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David Lee King

Am I a 2.0 Librarian and the Library 2.0 Spectrum



Recently, I was asked “am I a Library 2.0 Librarian” by someone… and that started off a flurry of thought, mainly because I don’t think there’s a simple answer to that question. For starters, you can’t answer the question by simply dividing the room into tech geeks and non-tech geeks. Knowing xhtml and css does not make one a Library 2.0 librarian! In the same way, you can’t divide the room by age – there are older librarians who “get it,” and younger librarians who don’t.

You can also play the “you might be a 2.0 librarian if” game. Let’s do it now – You might be a 2.0 Librarian if:

  • you have a Library 2.0 job. That one’s a no-brainer – if your job consists of implementing emerging web 2.0 and other trends, you’re probably a 2.0 librarian.
  • You don’t have the job title, but you implement emerging trends anyway. This could be as part of your job, or something you do as part of your professional interests/activities.
  • You don’t do it on-the-job, but you do it personally… you have a blog, a facebook account, multiple IM accounts, etc.

But this yes/no game only covers the more extreme examples. There are many librarians who aren’t extreme geeks. They don’t understand the whole range of web 2.0 tools, but they might understand parts and pieces of it. For example, they might understand the need for IM reference, or for a MySpace teen page.

Library 2.0 SpectrumSo – what I’d like to suggest is that there’s a library 2.0 range, or spectrum (click the image to see a larger version of the spectrum). Every library and librarian is somewhere on this spectrum – either on the more traditional, luddite side, or on the “participation, web 2.0″ side.

Library 2.0 Spectrum
My Library 2.0 Spectrum has seven points. In reality, there are many more! These seven points on the spectrum can help you understand where you are in relation to Library 2.0, and where you might be headed. Here’s an explanation of it:

  1. On the left-hand side of the spectrum are the Luddites. These are very traditional libraries and librarians who really don’t understand the need to change and/or adapt to emerging trends.
  2. next up is the librarian who grudgingly realizes that online databases and search engines are useful tools, and that email reference is a good thing to do.
  3. Here, the library/librarian discovers that some customers primarily visit the library’s website, and that the library has alot of non-traditional library usage.
  4. The Lightbulb – This is a major point on the Library 2.0 spectrum. Something “clicks” – The library/librarian realizes that the organization/librarian needs to change to meet emerging customer needs. They start trend-watching, and are ready to experiment. At this point, they might not know what to do next!
  5. At this point, the library allows staff to “do stuff” – ie., start a library blog, start pilot projects with emerging technology, and maybe decide to keep customer comments open. As a librarian, you are taking a Learning 2.0 course.
  6. At this point, pilot projects are finalized, and implementation is underway. As a librarian, you have embraced many of these concepts – you have an IM account, you regularly read blogs, you are not afraid to participate in the digital world.
  7. Honestly, I’m not sure anyone has “arrived” on the far right of my spectrum… but this side is for libraries that have embraced and implemented participation, trust, and community wholeheartedly. For librarians, you can talk turkey with Stephen Abram :-)

So… where are you on this spectrum? Where’s your library? How do you bump yourself up to “the next level?”

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://stevelawson.name/seealso/ Steve Lawson

    Good grief! This is getting close to a religion in the way you sketch it out. Books are for Luddites and iPhones (iPhones!?) are for the enlightened?

    Sorry, but this is tremendously off-putting to me.

  • http://stevelawson.name/seealso/ Steve Lawson

    Good grief! This is getting close to a religion in the way you sketch it out. Books are for Luddites and iPhones (iPhones!?) are for the enlightened?

    Sorry, but this is tremendously off-putting to me.

  • davidleeking

    Steve – as always, thanks for the comment! Not sure I see what’s eating you.

    “Getting close to a religion” – how? I basically said there’s no yes/no answer to whether or not someone’s a 2.0 librarian, and instead it’s all shades of grey – that answer is pretty far away from most traditional religions.

    Using books/iPhones… my use of those icons, admittedly, was a bit tongue-in-cheek. I originally thought of using Gorman’s head on one side and Abram’s head on the other, then thought better of that!

    But I’m definitely NOT saying that iPhones are for the enlightened – I think you are reading way too much into my use of icons. I used it as a visual example of something that’s trendy, that’s cutting-edge, that’s VERY early adopter, that’s very transformative. That’s all…

    I hope this helps!

