Thursday, 22 May 2008

Why is it so important to develop a library 2.0 and what is critical about it? (discussed @ Bibcamp 2008)

Until now libraries were not forced to concentrate on reaching online communities. But within the last few years opportunities increased to build communities and share information within networks.

The question is: Will the library become unimportant in the future?
Several librarians don't think so (and we have to do so ;) ), e.g. Jochum: He (as several American LIS professionals, too) is the opinion that the abundance of virtuality is throwing us back to the analogue world.
But nevertheless we have to concentrate on online services and on serving Internet savvies. In this context the word "library2.0" evolved. But what is behind the word "library2.0"? What does it mean in detail?
Heller is describing it in the foreword to the "library2.0"-Issue of BuB (Vol 31, 2007, Issue 2). I only want to concentrate on a few things: library2.0 is about interaction with customers, participation of users especially in the regard of user-generated content, and so on.
Unfortunately, "library2.0" is used too much so that it will be screwed up in a few years. "Library2.0" is a buzzword. Therefore, librians have to find a better word that is decribing the root of the matter. Particularly, because "library2.0" causes confusion: Is "library2.0" an extension of "library1.0"? Or is "library2.0" displacing "library1.0"? In this regard: Is everything of the traditional library to change??
The core functions remain. Librarians always were distributors of information -but now librarians are not the only gateways to information any more: (Fortunately?) they lost their role as gatekeepers.
Moreover the word "library2.0" is not the correct one because it implies that librarians have to upgrade themselves to stay alive. In the sense of keeping up-to-date it's right but to communicate this to "conservative" librarians gives them a negative feeling (technostress).
But it's clear that librarians have to change -or else they are not able to change the library : Libraries should serve as windows to the multifaceted landscapes of the information world.

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