15. Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the future of libraries and blog your thoughts.
First of all, I loved that YouTube video, “The Machine is Us/ing Us.” I found a site that includes a script of the movie, because I found so many of the concepts so mind-blowing that I wanted to think about it more, not just that brief moment when the words were in front of me.
I found Rick Anderson’s commentary to be fascinating, especially for me just coming back from the Maryland Library Leadership Institute. There have been vast changes in the American culture over the past 15 years, which necessitates a change in how we conceive of library services. Everyone is concerned about Google, but instead of phrasing it as “competing” with Google (because Google is just not authoritative!), we should realize that Google is there and customers use it A LOT (and librarians do too!) and how can we complement it, supplement it, help people learn what it is and what it provides, and offer what it doesn’t (and not simply by offering complete print materials, because they can do that too). The concept of re-examining how we think of a “collection” is exciting, and necessary.
Also, the idea that people need to come to us…I think that’s changing already. We do offer anytime, anywhere services; we need to keep improving them and expanding them AND make sure that customers are aware of them! So many people have no idea that we provide databases that they can access at home. So many people have no idea what a database is! Is that our problem for not educating them, or is it a problem of terminology? Could we simply call them “Online Magazines” or “ejournals”?
Michael Stephens made a good point when he said that “Librarian 2.0 embraces Web 2.0 tools.” I’ve been wondering about this whole experience; it’s great for us to be familiar with the Web 2.0 technology, but how are we truly going to use it to deliver library services? While we do have public blogs, they are pretty hidden in our same-old non-interactive website…that doesn’t encourage use! At some point during my 2.0 explorations, I came across Ann Arbor (MI) Public Library’s website, which IS a blog. There’s not a link to a blog somewhere on the site, it’s main page is a blog. That’s embracing Web 2.0 technology. I really want to be a part of taking this technology and seamlessly incorporating it into the services that HCPL offers.
The idea that struck me from Wendy Schultz was the future of Library 3D and Library 4.0. It’s easy to get caught up in what we’re doing right now, but I think it’s important to remember that Web 2.0 is done, it’s here, we’re not on the front line of it. If libraries can get to the front line of Library 3D or 4.0 (or whatever you want to call them), that will be a big deal, and show that libraries have accepted the concept that we are in a constantly changing environment. The part about Library 4.0 also ties in with the idea from Britain where they are calling their libraries “Idea Stores,” to emphasize the experience and the possibilities from a library, not just the concept of what is physically in the building.
The main thing I got out of all of this is that the new Internet is not static, it’s not websites that people create, occasionally update, and just sit there. It’s constantly changing because it’s collaborative, it encourages everyone to be a part of the creation, not just a consumer of the information provided. That’s the thing I think libraries don’t get; there needs to be a paradigm shift from libraries as keepers of information (a concept where we have it, it sits, you want it, you come get it) to libraries as centers for dynamic information dialog and exchange (a concept where it’s out there, you find it, you contribute to it, you are a part of it). Whew!