  • http://stevelawson.name/seealso/ Steve Lawson

    In a light spectrum, red is no better or worse than indigo. In this 2.0 spectrum, it’s clear that one makes progress from the left side to the right side.

    Can a person be a “traditional” librarian–a label which seems fairly value-neutral–without being a “Luddite?”

    And the “click” at the light bulb seems like some kind of conversion experience to me. Same as the “so-and-so gets it” language which smells so strongly of Kool-Aid.

    And I figured you were joking a bit with the icons, but at the same time, it seemed symptomatic in the way it was devaluing a time-tested icon of humanity and fetishizing a trendy corporate gadget.

  • http://stevelawson.name/seealso/ Steve Lawson

    In a light spectrum, red is no better or worse than indigo. In this 2.0 spectrum, it’s clear that one makes progress from the left side to the right side.

    Can a person be a “traditional” librarian–a label which seems fairly value-neutral–without being a “Luddite?”

    And the “click” at the light bulb seems like some kind of conversion experience to me. Same as the “so-and-so gets it” language which smells so strongly of Kool-Aid.

    And I figured you were joking a bit with the icons, but at the same time, it seemed symptomatic in the way it was devaluing a time-tested icon of humanity and fetishizing a trendy corporate gadget.

  • http://webjunction.org/ chrystie

    WJ uses the term continuum to relay the concept/practice of moving from one level of competency to the next. you might consider using that term here (instead?) so that you avoid the spectrum critique.

    I also wonder if there is something of a spiral effect (rather than a linear continnuum). what about participation, community, and interactivity that came into our work (as librarians) before the tools as we know them? and what of us and our current work – without the tools we have yet to imagine? I shudder to think that a librarian 2.0 is about technology tools, rather than the connections we aim to make with them . to me, the tools simply help us do something human – connect with people and feel a sense of belonging. in that sense, a physical book club that’s doing all that is 2.0 too. right? the content exchanged is P2P, user-contributed, and facilitated/contained by the library. now i’m just thinkin out loud here…what do u guys think?

  • http://webjunction.org chrystie

    WJ uses the term continuum to relay the concept/practice of moving from one level of competency to the next. you might consider using that term here (instead?) so that you avoid the spectrum critique.

    I also wonder if there is something of a spiral effect (rather than a linear continnuum). what about participation, community, and interactivity that came into our work (as librarians) before the tools as we know them? and what of us and our current work – without the tools we have yet to imagine? I shudder to think that a librarian 2.0 is about technology tools, rather than the connections we aim to make with them . to me, the tools simply help us do something human – connect with people and feel a sense of belonging. in that sense, a physical book club that’s doing all that is 2.0 too. right? the content exchanged is P2P, user-contributed, and facilitated/contained by the library. now i’m just thinkin out loud here…what do u guys think?

  • wilson delahoz

    it great

  • wilson delahoz

    it great

  • http://www.davidleeking.com/ david lee king

    Chrystie – continuum might work better… I’m not meaning the traditional side is bad (although I DID use the luddite term) and the web 2.0 side is good… it’s more just a visual guide of where a library or librarian has been and where they might be going.

    And I agree whole-heartedly – it’s definitely NOT about technology! It’s more about openness and trust and participation – and that CAN happen in a p2p setting. The web 2.0 tools simply allow the same interaction in a library’s digital space.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com david lee king

    Chrystie – continuum might work better… I’m not meaning the traditional side is bad (although I DID use the luddite term) and the web 2.0 side is good… it’s more just a visual guide of where a library or librarian has been and where they might be going.

    And I agree whole-heartedly – it’s definitely NOT about technology! It’s more about openness and trust and participation – and that CAN happen in a p2p setting. The web 2.0 tools simply allow the same interaction in a library’s digital space.

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com/ K.G. Schneider

    Glad to see David working to define concepts… any time you come up with terms and definitions, there are people who are irritated by them. In this case, me. ;-) (I “get it” about music sharing, but iBored by commercial bandwagons, and iConcerned about DRM. Transformative? Oh yeah, Apple has done a lot to undermine intellectual property concepts, if that’s what you mean!) But I understand your objective.

    I would like to move even a little farther beyond Chrystie’s point and raise the issue of outcomes for our service communities and modern, user-oriented interpretations of the meaning of and uses for “collections.” I like her point about the book group, because that is one of the first things that comes to mind. But there is room in your definition for tying library services and collections to user engagement and empowerment… in my book, that’s where definitions need to focus. (It’s why it’s so hard to top “Books are for use”: can you get more radical than insisting libraries are about our users?)

