I’m so addicted to podcasts lately, I can’t walk to and from work these days without listening to my own personal radio station.
Yesterday I listened to an On The Pod episode with Kathryn Greenhill about Library 2.0.
Kathryn has the blog Librarians Matter and is also part of the multi-author blog Libraries Interact (anyone is welcome to register and become and author, just like a Cit J site like Perth Norg, infact I think they both work on the WordPress Multi-user platform).
Anyway, it turns out that I followed Kathryn on Twitter, but not her blog (I am now a subscriber of her blog being impressed by the podcast). A couple of weeks earlier I also found another aussie librarian blog the same way, I was following HeyJude on Twitter and now have subscribed to her blog.
This is quite a refreshing experience for me, over a year ago I moved from Libraries to Document Management, so I’ve lost touch will all things library 2.0, dropping 50 or so blogs I used to read. I’m subscribed to only a handful now, but I don’t really read them that often, but now with two cutting edge aussie library blogs I’m happy to know what’s happening on a more local scale.
My blog posts used to be library oriented, as you would expect coming from a blog called Library clips, but now my posts are more about web 2.0 tools, the user generated web and the participative culture…also knowledge management. Check out the Library category on my blog.
Since I’m doing a personal trip down memory lane, here are a few library posts from the past:
OPAC in a blog and library 2.0 (includes links to all my library related bookmark tags)
Library 2.0 Reference
SLE feeds for Library OPAC’s
OPML for OPAC
Library Reference blogs
Internal Library blogs
Back to it…
The podcast was not just on Library 2.0, it also touched on the modern library and librarian in general…plus an extensive portion on a library’s experience on SecondLife.
Kathryn mentioned it all started with RSS and then she was thrown into a new world, where she adopted social tools such as blogs, Flickr, wikis, and toolbars such as LibX for FireFox (search your catalogue from the toolbar or right-click, click articles in Google Scholar that are available in your library, or click on an ISBN to see if your library has that book).
A few interactive web 2.0 ideas were patrons taking photo’s on library event days and tagging them so they appear on the library website…and photo blogs where people can leave comments.
Other web 2.0 tools not mentioned that some libraries are using are Twitter, Meebo (IM), Squidoo (Topic guides), OPAC 2.0 (user tags and RSS…actually I here moreso Museums experimenting with user generated tags), podcasts, startpage widgets, etc…
As far as a librarian community, the biblioblogosphere was mentioned, which Crawford at large tackled at one stage. Librarians networking through the blogosphere sharing advice on new tools and library methods, it astounds me that this enigmatic way of sharing of intellect has not caught on like wildfire in the enterprise, why the snail pace. Maybe it’s culture, and as Kathryn mentions librarians are web savvy, so it’s natural they adopt blogs in a big way.
BTW, I like the term the biblioblabosphere for librarians that tweet.
Also a mention of librarians using wikis for best Practices and documentation eg. Library Success.
And I totally identify with the librarians perpetual nature of finding things for people, almost like everyone’s personal information agent…I know being a librarian didn’t shape me this way, I’ve always been of character to be excited about the latest and share it with everyone.
I guess part of the job is evolving to less personal agent and more helping people construct their own news radars…personalisation and customisation.
The librarians role as facilitator is more than ever cemented as a guide and perhaps gardner in the, using the old school term, information highway. Librarians organise information to make it more usable, and the web has so much more information that a librarian now has a bigger job.
Some say the difference is people don’t need to go to the library as they can navigate the web themselves. But not all people:
- do they have a computer
- do they know how to use a computer
- do they know how to search for content and sources
- do they know of websites that specialise in a topic
- do they know how to determine authoritative sources
- do they have access to research sources like journals, etc…
The library itself is also changing, I now hear that some public libraries are ditching Dewey (DDC) for more bookshop like topics, other things:
- Community space and information
- Coffee shop and food
- Fast Track
- Laptop area
- Learning centre (social space)
- 24 hr access
And the old things like:
- Record History (archive newspapers, books, etc…)
- Deposit library (local heritage)
- Borrow instead of buy
The question was also asked is Library 2.0 augmenting the social captial in an online social space, maybe a Facebook group, or a MySpace page, a meebo room, a Ning network, etc…in Perth I see local social networks like Loconut in a similar space.
Another question was asked will you be able to browse the stacks in SecondLife, is the idea to mimic a physical space. I tell you what, it sounds like a fun experience to visit a virtual supermarket like Kinset, pick things off the shelf and read some metadata about the product, calculate the cost. I suppose you could just look at your previous shopping receipts and select things so the present trip auto-fills up your trolley, but that may take out the fun.