Two days ago, I spoke at the IV Congreso Nacional de Bibliotecas Publicas, or the 4th National Congress of Public Libraries, a conference put on by the Spanish government in La Coruna, Spain. I was in the “web accessibility” track, and each of the speakers discussed using 2.0 tools and services to make the web more accessible to library patrons. It was pretty cool hearing about 2.0 and libraries in Spain!
Jordi Graells, who works at the Department of Justice in Catalunya, spoke first. For those who are interested, his slides are up on Slideshare, in Spanish and in English. Here are some snippets from his talk (realize these snippets came from him via a translator who I was listening to through a headset, so it’s probably not exact!):
- He’s not a librarian (I don’t think), but works for the local government. How cool that government employees are talking about web 2.0 uses!
- His local government is doing some neat 2.0 things, including using wikis (I think for staff), flickr, delicious, Facebook, and YouTube.
- Yes, you heard that right – his Department of Justice has a Facebook page. Neat. Why? Because “our customers can get to know us better.” I wish more government organizations had this same viewpoint.
- He also talked a bit about organizational improvement. Apparently, they decided to improve how they do things, so they held a set of brainstorming sessions (that over 500 employees participated in) to figure out how to improve their organization.
Didac Margaix, who works at (sorry, this is in Spanish) Biblioteca Central de la Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, spoke next about the Social OPAC. Points that stood out to me:
- What is a social opac?
- we make use of collective intelligence
- through user participation
- Why do we buy books that users like?
- Because the user is right
- We can go further and let patrons participate, too
- We standardize way too much (showed a bunch of standards manuals)
- How does Google organize results?
- what’s important isn’t the document you find, but what people THINK about the document
- the point was that libraries need to treat search the same way
- Social networks
- what’s a social network? Didac gave an example of friends recommending books to each other to read
- that’s a type of social network
- Open OPAC – should include these things:
- the ability to save bookmarks or links in another product – i.e., saving a link to a book record in the catalog in my delicious account (some catalog URLs don’t work this way)
- ability to create and use OPAC apps in other services, like Facebook
- Allow users the ability to publish lists of books on their blogs, in their MySpace or Facebook accounts, etc – let the user control their content and their privacy levels, instead of having the library control it for them
Remember that we’re speaking to humans. Speak as humans do, not as an institution.
If we let our patrons participate, we need to accept what they do!
Final quote from Thomas Edison (he wasn’t sure of this) – “Those who think something’s impossible shouldn’t bother those who are trying.” Nice quote!
Finally, Ibon Idoiaga from Biblioteca Municipal de Leioa spoke:
Great point: a 2.0 attitude is different from a 1.0 attitude:
- 1.0 – find content
- 2.0 – change content
Then he spoke about goal setting, and how to get there.
[and then I did my shtick on 2.0 and transformation [link to slideshare pres]]
I was amazed seeing what these librarians are working towards, while realizing their library websites have to be bi-lingual: there are 4-5 official languages in Spain. So participation and community and conversation – all great things… but for them, there are a few extra steps than I’m used to.