    As Chrystie is suggesting, it’s not about the tool. That’s part of the trap of “old librarianship”: we’re about X, delivered Y, to Z. We have got to get past that and explore the locus of librarianship.

    I see a few traps up there as well. Leave customer comments open? Well, yeah, until your library earns its own special crackpot who floods the library blog with so many comments it’s practically a denial of service.

    I am not convinced that “continuum” is much better than “spectrum.” Your competencies attempt in an earlier post worked better, imho, because it laid out simple (albeit tools-oriented) tasks that a newish librarian could point to and say, “these are specific skills that I could learn to help engage users with our collections and services.” (Of course, assessment and evaluation should be in there, too. You have a blog? Fine. Now what is it doing for people?)

    Anyway, good for you to think about this stuff…

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com K.G. Schneider

    Glad to see David working to define concepts… any time you come up with terms and definitions, there are people who are irritated by them. In this case, me. ;-) (I “get it” about music sharing, but iBored by commercial bandwagons, and iConcerned about DRM. Transformative? Oh yeah, Apple has done a lot to undermine intellectual property concepts, if that’s what you mean!) But I understand your objective.

    I would like to move even a little farther beyond Chrystie’s point and raise the issue of outcomes for our service communities and modern, user-oriented interpretations of the meaning of and uses for “collections.” I like her point about the book group, because that is one of the first things that comes to mind. But there is room in your definition for tying library services and collections to user engagement and empowerment… in my book, that’s where definitions need to focus. (It’s why it’s so hard to top “Books are for use”: can you get more radical than insisting libraries are about our users?)

    As Chrystie is suggesting, it’s not about the tool. That’s part of the trap of “old librarianship”: we’re about X, delivered Y, to Z. We have got to get past that and explore the locus of librarianship.

    I see a few traps up there as well. Leave customer comments open? Well, yeah, until your library earns its own special crackpot who floods the library blog with so many comments it’s practically a denial of service.

    I am not convinced that “continuum” is much better than “spectrum.” Your competencies attempt in an earlier post worked better, imho, because it laid out simple (albeit tools-oriented) tasks that a newish librarian could point to and say, “these are specific skills that I could learn to help engage users with our collections and services.” (Of course, assessment and evaluation should be in there, too. You have a blog? Fine. Now what is it doing for people?)

    Anyway, good for you to think about this stuff…

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  • http://library20.ning.com/profile/librarylapin Angela

    David,

    Thank you so much for what you do. I recently saw you speak at the SEFLIN energize conference and felt so much better about 2.0. I didn’t realize that I am actually a five on the scale. Take care and thank you for your work.

  • http://library20.ning.com/profile/librarylapin Angela

    David,

    Thank you so much for what you do. I recently saw you speak at the SEFLIN energize conference and felt so much better about 2.0. I didn’t realize that I am actually a five on the scale. Take care and thank you for your work.

  • http://walt.lishost.org/ walt crawford

    After reading the comments and looking again at the post and graphic, I’m with Steve L. You’re explicitly labeling those who prefer books to iPhones as Luddites. I’m not sure why you don’t think that’s confrontational and would bother people. It might even bother your patrons, most of whom go to the library for books and other resources.

  • http://walt.lishost.org walt crawford

    After reading the comments and looking again at the post and graphic, I’m with Steve L. You’re explicitly labeling those who prefer books to iPhones as Luddites. I’m not sure why you don’t think that’s confrontational and would bother people. It might even bother your patrons, most of whom go to the library for books and other resources.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com/ david lee king

    OK – sounds like I should remove the word luddite, at the very least – I’m really NOT meaning for this to have a negative connotation.

    Walt, you said “You’re explicitly labeling those who prefer books to iPhones as Luddites.” That’s far from what I’m trying to convey. I’m seriously NOT talking about books or iphones – again, those are simply icons… books/iphones/etc don’t really have anything to do with this graph, other than to visually represent, say the traditional library (ie., an old book).

  • http://www.davidleeking.com david lee king

    OK – sounds like I should remove the word luddite, at the very least – I’m really NOT meaning for this to have a negative connotation.

    Walt, you said “You’re explicitly labeling those who prefer books to iPhones as Luddites.” That’s far from what I’m trying to convey. I’m seriously NOT talking about books or iphones – again, those are simply icons… books/iphones/etc don’t really have anything to do with this graph, other than to visually represent, say the traditional library (ie., an old book).

