Thursday, August 9, 2007

Week 6, Thing 15

Service for the Next-generation Library by Michael E. Casey and Laura C. Savastinuk can best be summarized by this quote from their article, “The heart of Library 2.0 is user-centered change.” They point out that, while Web 2.0 driven by technology, Library 2.0 is not just about the technology. It is more about the attitude of openness and working to take the library outside the physical walls. It means incorporating patron input, looking to serve the unserved while continuing to provide for the already-served, keeping up with trends, and regularly implementing and evaluating new ideas. The best libraries have sought to do these things. The technology now available provides valuable tools for us to create “Better Library Services for More People
I appreciate the distinction that the authors make between Web 2.0 and Library 2.0. I have known librarians who have had a library 2.0 attitude, doing outreach to schools and setting up reader advisory groups. Web 2.0 technology extends the reach of the library. We may not be comfortable with it, but it isn’t going away and it would be foolish to ignore its possibilities for better serving our patrons. This will look different in each library. For my own library it will mean looking at ways to involve the students in the ways the library operates. Certainly a library blog is part of it, but starting a book lovers’ ning and finding a way to allow student reviews in the catalog look like good starting points.

Postscript: On this activity, I used a technique that I learned from 2.0 applications, I looked at the references listed on Wikipedia and decided to read something by the author with the most “authority” i.e. most often cited. The first article I read seemed to be coming into the middle of a discussion, so I ended up reading all the articles listed for Michael E. Casey. Moving from one article to the next is second nature for me (and the reason these assignments take so long). I learned it using a set of World Book Encyclopedias. Using Web 2.0 tools makes satisfying curiosity much easier and certainly more appealing to a generation that can’t remember life before computers.

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