Tagging is in an experimental stage.
Marketing may be the greatest use of user tagging on library websites until the technique evolves. A greater structure is needed before it can be used as way to find, identify, select and obtain anything more than random resources.
For now, tagging on Delicious is mostly being used to describe the intellectual content of a website, but flickr tags are describing the physical features of a photograph and YouTube tags tend to describe the format and genre (Ding, 2009).
Yet the digital native generation wants to be able to interact and create when it seeks information.
Opening up some form of tagging on library websites makes sense, even if it is only used on a jump page designed for entertainment where online patrons could be engaged by creating tag clouds of popular novels (Yipes! We'd have to monitor it and use the C word to delete "bad" words) or, in an academic setting we could allow users to create their own networking pages arranged by discipline and topic where they could tag appropriate library resources that could be searched through the page (Group work has its merits, but....Yipes! The P word! Would the number of sources they seek lessen or be repeated too frequently? Would critical thinking skills wane?). I think we need some beta sites.
Ding, Y., et al, 2009. Profiling social networks: a social tagging perspective, D-Lib Magazine, 15(3/4) retrieved June 22, 2009 from
Illustration from Microsoft clip art