VBPL 2.0 -- Thoughts on Web 2.0 and Library 2.0

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(Warning -- this post may be a bit long and dense, so if you're just here for the book reviews, feel free to scroll on by)

For our next Learning 2.0 assignment, we were asked to read several articles on Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 and to write our thoughts. I've picked out a couple quotes from some of the articles that struck me as particularly interesting.

From "Away from the 'Icebergs'" by Rick Anderson

"In my library we've seen a 55 percent drop in circulation rates over the last 12 years, making it harder and harder to justify the buildup of a large 'just-in-case' print collection"

I'm thinking that a 55% drop in circulation is probably representative of something more than the existence of the Internet. In looking at our own stats, our circulation has dropped a little too, but not nearly that much. Perhaps they aren't buying the materials that patrons really want (manga? DVDs?), or they aren't marketing them well enough. Or it could even be something completely unrelated to the library, like a decrease in population of the area.

From "Into a New World of Librarianship" by Michael Stephens, describing the "Librarian 2.0"

"This librarian does not buy technology for the sake of technology"

One of my co-workers was reading this article, and she started laughing -- and pointing to the RFID pad on the desk in front of her. The problem, I think, is that we see ourselves getting behind in the technological age, so in an attempt to catch-up, we jump on any new technology that comes along, without really considering whether it would be useful for us or for our customers.

From "To a temporary place in time" by Dr. Wendy Schultz

"Digital Natives take 2.0 for granted; they are buzzing over Web 3D"

While I'm a bit skeptical about Web 3D, the first point is especially valid for me. I am, I realize now, a "digital native" and I don't actually see Web 2.0 as anything new.

The Internet has ALWAYS been about sharing information and creating content -- from the very beginning we had newsgroups and forums. Some of my friends were creating websites in high school (I graduated in 2002). The difference was that, back then, one actually had to know html to make a website, whereas now, there's Google Page Creator. These new technologies (like Ajax), are making it easier to do the things we were already attempting to do. So, Web 2.0 (even if I dislike the term), is simply the evolution of the Internet -- not a new version. To quote from Wikipedia:

"Many of the ideas of Web 2.0 had already featured in implementations on networked systems well before the term 'Web 2.0' emerged. Amazon.com, for instance, has allowed customers to write reviews and consumer guides since its launch in 1995."

As a second part of the assignment, we had to discuss Web 2.0 with co-workers or friends -- and as part of this, I presented a class for some of my co-workers on "pimping" their blogs.

If you're curious, you can view the slide show or the handout.


Bryan said...

The slide show and hand out links do not seem to work. I get a 404 error.

Sara said...

Okay, I'm fixing them -- I don't know what happened. I copy/pasted them from google docs... and they somehow morphed.

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