library easily visible, a direct link to library homepage is essential
2.2 Purposes of using photo-sharing sites
a) Organising library tour
b) Community building
c) Tool for digitisation
d) Grabbing the users at their own place
e) Integrating Feeds with other application
f) Displaying new arrivals : Newly added books
g) Sharing news & events and publicize library activities
h) Archives of exhibits
i) Portal for academic and research activity: Photo-sharing sites may serve as platform tofoster teaching learning activity, particularly for those who may use these image resource sites for academic purpose
j) Experimentation : Being a relatively new approach to users service, these tools may be introduced on experimental basis to examine their proper utilisation before final implementation
k) Miscellaneous : Public library can reach out to the community physically, offer service to the traditionally underserved, homebound or people with disability, implement programmes to include marginalised section of the community and showcase its mobile outreach efforts in photo-sharing sites.
Before going to integrate photo-sharing site, a library should set the strategic objectives i.e., what purposes are to be served. “Purpose can provide clarity of vision when creating policies or guidelines” (Garofalo, 2013, p.28). The above discussedrange of purposes may help librarians to develop better understanding to makeinformed selection of photo-sharing utility and the nature of images to be posted through it. Goal setting should precede consideration of views of a sizeable section of all library stakeholders to know beforehand what they expect from the library.
• Once the purposes are outlined, a library should formulate policy/ guideline for photo-sharing practices, based on user requirement, staff resource, available time component and technological support base. Policy offers a clear guideline for the users and staff to decide the kind of images to be posted. A guideline is indeed essential for the optimum use of photo-sharing site. It also delineates the roles and responsibilities of the staff concerned and ensures regular monitoring of the posts. Policy may highlight fair use guidelines and allow re-use of images within the scope of copy-right.
• A best way to start is integrating an app, involving simple design with fewer images and let users be familiarized with the system. During the course of development more and more apps may be added, with more images to be posted to serve variety of purposes, depending on the institutional resource and user demand.
• Accessibility to photo-sharing site largely depends on its visibility to the audience. Icon of photo-sharing utility prominently located on website will increase the presentation of its visual identity. Library may set links to photo-sharing sites at home page or at drilled-down page.
• Being an emerging technology, photo-sharing site needs adequate exposure for optimum usage. Annotations associated to photo-sharing site will give an idea about the online tool and will guide users to better harness the application.
• Photo-sharing sites allow images to be organised in a variety of way. Categorising image resources under various topical headings at one location will improve resource identification and frees one from extensive searching.
• Regular posting of engaging images to photo-sharing site from the library and follow- up will attract users to tag and share images and strengthen community involvement with active user participation.
• “Social and informal photographs” of library staff will make them more approachable and strengthen patron-staff relationship.
• Library should seek user comments and suggestions to improve current photo-sharing application and to incorporate fresh element to library service provision. User feedback may be considered as a tool to evaluate the effectiveness of existing photo- sharing practices.
• To popularise the effort, usual promotional media like physical and online signs/ displays apart, library may use social media marketing platforms like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and increase awareness of photo-sharing tools.
• Imparting technology training may develop necessary knowledge; improve skill, and change the attitude and mindset of library professionals to handle issues related to using this web-based powered-tools and repurpose existing accessibility settings.
• To provide quick link to photo-sharing site from anywhere in the web, a library may use add-ons / plug-ins to embed image sharing tools.
• Photo-sharing site may be implemented to satisfy multiple approach options of users. A section of users use photo-sharing site to have a glimpse of the newly arrived documents, highlights of catalogue, rare books, etc. Some others may use it to find images of historical importance with context. New users may find it attractive to pay