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.

Friday, May 12, 2006

academic library 2.0

Camus was once asked about being an existentialist and he claimed that he wasn’t—that he was a humanist. That’s sort of how I feel about the ‘library 2.0’ movement. Granted, several of my ideas, approaches and guiding philosophies could easily be grouped in that movement, but I don’t necessary wave the L2 banner.

That being said, here is my podcast on Academic Library 2.0

I am a little embarrassed because it was composed and recorded while I had strep throat—but here are the main notes:

What it really boils down to is have flexibility and adaptability, rethinking everything, physical space, virtual space, service points, policies -- it’s about creating a community of users, or a community of learners, who participate and interact with each other as well as with the library. It’s about examining what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and questioning the validity and effectiveness. Just because something’s always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it has to continue in that manner. So to sum it all up, to me, library 2.0 is about knocking down barriers, or at least lowering them, and trying to improve the library for our current patrons, while trying to attract new users to our services.

Other topics:

  • Information Literacy is very Un-Library 2.0 (the ‘proper’ way vs. your way)
  • “Being where they are” pros and cons on the trendy topic of online social networks
  • Commercial Library Catalogs Suck. That’s the next big challenge. Can we merge Netflix with Amazon?
  • Information / Learning Commons and some GT examples
  • LibQUAL+ is cool—seriously, it is.
  • Administration – get more vertical! and hire the right staff, people outside the profession.

The Conclusion: Academic library 2.0 is all about change—constant change, a culture of change. It’s about being aware of opportunities and taking advantage of them. I don’t think there is really a specification that says, if you do this and that, than you’re officially library 2.0. It’s more about always striving to improve and constantly adapting. It’s about listening to your patrons, and interacting with them, and getting outside of the “I am the librarian and you are the patron” mindset—it’s about community and participation and the library being a showcase for learning. It’s about letting go and not micromanaging the user’s experience, but allowing them to create their own experience based upon their needs… with maybe with a little guidance from us.

I don't feel there is anything really new or shocking here-- stuff we've been talking about for years, but there it is.


Blogger Angel, librarian and educator said...

Very interesting thinking on that podcast. I am not too keen on the label of Information Literacy as being un-2.0 since the concept is so much larger than the rigid thing that librarians often prepare for the faculty. I guess it sounded better when you said it than when I read the post before I listened. While Google is not the enemy, it is not always your friend either. I guess it boils down to teaching them how to question every thing. I think if you do that much, the rest can follow. It goes back to flexibility, adaptability, which you make very clear in the podcast.

P.S. Actually, it sounded pretty good, the cast.

4:41 PM


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