Confrontational Aspects of Library 2.0 Discussed

Better Update: Go figure. I post the update, check to make sure my update posted correctly, and find that everything’s ok again… so comments are working again.

update: for some odd reason, direct linking to this post and to comments is down for this post… bummer. If it doesn’t clear up soon, I might delete it and post again… we’ll see.

I have read Walt Crawford’s large piece on Libary 2.0; Jenny’s and John’s recent posts; and now Meredith’s latest post. Wow – for a term that’s been around maybe five months, there sure is A LOT of discussion going around about it!

Meredith, in her last post, says:

“And what Jenny Levine wrote about the “L2 opponents” who feel “confusion and fear” over Library 2.0 really surprised me. Jenny is a nice person, a rational person, and I was really surprised to see what looked line a line in the sand being drawn. I really hope that Library 2.0 isn’t a polarizing force in the blogosphere because we all need to continue sharing our good ideas and success stories.”

Walt says something similar: “I find it hard to look at the term and not see confrontation, but that’s me” (page 2 of his PDF).

I certainly can’t speak for Jenny (or anyone else in this conversation), but here’s what I saw at Internet Librarian 2005. Michael and I gave a couple of presentations on technology, staff, and training. At the end of the session, during the question-and-answer time, someone asked this question (swiping the wording from Michael’s post about it): “I’m not interested in new technology, and I don’t have time for it and i’m not one to play with technology..what about me?”

That was a hard question to answer for a number of reasons (and we did a fine job of it, too). But my point in drudging this up again is this: I don’t think Jenny is drawing lines in the sand. I don’t think the concept of Library 2.0 (however one defines it) is drawing lines in the sand. When I received that question, I wasn’t trying to draw any sort of line – I was simply talking about how to hire techie staff. Michael was talking about training those staff. No lines there… but lines are being drawn nonetheless.

Where are those lines coming from? Let me illustrate: The person that asked Michael and myself the question mentioned above had definitely drawn a line in the sand, one that basically says “I would really rather not learn anything new, but would still like to be a librarian.” I hear other questions when libraries are planning a “what’s new at the library” blog that start out with “why in the world would my library ever want to start something like that?” – I see a line drawn in the sand when I hear those types of statements.

What’s going on here? I think Library 2.0 is a library response to the larger social technology changes going on right now. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an Automotive 2.0, a Psychiatrist 2.0, or a Teacher 2.0 (update – see my short post on this). Some librarians are noticing the change and are trying to figure out how libraries can capture the good stuff of Web 2.0 and use it to further serve our patrons. They have added a library-centric name to a larger concept that is appearing in our libraries, in our cities, and in the world at large (check Howard Rheingold’s blog for some of those mentions).

And yes – some individuals who don’t “do change well” are probably not doing well right now with current technology changes. But then, my guess is those types of people have ALWAYS drawn lines in the sand, and will continue to do so. A worthy goal for libraries and librarians should be to embrace those staff members and help them along the sometimes rocky road to change.

Who’s with me?

library 2.0, web 2.0

Blogging Delivered

Blogging DeliveredAnyone else seen these signs around your community? I actually took a few pics (see them here, here, here, here, and here). 

AT&T is doing some large publicity thing with billboards touting words like Productivity, Blogging, etc… The others are same-ole-same-ole marketing billboards, but the blogging one – I think it’s pretty cool!

Why is it cool? How many people drive by those billboards every day … how many will wonder “hmm – what IS blogging, anyway?” … how many will check it out… etc.

I think 2006 will be a VERY interesting year for online services, indeed!

Integrating Video into Library Websites

Hopefully the first of many posts on video! We have created an Emotional Health article for our library website. The article includes quick facts on stress and tips on getting organized, all found in one of our library databases. And, we also included a link to my last videocast about my messy desk. Why? It fits the article and it lends the article a bit of humor, too.

So that’s a start, anyway. What else can one do with video on a library website?

  1. Use it as support info (that’s what we did with my video)
  2. Post downloadable versions of library events, seminars, author talks
  3. Short snippets of library events for use on future event descriptions
  4. Videocast of bibliographic instruction, downloadable when a student needs it
  5. Tours of the library
  6. Showing what a meeting room looks like
  7. Directions to the library! Visual can’t hurt here…
  8. Oral histories – libraries are big on audio version of oral histories… why not capture them on video, too?
  9. From our Children’s website RFQ – short video tours of area attractions, online storytellers, kids showing off their cool collectables
  10. Something completely original… one idea: a video version of “what’s new to read” at the library

Am I leaving anything out? Let me know!

vlog, videocast, library2.0, web2.0, videoblog, podcast