Monday, August 4, 2008

THING 15: Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the future of libraries

How interesting that this article would start with an explanation of the changes, developments and advancements of the internet world. . . I spent the weekend in Oregon with my daughter, and Saturday morning her fiance is playing a playstation game on TV. He starts talking to the TV - which is probably not terribly odd for someone to do as they interact with the excitement - but then he starts talking to someone, using the name Stephen, and it didn't take long to realize he is playing from his PlayStation unit and interacting with a friend in Texas who also is playing the same game. They are trekking through tunnels and dark alleys together, they can "see" each other, and are on speaker talking about the game, warning each of who's coming around the corner, and all the while just catching up on old times......NOT the game I remember when Atari was the up and coming revolution in the TV game world.

There is definitely a trend - a change - in the world of Internet in so many ways. Libraries as well are experiencing these changes. Past are the days when kids would go to card catalogs and copy numbers and letters from an index card in pursuit of information. The line to the computers to search might be long, but short lasting. With the click of a few keys, Johnny is on his way to the available books on Fossils and Dinosaurs. . . OR should he choose to skip the step of walking to the rows of dusty books, he clicks the same keys on a different screen and gets the answers he's looking for from an online source.

In the section "A new world in librarianship", the traits outlined to be important to a Librarian 2.0 are well noted. It will be important for a library to continue to provide services to those that relied on the old school methods, while keeping those users who are alive and well in the new technology world still engaged in the very existence of our traditional libraries. Change is a barrier for many, yet change is necessary for us to excel and grow in just about any field. Our previous library services could remain the same, refusing to change and modify their services, but the goal is to reach the user in the best way. The fact is, our current users have moved outside the card catalog and beyond the shelves of stacked books - our librarian needs to make that move as well in order to better serve those users.

The article that followed the required reading, titled "A Ripple Effect", was most interesting and very encouraging. The lengths to which this school went to in order to service the teachers and schools was commendable. It is clear our district is headed in that direction and as exciting consider what lies ahead for our students.

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