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 ( 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.

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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