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David Lee King

Question for you guys/gals about the newness of Library 2.0



OK – so every once in awhile, I see someone mention in a blog, in an article, or even in passing, that some of the concepts grouped under the moniker of Library 2.0 aren’t really all that new – even that it’s business as usual… just under a new name.

I’m thinking it might be fun to tackle that one head-on (cause I’m a glutton for punishment, if nothing else). But to do that, I need some examples. What should be covered here? For example, I’ve heard people say “we’ve always been about change” or “libraries have always had changes.” I have also heard some librarians state “we’ve always been user-focused – what’s different now?”

Those are they types of things I’m looking for… so. If you have some good examples of questions you’ve heard or posts/articles you’ve read that state that Library 2.0 is “same as it ever was” please leave them in the comments to this post!

Thanks!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • davidleeking

    That’s a fine opinion… but one that simply wouldn’t fly in real-life situations. Seriously. By emphatically stating a “professional librarian” should “Not sit there and become tutors”, you are limiting the librarian’s role in the community.

    It’s just not that simple. Yes – we do, in fact, have professional-level librarians teaching knitting. Why is that bad? We’re filling a need. Yes, we staff the homework center. Why is that bad?

    We have librarians that teach customers how to use Second Life. Is that bad? No, I don’t think so. And we’ve taught HTML to teens… again – is that bad? No.

    No – I simply disagree here, Bo. If a library feels strongly enough about a program that they want to hire someone to do it – and hire an MLS holder – then that’s perfectly fine.

  • davidleeking

    That’s a fine opinion… but one that simply wouldn’t fly in real-life situations. Seriously. By emphatically stating a “professional librarian” should “Not sit there and become tutors”, you are limiting the librarian’s role in the community.

    It’s just not that simple. Yes – we do, in fact, have professional-level librarians teaching knitting. Why is that bad? We’re filling a need. Yes, we staff the homework center. Why is that bad?

    We have librarians that teach customers how to use Second Life. Is that bad? No, I don’t think so. And we’ve taught HTML to teens… again – is that bad? No.

    No – I simply disagree here, Bo. If a library feels strongly enough about a program that they want to hire someone to do it – and hire an MLS holder – then that’s perfectly fine.

  • Bo

    I guess for 16 years I have been living in a real world as much as reality tv then. Hey there is another technological innovation maybe somehow Librarians can do that too. A show about Librarians where “real people” come in and get help. The Librarian first prepares them a meal with the books on 10 minute meals, then gives them a massage using one of the many dvds for circulation and after helps repair their computer. Why not?

  • Bo

    I guess for 16 years I have been living in a real world as much as reality tv then. Hey there is another technological innovation maybe somehow Librarians can do that too. A show about Librarians where “real people” come in and get help. The Librarian first prepares them a meal with the books on 10 minute meals, then gives them a massage using one of the many dvds for circulation and after helps repair their computer. Why not?

  • Bo

    Why is it bad to promote local businesses to come in and give programs which help promote the library and business? Why is it bad that Librarians think of themselves more as Managers and coordinators? Why is it bad that Librarians put their knowledge and skills to use by creatively finding ways to get programs into the library by finding resources outside of their library?

  • Bo

    Why is it bad to promote local businesses to come in and give programs which help promote the library and business? Why is it bad that Librarians think of themselves more as Managers and coordinators? Why is it bad that Librarians put their knowledge and skills to use by creatively finding ways to get programs into the library by finding resources outside of their library?

  • davidleeking

    I never said that was bad. I’m all for bringing in businesses and people that can do programs. But why do you think it’s bad if an MLS holder also does some of that?

    I might be reading some of your comments incorrectly, so please forgive me if I’m wrong. But some of your comments seem to me to be sort of sarcastic and black/white – an it’s-my-way-or-the-highway view of librarianship. If you have worked for 16 years in libraries, have you never seen an MLS holder do something in a library that they didn’t learn about in library school?

