Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Straight on Till Morning"

Neverland and Libraries" or The Library 2.0 Discussion

One thing that I particularly liked about the discussion on Libraries in the wed 2.0 world was the emphasis on the ways the world is changing. Sometimes I think it is too easy to forget that in a time of tremendous change there is also a time of tremendous chance. We see both of these aspects every day from libraries loaning out Kindles to the last ten years of shifting technological platforms and evolving patron needs. Anderson, in his “icebergs” discussion, talks about how libraries are doing well keeping the proverbial library boat afloat with the current current (please pardon puns) but that we are in danger of not seeing the potential dangers ahead. The dangers that Anderson sees are very relevant. We need to evaluate the reasons that we collect materials, we need to equip ourselves for a growing emphasis on education, and we need to make strides towards breaking forth from the bubble of our buildings. This will all take a great deal of courage on the part of our profession and a great deal of creativity on the part of individual libraries.

Another key to the Library 2.0 model is what Michael Stevens said about ensuring that we provide “user-centered libraries” and content. The key is not in just how many books we can collect but in how well we enable the creation, exploration, and dissemination of information. We are living in a time when people expect their voice to be heard and expect what they have to say to matter to someone. This desire and expectation is a principle applied in the discussion of cooperative learning and libraries. Patrons have something to offer. We have to be open to creating a cooperative environment in libraries. Wendy Schultz’s take on the Library 2.0 question. The idea of the conversation focused library is becoming more and more interesting to me as I read various views on the future of libraries. There can be an element of give and take in our libraries. We want to give patrons a great experience, access to great materials, and a great level of service, but they too can offer the same to us.
On a side note, I love the idea of having a classic library section for quiet contemplation and aethetic enjoyment alongside an emerging library of conversaton and interaction.
The journay into a new experience is always frought with complications and sacrifices, but with good directions we can find the way to a land where seeking and living knowledge doesn't just happen in an escapist enviroment.

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