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Archive for the ‘profession’ Category

Kathryn Greenhill writes about the shifting of libraries’ power and Library 2.0 on her blog, Librarians Matter.   Kathryn makes some valid points about this shift in power:  users creating their own idea of a library and the power of libraries to take risks.  I think for years we were so bound by tradition and the idea of libraries as gatekeepers that it is exciting and liberating to be out there risking change to these traditions.  I know many libraries are still struggling with this fearsome idea of change and risk-taking — I mean, come on, many of us did not become librarians because we are in it for the adventure!  Taking on social networking tools and risking the house on letting users add tags to your catalog can be scary stuff for those who have done business the same way for forty years or more.

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Meredith Farkas writes about successful blogging over at Information Wants to Be Free:

What makes your blog a success depends on what your goals for it are. Why do you blog? Looking at the responses I saw in the Survey of the Biblioblogosphere, I didn’t see anything about having the most subscribers, having the highest Google Page Rank, or being the most well-known blogger. I saw people who wanted to share information with others, who want to keep current, who want to become part of a community and who want to process their own ideas about professional issues. So, if you want to share information with others, it’s probably important to have an audience, but it probably doesn’t matter as much how many comments you get or how many people link to you. If your goal in blogging is to keep yourself current or to process your own ideas about professional issues, popularity shouldn’t matter at all. If your goal is to be part of a community, it shouldn’t matter how big or small that community is, but you may care about things like “conversational intensity” because you want to be a part of the community conversation. So, think about why you blog and let that guide your vision of success.

I emphasize “share information with others” because I think this is what makes librarians so important. So much of what we do is intended to create access to information: we collect, organize and disseminate information to users and I think this why so many librarians have taken naturally to blogging. Its a perfect fit for so many of us.

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Today I teach the Blogs, Podcasts and Wikis workshop at RRLC in Rochester.  Participants are from the Rochester, NY region and come from public, special, academic, school and medical libraries.  Tell me what you hope to gain or learn from this workshop!

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Most readers have probably seen this article by Michael Casey and Laura Savastinuk about Library 2.0, printed in the September 2006 issue of Library Journal, but I had not read it until today.   Much like Laura Cohen’s 2.0 manifesto, this article provides a good starting point for those new to the Web or Library 2.0 phenomenon:

The heart of Library 2.0 is user-centered change. It is a model for library service that encourages constant and purposeful change, inviting user participation in the creation of both the physical and the virtual services they want, supported by consistently evaluating services. It also attempts to reach new users and better serve current ones through improved customer-driven offerings. Each component by itself is a step toward better serving our users; however, it is through the combined implementation of all of these that we can reach Library 2.0…

I especially like the bit about “user-centered change”.  However, I think we can get wrapped up too much in having these 2.0 tools for the sake of having them.  Most libraries don’t have the time or staff to fully explore the possible uses of all of these great tools.  I like the idea of having the “sandbox” concept in a library:  give people some playtime and resources and let them go!  See if they can find good, solid uses for the technology.

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An excellent compilation of interviews by the movers and shakers in the library world.  Lots of emphasis on Library 2.0, but some good analysis of how technology is changing our perspective on the type of services we provide to our users.

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