Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Reflections on Library 2.0

First off, I'm a big fan of Stephen Abram. I've seen him speak a few times and even had a coffee klatch with him after he spoke at my workplace (this is the equivalent of librarian name-dropping). He's an exciting, excited guy. So I love his schtick on Library 2.0 and his enthusiasm for Millenials. His message is that librarians need to be engaged in life and excited about life, which should then naturally translate into being jazzed about these new Web 2.0 technologies. And he has also straight out said that foot-dragging librarians should do the rest of us a favor and get the heck out of the profession. He doesn't mince words, this guy, and I admire that. And there's John Blyberg http://www.blyberg.net/2006/01/09/11-reasons-why-library-20-exists-and-matters/ who claims it's out-and-out revolutionary. Unlike Blyberg, I hesitate to refer to the concept of Library 2.0 as "a movement". That just seems grandiose to me.

Then you have the backlash against Library 2.0. A contingent that grumbles that this is just fancy-pants wordsmithing of what we've always done. That just throwing tech at a library doesn't make it better. And who has the time for this anyway?

I'm choosing to take what I think is the pragmatic view. I don't think the Library 2.0 vision is revolutionary. It's simply evolutionary. It's the logical next step. It IS exciting, but I don't think all librarians should automatically be forced to wear those cool space suits from the movie Tron just yet. (Does anyone else remember that movie?) Clearly (and to his credit, Blyberg addresses this) if your library serves, say, a largely rural population that does not use or have access to computers then it is nonsensical to dump a lot of time and resources into a Library 2.0 initiative. You need be able to afford to put gas into the bookmobile, after all. Common sense, people. But, increasingly, people are using these technologies and it behooves us, as a profession, to be early adopters. It is just a fact of life that we need to learn the stuff. Lead, follow, or get the heck out of the way.

1 comment:

fresca said...

I am sqeeeeealing with deeeelight to see you in the blogosphere, Library Girl! (rememebr that cool Parker Posey movie, "Party Girl," with the deathless line, "I wanna be a librarian"??? She is very you.