Vanishing in a puff
Or why Library 2.0 doesn’t really exist.
Information Specialist for Biomedical & Health Sciences,
King’s College London.
ironic tag cloud #1
Library 2. what?
Does it actually mean something or not?
If it does, what is it?
If it doesn’t
or it’s down to the individual
then there’s not much
point is there?
And don’t we (librarians and assorted information professionals)
have an ongoing vested interest in choosing the right words?
Looking at Library 2.0
Voice of doom?
Or voice of reason?
Good ideas will survive and flourish
We have NOT been critical
What do you do already?
Look for evidence
Does it really exist?
What do we do already?
What have we done?
01/09/2006 Library Journal
“Library 2.0 : service for the next
“The heart of Library 2.0 is user
“While not required, technology can help libraries create a customer
“.. the Library 2.0 model gives library users a participatory role in the services libraries
offer and the way they are used..”
“The Library 2.0 model seeks to harness our customer's knowledge to supplement and
improve library services.”
“What makes a service Library 2.0? Any service, physical or virtual, that successfully
reaches users, is evaluated frequently, and makes use of customer input is a Library 2.0
service. Even older, traditional services can be Library 2.0 if criteria are met. Similarly,
being new is not enough to make a service Library 2.0.
Library 2.0 is user
It is a shift in our focus from having libraries
decide what is best for users to letting users decide what they want, how they
want to get it, and how we can best serve them.
Library 2.0 is constant change and evaluation.
Library 2.0 is
just about technology.
Library 2.0 is political.”
Library 2.0 is about..
..Web 2.0 / User participation / Constant change
..wisdom of crowds
..let the users decide
It is represented as a
The Library 2.0 corollary is inescapable.
It is an implicit de facto damning critique of Library (1.0)
This critique is rarely articulated in any detail.
When it is (peripherally) mentioned no evidence is provided.
Is your Library 1.0 really so broken it needs ‘2.0’?
“..a strict definition of Library 1.0 would be counterproductive. ..
Library 1.0 really is whatever point you are at now.
I think that what we need to remember is that Library 1.0 is a restrictive place,
governed by strict hierarchies, rigid boundaries, and underpinned by change
Michael Casey (2005)
“Even older, traditional services can be Library 2.0 if criteria are met.”
“Your library may already offer some services that can be considered
Library 2.0. If your organization combines these Library 2.0 options with a
framework for continual change and customer input integrated into other
operations within your library, it will be well on its way to becoming Library
Michael Casey (2005)
What does this mean? How exactly is this helpful? Doublespeak?
Dave Pattern’s Library 2.0
Sunglasses and moonlight
Dawkins quoting Medawar in a Nature review of Sokal
and Bricmont’s “Intellectual imposters” Nature 1998
“I could quote evidence of the beginnings of a whispering
campaign against the virtues of clarity. A writer on
structuralism in the Times Literary Supplement has suggested
that thoughts which are confused and tortuous by reason of
their profundity are most appropriately expressed in prose
that is deliberately unclear. What a preposterously silly idea! I
am reminded of an air
raid warden in wartime Oxford who,
when bright moonlight seemed to be defeating the spirit of the
blackout, exhorted us to wear dark glasses. He, however, was
being funny on purpose.”
Technology and the library
Sumerians 3000 BC
Clay tablets, papyrus, scrolls
Alexandria (300 BC)
Parchment, rolls, codex
The printed book
Internet and the WWW
Digitisation, Ejournals, Ebooks
The adoption of new technologies to improve
the services we offer is
characteristic of libraries in historic
and contemporary settings.
Web 2.0 may be another milestone
along the way. But don’t confuse a comma for
the start of a new chapter.
Library 2.0 does not
E journals, reference works
Library 2.0 change
library card index
pdf’s memory stick
personal card index
ref. man. software
Nothing I do is Library 2.0 #1
But what I do at work includes…
…promoting Web 2.0 tools like Delicious and Connotea
…creating / participating in / advising on wikis
…continual response to user feedback
…continual development of services and change
Nothing I do is Library 2.0 #2
But what I do (not) at work includes…
…playing on facebook
…tagging my books on LibraryThing
…contributing to Wikipedia when I can bear it
…using Bloglines to subscribe to my own increasingly
bizarre Yahoo pipes mashed feeds…
Going to the users?
Library 2.0 says go to the users
But we already are ‘everywhere’
And do the users want us in their space?
The OPAC is broken?
“I’ve visited Kings in Australia, and their library is absolutely massive.
They’ve got a new computer system, and if you’re looking for a certain
book, you just type in the book, and it comes up with the code, the
floor, and where you can find it on that floor. It’s really cool.” (p.18)
JISC Student Expectations Study July 2007
JISC Student Expectations Study
[Comment on Second Life]
“That’s a bit weird, to be honest. You would be quite
sad to do that”
I don’t know if I would particularly like getting texts from the university. Because
your phone is your private, social thing.
“..they do not want technology to encroach on their learning or social
“Fundamentally, this age group suspects that if all learning is mediated through
technology, this will diminish the value of the learning.”
Want to learn from experts
Want more ‘Library 1.0’!
…Library 2.0 does not describe anything new
…in fact it doesn’t really exist
…this doesn’t mean we haven’t got a lot of work to do
…this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t embrace the best of Web 2.0
…let’s keep on changing, improving, and ignoring any…
ironic tag cloud #2
extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds
plus ça change