Thursday, February 1, 2007

Blogpost #2 Library 2.0

Library 2.0 appears to be less about technology than it is about listening to and adapting to the needs of a community. Michael E. Casey and Laura Savastinuk's article entitled "Library 2.0", , discusses and defines this creative way of thinking. The three critical elements of any 2.0 library service are that it reaches its users, is constantly being evaluated, and incorporates patron input. Establishing open and ongoing communication with customers is essential. Feedback could be collected in a traditional manner via surveys or through interviews, however, Web 2.0 tools such as blogs could facilitate this process of gathering information. Blogging with patrons could be an infinite, timely, source of ideas which should inspire librarians to develop new goals and direction. Libraries who embrace the 2 .0 philosophy will likely become more dynamic and more relevant to their respective communities. In our rapidly changing world, relevancy is key to the survival and prosperity of any business or institution, including libraries.

A quote from Micheal Casey's blog on December 5, 2005, , really sums up what he and Savastinuk were trying to communicate in their article, "Library 2.0 is not about technology. Library 2.0 seeks to harvest good ideas from outside and use them to deliver improved and new services, often times in an effort to reach a new target population. Library 2.0 is, at its core, a way of thinking, a way of operating. It's a framework for integrating change into all levels of library operations. It's in our effort to reach this new level of service that we will utilize these new, often times Web 2.0, technologies." While using Web 2.0 tools may be new to some library students, the concept of understanding our community's needs and responding in an appropriate manner should not be. Web 2.0 tools can provide the means to pursue this fundamental facet of librarianship more aggressively. Better information from our patrons can ultimately result in better services overall.

An article by Janet Balas, "elearning About Library 2.0", published in Computers in Libraries in January 2007, reempathisizes the importance of Library 2.0 for its ability to help libraries respond to and meet "the needs of its users". Her piece gathers together articles, authors, podcasts,, flickr, and other Web 2.0 formats which relate to Library 2.0. Michael Stephens and Jenny Levine figure prominently as leaders in the 2.0 library movement. They have developed a Squidoo lens for an ALA Library 2.0 course which is filled with information on the subject. It can be accessed at
Balas also credits Michael Casey, the author of the afore mentioned "Librarycrunch" blog as the first to use the term Library 2.0. This is a valuable article into which Balas has compressed a wealth of information for those who wish to learn more about Library 2.0.

All librarians work towards bringing the best services to our communities. Using techniques learned from Library 2.0 will assist us in reaching that goal.


Mary said...

This was a good article on how libraries can get more involved. We need to look at each area individually and see what it needs. If we can take steps to improve, that is important.

Michael Stephens said...

It is much more than technology. When I talk to groups, one of my points is "Adopt a 2.0 Philosophy" for the library. If Web 2.0 is open and participatory, libraries might benefit from being that way too.

Brian said...

"Responsiveness" is a word that comes to mind when I think about Library 2.0. Technology is just a means to help make an organization responsive to its people!