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Technology Review: Flickr

Flickr (www.flickr.com) calls itself the world’s largest public photo collection. People can upload their photos; add tags, notes, and comments; organize photos into sets and sets into collections; and share the photos with others. A Flickr account can be connected to Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Yahoo updates.

A prime example of the way libraries can use Flickr is The Commons. The Library of Congress posts photos from its collections, giving the public a great opportunity to see them without having to travel to Washington DC. Other, smaller libraries, archives, and museums could do the same. It would be especially beneficial to post photos where little is known about the subject. The public can add comments, and perhaps identifying information. Flickr can also be helpful for genealogical libraries. If photos from past generations are posted with the names of the people in the photos, genealogical researchers can look for pictures of their ancestors. A way to improve Flickr is to remove the restrictive character limit on messages to others.