#15 On Library 2.0 & Web 2.0 …

February 19, 2008

I think of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 as being about user/patron empowerment and community building.  Web 2.0 does a lot of this through peer-to-peer applications. 

I feel that the quintessential Library 2.0 application is LibraryThing.  I suspect this sort of service can do a better job of reader’s advisory than any single librarian, since I don’t know one who has actually read all of the books.  It is all about user input, users helping users.  The librarian/programmer just sets it up and stands back and lets it run.  

John Blyberg says in his blog that “L2 requires a fundamental change in how we handle ‘authority’.”  The internet is unlimited.  Users can add as much stuff as they want.  Under the old system, the librarian’s job was to filter out the bad stuff and only show you information from “trusted” sources.  But there are times when we don’t just want the most trusted sources.  What about when what you really want to get to is something on the fringe.  What is the role of the librarian under “L2”?  The librarian should be able to tell you the level of “trustworthiness,” but the ultimate decision about what information to use should be up to the patron.

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