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com/ K.G. Schneider

    David, one observation: there is no such thing as a simple icon. ;-) Icons carry a lot of weight and power. (Interesting that you define that book as “old,” by the way. You sure it isn’t a current bestseller? I was thinking it might be my Librarything Early Reviewer copy I plan to blog as soon as I’m finished.)

    I like that you’re open to input and that you’re thinking this stuff out loud. To underscore: I don’t want to be a “2.0 librarian” (by your definition, anyway) if that means distancing myself from books (which is what your spectrum visually suggests), and it sounds as if I’m not alone in a negative reaction to your proposal — that’s what you wanted, right, input? You’re forcing a choice that we should never have to make. You were doing great with the “competencies” theme… I’d suggest continuing to move in that direction.

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com K.G. Schneider

    David, one observation: there is no such thing as a simple icon. ;-) Icons carry a lot of weight and power. (Interesting that you define that book as “old,” by the way. You sure it isn’t a current bestseller? I was thinking it might be my Librarything Early Reviewer copy I plan to blog as soon as I’m finished.)

    I like that you’re open to input and that you’re thinking this stuff out loud. To underscore: I don’t want to be a “2.0 librarian” (by your definition, anyway) if that means distancing myself from books (which is what your spectrum visually suggests), and it sounds as if I’m not alone in a negative reaction to your proposal — that’s what you wanted, right, input? You’re forcing a choice that we should never have to make. You were doing great with the “competencies” theme… I’d suggest continuing to move in that direction.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com/ david lee king

    Good points, Karen – yes, I was looking for input (which I’ve received – both good and bad). And I certainly received a reaction – so that’s good.

    Interesting that I’m inadvertantly forcing a choice between books and “newer stuff” – not meaning to do that!

    OK – no icons unless I want a strong reaction!

  • http://www.davidleeking.com david lee king

    Good points, Karen – yes, I was looking for input (which I’ve received – both good and bad). And I certainly received a reaction – so that’s good.

    Interesting that I’m inadvertantly forcing a choice between books and “newer stuff” – not meaning to do that!

    OK – no icons unless I want a strong reaction!

  • Sara

    David, thanks for making us all think about Library 2.0 in new ways. I find your blog to be very worthwhile and thought-provoking. In this case, I think I have to agree with Karen. Her points really helped me focus on a new aspect of Library 2.0 and that is that all of these new technologies should be a way for us to make better, more meaningful connections with our users through services and collections.
    Too often people try to adopt new technologies because they are new and exciting. They try to make the technology fit some application rather than thinking about what the overall goals are and how we could use the technology to achieve those goals. Technology should be tool and not the end in of itself.

  • Sara

    David, thanks for making us all think about Library 2.0 in new ways. I find your blog to be very worthwhile and thought-provoking. In this case, I think I have to agree with Karen. Her points really helped me focus on a new aspect of Library 2.0 and that is that all of these new technologies should be a way for us to make better, more meaningful connections with our users through services and collections.
    Too often people try to adopt new technologies because they are new and exciting. They try to make the technology fit some application rather than thinking about what the overall goals are and how we could use the technology to achieve those goals. Technology should be tool and not the end in of itself.

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com/ K.G. Schneider

    Oh, and I meant to say: do try to find a strong way to deliver your message… I like the idea that you find something to hitch this to. Your music and video offerings are delightful because they get to the point in a humorous manner. I would certainly give this your signature best… just keep playing with the concepts. Maybe spend fifteen minutes writing everything you think about 2.0 on a piece of paper (yes, paper, that’s intentional) and then picking through it for images.

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com K.G. Schneider

    Oh, and I meant to say: do try to find a strong way to deliver your message… I like the idea that you find something to hitch this to. Your music and video offerings are delightful because they get to the point in a humorous manner. I would certainly give this your signature best… just keep playing with the concepts. Maybe spend fifteen minutes writing everything you think about 2.0 on a piece of paper (yes, paper, that’s intentional) and then picking through it for images.

  • http://www.davidleeking.com/ david lee king

    Karen, I think what I’ll do for starters is to blog it and ask for some more suggestions… the suggestions in these comments are great – that will make it more of a collective thing than something stemming from me alone.

