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Library 2.0 Thoughts

What an adventure it is to explore the concepts of Library 2.0. When I started on this topic I had planned on giving a nice write up. As time went on I found myself scribbling down thoughts. All these ideas arose while reading, “What is Web 2.0” by Tim O’Reilly. I would love some feedback to any or all of these thoughts. Before you start reading think about your library and the services currently being offered.

  1. Are you using Interlibrary Loan to its full potential to fill the needs of your patrons? Do you allow patrons to easily request items?
  2. Do you know what book was the most popular at your library last year? Amazon knows what theirs was and can recommend 4 other books that you’d like as well, automatically.
  3. You are already serving a niche. Your community is different from every other library community, but then again how can you reach out to non-readers?
  4. Should public libraries of the future be more like community centers to reach those niches?
  5. Could I please have better search results? I want results to resemble an Amazon product page. This information IS useful:
    • Anonymous patron gave title A, 4 of 5 stars.
    • 98% of people that check out this book, also, checked out title B.
  6. I’d love to see a day where mini-barcode scanners (you know, like the price-checker at Wal-Mart) can display information on the book you scan as well as patron reviews, recommended reading, and location of recommended reads.
  7. Most Web 2.0 services are found by word of (digital) mouth. Is your new service worth talking about to anyone besides the professional library community?
  8. If you do have a great new service that can be shared and developed is it on Sourceforge?
  9. If trying to be like Amazon or Netflix, realize their success is in their community and the sharing of recommendations. Is your reference desk willing to allow users to recommend books?
  10. Users are what give a service its value. If a service is not being used it’s not Library 2.0, it’s a product/ technology that is there for the sake of saying you have it.
  11. Have you created an online community? Is it so restricted that the flow of ideas between users is affected? It shouldn’t just be about the library connecting with the patron. It should be about connecting your patron with their niche community.
  12. Can you think of 5 patrons that are always reading a book and love to tell you about them? Would you consider giving them a blog on your libraries website?
  13. Library 2.0 is about information. How can you gather and interpret data to make your library more aware of a user’s wants and needs?
  14. Amazon has an Internet Movie Database. Why haven’t libraries formed an Internet Book Database? And no, WorldCat doesn’t count. I want to see what’s upcoming, what readers have to say, what books have received awards, etc.
  15. Google constantly filters out spam and bad links. Is your library keeping up on inventories to make sure information is accurate?
  16. New organizations can easily create a 2.0 atmosphere since they don’t have old habits. If your library has old habits, it’s time to question everything.
  17. Flickr has built an amazing online community because it allows users to interact. How can you allow your patrons to interact without creating a privacy issue? And how do you reach those that don’t use and/or enjoy the Internet.
  18. I lived on a university campus that provided a community board where a question was posted each day, and students responded. What if you put a whiteboard up that reads, “What is your favorite book of all time and/ or this week”. Then pull the books listed nightly and create a perpetual display?
  19. I can’t spell. Why can’t all e-catalogs be like Google and have a “Did you mean” with the correct spelling?
  20. When you launch a service does it stay the same forever? Or is it is evaluated and improved continuously?

If you have gotten nothing else from this bits and pieces, let this final part influence you the most.

  • Library 2.0 is about constantly improving yourself, your institution, and the way you reach out to your users.

Library users are not going to change the system; they will seek other outlets and means of getting the information they need. Be like George!

And when you’re finished creating an exceptional user experience for your patrons, head over to gapingvoid for other pictures (like the one above).