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Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Librarian 2.0 Part Two

I also think the discussion about Library 2.0 so far has been very educational for everyone with the following cautions:
1. I don’t see that there’s anything to be gained in criticizing the label of the discussion. There have been plenty of postings and comments that some folks dislike the name. So what. It’s a shallow contribution beng needlessly repeated. There are people who write book reviews and it’s rarely a major component of the review that the reviewer hates the title of the book. I am discouraged at this portion of the discussion. Kudos to those who are trying to keep the discussion at the level of the things that can be tried, piloted, experimented with, etc. Kudos too to those who’ve had some personal criticism leveled at them for putting their thoughts out there.
2. I am also disappointed that some people have dismissed some of the ideas discussed under this rubric by pointing out that “libraries have always done this stuff”. Really? In my travels I see a lot of innovation in libraries and many libraries are evolving to address the changes in our environment. However, too many haven’t moved into the next generation strategies. Many fail to recognize that the majority of their use is often coming in virtually and they haven’t rebalanced their strategic efforts. Too many haven’t put the librarian and personal services into their virtual environments. Too many haven’t integrated the new tools that make the users tasks easier. Many feel the OPAC and the interface is done despite the fact that many of their users start with Amazon! There are tons of places for us to expend our creative energy for the good of libraries. Believing that we can rest on our laurels because libraries have always done this stuff is not in our users’ best interests. This discussion is about building on our great past, not replacing it.
Anyway, maybe I am ranting a bit. Maybe listening to the change resistance wrapped up as commentary is just pointng to the work we need to do to evolve. The Web 2.0 conversation is happening globally. Library 2.0 is just a part of a larger conversation as the web evolves. Libraries are not an island.
Stephen

Posted on: January 19, 2006, 7:57 am Category: Uncategorized

4 Responses

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  1. I would love to follow the comments about Web 2.0 and library 2.0 but i can’t find them again on your blog.

  2. One comment from the last paragraph: “Maybe listening to the change resistance wrapped up as commentary is just pointng to the work we need to do to evolve. The Web 2.0 conversation is happening globally. Library 2.0 is just a part of a larger conversation as the web evolves. Libraries are not an island.” First, your observation in the first sentence — that those who complain about or don’t like the “Library 2.0” mantra are simply resistant to change — is just silly. The people who have bothered to write about or comment on Library 2.0 are mostly at the forefront of encouraging and implementing change in their respective contexts. The mere fact of them participating in such a discussion in the blogosphere — a new and revolutionary realm — is, by itself, proof of that, in my view. It’s easy to dismiss criticism in this way.
    Second, of course libraries aren’t islands, we all know that. Your reference to the broader Web 2.0 mantra as a conversation we need to be aware of is true, but you also neglect to mention the fact that many in the larger information technology arena are also getting sick of the Web 2.0 mantra, or are expressing concerns about it in a similar way that some in the library community have questions about Library 2.0.
    Third, as far as I have read (and I’ve tried to read as much about what others are saying, pro and con, about Library 2.0 as possible), those who make the point about “libraries have always done that” are *not* dismissing elements of Library 2.0. Instead, my sense is that they are simply pointing out that many (maybe most or all) of the concepts and ideas in Library 2.0 are not new. Libraries have had concerns over these things all along. The ways in which they approach those concerns may be changing in terms of the technological tools and capabilities they now have at their disposal.
    This comment may “sound” rather sharp, but I am disappointed with this kind of reaction to legitimate questioning of Library 2.0. Especially because I like and agree with your views on just about everything else.

  3. Stephen,
    I’m sure you’ve read this ACRL entry, but I thought the many readers of your blog might like to check it out if they hadn’t already: http://acrlblog.org/2005/12/05/what-do-you-know-about-weblib-20/
    Susan Payne

  4. First, there is an element of NIH (Not Invented Here) in some of the criticism leveled at L2. Second, some of the impatience I personally feel comes from the deja-vu-all-over-again of having experienced far too many library meetings where we debated minutia as Rome burned. But all in all, the best approach, I find, is to stay out of the vortex of negativism and focus on disseminating good ideas as quickly as possible.