November 02, 2007

Building Academic Library 2.0

Notes from Meredith Farkas' presentation at the LAUC-Berkeley Academic Library 2.0 Conference. I'll add some commentary later tonight.

Web 1.0 – democratized access to information

  • Users interacted w/ web as consumers; to produce, needed experience, space, etc.
Web 2.0 – all participants in web creation/contribution
  • Hubris of 2.0 – assumption that nothing revolutionary happened before 2.0
  • More of an evolution, driven by technologies; libraries not the only game in town anymore
Academic Library 2.0 – state of mind
  • Meeting user names
  • Trusting our users (radical trust)
  • Getting rid of the culture of perfect (start simple and test, more iterative, not waiting until something is “done”)
  • Aware of emerging technologies and opportunities
  • Learn to extrapolate to see what other types of libraries/non-libraries are doing
  • Looking outside of library world for applications, opportunities, inspiration
Building Academic Library 2.0 Externally
  • Know your users; look beyond netgen stereotypes: what do they value, how do they research (Univ Rochester anthro study); go into their space and ask for feedback
  • Question everything: do you still need to be sitting at the refdesk when all of your ref contact is IM? Dropping Dewey for bookstore-style classification
  • Communicate better with patrons (blogs, etc.) – including by library directors, accepting and using feedbackHighlight collections with tools like Flickr; RSS for new collections; adding our resources to Wikipedia
  • Embed services where they are: Facebook and Myspace, portal in WebCTBuild participation: take advantage of our users’ knowledge of these subjects in saved resources (wikis); social bookmarking (PennTags)
  • Better at building partnerships
  • Don’t focus on technology, or abandon constituents who won’t use these tools
Building Academic Library 2.0 Internally
  • Build learning culture; not everyone one gets to go to conferences; create in-house learning (Learning 2.0 at PL of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County)
  • Develop risk-tolerant culture; “perpetual beta”
  • Collect knowledge internallyCapitalize on your network: Facebook as online rolodex
  • Be transparent, internally as well as externally
  • Good ideas can come from anyone and anywhere
  • Nurture talent (she heard this from some LJ Movers & Shakers at IL--that they weren't feeling appreciated at their institutions)
  • Be agile (need 3 mos to decide on blogging software?); Empower staff to make some decisions
  • Involve staff from all levels in planning; helps avoid tunnel vision
  • Avoid technolust; start with needs, then look tools
  • Understand staff member’s needs and limitations (why people fear change; understand learning styles; some staff need more than just written instructions—prefer hands-on instructions/help)Time must be devoted; staff not given time for this, they way we do with reference shifts, etc.
  • Keeping up w/ new technologies and share with colleagues – make part of job description
  • Need new staff, or shuffle w/in existing staff with these interests
Question we were left with: Is your organization currently structured to make this happen?

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