The Library of Congress is now using Flickr, and Flickr’s new commons area, to load images for collaborative tagging. This is wonderful because the Library of Congress has built so much core infrastructure using hierarchical definitions and adding Web 2.0-style folksonomy information to that is exactly what the Semantic Web (sometimes called Web 3.0) is all about.
The Library of Congress has a Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (with more than 1 million images and growing) that have been available online for over 10 years and now they are also selling some of their materials via print-on-demand. Because the Library of Congress is so important to the history of libraries and information architectures, any new project they get involved with matters a great deal to the content of that project and to all related systems of information. While it could seem that this is “just another” site testing Web 2.0 tools, the Library of Congress has defined so much of the commons and information sharing that even their frivolities are important.