Posted by: libraryexplorer | January 21, 2011

Library 2.0

So far I have only written on my visits to physical libraries. The digital world of Internet library “spacesBlue speech bubble with the words "WEB 2.0" in white.” has grown exponentially over the past decade.

So, what have I explored about Library 2.0 spaces? Well, its how libraries use Web 2.0 technologies. I am only recently acquainted with Web 2.0, so I’ll give a brief description from chapter 1 of Meredith Farkas’  book Social Software and Libraries:

1. It allows people to communicate, collaborate, and build community online.
2. It can be syndicated, shared, reused, or remixed, or it facilitates syndication.
3. It lets people learn easily from and capitalize on the behavior or knowledge of others. (1)

Basically, if you’ve used Facebook, you’ve joined Web 2.0. Other Web 2.0 products include Twitter, blogs, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds like Google Reader, wikis. There’s more that I don’t know about yet. You can create content and read information easily. Think about comment sections on Amazon or any news website. That is Web 2.0 because anyone may add content (an opinion or a fact) to the news article or book review.

How does a library incorporate Web 2.0 in a meaningful, beneficial and genuine way? One easy answer is: however it wants to.  In reality, a library must do some market research to understand how their target audience (potential or current library users) uses Web 2.0 in order to serve their information needs. With so much information available, internet users are increasingly overwhelmed by the amount of content online. Libraries have always provided organized access to information, and this mandate carries forward to its digital space.

Let’s not forget a second – and no less important – mandate of public libraries: to be a gathering space, a community hub, a place where all citizens can enter and be served. Many public libraries promote their mission to be a community space, a hub, a “go to” place for its users. So many of today’s users seek their information and community connection needs online. Web 2.0 products encourage collaboration, connections, and so it is natural for libraries to create digital spaces.

My subsequent posts will explore Library 2.0 spaces. I’m excited to find out how public libraries digitally serve their patrons!

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