Traditional reference service is dead--- or dying. This blog will focus on new approaches toward providing library assistance to patrons... or whatever else I feel like rambling on about.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Just say "no" to library 2.0

It’s been a while—but I’m dusting this thing off.

I really have to disagree with M Stephens on a recent post about librarian attitudes. His premise is that librarians tend to think negatively toward new ideas, particularly in public services. While I will admit there is a lot of conservatism in how we operate, this is not my reality.

I guess academic libraries have led the way in listening and responding to users. It helps that we have a consolidated market, whereas public libraries have to try and please everyone. But I really don’t get this Library 2.0— this is stuff we were talking about 5 years ago.

Anyway, here are the examples he claims libraries say “no” to:
  • IM on public computers
    (We give patrons Trillian. I also encourage them to IM me directly.)
  • Skateboarders visiting the library
    (What next, no Emo kids in the library?)
  • Use of PSPs or other new devices
    (If someone wants to sit in a bean-bag before class and play GTA, I say enjoy.)
  • No Cell Phones
    (I was so happy when we killed this rule last summer. We have noisey
    floors and quiet floors. What’s the difference if I am talking with a group of friends vs on my phone? I’ve actually seen students use them productively, getting help from friends and working on project collaboratively.)
  • No Eating or Drinking
    (We have a café so this doesn’t really apply to us. Students will also have pizzas delivered to the library.)


Anonymous Paul said...

Brian, I've started to stop paying attention to any of the L2.0 posts, but some of what you wrote made me wonder how much of a difference there is between the public and academic libraries? I've always worked in academia, and have always found this environment open to new ideas. Maybe the PL world is that much different - many of the people writing about 2.0 seem to be from that arena...

12:59 PM

Blogger Brian Mathews said...

I love the enthusiasm of the 2.0 folks, but I just don’t see something “new”

10:59 AM


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