Building a photo history resource leveraging library resources is a fantastic way to leverage technology to bring history to life. Libraries like the Toronto Public library have built collections around their digital holdings (even the Library of Congress is on Flickr), and the lowering cost of digitization and bandwidth has allowed organizations to leverage their traditional print holdings in new ways to expose them to a whole new audience.

Yet while libraries may be thinking global through digitalization they must also be active in the local community (particularly public libraries). In the last month Google began increasing their push for the local markets through building expert teams for creating business reviews and ratings. Libraries as community centers could own this process better than Google and then add a further spin through including historical context to the review (i.e. the small bistro on the corner that is loved by locals also used to be an ice cream shop 30 years ago etc).

The public library could also create a custom Google map showing different sites around the town with a link on the local tourism board website and/or local government. (I have personal experience with custom maps as my wife creates excellant custom maps for our travel adventures. It is truly an amazing tool. ) Google allows users to create their custom legends with different symbols denoting airports, eateries, sites of interest etc.