    And about that paper thing… good idea, though anymore I use MindManager to do the same thing. I think better when all my fingers are busy typing… but that’s just me :-)

  • http://www.davidleeking.com david lee king

    Karen, I think what I’ll do for starters is to blog it and ask for some more suggestions… the suggestions in these comments are great – that will make it more of a collective thing than something stemming from me alone.

    And about that paper thing… good idea, though anymore I use MindManager to do the same thing. I think better when all my fingers are busy typing… but that’s just me :-)

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  • Lissa

    I’m enjoying this discussion because it is helping me think through these things. Thanks.

    I want to add that I think it would be hard for individual librarians to implement 2.0 things in their jobs without a large amount of administrative support. Unless a library is adding new staff positions, the workload of implementing 2.0 things will have to be absorbed by current employees. To instigate these projects for myself, it means taking on additional work on top of a busy workload. For me, experimenting with 2.0 stuff is a tricky balance – it’s not in my job description, and I don’t want to waste my library’s time on something that won’t be useful to our users.

    I agree with Karen and Chrystie that “it’s not about the tool” but my traditional book group isn’t going away either, which means that to provide library services to connect people in our community in both the p2p world and the online world, I am now spreading myself thinner to attempt to reach increasingly fragmented parts of my “community.”

    I don’t know how effective my 2.0 experiments are reaching my community, because the feedback is not the same for me as a p2p book discussion or a reference desk transaction. Learning to evaluate and gauge the success of 2.0 projects is my next step, but I’m not sure where to begin.

  • Lissa

    I’m enjoying this discussion because it is helping me think through these things. Thanks.

    I want to add that I think it would be hard for individual librarians to implement 2.0 things in their jobs without a large amount of administrative support. Unless a library is adding new staff positions, the workload of implementing 2.0 things will have to be absorbed by current employees. To instigate these projects for myself, it means taking on additional work on top of a busy workload. For me, experimenting with 2.0 stuff is a tricky balance – it’s not in my job description, and I don’t want to waste my library’s time on something that won’t be useful to our users.

    I agree with Karen and Chrystie that “it’s not about the tool” but my traditional book group isn’t going away either, which means that to provide library services to connect people in our community in both the p2p world and the online world, I am now spreading myself thinner to attempt to reach increasingly fragmented parts of my “community.”

    I don’t know how effective my 2.0 experiments are reaching my community, because the feedback is not the same for me as a p2p book discussion or a reference desk transaction. Learning to evaluate and gauge the success of 2.0 projects is my next step, but I’m not sure where to begin.

  • http://webjunction.org/ chrystie

    David, I have been super busy all day, but I just couldn’t wait to get back to your post to see new comments because I knew it was going to garner plenty of them – all interesting!

    I think it’s really helpful for us to have the concepts and images to respond to – helps us better articulate what “2.0” is really about. Thank you!

  • http://webjunction.org chrystie

    David, I have been super busy all day, but I just couldn’t wait to get back to your post to see new comments because I knew it was going to garner plenty of them – all interesting!

    I think it’s really helpful for us to have the concepts and images to respond to – helps us better articulate what “2.0” is really about. Thank you!

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com/ K.G. Schneider

    That’s what the paper exercise is about, David — it interrupts your thinking pattern so amazing ideas can sneak out. :-) It’s not that I’m a Book Person, it’s just a trick I learned to loosen up the creative flow. (Another: take something you’ve written and reformat it in another font. Now re-read it. Looks different, I bet.)

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com K.G. Schneider

    That’s what the paper exercise is about, David — it interrupts your thinking pattern so amazing ideas can sneak out. :-) It’s not that I’m a Book Person, it’s just a trick I learned to loosen up the creative flow. (Another: take something you’ve written and reformat it in another font. Now re-read it. Looks different, I bet.)

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  • Joan Petit

    Great concept and image. Thanks for thinking through this and then expressing it visually.

    The bias I see is that it seems to suggest a career librarian who changes which I suspect was not (solely) your intention.

    While Library 2.0 is a new catchphrase, the principles were already in the minds and practices of many libraries and librarians. For example, many libraries were providing chat reference service before Library 2.0 became the catchphrase; the phrase was describing something that was already happening. Nothing “clicked” for these places, but rather they embarced new uses for new technologies early on.

    And for many early career librarians (it often seems to be the case that not age but LS graduation year determines librarians’ approaches to these issues), the philosphies of 2.0 have been part of our practice from the start, and our thinking has evolved quickly because, in part, our lack of familiarity with “established” methods.

