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David Lee King

Library 2.0 Ripples – Another Go at the Graph



Remember my Library 2.0 Spectrum post and graphic, and all the discussion that took place on my blog and on other blogs earlier this month? I asked for reader’s input and received some great responses – so thanks, you wonderful readers, you!

Here’s the finale of that discussion: I created a second image. I have to say, I liked my original one, disruptive though it was, and I liked Cindi’s video version as well – all show generally the same idea. But let’s try this new one on for size, and see where it gets us.

So – introducing Library 2.0 Ripples (graphic and explanation below):

Library 2.0 Ripples

Explanation of the Library 2.0 Ripples:

  1. Traditional Library: everything starts here.
  2. Augmenting the traditional library: This is where libraries realize that search engines, online databases, and email reference can augment their traditional services. They haven’t yet realized that these tools can be stand-alone services instead of simply augmenting traditional services.
  3. Change and Scanning the Horizon: Library realizes that 21st century services can stand by themselves. They start reading and watching trends, they realize that to meet current and especially future demand, they need to change/grow. The library is ready to experiment with emerging tools.
  4. Pilot Projects: The library starts experimenting with emerging tools. They take Learning 2.0 courses, they start blogs. Staff are allowed to “play” with emerging tools, start holding digital conversations, experiment with video, or start podcasting.
  5. Customer Participation: the library starts evolving their website into a digital branch that offers participation to customers rather than just information. Conversations start taking place via the digital branch, in many different forms. The library realizes that radical change=growth. The library trusts their staff enough to allow them the ability to interact via the digital branch (this is huge. Old models of website content sometimes went through PR. New models turn website content into conversation that gets added to rather than edited).
  6. Community Engagement: the goal. The library and the library’s local community are actively creating digital community via the digital branch. The library trusts the community enough to allow real-time customer participation. The digital branch is recognized as an actual “branch.”

More explanation:
I really liked Carrie’s idea (from comments on this post) – here’s what she said: “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.”

So that’s where the circle/ripple idea came from. I’m calling them “ripples” because I was reminded of a rock tossed in the water when I read the circle idea. The hope is that this version isn’t as negative as my first one (ie., luddites), and focuses less on specific technologies (ie., iPhone) than the first one seemed to do.

The Library 2.0 Ripple is doing something else – like Carrie’s idea, everything starts with the traditional library. This isn’t a negative thing! None of this library 2.0 stuff would happen without there being a library 1.0, right? So the Traditional Library is at the center of the ripples. Then, ripples start moving outward towards the edge of the graphic. I honestly don’t think anyone has made it to the edge of the ripples yet (though we are headed that way).

So… thoughts?

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://www.laughinglibrarian.com/ Brian

    I kinda liked the inclusion of specific types of tech in your original, even though I questioned some of the groupings.

    Here, Ripple 2 seems out of place, since it *is* tech specific. Also, the reality is that Ripples 3, 4, and possibly some of 5 are part of Ripple 2’s production.

    Also, also, the placement of things in this model doesn’t take advantage of using more than one dimension, so the graphic doesn’t carry as much conceptual sense as it could. E.g., “staff allowed to play” presumably has quite a bit to do with “trust staff”, but they’re almost on opposite sides of the model.

    I think the 4 arrows are a bit confusing, too, since they make it look like one heads toward one to the exclusion of the others.

    Those are my initial thoughts. Sorry if I sound nit-picky. I greatly appreciate what you’re attempting here.

  • http://www.laughinglibrarian.com Brian

    I kinda liked the inclusion of specific types of tech in your original, even though I questioned some of the groupings.

    Here, Ripple 2 seems out of place, since it *is* tech specific. Also, the reality is that Ripples 3, 4, and possibly some of 5 are part of Ripple 2’s production.

    Also, also, the placement of things in this model doesn’t take advantage of using more than one dimension, so the graphic doesn’t carry as much conceptual sense as it could. E.g., “staff allowed to play” presumably has quite a bit to do with “trust staff”, but they’re almost on opposite sides of the model.

    I think the 4 arrows are a bit confusing, too, since they make it look like one heads toward one to the exclusion of the others.

    Those are my initial thoughts. Sorry if I sound nit-picky. I greatly appreciate what you’re attempting here.

  • http://tscott.typepad.com T Scott

    Not bad, except that there really isn’t any such thing as the “traditional library”. You seem to assume that there is a static Library 1.0 that your concentric circles ripple out from. But in fact, libraries have always been evolving, changing, growing — always attempting to make good use of the latest technology to reach out more effectively to the members of the community that the library is a part of (in the late 19th century card catalogs were startlingly revolutionary, as was telephone reference in the middle of the 20th century — and when the National Library of Medicine launched MEDLINE in 1972 it was the very first publicly available online information service ever, seventeen years before the invention of the World Wide Web).

