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Feeding the Free Web

As more and more rich, wonderful, authoritative sources go up on the free web, the trick becomes finding it, organizing it, and making it available. And I’m sorry, but I’m not going to bug our catalogers every time I run across a great site online, no matter how accommodating they are whenever I’ve decided to go that route. But handing them anywhere from 5 to 50 links per week would be a prohibitive pain in the neck, even if formal classification in the catalog would provide the best access, or even if we could be sure that the URLs would be stable. I just wouldn’t do it. I’d spend more time than I have to spare agonizing over whether or not it was “worth it” for each site, and in the end they’d just pile up and become one of the looming projects that I always know I should be getting to but never seem to actually do.

So I’ve been trying to keep track of these things in my library, and now that I’ve got a mini curricular and professional library building up, I’ve started feeding the annotated links to web pages attached to my research guides.

So far I only have two up and running. One is on my subject guide for Art and Art History here, which encourages students to see recent items here, or just play around on my library for themselves.

It’s not a perfect solution, and I’m still having trouble standardizing my tagging practices… And I’m not sure if students will ever actually USE the links. But in my imaginary world they’ve all (even the pre-majors) flocked to the newly updated pages and are gazing in wonder at the amazing-ness that is an RSS-fed page of annotated links.

Hey, a girl can dream.

Published inLibraries and LibrariansSocial Web


  1. Kyle J. Kyle J.

    I love what you have done with the art account for students. Brilliant. My suggestion to you is to promote the RSS feed for it though. As a depository it works well, but as an evolving archive it works wonderfully.

    Just an idea (that I might blog about :) )


  2. Iris Iris

    Good idea! Thanks Kyle, and welcome. I hadn’t added the RSS feed itself because I was stuck thinking about the subject guide as a guide to things-we-have-for-you. But you’re right. There’s potential for it to be that plus a guide to keeping-up-with-things-you’ll-need. Isn’t it funny how you can come so close to a mind shift and yet miss it entirely?

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