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David Lee King

Library 2.0 spectrum thingie – asking for your input!



OK… so my Library 2.0 Spectrum post has garnered a good number of comments on this blog and in Flickr – some positive, some negative, all useful. And so far, the graphic I created seems to be a useful pursuit, if for no other reason than it gets people thinking about libraries and change, so I think I’ll continue to pursue it for awhile… but only with your help!

Here’s where you can help – I’m seeking input from you, my readers: Listed below are things that need to change on the graphic – please help me figure out how to change it. If this works the way I think it will work, I’ll get some good comments from you, and we’ll be able to create more of a collective “here’s what we think” graphic. And if not… ehhh.

Stuff that Needs to Change:

The name:
spectrum didn’t work for some, did work for others. Continuum and Evolution were both suggested. Originally, I was thinking of Field (as in, where are you standing in the L2 field…), but then decided that would be too goofy, even for me. What do you guys think works best?

My choice of icons: Many strong reactions from these! I chose a yellowed, parchmenty book to represent traditional libraries and (unfortunately) chose an iPhone to represent the “I get it” side. Some of you were a bit miffed by my choices.

So I ask you – what icons would you use to represent:

  1. traditional libraries
  2. The complete Library 2.0 library – this should focus on participation, community and conversation and NOT on a specific piece of technology (like, say, the iPhone)

The use of the word Luddite: oops. Sorry. My geek bias was probably showing there. I definitely want to start off with traditional libraries, but I don’t want to associate that positive base with a luddite (someone who “fears or loathes … new forms of technology” – from whatis.com). If I remove “Luddite” and keep in “Traditional Library” – will that make the left side of the spectrum less negative? Remember, I AM attempting to show a someone who really doesn’t get Library 2.0 of this side of the spectrum/graph.

On the other end of that, I think I should remove most of the techie terms (ie., web 2.0). Because being Library 2.0 isn’t about using cool tools, as more than one commenter pointed out (and I agree with). It’s more about a change of focus than about new technology. Thoughts?

That’s all for now – your comments are appreciated!

Comments on this entry are closed.

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

    This gets interesting. If your definition of Library 2.0 is “participation, community and conversation” then book clubs/discussion groups, story hours, local history centers, meeting rooms are Library 2.0 at its best.

    And a whole bunch of “traditional” libraries–those in touch with their communities, encouraging feedback, carrying out participatory programs–are Library 2.0.

    I guess I’m not sure what the “change of focus” is for community-oriented, service-oriented libraries, if it “isn’t about using cool tools.”

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

    This gets interesting. If your definition of Library 2.0 is “participation, community and conversation” then book clubs/discussion groups, story hours, local history centers, meeting rooms are Library 2.0 at its best.

    And a whole bunch of “traditional” libraries–those in touch with their communities, encouraging feedback, carrying out participatory programs–are Library 2.0.

    I guess I’m not sure what the “change of focus” is for community-oriented, service-oriented libraries, if it “isn’t about using cool tools.”

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

    I guess I’m trying to focus more on the changes that web 2.0 tools have brought to the library community. Yes – blogs are definitely a tech-based tool. But in the library world, blogs have changed things – now there’s direct connection between a library staff person and a customer in a way that didn’t exist before. There’s a conversation taking place about many aspects of a library that didn’t exist before.

    For example, today in a presentation I used AADL’s Library Director blog as an example. The director had posted about a library RFP and received 29 comments (maybe more now). That type of conversation wouldn’t have taken place before (or at least, taken place easily). The old model would be publishing the RFP, and maybe sending a press release out to the newspapers. Then, someone could either write to the library or send the newspaper an editorial about the press release – most likely not going to happen!

    One other thing – here’s a potentially good non-techie library 2.0 example. Take a traditional library book discussion group – the librarian has probably chosen the book, and most likely it came from a bestseller or an awards list. The L2 version of that book discussion group would allow the patron to choose the book.

    And then of course, they could continue the discussion in the library’s Ning space… which brings us back to L2 tools.

