The Great Debate – Has library 2.0 fulfilled its promise?

Ultimate Debate: Library 2.0This is the last session from ALA I took notes on. It went by fast and I tried to be as accurate as possible.
Has library 2.0 fulfilled its promise?

Modorated by Roy Tennant

The panel consisted of : David Lee King, Meredith Farkas, Michael Porter and Cindi Trainor

What is library 2.0 –
Cindi – create spaces for people, value participation
Michael – what libraries do to fulfill role as community anchors has to change, mentioned KBG text company, they will answer your reference question but you to pay for it
Meredith – about being user focus, seeing creation of service as an iterative process, we need to stop making assumptions about users based on articles, assuming services are working without doing surveys
David – using wikipedia as an example, it’s a wiki that allows people to edit and access and share info in a way that hasn’t been done before,
Michael – library 2.0 is a buzz word more interested in functionality and what works, read some answers from Twitter to Question has library 2.0 fulfill its promise, see responses under #lib20prom
Cindi relates library 2.0 to web 2.0 by Tim OReilly, allows us to harness our collective intelligence, software as a platform
Meredith – how all the people on the panel know each other
David making tools easy enuf to use for non techies, easily moving content from one place to another think RSS, 2.0 technologies are made to connect me to you
Michael – hard to track success and lack of success with these tools, a lot of it is anecdotal evidence,
David disagrees with Michael – tools are new and we’re trying to figure them out, which is sad cuz some of them have been around for 15 years, you can track stats for a lot of these tools, blog stats, facebook stats, you get numbers from youtube and twitter
Cindi – just because someone is staring at a page for 13 minutes you don’t know that they weren’t chatting with a friend, or if you are having an impact on their life
Meredith – Even ARL libraries aren’t doing assessment on web 2.0 technologies
Michael – every hour we spend on a social tool is an hour we can’t spend doing something else, and that it isn’t all fun and games, its work, reporting is hard and can take a lot of time, sometimes the dates or the small parts of information don’t match up with your information needs
David – that at the reference desk if someone says the library is awesome you have to remember write it down and remember it, but with web2.0 tools you have that information saved for you.

Roy – question about barriers
Meredith – libraries aren’t planning for web2.0 tools the same way they would for other technology tools, will this company be around in 20 years
Cindi – how many libraries have a flickr account, so we’ve all promised to give yahoo $25 year for as long as our libraries exist? Its important to keep those photos somewhere else too, think of terms of service, if I upload a photo does it belong to this company forever
David – its very easy to set up basic tools like a blog, bigger barriers are our own barriers, you need to learn how to use these tools, how to understand them, for a library having a person in charge of that tool, don’t just throw up a blog, if that person leaves or gets bored then the blog dies but is still showing whats new from 2005, if you’re going to spend time and resources on something you need to train staff so they know how to use them
Michael – history debate among public libraries about circulating fiction, libraries had to give up nonfiction shelf space and the clientele was gonna change, court battle with beta and vhs to be able to circulate and we won, fast forward to today, how many libraries provide digital downloads, very few, if we don’t find a way to be able to provide digital content, the future of libraries is in trouble, we’ll still have books and reference but we need to be looking at the future tools, we’re being cut out of market share, we are being usurped by for profit content distributors
You may not have signed up for this job but it’s the job you have deal with it
David – gives argument against time complaint, if there is enough time to push a book cart around to music you have time to learn some of this stuff
Michael – if you’re gonna spend the time to do a book cart drill use these web2.0 to document it and share it, put the video up, then do the drill and get everyone to come up, get the mayor to come, get the tv station to come, work it work it, get more value of these tools and time you put into them
Meredith – disagrees with David, if your admin doesn’t give you time at job a to learn then they don’t value them, so it may be a real issue
David – agrees with Meredith, partially, some people don’t know how to manage their time, put 15 minutes on your calendar each week to write a blog post if you get 1 done fine, if you get 5 done great
Meredith – Chad Boeningers blog but if he knows an assignment is coming up he puts the info up on his blog, students use it, its simple and he’s created a personal connection, Muscogee Public Library has scogeenet, where community members can post events, information about the community
Roy – shout out to John Blybert and the Darien community
Cindi – there are pockets of innovation, there might be a department who is using a wiki or archives using LibGuides and Flickr stream

