In spite of the fact that “participation” in the library has been mentioned and discussed in some studies, no participatory library model has been reported in the literature. Furthermore, the “Library 2.0” term is more commonly used in the literature since it appears as a marketing term (Nguyen, Partridge & Edwards, 2012). The popular use of “Library 2.0” term in the literature is understandable. This section reviews Library 2.0 models that have been developed to date and then discusses the participation idea in the library. The purpose of this review is to inform what contemporary library models have been developed and what methods of development have been employed.
Library 2.0 Models
Some Library 2.0 models have been developed and reported on. In a study by Chowdhury, Poulter, and McMenemy (2006), a Library 2.0 model for public libraries was proposed. The development of this model was primarily based on personal understanding and experience of the authors, and underpinned by five library principles (devised in 1963 by Ranganathan, a well-known librarian). The principles are: community knowledge is for use by everybody, every user should have access to his or her community knowledge, all community knowledge should be made available to its users, save the time of the user in creating and finding community knowledge, and community knowledge grows continually.
According to Chowdhury, et al. (2006), five principles are still applicable to the Public Library 2.0 model. The authors posited that Public Library 2.0 is a network of community knowledge which delivers access to and a repository for local content, along with connection space for local people. They stressed that the Public Library 2.0 model would be both a physical place and a virtual space that enables local people to access to local knowledge (Chowdhury, et al., 2006). The authors also noted that further studies are necessary to test and implement the model.
Some Library 2.0 models have been reported on as a result of the deployment of Library 2.0 in specific libraries. For example the model by Yang, Wei and Peng (2009) which was proposed by analysing and describing a subsection circulatory management (SCM) model of Library 2.0 that was already utilised in a university library. The researchers clarified differences between the traditional library management model and the SCM model of Library 2.0. They suggested that a Library 2.0 system should be constructed in form of modules or layers instead of linear management as its counterpart in the past. Yang, et al. (2009) proposed the system architecture of Library 2.0 with five layers: hardware foundation layer, system layer, resource and data layer, service management layer, and knowledge service layer.
According to these researchers, two lower layers, the hardware foundation layer and the system layer can be adopted directly by libraries because of the maturity of the technology solution. However, the other three layers need to be designed and developed in a specific manner for best suited to specific libraries. They also noted that the SCM Library 2.0 model is not formally accepted by the library circle. However, it is a good example for the library community to refer to when creating their own Library 2.0 models (Yang, et al., 2009).
Another practical example of the Library 2.0 model was presented by Pienaar and Smith (2008). These researchers described how an African university library developed their Library 2.0 model. Basically, the model was adapted from the Web 2.0 meme map of O'Reilly (2005). Based on the original Web 2.0 meme map, the researchers modified and added several components to form a Library 2.0 service model. As proposed, the model included six parts: enable e-Research; creation of an emerging technology committee; integration with e-Learning; federated search; patron 2.0; and use of Web 2.0 application and services. Similar to the SCM Library 2.0 model created by Yang, et al. (2009), the Library 2.0 model by Pienaar and Smith (2008) is a description of current practice in their libraries. The difference is that Yang, et al.'s (2009) model focuses on the architectural and technical aspect of Library 2.0 while Pienaar and Smith's (2008) model presents the current situation of their library.
In a study by Holmberg, et al. (2009), a Library 2.0 model was proposed in the form of building-blocks. The model was developed on the basis of a five minute survey with only one open-ended question: What is Library 2.0? The respondents were library and information professionals who participated in the Library 2.0 workshop. The researchers used the co-word technique to analyse the responses. They analysed the occurrence and co-occurrence of keywords in the responses and visualised them in a form of a network map and clustering terms, and then produced a Library 2.0 model.
According to Holmberg et al. (2009), Library 2.0 must consist of seven building-blocks including interactivity, users, participation, libraries and library services, Web and Web 2.0, social aspects, and technology and tools. Among these components, interactivity is the most important part of Library 2.0 as it is used the most frequently in the responses.
Examining library websites in combination with a review of literature is another approach to create a Library 2.0 model. Xu, Ouyang and Chu (2009) visited eighty-one academic library websites and looked for their adoption and application of Web 2.0 tools. The researchers suggested four features and five essentials of Academic Library 2.0. They also proposed three Library 2.0 components including Library 2.0, User 2.0, and Information 2.0, and then visualised a conceptual model of Academic Library 2.0. The model presented three crucial components of Library 2.0 and its essentials. Several details were provided as an explanation and interpretation. The authors suggested that further studies should be done to revise and expand this Academic Library 2.0 model because it is only an initial step to fully explore the applications and implications of Web 2.0 in academic libraries.
“Participation” in the Library
The notion of “participation” has been used widely in various fields such as politics, management, marketing, services, research, and education, etc. In the library setting, “participation” has been mentioned by some researchers. For example, at the 2006 Computers in Libraries conference, Fichter (2006) defined Library 2.0 with a formula:
These terms are clarified as follows: “books n stuff” refers to materials that libraries have been provided for many years; “people” refers to librarians and staffs who serve users; “radical trust” and “participation” are the concepts that are necessary to deal with in the Library 2.0 setting. Libraries need to demonstrate their trust in users and staff. The trust will make participation possible. The participation should be at all levels including staffs, users, and within library systems.
Fichter emphasised the importance of participation in the Library 2.0. Participation is a “must-have” component of a Library 2.0. Without participation, and its enabler, trust, libraries will remain as they were in the past.
Similarly, participation in the library was considered as one of the essentials (Xu, et al., 2009) and a building block in Library 2.0 (Holmberg, et al., 2009). Casey and Savastinuk (2006, 2007) viewed participatory and user-driven services as features of Library 2.0. They also stressed that user participation is one of the essential ingredients in Library 2.0.
The term “Participatory Library” was introduced in 2006 and presented by David Lankes, Joanne Silverstein, Scott Nicholson and Todd Marshall in 2007 at the Sixth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science – “Featuring the Future” (Lankes & Silverstein, 2006; Lankes, et al., 2007. These scholars featured the participatory library in the paper titled “Participatory networks: the library as conversation”. They presented an anticipated trajectory of library system development towards a truly participatory library where library systems merge, and library patrons are part of the system development process. Basically, the authors underpinned their paper with the “Conversation Theory”. The foundation of conversation theory is that knowledge is created through conversation. In other words, the core of conversation theory is very simple: people learn through conversation. In addition, libraries are in the knowledge business. Therefore, libraries are in the conversation business (Lankes, et al., 2007). Although the authors did not compare Library 2.0 to the participatory library, they implied that the participatory library is a more evolved version in comparison to Library 2.0. The use of social networking tools and Web 2.0 in current library systems sits at the periphery of the library. The true change must come from incorporating participatory concepts into the heart of the library (Lankes, et al., 2007).
Summary and Implication
The literature review found that there have been diverse types of contemporary library models called Library 2.0. While several of these models include participation as one of the Library 2.0 elements, there is an insufficient interpretation on this as most of the models have a strong focus on technological aspects or practical applications of Web 2.0 in a library.
Apart from several models developed by visiting and examining library websites, or surveying library and information professionals (five minute written survey), most of the Library 2.0 models are proposed on the basis of Web 2.0 principles, literature review, personal understanding, or reporting current status of the application of Web 2.0 in a specific library. In addition, the concept of “participation” is not new and it has been used in various contexts. However, there is little work discussing participation in the library setting. No participatory library model has been identified or reported on. This study will develop a participatory library model based on empirical data and grounded in the experiences of librarians.