Week 6: Thing #15 – Web/Library 2.0 Thoughts

The machine is Us… I love this YouTube entry. We used this as an intro to the entire Library 2.0 process and for good reason… it really captures where we are heading.

First of all, as a huge fan of Library 2.0 and Web 2.0… it’s like these authors are “preaching” to the choir. I have long felt that we are not moving fast enough (like the rowboat idea) to address the expectations of our patrons. Not all of them, of course, and not in all communities… but it’s coming up faster than we think. Just look at the percentages of households who now have computers … and yes, in Harford County, it’s a little scarey that a large number are still on a phone line….. but it’s changing and I predict, within 3 years, the percentages will start tipping the other way. Will we be ready to meet the need?

For me, the problem is more complex since I am in the tech group that is supposedly providing the 2.0 experience… in other words, it’s one thing to go out and be a “user” of web 2.0 technology, but it’s a whole other experience to be expected to create it. I’m shaking in my boots. I’m good, but I’m not that good. The technology is moving fasther than I can learn it. That’s the bottom line. So, the writing on the wall, as I see it, is to do whatever it takes to build a model that is less and less dependent on me and more able to be blended into the “workday” of my colleagues. We already have a number of librarians who are uploading and adding content directly to the web. That will become more and more the norm.

I also believe that RSS is going to become more and more popular with the general public and will become one of the ways that the library and go to the public directly with the content they are interested in receiving. Just with the development of AquaBrowser and its embedded RSS module, this is an awesome service.

Some other things I’m hoping will be on our horizon shortly:

  • Instant Messaging and Txt at the Ref Desk
  • More staff-initiated wiki’s … for public use
  • Enhance our MySpace presence
  • Build our Second Life presence

I also so grateful for this Learning 2.0 project as I think it has been a real eye-opener for many staff… but in relatively painless and fun way. It’s exciting to me that every single participant… no matter how far along he/she is, has experienced Web 2.0!

And lastly, I love the Wendy Schultz article who takes the ideas beyond Library 2.0 … through 3.0 (Second Life and other virtual realities) … to 4.0: the library as “mind gym” or “idea lab” — the aesthetic experience…the knowledge spa. I can’t wait!!!

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