    Hmm…

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

    I guess I’m trying to focus more on the changes that web 2.0 tools have brought to the library community. Yes – blogs are definitely a tech-based tool. But in the library world, blogs have changed things – now there’s direct connection between a library staff person and a customer in a way that didn’t exist before. There’s a conversation taking place about many aspects of a library that didn’t exist before.

    For example, today in a presentation I used AADL’s Library Director blog as an example. The director had posted about a library RFP and received 29 comments (maybe more now). That type of conversation wouldn’t have taken place before (or at least, taken place easily). The old model would be publishing the RFP, and maybe sending a press release out to the newspapers. Then, someone could either write to the library or send the newspaper an editorial about the press release – most likely not going to happen!

    One other thing – here’s a potentially good non-techie library 2.0 example. Take a traditional library book discussion group – the librarian has probably chosen the book, and most likely it came from a bestseller or an awards list. The L2 version of that book discussion group would allow the patron to choose the book.

    And then of course, they could continue the discussion in the library’s Ning space… which brings us back to L2 tools.

    Hmm…

  • http://conniecrosby.blogspot.com Connie Crosby

    David, I think your original post is fantastic.

    But I have a problem with the lightbulb image. Shouldn’t it be a low-energy bulb? [LOL! Just teasing!]

    Actually, I am getting hung up over whether you are talking about libraries or librarians. As a librarian, I am very much on the right, but my library is very much on the left, traditional side. And I am the library manager. I could change things, but based on my clientele, we are going slow on these things.

    For me either spectrum or continuum both work. The term “field” would work if it were three dimensional rather than two.

    The icons don’t actually bug me. Despite not having so much bought into the iPod/iPhone thing yet. What else could you use? The Twitter logo? What about a Macbook Pro? Seriously, it is difficult to capture a mindset with a logo. And none of these things actually say “library” or “librarian” to me. Maybe you should use a photo of one of those funky NYC librarians.

    Anyway, I wouldn’t get too hung up on it. Your thoughts behind the image are the important part.

    Cheers!
    Connie

  • Jason F.

    For icons, how about a stylized line drawing of an institutional looking building (kinda Parthenon-esque, if that makes sense) for the left side, and two stylized line drawings of overlapping male and female bust for the right.

    building: http://www.sandrashaw.com/images/AH1L18Par4.jpg

    busts (not exactly what i had in mind, but similar): http://www.aspencountry.com/aspen/assets/product_images/product_lib/33000-33999/33294.jpg

  • Jason F.

    For icons, how about a stylized line drawing of an institutional looking building (kinda Parthenon-esque, if that makes sense) for the left side, and two stylized line drawings of overlapping male and female bust for the right.

    building: http://www.sandrashaw.com/images/AH1L18Par4.jpg

    busts (not exactly what i had in mind, but similar): http://www.aspencountry.com/aspen/assets/product_images/product_lib/33000-33999/33294.jpg

  • http://gathernodust.blogspot.com/ Jeff

    I hate to say this, but this whole concept is dividing and not uniting. Library 2.0 is many things, but you are defining by technology or no technology. Many reports are coming out that are talking about books being the mainstay of library service. That will change over time, but this line of conversation isn’t very productive. We should be focusing on our communities and our users first, and follow where they are. This conversation encourages the tools without the purpose.

    Terry Dawson (http://newcybrary.blogspot.com/)
    was nice enough to share my post, but I will share it again:
    http://gathernodust.blogspot.com/2007/06/distance-between-here-and-20.html

    I did write something similar to this topic here:

  • http://gathernodust.blogspot.com Jeff

    I hate to say this, but this whole concept is dividing and not uniting. Library 2.0 is many things, but you are defining by technology or no technology. Many reports are coming out that are talking about books being the mainstay of library service. That will change over time, but this line of conversation isn’t very productive. We should be focusing on our communities and our users first, and follow where they are. This conversation encourages the tools without the purpose.