    There are libraries that hire MLS holders to do things like manage servers… do storytimes… be a trainer, manage the marketing department … etc, etc. Heck – my jobs after library school have ALWAYS been to do stuff I didn’t learn about while getting my MLS degree. I don’t think the knitting and the homework center classes are any different.

    It’s all about serving the community with the resources you have.

  • davidleeking

    I never said that was bad. I’m all for bringing in businesses and people that can do programs. But why do you think it’s bad if an MLS holder also does some of that?

    I might be reading some of your comments incorrectly, so please forgive me if I’m wrong. But some of your comments seem to me to be sort of sarcastic and black/white – an it’s-my-way-or-the-highway view of librarianship. If you have worked for 16 years in libraries, have you never seen an MLS holder do something in a library that they didn’t learn about in library school?

    There are libraries that hire MLS holders to do things like manage servers… do storytimes… be a trainer, manage the marketing department … etc, etc. Heck – my jobs after library school have ALWAYS been to do stuff I didn’t learn about while getting my MLS degree. I don’t think the knitting and the homework center classes are any different.

    It’s all about serving the community with the resources you have.

  • Joyce

    Bo,

    Librarians can and do find resources to assist the community. These programs are offered in and outside of the library. Librarians can and do manage and coordinate programs like this all over the country.

    The question is, why do you want to limit a librarian that may have skills outside of librarianship from also offering a course on that outside skill?

    One of my former colleagues was a superb reference librarian. She was also an accomplished pianist. She taught piano classes in addition to being a librarian. Are you saying that if the library had a music room with a piano and she was willing to offer classes on the piano, she shouldn’t do that? But if she was a music teacher and not a librarian, and the reference librarian coordinated the music classes in the library, then that’s OK?

    Sorry, that doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • Joyce

    Bo,

    Librarians can and do find resources to assist the community. These programs are offered in and outside of the library. Librarians can and do manage and coordinate programs like this all over the country.

    The question is, why do you want to limit a librarian that may have skills outside of librarianship from also offering a course on that outside skill?

    One of my former colleagues was a superb reference librarian. She was also an accomplished pianist. She taught piano classes in addition to being a librarian. Are you saying that if the library had a music room with a piano and she was willing to offer classes on the piano, she shouldn’t do that? But if she was a music teacher and not a librarian, and the reference librarian coordinated the music classes in the library, then that’s OK?

    Sorry, that doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • davidleeking

    Joyce – good point. The last library I worked in had three (3!!) grand pianos.

  • davidleeking

    Joyce – good point. The last library I worked in had three (3!!) grand pianos.

  • Mel

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the library 2.0 concept. I thought that the proponents of library 2.0 believed that all librarians should become 2.0. But it seems that it’s just the ones who are already interested and spend their own time on it, like the pianist in your examples. Is this correct? There is no stigma among proponents that if a librarian does not have a natural interest in technology; they should choose not to be 2.0 as well as not inhibit others from being a 2.0? Because it seemed to me that proponents felt every librarian should be 2.0. But if we are comparing it to a natural interest and talent in music, most people aren’t going to be talented and interested in 2.0 stuff and that’s okay? They shouldn’t be forced, just like nobody would force a librarian to learn the piano. In that case, Library 2.0 is about options, not requirements. True?

  • Mel

    I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the library 2.0 concept. I thought that the proponents of library 2.0 believed that all librarians should become 2.0. But it seems that it’s just the ones who are already interested and spend their own time on it, like the pianist in your examples. Is this correct? There is no stigma among proponents that if a librarian does not have a natural interest in technology; they should choose not to be 2.0 as well as not inhibit others from being a 2.0? Because it seemed to me that proponents felt every librarian should be 2.0. But if we are comparing it to a natural interest and talent in music, most people aren’t going to be talented and interested in 2.0 stuff and that’s okay? They shouldn’t be forced, just like nobody would force a librarian to learn the piano. In that case, Library 2.0 is about options, not requirements. True?

  • davidleeking

    Mel – the piano thing was in response to someone’s comment. Yes – I think all librarians should become 2.0 (as in library 2.0). Why? Because what I see valuable in Library 2.0 is not technology – it’s being customer focused in a way that I haven’t seen before in libraries.

