Library 2.0: you’re giving me ice cubes….

September 11, 2006, 10:29 am

I usually support the spirit of change, however something has never felt quite right with the Library 2.0 movement. Sure there are nice ideas. Sure it has progressive character. But so what? Give me something real, something practical. You’re giving me ice cubes, when I need glaciers.

The highly touted Library Journal article Library 2.0 , repeatedly claims that the philosophy is not just about technology, but expands into all service areas and includes the use of physical space. It also aims to “gives library users a participatory role” – that’s great. So stripping away the technology, what examples do they provide for using library space in this new world? Impromptu book talks or discussion groups. That’s it? Seriously, that’s it?

I spoke with my cousin and several of his high school friends (with varying demographics) who live in the Gwinnett area and the only thing they could tell me about public libraries is that they have books they’ve used for school papers. Nothing about gaming or music downloads, nothing about flickr or tags or social networking, or even databases for that matter. Who are you aiming all this web 2.0 technology towards again?

Sure, L2 is an interesting idea, but you need to transform it from concept into action. Show us, don’t tell us.

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