SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Panel Description

Today, many libraries are at a crossroads: several of the services they have traditionally provided within their walls are increasingly made available online, often by non-library, commercial entities. For example, Web search engines provide easy access to millions of Websites, online databases provide convenient gateways to news and scholarship, and book-scanning projects make roaming the shelves seem antiquated. Meanwhile, the traditional authority and expertise enjoyed by librarians has been challenged by the emergence of peer-produced and collaborative knowledge projects, such as Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers, or Amazon's personalized book recommendation system. Further, the professional, education, and social spheres of our lives are increasingly merging, marked by the rise of social networking services providing new interfaces for interacting with friends, the sharing of information, and professional collaboration.

Libraries face a key question in this new environment: what is the role of the library in providing access to knowledge in today's digitally networked world? One answer has been to actively incorporate features of the online – “Web 2.0” – world into library services, thereby creating “Library 2.0.”

Library 2.0 means bringing interactive, collaborative, user-centered, and web-based technologies to library services and collections. Launching such Library 2.0 features, however, often brings unique challenges to librarians, administrators, and patrons alike. These include: technological constraints, issues of accessibility and diversity, staffing and cost, IP/copyright concerns, privacy and data retention policies, and the overall impact on the nature and culture of the library itself.

By bringing together a diverse collection of information professionals tasked with delivering Library 2.0 services, this panel discussion will outline many of the challenges of implementing Library 2.0, as well as illuminate some solutions and directions for the future. The goal of the panel is to help other information professionals navigate this uncharted terrain to foster the creation of innovative Library 2.0 services for their patrons, and reveal areas that require further attention by the profession and academia alike. This will be accomplished through guided conversation and sharing of ideas, not the traditional presentation of papers.


Panel Description

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Panel Description

Libraries are critical hubs of our information infrastructure; they gather and manage materials from a wide diversity of sources, providing free and open access to diverse communities and constituents.

Today, many libraries are at a crossroads: several of the services they have traditionally provided within their walls are increasingly made available online, often by non-library, commercial entities. For example, Web search engines provide easy access to millions of Websites, online databases provide convenient gateways to news and scholarship, and book-scanning projects make roaming the shelves seem antiquated. Meanwhile, the traditional authority and expertise enjoyed by librarians has been challenged by the emergence of peer-produced and collaborative knowledge projects, such as Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers, or Amazon's personalized book recommendation system. Further, the professional, education, and social spheres of our lives are increasingly merging, marked by the rise of social networking services providing new interfaces for interacting with friends, the sharing of information, and professional collaboration.

Libraries face a key question in this new environment: what is the role of the library in providing access to knowledge in today's digitally networked world? One answer has been to actively incorporate features of the online – “Web 2.0” – world into library services, thereby creating “Library 2.0.”

Library 2.0 means bringing interactive, collaborative, user-centered, and web-based technologies to library services and collections. Jack Maness, of the University of Colorado at Boulder Libraries, provides some examples of the move from Library 1.0 to Library 2.0 might include:

  • Email reference/Q&A pages [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] Chat reference; Facebook pages

  • Text-based tutorials [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] Streaming media tutorials with interactive databases

  • Email mailing lists, webmasters [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] Blogs, wikis, RSS feeds

  • Controlled classification schemes [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] Tagging coupled with controlled schemes

  • OPAC [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] Personalized social network interface

  • Catalog of largely reliable print and electronic holdings [RIGHTWARDS ARROW] Catalog of reliable and suspect holdings, web-pages, blogs, wikis, etc.

Launching such Library 2.0 features, however, often brings unique challenges to librarians, administrators, and patrons alike. These include:

  • Technological constraints: Are Library 2.0 technologies both scaleable and stable enough for widespread implementation? What happens if a particular platform disappears, or is replaced by something incompatible?

  • Accessibility: How can libraries ensure Library 2.0 services are accessible and useful for all patrons, overcoming barriers imposed by language, cultural diversity, and the digital divide?

  • Staffing: What kind of technical staff is necessary to build and maintain Library 2.0 services? What kind of training is necessary for other library staff?

  • Cost: What new costs emerge for the technological and staffing needs?

  • IP/copyright concerns: What intellectual property concerns exist with allowing patrons to post information on library-hosted forums? Who owns the copyright to user-submitted comments or book reviews?

  • Privacy and data retention: How do Library 2.0-inspired book recommendation systems complicate existing data retention policies? Do Web-based library services threaten patron privacy?

  • Impact on nature/culture of the library: More broadly, how might the integration of Library 2.0 services impact the traditional nature of the library?

By bringing together a diverse collection of information professionals tasked with delivering Library 2.0 services, this panel discussion will outline many of the challenges of implementing Library 2.0, as well as illuminate some solutions and directions for the future. The goal of the panel is to help other information professionals navigate this uncharted terrain to foster the creation of innovative Library 2.0 services for their patrons, and reveal areas that require further attention by the profession and academia alike. This will be accomplished through guided conversation and sharing of ideas, not the traditional presentation of papers.

Audience participation will be highly encouraged. True to the spirit of Web/Library 2.0, a wiki will be launched prior to the Annual Meeting to gather additional topics and questions for the panel, and to spark discussion before the physical panel convenes in Vancouver. We also aim to coordinate the liveblogging and streaming of the panel discussion, the solicitation of questions via a live and interactive chatroom, and the uploading of the discussion to YouTube or related services for broad distribution outside the walls of the conference venue.