    Terry Dawson (http://newcybrary.blogspot.com/)
    was nice enough to share my post, but I will share it again:
    http://gathernodust.blogspot.com/2007/06/distance-between-here-and-20.html

    I did write something similar to this topic here:

  • http://webjunction.org/ chrystie

    I’m not sure any of this answers your questions explicitly, but here we go…

    The name: what if you framed the conversation in terms of “the environment” and placed libraries/librarians within that environment. Maybe the tools are representative of the environment(and often referred to as the whole of it), but the point is what’s happening there (community, connection, participation, conversation, collaboration, etc.).

    In this way, you could disaggregate the tools from our intentions or even the outcomes of our services. Maybe the web-based tools are just one of the (very big, very important, super fun) ways that we accomplish what we aim to with our 2.0-ism. I have been grappling with these concepts myself as I finish our book. Is community building new? Is it differentiated from traditional library services because of the new technology/social/political/economic environment that we’re now operating in? Or because of the tools are are now available to us? Or is there something very similar to the community function we’ve always had in meat space.

    What I do think is different – and maybe this is something you could put on a spectrum (sounds scary, doesn’t it?): our role as the purveyors of authoritative information as condoned or good information. It’s *as* important to connect people to their friends or to others with common interests as reliable resources. We shift from facilitating connections between people and traditionally published/authoritative information to facilitating connections between people and *any kind of information they find to have meaning or be useful to them*.

    “Social Networking” and “Social Capital” may be the new “Knowledge is Power.” The difference between a L2 librarian and one that is not may be the difference in abilty to “go there” and “bring it”. (Now I’m quite sure I’m not being helpful, so I’ll stop…)

    Fun conversation – thanks for starting it!!!

  • http://webjunction.org chrystie

    I’m not sure any of this answers your questions explicitly, but here we go…

    The name: what if you framed the conversation in terms of “the environment” and placed libraries/librarians within that environment. Maybe the tools are representative of the environment(and often referred to as the whole of it), but the point is what’s happening there (community, connection, participation, conversation, collaboration, etc.).

    In this way, you could disaggregate the tools from our intentions or even the outcomes of our services. Maybe the web-based tools are just one of the (very big, very important, super fun) ways that we accomplish what we aim to with our 2.0-ism. I have been grappling with these concepts myself as I finish our book. Is community building new? Is it differentiated from traditional library services because of the new technology/social/political/economic environment that we’re now operating in? Or because of the tools are are now available to us? Or is there something very similar to the community function we’ve always had in meat space.

    What I do think is different – and maybe this is something you could put on a spectrum (sounds scary, doesn’t it?): our role as the purveyors of authoritative information as condoned or good information. It’s *as* important to connect people to their friends or to others with common interests as reliable resources. We shift from facilitating connections between people and traditionally published/authoritative information to facilitating connections between people and *any kind of information they find to have meaning or be useful to them*.

    “Social Networking” and “Social Capital” may be the new “Knowledge is Power.” The difference between a L2 librarian and one that is not may be the difference in abilty to “go there” and “bring it”. (Now I’m quite sure I’m not being helpful, so I’ll stop…)

    Fun conversation – thanks for starting it!!!

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

    I hope our role is actually additive, so we aren’t simply abandoning our responsibility to connect people with quality information.

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

    I hope our role is actually additive, so we aren’t simply abandoning our responsibility to connect people with quality information.

  • Cindy J.

    I have been following this post along with one posted by Michael Stephens today, http://tametheweb.com/2007/08/professions_do_not_stand_still.html. I commented over on his blog that I thought these two posts were connected, and the more I read here the more I still believe that. Forgive if I am oversimplifying, but it seems that the point is this idea of evolution, continuing to grow, to move along the “spectrum,” though this is not necessarily a linear move, as I think even David acknowledges. Jeff, you mention your blog post that has a distinct illustration showing 2.0 “fanatics” on one extreme, and a red hash mark somewhere near the middle indicating “you need to be here.” I think David’s post and accompanying illustration point out the need for all of us to continue to grow, evolve and adapt to the changing needs of our users. I don’t think it is all about hype, shiny toys/tools, or super techie know-how. But the idea of staying somewhere in the middle (as your illustration points out) might mean that we miss out or potentially fall short of meeting the needs of our users. The last statement, “how do you bump yourself up to the next level” translates to this idea of continual self-evaluation, professional development, evolution, adaptability, the things I think Michael talks about over in his post. Suggestions for different icon choices? Well, I think at this point there may be no perfect answer for that. The overarching message was an important one, David, and I appreciate you starting the discussion!

