Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Public libraries as local image archives

I noticed something cool on the Ann Arbor Library website, and the more I think about it the more I like the idea. I would go so far as to say I had an "Aha!" moment.

What they've done is created their own photo gallery that community members can upload to, up to 10 photos per week.

What do they show? Street fair and parade pictures, Ann Arbor-related ephemera, old postcards, theatrical productions, etc.

They are using Gallery 2.o software, a free opensource gallery system that is housed on Ann Arbor's servers, though I can see several advantages to having a Flickr account instead.

I love this idea because it works on so many different levels:
  • The library is *creating* content
  • The content is unique to the community
  • Uploaders and viewers are investing a bit of themselves in the library
  • Historical, documentary value, not just entertainment
Link: Picture Ann Arbor

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