NSLS Libraries' Digital Past in Facebook

Brandee turned me on to the fact that the North Suburban Library System has created a Facebook app that lets users add a search box for the Digital Past online history collection. Adding it is the same as with any other FB app, and the search box works like any other.

What really impressed me, though, is that when you run a search, you're not thrown out of Facebook into the Digital Past site. Instead, you stay in Facebook to browse the results, and if you find an image you really like (or that has a special meaning for you), you can actually add that image to your profile, along with a little note about it. That's pretty darn cool, and it's a great way to let users mashup library-generated content outside of library websites. I hope to see more apps like this that let our content live out in the world, rather than forcing users back into ours every time. Nicely done.

Brandee also wonders if this kind of thing would appeal to genealogy buffs and researchers. If there was a historical picture of my house when it was first built, or if I could post a picture of some of the places I hung out as a kid, I would definitely create my own personal "history" album within Facebook using library resources that provided these things.

Back on the Digital Past site, I expect we'll see them add links on the individual records that let users add any image to their Facebook profiles, as well as space for user comments. :)