  • Cindy J.

    I have been following this post along with one posted by Michael Stephens today, http://tametheweb.com/2007/08/professions_do_not_stand_still.html. I commented over on his blog that I thought these two posts were connected, and the more I read here the more I still believe that. Forgive if I am oversimplifying, but it seems that the point is this idea of evolution, continuing to grow, to move along the “spectrum,” though this is not necessarily a linear move, as I think even David acknowledges. Jeff, you mention your blog post that has a distinct illustration showing 2.0 “fanatics” on one extreme, and a red hash mark somewhere near the middle indicating “you need to be here.” I think David’s post and accompanying illustration point out the need for all of us to continue to grow, evolve and adapt to the changing needs of our users. I don’t think it is all about hype, shiny toys/tools, or super techie know-how. But the idea of staying somewhere in the middle (as your illustration points out) might mean that we miss out or potentially fall short of meeting the needs of our users. The last statement, “how do you bump yourself up to the next level” translates to this idea of continual self-evaluation, professional development, evolution, adaptability, the things I think Michael talks about over in his post. Suggestions for different icon choices? Well, I think at this point there may be no perfect answer for that. The overarching message was an important one, David, and I appreciate you starting the discussion!

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

    Connie – you’re right. Originally, I was going to have two graphics – one for libraries and one for librarians. Then I decided to schmush them together (mainly so I didn’t have to make two graphics and two posts… :-) )

    And your point is a good one – one can be doing many 2.0 things as an individual and work at a library that’s not… or vice versa. So yes, that does get murky.

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

    Connie – you’re right. Originally, I was going to have two graphics – one for libraries and one for librarians. Then I decided to schmush them together (mainly so I didn’t have to make two graphics and two posts… :-) )

    And your point is a good one – one can be doing many 2.0 things as an individual and work at a library that’s not… or vice versa. So yes, that does get murky.

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

    David, it is interesting to see you take all those comments and critique and move forward on this. I expect that you and I will always differ in our thinking and approach on this, but that’s what makes blogging fun.

    I think there are a few things to work out here. In the original image, the left-hand side of the continuum is clearly “bad” and the right hand side is “good.” Is that still the way you want to approach it? If so, then perhaps the left-hand side represents the devil librarian who is resistant to all forms of change, and puts personal and institutional priorities above those of the patron, while the angel on the right side puts the patron first and uses all available means to enhance the patron’s experience of the physical and online space.

    Or you could drop some of the value judgement, and consider “2.0 librarian” just another area of specialty, like “science librarian” or “serials librarian.” Librarians who don’t do science or serials aren’t necessarily anti-science or anti-serials, they just don’t do that as part of their job. So the more time you devote to exploring new patron-centered services (or enhancing existing services), frequently but not always using the internets, the more “2.0” you are. This would be more of what my idea of a “continuum” is.

    Or, you could get less serious about the whole thing and go for some kind of ninja/pirate, dwarf/elf dichotomy.

    [Also, if your ears were burning tonight, we were talking about you on Uncontrolled Vocabulary: http://uncontrolledvocabulary.blogspot.com/2007/07/uncontrolled-vocabulary-6.html ]

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

    David, it is interesting to see you take all those comments and critique and move forward on this. I expect that you and I will always differ in our thinking and approach on this, but that’s what makes blogging fun.

    I think there are a few things to work out here. In the original image, the left-hand side of the continuum is clearly “bad” and the right hand side is “good.” Is that still the way you want to approach it? If so, then perhaps the left-hand side represents the devil librarian who is resistant to all forms of change, and puts personal and institutional priorities above those of the patron, while the angel on the right side puts the patron first and uses all available means to enhance the patron’s experience of the physical and online space.