    Your model would be more accurate, then, if instead of circle 1 being the mythical “traditional library” you could represent a nearly infinite set of smaller concentric circles going back to that original Sumerian librarian and his clay tablets.

    What we’re witnessing now isn’t a dramatic paradigm shift between a traditional Library 1.0 and a radically new Library 2.0 — it’s just the latest evolution along the continuum.

  • davidleeking

    T Scott – your example of Medline is a great one, because it shows a huge difference between Library 1.0 and 2.0. Back then, medline required dialog, money, and expert searchers who knew the arcane language that made up Dialog’s advanced boolean searching. That would be a 1.0 service – that was one of the only ways to get accurate info out of medline.

    A possible 2.0 service? Pointing to Medline, creating screencasting tutorials teaching the basics, and pushing that out via a blog that allows comments. This lets the customer be the expert and the librarian be the strategy guide – very different model.

    Also, on the “there really isn’t any such thing as the ‘traditional library.'” – hmm… who did the the Library of Congress offer early retirement to then (answer – traditional librarians that didn’t want to change)? My library is transforming itself (others are too) – what are we transforming from (answer – from a traditional library to a 21st century library)?

    No, I disagree. The change isn’t so much about the technology. The change is in the attitude behind the technology. 2.0 technology allows us to interact and engage our communities in ways that didn’t really exist before – and it’s forcing us to re-think and re-make ourselves.

    Same thing with other industries – take newspapers, for example. 10 short years ago, editorials were not that big of a deal. Today? Look at CNN, USAToday, the BBC, and many other newspapers – they all feature comments and user-generated content. That is a HUGE change, and a transformation in progress.

    I think we’re at the beginning stages of a huge transformation in library service, too.

  • davidleeking

    T Scott – your example of Medline is a great one, because it shows a huge difference between Library 1.0 and 2.0. Back then, medline required dialog, money, and expert searchers who knew the arcane language that made up Dialog’s advanced boolean searching. That would be a 1.0 service – that was one of the only ways to get accurate info out of medline.

    A possible 2.0 service? Pointing to Medline, creating screencasting tutorials teaching the basics, and pushing that out via a blog that allows comments. This lets the customer be the expert and the librarian be the strategy guide – very different model.

    Also, on the “there really isn’t any such thing as the ‘traditional library.'” – hmm… who did the the Library of Congress offer early retirement to then (answer – traditional librarians that didn’t want to change)? My library is transforming itself (others are too) – what are we transforming from (answer – from a traditional library to a 21st century library)?

    No, I disagree. The change isn’t so much about the technology. The change is in the attitude behind the technology. 2.0 technology allows us to interact and engage our communities in ways that didn’t really exist before – and it’s forcing us to re-think and re-make ourselves.

    Same thing with other industries – take newspapers, for example. 10 short years ago, editorials were not that big of a deal. Today? Look at CNN, USAToday, the BBC, and many other newspapers – they all feature comments and user-generated content. That is a HUGE change, and a transformation in progress.

    I think we’re at the beginning stages of a huge transformation in library service, too.

  • Kathryn Greenhill

    What’s the pebble causing the ripples?

    What if the pebble was called “Web 2.0″, with the ripple effect being what happens when you chuck Web 2.0 into a “traditional library” ?

    I think this is a nice way to conceptualize the Web 2.0 /Library 2.0 relationship. A disruptive technology meets a library and the result is not only new technological services, but ripples out into other ways we serve our clients.

    But…I’m not sure how the first circle of ripples relates to Web2.0…unless it has it’s birth at the same time as Web 2.0 was developing….

    Maybe then the pebble is “Online services”..which isn’t nearly as sexy as “Web 2.0″.

  • http://librariansmatter/blog Kathryn Greenhill

    What’s the pebble causing the ripples?

    What if the pebble was called “Web 2.0″, with the ripple effect being what happens when you chuck Web 2.0 into a “traditional library” ?

    I think this is a nice way to conceptualize the Web 2.0 /Library 2.0 relationship. A disruptive technology meets a library and the result is not only new technological services, but ripples out into other ways we serve our clients.

    But…I’m not sure how the first circle of ripples relates to Web2.0…unless it has it’s birth at the same time as Web 2.0 was developing….

    Maybe then the pebble is “Online services”..which isn’t nearly as sexy as “Web 2.0″.

  • http://answerboards.wetpaint.com/ Bill Pardue

    Regarding “1.0,” I’m wondering if it only has meaning in relation to the concept of “2.0.” The idea that, if we’re headed towards something, then we’re moving away from something else. I’m not a historian, but isn’t it fair to say that the library has always been based on the best practices at the time and has been moving beyond *some* outdated standard? (e.g., chained books, closed stacks, etc.?)

  • http://answerboards.wetpaint.com Bill Pardue

    Regarding “1.0,” I’m wondering if it only has meaning in relation to the concept of “2.0.” The idea that, if we’re headed towards something, then we’re moving away from something else. I’m not a historian, but isn’t it fair to say that the library has always been based on the best practices at the time and has been moving beyond *some* outdated standard? (e.g., chained books, closed stacks, etc.?)

