Posts tagged Library 2.0

Web 2.0 for Libraries

At the first time I heard Library 2.0 I was wondering how web 2.0 tools can be used in the libraries. Then I researched a lot to find out how we can use web 2.0 tools in libraries and what libraries at the moment are using web 2.0 tools. And I was able to find many tools that can be used and also in use in the libraries these days.

According to Michael Casey (2007), Ann Abor District library web page was selected by the American Library Association as the best website in the nation for libraries with budget of $60,000,000.00+. They mainly use blogs in their web site where they use several blogs for different audiences such as books blog, video blog director’s blog, event blog and many more. They also use the web 2.0 tools such as Comments, Review & Ratings, Tags and Rss feeds. The tool that admires my heart in this web site is the tool called Brain Fuse online help which helps the students to get help from the library staff to do their home work. The most unique thing I saw in this library is the Google translator they use to covert the content in the web site in to the language you prefer. This feature is very interesting and I believe it helps to admire more users to the library.

You can see Brain fuse demo clicking this link…..

Another library I could find using web 2.0 tools affectively is Darien library in America. I found they use a tool called Meebo to add the feature of instant messaging to their web site. That feature allows the student to chat with the librarian at the library open hours. The Darien library also use web 2.0 tools such as online catalogues, Comments & Reviews, Rss feed, Taging, Podcasts and Vediocasts. They also use web applications such as Flickr, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Blip.tv and Delicious.

Also I found a library called Niagara which uses a search 2.0 in their library search. They use a tool called Wordcat that helps to find resources around the world. It allows the Niagara users to get the search results from 57 million items owned by 9,000 libraries worldwide. It is useful for identifying materials that can be borrowed through Interlibrary Loan.

worldcat_results

These three libraries are the most interesting libraries I could found through my research and these are the web 2.0 tools they use in their organisations. I trust the way these libraries utilise web 2.0 tools can be considered as an example when we are doing the proposal for the QUT library. Also I am confident there are many more tools that can be used to build into the libraries. Many libraries have accepted that web 2.0 tools have really made a change in their organisation where the productivity of the library is increased. Because of this many libraries are seeking in to adopting library 2.0.

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Aspects to concern when adapting Library 2.0

When I heard about library 2.0 I thought this trend has begun most recently. But it has four to five years history. Adapting to web 2.0 technology is not that easy where we have to concentrate on different aspects that can affect the outcome of library 2.0.

Michael Casey has first began to think of implication of web 2.0 for libraries in August 2005 but at that time he never imagined that others in the library community also wondering the same thing. www.librarycrunch.com is Caseys’ first library 2.0 blog launched in September 2005. Bloggers and librarians from around the world soon joined the discussions on their own blogs, at conferences and in their libraries. So it says how they were interested in adopting web 2.0 tools in their libraries since those days. They have conducted a survey in August 2006 to get feedback from librarians, library staff and library administrators. From this survey it is discovered the reasons for changing libraries to library 2.0. The challenges are:

• Losing the interest of the users
• No longer consistently offer the services users want
• Resistant to changing services that consider traditional or fundamental to library services
• No longer in the first place many of the current and potential customers look for information

From the above mentioned challenges we can see the libraries need to respond to customer demands more rapidly and to increase the response time in service creation. We can see library 2.0 is a model for library service that enables libraries to respond to constantly changing customer demand. According to Casey when we are adapting to library 2.0 there are few ingredients we should have.

• Constant and purposeful change – change is the key component of library 2.0 and we should consider the whether the organization is ready to change or will it be risky to change the library. And also there should be a purpose for the change. It shouldn’t take the change for the sake of change.
• User participation – when change occurs it is better to get customer involvement where it will help to gather their requirements and to identify their satisfaction.
• Reaching current and potential users – libraries have regular users and sporadic users. And also there is a very large population of library non-users. When implementing library 2.0 model it is better to consider all these types of users so it will help to attract more users in the future.

Each library’s community and structure vary to each other and the outcomes of library 2.0 will vary for each library. First step is to identify the position in the community you currently have. Here it is vital to understand the services currently provided to the customers are still on demand and required by the customers. Then the second consideration would be knowing the users of the library. Because the users of the library can be vary from library to library where their interests will differ too depending on the age group, study level and gender. Also it is discovered there are some libraries which do not have a mission statement and then it is difficult to identify what they are expecting to provide to their users and how they treat them. Before adopting web 2.0 technologies in to the library, the library should concentrate their mission statement and see whether they are doing changes to meet their mission statement. Community analysis is another aspect the library should concern when adapting to web 2.0 because community’s demographics and needs can assist you when deciding what directions your services will take and how you can best work towards library 2.0. And it is also interest to have an idea of library use trends which means to have stats on the services such as computer usage number, circulation figures and check out terminal counts that have been used more frequently. This will give an idea of which sections of the library is used successfully and why. Concentrating on the above mentioned aspect when adapting to library 2.0 will help in gaining successful outcomes as expected from the organization change. As mentioned before these aspects can differ from library to library where we have to do our own research on those aspects when planning to go with web 2.0 tools and technologies.

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