    Or you could drop some of the value judgement, and consider “2.0 librarian” just another area of specialty, like “science librarian” or “serials librarian.” Librarians who don’t do science or serials aren’t necessarily anti-science or anti-serials, they just don’t do that as part of their job. So the more time you devote to exploring new patron-centered services (or enhancing existing services), frequently but not always using the internets, the more “2.0” you are. This would be more of what my idea of a “continuum” is.

    Or, you could get less serious about the whole thing and go for some kind of ninja/pirate, dwarf/elf dichotomy.

    [Also, if your ears were burning tonight, we were talking about you on Uncontrolled Vocabulary: http://uncontrolledvocabulary.blogspot.com/2007/07/uncontrolled-vocabulary-6.html ]

  • http://webjunction.org/ chrystie

    @kgs agreed on the point that we not abandon authoritative content delivery – just add to it.

  • http://webjunction.org chrystie

    @kgs agreed on the point that we not abandon authoritative content delivery – just add to it.

  • http://dospuntocero.dmaweb.info/2007/04/14/grafico-biblioteca-20/ Dídac

    I think the best icon for a traditional library is a lonely librarian and the icon for a librarian 2.0 is a group of users talking with a librarian.

    Maybe better than spectrum you can use “change line” or better “change curve”.

    Anyway the original graph is very good and an excellent idea, the rest are details.

  • http://dospuntocero.dmaweb.info/2007/04/14/grafico-biblioteca-20/ Dídac

    I think the best icon for a traditional library is a lonely librarian and the icon for a librarian 2.0 is a group of users talking with a librarian.

    Maybe better than spectrum you can use “change line” or better “change curve”.

    Anyway the original graph is very good and an excellent idea, the rest are details.

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

    Wow… I like the individual/group differentiation (wouldn’t necessarily ID the person as “librarian”). The Connections Continuum. Anyway, positive visceral response to that one… it translates well, is not opposing formats, is not tools-based, and it’s all about going where our users are.

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

    Wow… I like the individual/group differentiation (wouldn’t necessarily ID the person as “librarian”). The Connections Continuum. Anyway, positive visceral response to that one… it translates well, is not opposing formats, is not tools-based, and it’s all about going where our users are.

  • http://alreadygone.blogspot.com/ Cindi

    I have been thinking long and hard about this. I was surprised by some of the negative reactions, and I think I need to think more about what could be changed about the post, about the graphic and what it means to “be” “librarian 2.0.” One thing seems clear: more discussion is needed.

    Initial blog response: http://tinyurl.com/2ykf4s

    Off to the first of only four meetings today!

    Thank you, David, for starting this conversation and for not only accepting criticism unflinchingly but immediately learning from it and improving your work. We could all take a lesson from that.

  • http://alreadygone.blogspot.com Cindi

    I have been thinking long and hard about this. I was surprised by some of the negative reactions, and I think I need to think more about what could be changed about the post, about the graphic and what it means to “be” “librarian 2.0.” One thing seems clear: more discussion is needed.

    Initial blog response: http://tinyurl.com/2ykf4s

    Off to the first of only four meetings today!

    Thank you, David, for starting this conversation and for not only accepting criticism unflinchingly but immediately learning from it and improving your work. We could all take a lesson from that.

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

    I’ll second Cindi’s last paragraph. Of course, if I didn’t think David would handle criticism well, I wouldn’t have commented at all.

    This discussion certainly highlights the fact that a definition of “Library 2.0″ is just as ambiguous as it was in January 2006…or maybe more so.

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

    I’ll second Cindi’s last paragraph. Of course, if I didn’t think David would handle criticism well, I wouldn’t have commented at all.

    This discussion certainly highlights the fact that a definition of “Library 2.0″ is just as ambiguous as it was in January 2006…or maybe more so.

  • http://webjunction.org/ chrystie

    I also really like the change continuum idea, and using connection as the visual aid.

    another thought: 2.0 is not a destination – it’s an iteration that builds on a previous one – where to from here? maybe the point is not to get to 2.0 but to constantly respond to the changes in the environment in which we practice.