  • http://www.hhptf.org/ John Gehner

    I think this model is really interesting but undervalues the input of the community … the very people for whom libraries make new tools and resources available. A community-building approach would prioritize face-to-face discussions with constituents from the get-go and would support collaboration with community groups to determine the scope of pilot projects. The model presented here seeks “community engagement” after much important decision-making is already completed by library staff. Why not utilize the *entire process *of launching Library 2.0 initiatives to tackle social exclusion? See Annette DeFaveri’s “Breaking Barriers”: http://libr.org/isc/articles/21/9.pdf

  • http://www.hhptf.org John Gehner

    I think this model is really interesting but undervalues the input of the community … the very people for whom libraries make new tools and resources available. A community-building approach would prioritize face-to-face discussions with constituents from the get-go and would support collaboration with community groups to determine the scope of pilot projects. The model presented here seeks “community engagement” after much important decision-making is already completed by library staff. Why not utilize the *entire process *of launching Library 2.0 initiatives to tackle social exclusion? See Annette DeFaveri’s “Breaking Barriers”: http://libr.org/isc/articles/21/9.pdf

  • davidleeking

    John – interesting thoughts. My thinking is this: it’s hard to truly engage the community if staff aren’t ready to do so – if they don’t understand what’s needed of them and how to use the tools. So steps 1-5 are getting them ready for that.

    And agreed – a big part of ANY of these steps would be the usual stuff – focus groups to see if they even want these things, usability testing to make sure it works rights, etc.

  • davidleeking

    John – interesting thoughts. My thinking is this: it’s hard to truly engage the community if staff aren’t ready to do so – if they don’t understand what’s needed of them and how to use the tools. So steps 1-5 are getting them ready for that.

    And agreed – a big part of ANY of these steps would be the usual stuff – focus groups to see if they even want these things, usability testing to make sure it works rights, etc.

  • Robin

    Much L2.0 rhetoric puts me in mind of teenagers, all of whom believe they are the very first people to have discovered sex. (I say that with a smile.)
    Just because it wasn’t sensible or economically feasible to plunk users in front of Dialog doesn’t mean no one ever thought of it.

    It takes all of those ripples to get to “constant change is ok”? Constant change is permanent; the pace has accelerated. Libraries, like the rest of the world, are changing/growing/stretching in response to new technological capabilities… and they always have. Some will change more quickly than others, and that’s appropriate. They will not all end up in the same place, and that’s OK, too, because the needs of the communities they serve differ. And some will not be as innovative and engaged with their users as they should be, some staff will find change difficult. (Human nature being what it is, it’s even possible that in 20 years some of today’s L2.0 enthusiasts will be faced with change they find difficult to embrace.) Libraries will have to make tough choices about where they put their resources, because change eats resources. I wonder if there’s a graphical way to incorporate what we’ll stop doing?

  • Robin

    Much L2.0 rhetoric puts me in mind of teenagers, all of whom believe they are the very first people to have discovered sex. (I say that with a smile.)
    Just because it wasn’t sensible or economically feasible to plunk users in front of Dialog doesn’t mean no one ever thought of it.

    It takes all of those ripples to get to “constant change is ok”? Constant change is permanent; the pace has accelerated. Libraries, like the rest of the world, are changing/growing/stretching in response to new technological capabilities… and they always have. Some will change more quickly than others, and that’s appropriate. They will not all end up in the same place, and that’s OK, too, because the needs of the communities they serve differ. And some will not be as innovative and engaged with their users as they should be, some staff will find change difficult. (Human nature being what it is, it’s even possible that in 20 years some of today’s L2.0 enthusiasts will be faced with change they find difficult to embrace.) Libraries will have to make tough choices about where they put their resources, because change eats resources. I wonder if there’s a graphical way to incorporate what we’ll stop doing?

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  • http://tscott.typepad.com/ T Scott

    Not bad, except that there really isn't any such thing as the “traditional library”. You seem to assume that there is a static Library 1.0 that your concentric circles ripple out from. But in fact, libraries have always been evolving, changing, growing — always attempting to make good use of the latest technology to reach out more effectively to the members of the community that the library is a part of (in the late 19th century card catalogs were startlingly revolutionary, as was telephone reference in the middle of the 20th century — and when the National Library of Medicine launched MEDLINE in 1972 it was the very first publicly available online information service ever, seventeen years before the invention of the World Wide Web).

    Your model would be more accurate, then, if instead of circle 1 being the mythical “traditional library” you could represent a nearly infinite set of smaller concentric circles going back to that original Sumerian librarian and his clay tablets.

    What we're witnessing now isn't a dramatic paradigm shift between a traditional Library 1.0 and a radically new Library 2.0 — it's just the latest evolution along the continuum.

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