    And – even more important – I don’t think that library 2.0 has much to do with “technology.” Well, I suppose that depends on one’s definition of tech… if you find writing an email or a Word document to be techie, then yes – it is techie. But most participatory library 2.0 tools on the web require just a grasp of the most extremely basic skills, like being able to type a document in Word and saving it. If you can do that, then you can blog, IM, edit wikis, comment, use twitter, etc – you can participate (which is what L2 is all about).

  • davidleeking

    Mel – the piano thing was in response to someone’s comment. Yes – I think all librarians should become 2.0 (as in library 2.0). Why? Because what I see valuable in Library 2.0 is not technology – it’s being customer focused in a way that I haven’t seen before in libraries.

    And – even more important – I don’t think that library 2.0 has much to do with “technology.” Well, I suppose that depends on one’s definition of tech… if you find writing an email or a Word document to be techie, then yes – it is techie. But most participatory library 2.0 tools on the web require just a grasp of the most extremely basic skills, like being able to type a document in Word and saving it. If you can do that, then you can blog, IM, edit wikis, comment, use twitter, etc – you can participate (which is what L2 is all about).

  • Bo

    Like you I too never used the word bad. What I am saying is why force every librarian to become a pianist, or a gardner, or a second-life character?

  • Bo

    Like you I too never used the word bad. What I am saying is why force every librarian to become a pianist, or a gardner, or a second-life character?

  • Bo

    The word bad as in to describe your program or idea. Instead I am asking? Is it wise to encourage every Librarian to teach Flickr, Myspace, Second Life, other web sites that compete with these which there are several. Instead of Myspace a Librarian may need to teach three, four or five different sites like this then so no one is left out?

  • Bo

    The word bad as in to describe your program or idea. Instead I am asking? Is it wise to encourage every Librarian to teach Flickr, Myspace, Second Life, other web sites that compete with these which there are several. Instead of Myspace a Librarian may need to teach three, four or five different sites like this then so no one is left out?

  • Bo

    Why have books at all? Why not spend the time teaching Flickr, Myspace, Bebo, Tagworld, HTML, AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Second Life, There, Active World, Telephony technology, etc. A question was aksed why have limits? Why does a doctor do what doctors do and not what veternarians do and what dentists do?

  • Bo

    Why have books at all? Why not spend the time teaching Flickr, Myspace, Bebo, Tagworld, HTML, AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Second Life, There, Active World, Telephony technology, etc. A question was aksed why have limits? Why does a doctor do what doctors do and not what veternarians do and what dentists do?

  • Bo

    Are we suppose to be helping people create information more than find information? Why didn’t Librarians years ago get books off the shelf on How To Publish Like A Pro and begin teaching that more frequently than a cup of Starbucks coffee is served?

  • Bo

    Are we suppose to be helping people create information more than find information? Why didn’t Librarians years ago get books off the shelf on How To Publish Like A Pro and begin teaching that more frequently than a cup of Starbucks coffee is served?

  • davidleeking

    Bo – yes, you DID use the word “bad” – see your sept 7th comment above – “Why is it bad to promote…”

  • davidleeking

    Bo – yes, you DID use the word “bad” – see your sept 7th comment above – “Why is it bad to promote…”

  • davidleeking

    And also, Bo – we obviously disagree on this issue. And that is perfectly fine.

  • davidleeking

    And also, Bo – we obviously disagree on this issue. And that is perfectly fine.

  • Bo

    As I mentioned Mr David in the post following that, I never used bad as “in to describe your program or idea.” I never called your idea bad. Terrible maybe. Seriously, you are right about one thing, we disagree on how libraries and Librarians should change. Change they both must, how though is the question.

  • Bo

    As I mentioned Mr David in the post following that, I never used bad as “in to describe your program or idea.” I never called your idea bad. Terrible maybe. Seriously, you are right about one thing, we disagree on how libraries and Librarians should change. Change they both must, how though is the question.