Urlgrey has a post with some realistic insight into the use of a tag cloud for an OPAC.
What sort of tag clouds could be generated:
- number of items with a given subject term (tag)
This just tells us how many books, etc.. on a particular subject term (tag) are in the library, this is based on how the librarians index
…We can get an idea of what subjects a library specialises in.
I suppose a tag cloud could be done for books, journals, videos, etc…or combine them all.
Davey P has gone ahead and created a sample for his OPAC.
Notice when you mouse over a tag it shows all the list of subject headings within a subject, taking this experiment further, this could also be a tag cloud within a tag cloud.
- Urlgreyhot suggests you could make another tag cloud that represents borrowing frequency (usage)
A tag cloud based on popularity, showing what are the popular subjects.
This way you could compare the first tag cloud, to see how many books are on a subject, with the second tag cloud, to see how often people are borrowing books from this subject.
In turn you can make use of this knowledge with respect to collection development, marketing, etc…This is nothing new, you can do this with statistics anyway, it’s just a visual view of the same figures.
- What about user tag clouds (free tagging)
These are the ones we are familiar with, although tag clouds don’t have to represent user choices, they are just a representation of data
…if users tagged items in an OPAC it could just be a complementary way to search for something, although, every item has to be tagged at least once to be represented in the tag cloud.
To help search for known items the subject term tag cloud could be presented as a list in weighted order or in alphabetical order.