Tuesday, January 16, 2007

20. Library 2.0 perspectives

I, of course, read all of that while helping Bobbi put this program together. I went back and re-read them this morning, though, and caught some things that I'd forgotten about but think are pretty important. In the "Away From The Icebergs" article, there were two comments that struck me as I was reading them. The first deals with training:
"But if our services can’t be used without training, then it’s the services that need to be fixed—not our patrons. One-button commands, such as Flickr’s “Blog This,” and easy-to-use programs like Google Page Creator, offer promising models for this kind of user-centric service."

The second is more along the lines of what we are doing here - making our services available to people who may not be able to physically visit the library via RSS feeds, MySpace pages and the like.
"At a minimum, this means placing library services and content in the user’s preferred environment (i.e., the Web); even better, it means integrating our services into their daily patterns of work, study and play."

In "To Better Bibliographic Services", the author gives some good advice to libraries looking to fit into the 2.0 world,
"Adopt Web features The features of Amazon and Google of interest to students and scholars ought to be incorporated into the services libraries make available. Libraries should welcome the submission of reviews, assignment of keywords (“tagging”), addition of scholarly commentary, and other forms of user participation."

and I agree completely! Web 2.0 is all about user-created content. We should be encouraging that content. We also, however, have to worry about policing that content. These are issues the library should be discussing, though!!

In the Wikipedia article - Library 2.0, the definition of Library 2.0 has a couple of lines in it that go back to the idea of participation from our users:

"an increased flow of information from the user back to the library."
"the need for libraries to adopt a strategy for constant change while promoting a participatory role for library users."

These ideas really resonate with me - I love the idea of letting our users become content creators - even if it's just to rate books in our catalog (already available!). I'd like to see us offer reviews, comments or tagging abilities to books - but that's a ways in the future, probably...

In the WEB 2.0 and Its Technologies for Collaborative Library Communication article, I really liked the "cheerleading" tone of the following sentence:

"I think that if librarians everywhere would just get up to speed on some of these little-known and newer techniques, tools, and thinking on the crucial topic of Web 2.0 within libraries, they (and this includes you) will find that many other libraries and librarians are already using social software tools and offering best practices suggestions for all of us-then, you will get excited as well and become a denizen of Web 2.0 sites!"
That is what we are doing here, and I've been seeing, in your blog posts, that you are becoming denizens of Web 2.0 sites already. That can only benefit our patrons and help them become users of these new sites, too!!

Robin Hastings

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