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Library Issues

Library 2.0

So there appears to be lots of talk among the biblioblogosphere about Library 2.0, a takeoff on Web 2.0. I’m a huge proponent here…but I think maybe we have a marketing problem hiding under the digital shine.

I get Web 2.0. We’re talking less one way and more two way, less top and more bottom, less central and more distributed, less professional and more amateur, less yahoo and more google, less page and more blog, less html and more xml. I get it, and I’ve been talking it up for a few years now.

What I don’t necessarily get is…how does this translate into library speak? I’ve talked about giving more power to the patron, allowing them to tag our OPACs and comment on our blogs. Over at ALA Techsource, they list a set of Library 2.0 principles:

1. The Library is everywhere.
2. The Library has no barriers.
3. The library invites participation.
4. The library uses flexible, best-of-breed systems.

With the exception of #4 above (where I simply wish it were the case), you could replace the phrase “The Library” with “Information” and get a much more robust series of statements, IMNSHO.

Information is everywhere.
Information has no barriers.
Information invites participation.

As librarians, our job is now to figure out how to make this information easily accessible by our patrons. We can do this by leveraging technology to make this information more easily found (Google Book Search), more easily organized (flickr) or more easily shared (del.icio.us). But we should remember that The Library != Information.

EDIT: Great set of Library 2.0 doubts and issues over at Ross’s blog. I share some of his snark.

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