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New York Public Library on Flickr Commons

The New York Public Library has joined the The Commons, the special Flickr program for libraries and museums, who share their collections on Flickr and encourage members of the community to add comments and tags to help describe the images. The New York sets shared here include photographs of dance legend Ruth St. Denis, production photographs from early cinema, travel photographs from Egypt, Syria, Japan and other places, Civil War photographs, a large selection of Berenice Abbott’s Changing New York photographs from the 1930s, and more.

A Book’s Journey at the Newton Free Library

The Newton Free Library does a great job with their Flickr account, with lots of interesting photographs. Some show off the art and architecture of the library building, including one of my favorites, this picture of Eeyore from the sculpture Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh and the Hunny Pot, by Nancy Schon, and there are many photographs of library programs and exhibits.

But the thing I admire most about Newton’s use of Flickr is that they don’t just use it for special events, but as a way to visually represent all of the library’s services and activities. This includes many behind-the-scenes pictures of the delivery service, overflowing bookdrops, library staff and volunteers.

A Book’s Journey at the Newton Free Library

One great example of the kind of thing that Newton does so well is this set, which invites you to…

“follow the path of a book at the Newton Free Library – from a personal recommendation or good review, through ordering and processing till it arrives on the shelf for you to check out.”

This is a great example of the “show me, don’t tell me” approach, and something that I’m sure is useful for training new staff and volunteers as well as helping Trustees, Friends and members of the community understand a little more about how the library works.

Boston Public Library on Flickr

Cabot Street, Beverly, MassachusettsThe Boston Public Library is sharing several collections of artistic and historic images to Flickr, including local brewery posters, rare books, manuscripts, postcards, photographs and much more.

Two collections are of particular interest for local interest to NOBLE libraries. The Tichnor Brothers postcards of New England includes over 1,800 Massachusetts images, including many from our area. These postcards are a good source of images of parks, bridges, statues, libraries, churches and other local landmarks.

The Leon Abdalian collection includes historic sites photographed in 1930 during the Massachusetts Tercentenary celebration, when the Boston Daily Record hired Abdalian as the “Photographer of Historic Shrines,” and it includes some sites in our area, like the Balch House in Beverly.

Building Community Through Photography

I did a presentation on this topic at the Massachusetts Library Association conference in Falmouth this morning, and posted the PowerPoint on Slideshare:


Give Online Photographs a Fancy Frame

Nina  -- Museum Matte versionGive your online photographs a high-class look with an elegant mat and frame. This is a nice way to display photographs you’re using for a special online exhibit or display, and is especially nice for library photography contests.

There are several cool tools that make it simple to add these mats and frames. One of the easiest is Matte, on of several quick and handy tools at the Big Huge Labs website. You can upload a picture from your PC, Flickr or another website, adjust the width of the frame and mat, turn on the options for beveling and add a credit if you like, click Create, and then either download your framed masterpiece, or upload it directly to Flickr. If you’re looking for something a little different, there are other tools at the Big Huge Labs website that can do other kinds of frames and poster effects. (more…)

Library of Congress on Flickr (yet again…)

Street in industrial town in MassachusettsYesterday’s Brainiac column in the Boston Globe, “Everyone’s a historian now,” is about the Library of Congress images on Flickr. Columnist Joshua Glenn admits that asking the crowd to provide identification and information about these pictures makes him nervous, but notes that “so far, so good” and he gives examples of information already provided by Flickr members. “Crowdsourced history — maybe there’s something to it, after all.”