    So that’s why the “click” part doesn’t work for me. I see what you mean, but I think many librarians have evolved along with the concept. Indeed I suspect there are many 2.0 ideas out there that haven’t been implemented because of institutional resistance.

    My final question is about blogging and chat reference: does blogging come before chat reference in most places? I’m familiar with the opposite, where chat reference was established before anyone dared to blog from the library. Indeed, I think it’s pretty easy to make a case for chat reference in any service-oriented library, whereas blogging requires a completely different way of thinking.

    Do others disagree?

  • Joan Petit

    Great concept and image. Thanks for thinking through this and then expressing it visually.

    The bias I see is that it seems to suggest a career librarian who changes which I suspect was not (solely) your intention.

    While Library 2.0 is a new catchphrase, the principles were already in the minds and practices of many libraries and librarians. For example, many libraries were providing chat reference service before Library 2.0 became the catchphrase; the phrase was describing something that was already happening. Nothing “clicked” for these places, but rather they embarced new uses for new technologies early on.

    And for many early career librarians (it often seems to be the case that not age but LS graduation year determines librarians’ approaches to these issues), the philosphies of 2.0 have been part of our practice from the start, and our thinking has evolved quickly because, in part, our lack of familiarity with “established” methods.

    So that’s why the “click” part doesn’t work for me. I see what you mean, but I think many librarians have evolved along with the concept. Indeed I suspect there are many 2.0 ideas out there that haven’t been implemented because of institutional resistance.

    My final question is about blogging and chat reference: does blogging come before chat reference in most places? I’m familiar with the opposite, where chat reference was established before anyone dared to blog from the library. Indeed, I think it’s pretty easy to make a case for chat reference in any service-oriented library, whereas blogging requires a completely different way of thinking.

    Do others disagree?

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  • http://greenteaicecream.co.uk Michael Clarke

    Great graphic. I don’t have a problem with confrontational icons – there’s nothing wrong with rattling the bars of people’s (generally unlocked) cages. And everything you’ve written hear applies way beyond the library – I’ve experienced it in a range of other organisational change contexts.

  • http://greenteaicecream.co.uk/ Michael Clarke

    Great graphic. I don’t have a problem with confrontational icons – there’s nothing wrong with rattling the bars of people’s (generally unlocked) cages. And everything you’ve written hear applies way beyond the library – I’ve experienced it in a range of other organisational change contexts.

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  • Greg Weller

    Call it a continuum or what you will, but technology does change. The book is a piece of technology — its an information storage and retrieval system and that is all it is. If you claim it is anything else, you’re turning it into a fetish object. Now, individual pieces of literary text that are stored in and retrieved from books, that’s a different subject altogether. If the book wasn’t a piece of technology and it didn’t evolve, then we’d still be writing with styli on clay tablets. Through history, the library has always evolved to mirror the current information storage and retrieval technology. If it doesn’t, then we’re gone, end of story. So yes, I would think that someone who sticks with the book simply because they don’t want to acknowledge that the book is technology and that technology evolves could be fairly called a scion of old Ned Ludd in the same way that a person who wanted to stick with hand-copied parchment after the invention of the printing press could be reckoned one as well.

  • Greg Weller

    Call it a continuum or what you will, but technology does change. The book is a piece of technology — its an information storage and retrieval system and that is all it is. If you claim it is anything else, you’re turning it into a fetish object. Now, individual pieces of literary text that are stored in and retrieved from books, that’s a different subject altogether. If the book wasn’t a piece of technology and it didn’t evolve, then we’d still be writing with styli on clay tablets. Through history, the library has always evolved to mirror the current information storage and retrieval technology. If it doesn’t, then we’re gone, end of story. So yes, I would think that someone who sticks with the book simply because they don’t want to acknowledge that the book is technology and that technology evolves could be fairly called a scion of old Ned Ludd in the same way that a person who wanted to stick with hand-copied parchment after the invention of the printing press could be reckoned one as well.

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  • Emily B.

    How about using a card from a card catalog instead of a book as the icon for the far left? That might reflect the difference in access, means, etc., and show that pretty much every library is already moving in this direction. And I don’t think anyone would object that card catalogs shouldn’t be labeled Luddite.

  • Emily B.

    How about using a card from a card catalog instead of a book as the icon for the far left? That might reflect the difference in access, means, etc., and show that pretty much every library is already moving in this direction. And I don’t think anyone would object that card catalogs shouldn’t be labeled Luddite.

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