Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thing #2: Web 2.0 and why I should care

For #2 of 23 things, I'm going to address some questions:

* We know time is always an issue--Stephen Abram shares some ideas on where to find the time for 23 Things. Where will you find the time?
* Why are you participating in 23 Things On a Stick? What do you hope to learn?
* How has the Internet and the vast resource it can be affected your use of time at work and/or at home?
* Where are you in your knowledge and use of Web 2.0 tools? How about your library?
* What are you looking forward to in 23 Things On a Stick?

To answer all of these, first of all, do I get bonus points for being Facebook 'friends' with Stephen Abram? No? Okay, well, anyway, part of why I want to do the 'things' is that I've got a few weeks before my next course begins, and so it will be fun to try these things and think about them differently. I already use so many of the 'things' that I'm going to be blogging about, and my hope is that I can think about these Web 2.0 tools in relation to what I will be doing as a librarian once I graduate and find employment as a 'real librarian.'

I think the perspectives of Millenials/Gen Y'ers are very important for libraries right now. Since most of us already use these Web 2.0 tools for our own personal uses (sharing photos on Flickr, using aggregators to keep up with friends' blogs, etc.) and don't even think about them as being anything 'new' or unusual, I think we can help bridge the gap between the seasoned librarians and even younger generations who simply do not find the library a relevant place. This is where Library 2.0 (or L2) comes in. As Blyberg points out,

"While there are a lot of non-technical components to L2, the fact of the matter is that technology is L2’s impetus. I think this is where a lot of confusion comes in to play. L2 is not about technology, but technology is an important component of it."

Also, I love this point:

"Also, it’s not terribly costly to integrate social software in ways that Jenny Levine, Jessamyn West and Sarah Houghton have been suggesting for a long time now. It just takes energy, enthusiasm and a will to do it."

It's like, come on, people! This stuff is FREE! Why not try it, play around, enjoy it, and embrace it? New things are fun and exciting; don't be afraid of change. Life is all about change. I love that I get to be on my library's Virtual Service Team, and talk about these things with librarians and actually implement change in my organization. What's hard is really making 'radical trust' work in a bureaucracy, which is essentially what all libraries are. I'm glad that our director has been supportive of the VST and overhauling our library's website.

Another Blyberg point I like:

"L2 is not an option. If we don’t acknowledge the weighty significance of L2, we will not just be running the risk of sliding into obscurity, we just wont be that important to society. We will become the functional equivalent of back-room storage full of green hanging-file-folder boxes."

Amen to that.

I'm really looking forward to the next 21 things, and re-energizing myself both in library school and in my current job as a library assistant.

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