Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Web 2.0/Library 2.0

Tom Storey's introductory comments to the Web 2.0/Library 2.0 discussion on NextSpace are valuable especially as he delineates the "Web 2.0 principles of simplicity, rich interactivity, user participation, collective intelligence, self-service, novel and remixed content." Looking for examples of embodiment of these six principles can prove an educating experience.

My favorite of the commentaries that follow Storey's introduction is Michael Stephens' as he discusses the new nature of librarianship. We must never lose sight of "the Library [being] human . . . a social and emotionally engaging center for learning and experience." While keeping the user at the center, we are offered advice and encouragement -- to plan, to embrace Web 2.0 tools, to control technolust(!!), to make good, fast decisions, to be trendspotters, to understand content, and to listen to staff and users. I think the comment about technolust is among the most most pertinent and thought-provoking; it is easy to fall in love with every new thing that comes along, and such "falling in love" excitement is to be cherished. However, such love needs to be able to extend beyond a honeymoon -- to serve real needs of users in an improved way.

A friend in the Dallas area was just telling me last week about her library's difficulty in recruiting librarians that have the "right mix" of basic reference andpublic service skills and Web 2.0 knowledge/skills. Candidates seem to have a preponderance of one or the other. Michael Stephens seems to be encouraging us to attain that "right mix."