Saturday, April 19, 2008

Four Ways to Library 2.0

Library 2.0 has stirred controversy since the day Michael Casey and Linda Savastinuk’s Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library had hit online newsstands. A loosely defined model for a modernized form of library service that reflects a transition within the library world in the way that services are delivered to users, the concept of Library 2.0 borrows from that of Business 2.0 and Web 2.0 and follows some of the same underlying philosophies. It’s still being debated in the library community about its relevancy to the profession. (Haven’t we always had to serve our users in the first place. What’s new about that?)

Michael Stephens and Maria Collins’ Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and the Hyperlinked Library is a fascinating for those interested in learning more about these concepts. Certainly, at the core of Library 2.0 is blogs, RSS, podcasting, wikis, IM, and social networking sites. But it’s much more than that, and Stephens and Collins boils it down nicely to four main themes of Library 2.0:

(1) Conversations – The library shares plans and procedures for feedback and then responses. Transparency is real and personal.

(2) Community and Participation –
Users are involved in planning library services, evaluating those services, and suggest improvements.

(3) Experience – Satisfying to the user, Library 2.0 is about learning, discovery, and entertainment. Bans on technology and the stereotypical “shushing” are replaced by a collaborative and flexible space for new initiatives and creativity.

(4) Sharing – Providing ways for users to share as much or as little of themselves as they like, users are encourage to participate via online communities and connect virtually with the library.

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