  • http://webjunction.org chrystie

    I also really like the change continuum idea, and using connection as the visual aid.

    another thought: 2.0 is not a destination – it’s an iteration that builds on a previous one – where to from here? maybe the point is not to get to 2.0 but to constantly respond to the changes in the environment in which we practice.

  • Carrie

    Many people have had issues with David’s graph and the icons, but that straight line was what kept me thinking. It isn’t about getting from point A to point B, it should be about growth and inclusion as others have mentioned already. Taking that into consideration, I see our evolution as a series of circles, like concentric rings, the heart and soul of librarians or libraries will always be books and knowledge, but the tools we use to share it and how we interact and network with the community expands in different ways out from the center of the library. Just my two cents.

  • Carrie

    Many people have had issues with David’s graph and the icons, but that straight line was what kept me thinking. It isn’t about getting from point A to point B, it should be about growth and inclusion as others have mentioned already. Taking that into consideration, I see our evolution as a series of circles, like concentric rings, the heart and soul of librarians or libraries will always be books and knowledge, but the tools we use to share it and how we interact and network with the community expands in different ways out from the center of the library. Just my two cents.

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

    Chrystie makes another key point, which is that “2.0” is part of a much longer evolution.

    I’m not bugged that 2.0 has ambiguity; I sense it is different than what preceded it (like, um, 1). But I agree that it would be an error to label it a destination.

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

    Chrystie makes another key point, which is that “2.0” is part of a much longer evolution.

    I’m not bugged that 2.0 has ambiguity; I sense it is different than what preceded it (like, um, 1). But I agree that it would be an error to label it a destination.

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  • http://www.librarism.com/ Brian

    1. I suspect that the ideas you’re trying to capture are entirely too complex for this one-dimensional model. Carrie’s suggestion of concentric circles might be appropriate. Or maybe some other representation of new things building on and radiating out from the traditional.
    2. Some of the app/service/whatever groupings seem a bit off: e.g., opening comments on a blog has more in common with a community wiki than IM ref does.

  • http://www.librarism.com Brian

    1. I suspect that the ideas you’re trying to capture are entirely too complex for this one-dimensional model. Carrie’s suggestion of concentric circles might be appropriate. Or maybe some other representation of new things building on and radiating out from the traditional.
    2. Some of the app/service/whatever groupings seem a bit off: e.g., opening comments on a blog has more in common with a community wiki than IM ref does.

  • Genny

    I think maybe something closed on the left vs. open on the right — or perhaps a top-down unidirectional arrow on the left, and a sort of multidirectional feedback loop on the right, sort of like a recycling logo but with the arrows going in both directions.

    But I too am not quite sure whether you mean the ends of the spectrum/continuum thingie to represent less participative vs. more participative.

  • Genny

    I think maybe something closed on the left vs. open on the right — or perhaps a top-down unidirectional arrow on the left, and a sort of multidirectional feedback loop on the right, sort of like a recycling logo but with the arrows going in both directions.

    But I too am not quite sure whether you mean the ends of the spectrum/continuum thingie to represent less participative vs. more participative.

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  • http://conniecrosby.blogspot.com/ Connie Crosby

    David, I think your original post is fantastic.

    But I have a problem with the lightbulb image. Shouldn't it be a low-energy bulb? [LOL! Just teasing!]

    Actually, I am getting hung up over whether you are talking about libraries or librarians. As a librarian, I am very much on the right, but my library is very much on the left, traditional side. And I am the library manager. I could change things, but based on my clientele, we are going slow on these things.

    For me either spectrum or continuum both work. The term “field” would work if it were three dimensional rather than two.

    The icons don't actually bug me. Despite not having so much bought into the iPod/iPhone thing yet. What else could you use? The Twitter logo? What about a Macbook Pro? Seriously, it is difficult to capture a mindset with a logo. And none of these things actually say “library” or “librarian” to me. Maybe you should use a photo of one of those funky NYC librarians.

    Anyway, I wouldn't get too hung up on it. Your thoughts behind the image are the important part.

    Cheers!
    Connie