Libraries + 2.0 = issues

three 2.0 issues affecting libraries….
  1. Death by 2.0
  2. Death by fear
  3. Death by static

I see one of the main issues affecting libraries is “Death by 2.0”. Libraries become enthralled in Web 2.0 and dive in for a bite. The problem is that they don’t stop eating. There are too many 2.0 applications to become involved in all of them – blogs, Facebook, Wikis, Flikr,  tagging, chat boxes, Tumblr, FourSquare, Twitter, MySpace, (you get the point). Instead of carefully thinking out which ones to use it is far to often we get involved in multiple platforms we kill ourselves off (so to speak) before we can truly get going.

Another issue is “Death by fear”, the fear of giving control (even if a little) to patrons. Of course as librarians we should want to serve our patrons to our best abilities and provide for them what they want. Unfortunately, (yes, I am going to say it) the current age of the librarian is 40+ years. These new technologies are scary and unfamiliar and provide a sense of disarray. As stated in Helen Partridge’s, Librarian 2.0: it’s all in the attitude, “When discussing the emergence of library catalogs that allowed client tagging, some participants were still not convinced, stating, ‘But you could have a real mess!'” (Partridge, 2011). If libraries do not take the leap to interact with their patrons at their level, patrons will go elsewhere (Google anyone?).

The third issue, “Death by static”. Static refers to the lack of mobility in the library resources such as eBooks, mobile websites and virtual reference options. Libraries are having to change from being static buildings that are housing books and librarians sitting at reference desks conducting face-to-face reference interviews to off-site electronic resources and virtual reference interviews. This is a big change for libraries and will continue to be an issue as technology becomes the tool of choice for communication.

There are many issues that libraries face in regards to Web 2.0 and Library 2.0, libraries will always have new issues to address and adapt to. As commonly referred to “The only constant in our lives is change”.


One thought on “Libraries + 2.0 = issues

  1. I appreciated your perspective of Library 2.0 issues – the death by 2.0 is certainly a valid concern. Taking too much of a bite can cause overload leading to other areas of neglect. I think one of the answers, as you suggested, is just to take a bite out of one or two and see how it goes. Then the library could take on another platform, or even conduct an informal survey of which social media platforms the patrons use.
    I appreciated your perspective on the death by static – As you emphasized, libraries need to be able to adapt to new environmental conditions – which means thinking and developing new ways to engage patrons and better ways to serve them. When we stop our focus on what the patron wants (as opposed to what we think the patron should want) libraries will gradually have decreased importance.
    S. Jeff M.

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