Roy anything you want to say
David – admins and managers let your staff go, the worse that could happen is that you have a failed project you learn something from.
Meredith – these technologies are not a magic wand, you shouldn’t just have a blog to have a blog, you need to do what your community needs
Michael – have a mission and a vision and focus on your communities
Cindi – awareness of the tools, 23 Things, ddid at university, Dean did pbwiki for strategic plan and others could edit, education libraries started to blog, people started using rss and flickr, having someone in your lib who is a aware is important so others can learn

Question from audience – TaraLSF: #ala2009 #lib2.0 how can library 2.0 technologies be supported in actual libraries & brick & mortar buildings with F2F services?
David – tweet up in community, in fall library is hosting a podcamp
Question – Sarah – can you talk about ways to help people who are still intimidated by the computer nevermind these things on the internet, on example is they introduced staff to twitter using post it notes on paper
David – how long have we had computers? Why do you still have staff who are intimidated by computers, why did you hire them? Why are they still working there
Michael – big fan of partnering people, one person who is helpful, but need to be respectful

Question – example of famous library that everyone is supposed to know about, she doesn’t, not everyone knows who Darien is or what they are doing, John Blyberg gave some info

Question – a lot of this sounds about marketing,

David – more about sharing, communicating and using pool of knowledge,
Cindi – allows users to more easily give feedback, not just wooden box in the corner
Michael –
Roy – technology petting zoo, which tools or hardware would you show them?
Meredith – depend on population, faculty tools that help them do their work, staff much wider
Cindi – tech tool box to allow toys to play, people who used it bought one

Question – more I hear you talk the more I think you need to add a disclaimer to everything you say, tiny library in a nursing school, 3 staff including her, other staff go to conferences and come back and say we need 2.0, but there are students who have never used a computer, how much time commitment will each take, there is no point at doing these tools if no one is going to maintain them
Roy be use focused
David – do some strategic planning, and then focus on those priorities, not the tools
Michael – you need to budget staff time and make the tools you choose successful
David – disclaimer should be to directors who blandly go back and say we need a blog without setting goals or having a plan

Question – privacy online, last month got a bogus message from a coworker to about 25 staff to invite others join, she went to say sorry she doesn’t do facebook he said it wasn’t him, what tips can they share to give patrons who are signing up
Michael – this is hugely important, sometimes its important to stake claim even if you’re aren’t gonna use it, so that no one else claims it, everyone of these companies is a full profit organization, they don’t care about libraries or privacy they care about the bottom line, we get privacy and freedom of access to information, Google can say don’t be evil all they want, but they came to ALA for couple of years and did the google and libraries thing then they got what they wanted and went away
David – bigger issue is that people don’t understand how privacy works, we’ve all heard of someone being fired for posting something to facebook or twitter or their blog, and librarians are doing this too, things like that patron is an idiot, where anyone can see

Question – Long Tail, about social networks we care about the things that people we care about care about, recommends that everyone in school should read the long tail

Question – that there are some legit concern about facebook and twitter being a waste of time and that in our move to connect with younger generations there are others feel left out

David – largest growing group of facebook users is 55+
Michael – we don’t have any problem doing what we’ve always done, but if we don’t do anything more than we’ve always done we’re going to be in trouble
David – admits that he is a branch manager and those are his people

Question – Kenley – 20000 students, 4 library staff including the director him, we do these things because he as an administration thinks that these things are possible, but that it is easy to do these things because they are easy and they are free

5 thoughts on “The Great Debate – Has library 2.0 fulfilled its promise?

  1. Thanks for taking these thorough notes. I’m grateful for people like you who share their ala experience and notes.

    Not sure what I think of the discussion though. Whenever the Library 2.0 topic comes up, it goes in many different directions and it feels like blind men describing an elephant.


    1. you’re welcome! I didnt’ include it in the notes but one of the twitter responses Michael read was that Library 2.0 never promised anything, which I think is true


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