In a nutshell, Library 2.0 is about changing the way we interact with users. The old style model of library services was that we offered a static set of services to our users modelled on our perceptions of their needs. Library 2.0 would have us turn that around so that we offer to our users what they need, when they want it, all in the delivery method they choose. It is about participatory interaction with our audience.
In an article by Michael Casey, (the main contributor to “The Transparent Library”), on “Tame the Web” a site dedicated to “Libraries, Technology and People”, mention is made of the progress (and sometimes the lack of progress) made over the past few years with making library services more transparent and participatory. We can overlay the points he brings up about the use of social media and other new technologies with our own recent initiatives in this regard.
This article stemmed from a recent seminar entitled “Library and Museums in an Era of Participatory Culture” organized by a “think tank” called the Salzburg Global Seminar, where questions were raised about where libraries should be positioning themselves in the future and how best to get there. These same questions can be posed of our own delivered services.
What do are users want?
What do they actually need?
How can we get them what they want or need?
How can we leverage current and future technologies to improve efficiency in our delivery channels and methodology?
How can we interact with our users so that we can actually achieve all of the above?
It is interesting that none of this is new. In a research paper entitled “Legal Information Management in a Global and Digital Age” written in 2007, these same questions were raised and addressed yet here we are in 2011 and these questions are still germane.
I think the important point here is that we continue to move beyond the abstract of Business / Web / Library 2.0 and actively strive to be better custodians of our users’ needs; by first harnessing all the knowledge, experience and abilities of the great people within our team to determine a method to make the abstract of Library 2.0 concrete and then by utilizing all that knowledge to create a set of services that consistently engages the user and meets all their needs.
But that’s just what I think. What do YOU think?