Tag Archives: library

Building a Library 2.0

I’m not sure if that title actually comes across with the meaning I’m after. It’s not Building a….Library 2.0. It’s Building a Library….2.0. :-)

Is anyone aware of a building project being managed via 2.0 tools? MPOW has been funded for a new library, and we are currently in the project planning phases. I’m pushing for us to be completely transparent about the process…we are a state school, and everything we do is more or less subject to sunshine laws. Might as well put it right out there.

As a part of the project, we’re going to be managing it with a wiki (still under construction due to new server being purchased), probably sharing documents with Google Docs, and we’ve already started our Flickr Pro account for photos of site visits. We’ve got two video visits that will probably go up on YouTube.

Is there anyone else out there doing this? I know there aren’t many simultaneous builds going on, especially of academic libraries, but surely someone has done a “transparent build” before. Our plans involve letting the community comment on the wiki, and gathering feedback from as many of these sources as we can to inform our build plan.

Anyone out there have suggestions for the process that the 2.0 technology might improve, other than the things I’ve mentioned? This is new for me…it’s going to be an interesting few years.

Consider this the first of a few blog posts on transparency. More exciting news coming later this summer. :-)

Open Library

Open Library logo I’m a bit late in pointing this out, but Open Library launched it’s public beta.

I feel that I can say with little hyperbole that this is the future of libraries.

After hearing about the project from Casey Bisson at ALA Annual, I was excited. But seeing this thing in the flesh is a whole other level….my hat goes off to Casey, Aaron Schwartz, Karen Coyle, and the rest of the OL team. This is a huge step for libraries…now, give us a nice, tidy, easy to use API and we’ll be happy. :-)

Why ALA will never learn

Good job on the unconference. Just one fairly serious problem, at least to me. The Wiki has almost zero mention and absolutely no logos for LITA. The only LITA mention is in the text of the About BIGWIG wiki page.

This is a portion of an email that BIGWIG received as a result of being featured in the ALA Direct email after Annual, getting a bit of press for the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase.

I have lots of things that I’d like to say about this, but they all boil down to this: when, as an organization, we are more concerned with how we are portrayed than with results, I believe we’ve seriously lost our way.

I have also been thinking a great deal about the various fronts that have began mobilizing to make active change in the ALA. BIGWIG has obviously been working to move LITA in directions that we feel are important, but I admit that the bureaucracy of the whole endeavor takes some of the wind from my sails. If we ran our libraries the way we run our organizations, our patrons would be in real trouble.

BIGWIG popularity

bigwig social software logo

In doing a bit of research tonight, I discovered that the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase is now the 10th result of over 700,000 for the single search term “Bigwig” on Google.

Pretty amazing for something sprung from my, Michelle, and Karen’s brains just a few months ago. That, plus the mention in AL Direct today, David Free’s analysis of the attendance of the Showcase, and I think we might just have a winner on our hands. :-)

My favorite photo from Showcase

Here’s my very favorite photograph I took during the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase at ALA Annual 2007:

IMG_9382.JPG

That photo says so much. Here’s a few more that add to the conversation:

IMG_9381.JPGIMG_9381.JPGIMG_9385.JPGIMG_9366.JPG People not listening to talking heads, and experts in certain areas not preaching to the masses, but groups talking and interacting and questioning. Was amazing to see, and I can’t express how happy I am with having pulled it off. Thanks to all the presenters that put themselves out there for us, and worked so hard to provide content. Also, thanks to the 30 or so people who showed up to a completely unproven program, with no ALA advertising, and no appropriate listing in the program.

Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll still be highlighting the presentations on LITABlog, and continuing as much an online conversation as people wish. I’m also very interested in what opinions people might have vis-a-vis Showcase 2008…yes? No? What gets changed? What makes it even better?

Waste not…

IMG_9324.JPG

So that photo is of the top of a trashcan on Friday at ALA Annual 2007. Why did I take a picture, you may ask yourself (this is not my beautiful house!)?

Because on top of the can are the contents of two of the bags that ALA distributes to every registered attendee. This was not an isolated incident…I have seen at least a dozen or so of these piles of paper, and I myself immediately tossed everything except the included map of DC. Probably 2 pounds of paper in every bag. There has got to be a better way of doing this, ALA.

Shirky FTW!

Clay Shirkey with a brilliant, well-reasoned reply to Gorman, for the win!

He even makes the same analogy I did regarding translations of the Bible. :-)

If Gorman were looking at Web 2.0 and wondering how print culture could aspire to that level of accessibility, he would be doing something to bridge the gap he laments. Instead, he insists that the historical mediators of access “…promote intellectual development by exercising judgment and expertise to make the task of the seeker of knowledge easier.” This is the argument Catholic priests made to the operators of printing presses against publishing translations of the Bible — the laity shouldn’t have direct access to the source material, because they won’t understand it properly without us. Gorman offers no hint as to why direct access was an improvement when created by the printing press then but a degradation when created by the computer. Despite the high-minded tone, Gorman’s ultimate sentiment is no different from that of everyone from music executives to newspaper publishers: Old revolutions good, new revolutions bad.

More excellent responses at:

UPDATE: Clay Shirky (and Gorman by association) makes BoingBoing.