I’m curious what resistance to Library 2.0 you’ve seen.

The correspondence that goes to American Libraries (as opposed to a specific person at the magazine) goes through me, and I've lately seen some backlash to coverage of 2.0 issues--coverage of Second Life will bring a haughty "I have quite enough to do in the first life, thank you very much" response, for example. One that really intrigued me was from a woman spectacularly peeved that a column should suggest participation in Second Life, when she's already so busy doing “real” library work. She went on to list some of her library activities, among them a newspaper column and a radio show.

If a newspaper column and radio show are real library work, why not Second Life? Don’t they have the same outreach and promotional goals? Yet this woman clearly didn’t see it that way.

To me, the term “2.0” has the connotation of new, cutting-edge techy stuff that’s hard-to-understand and requires a radical shift in thinking. That’s not my experience with 2.0 applications, but I suspect that others share that impression or its worse counterpart – an “us vs. them” mentality (e.g., “I’m not one of the Library 2.0 people, therefore they are inexorably wrong in all things.”).

Have you seen similar response?

The 2.0 applications I’ve used can be interpreted as only changes in method, rather than changes in ideas. (My blog is just a collection of articles, just like the magazine, distributed in a somewhat different way; Myspace is a way to network, rather than a new concept called “networking”.) One of the great virtues of Helene Blowers’ Learning 2.0 course was how it broke down Library 2.0 into simple, digestible chunks; I wonder if resistors would be more amenable to Library 2.0 if they were introduced to it in these chunks rather than as a whole.

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Let me start off by noting that I like the designation Web 2.0 to describe the current "revision number" on what we are seeing. Technologists often talk about the 1.0 version of a product (at least when it is good enough to have a future) as being cool, but having some significant limitations. 2.0 products tend to be technologically driven bloatware. They are driven by technological capability and response to "neat ideas" than by a sense of usefulness and usability. It is often difficult to get your head around all the things that 2.0 products bring to the table and why you would ever want to have that capability. 3.0 is where a product traditionally reaches maturity both in terms of usefulness and capability. Often 3.0 revisions scale back on technologies that may have been cool, but aren’t that useful and repackages the good parts in a way that re-engages with the user population. Value to end users tends to be better represented in 1.0 and 3.0 releases than in 2.0 releases. As I said, I think that 2.0 is a good designation.

Librarians were major players in the development of Web 1.0. I think that often we forget how deeply involved the library community was. When we talk about Library 2.0, what we are really talking about are people who are experts in how people find and use information (librarians) beginning to engage with the technologies and the users of those technologies as part of the sifting process that will result in Web 3.0. I don’t expect that librarians will have the dominance in Web 3.0 that they had in 1.0, but if we define Web 3.0 as being a mature, usable space that is, in part, an information space, we have a lot to contribute to that evolution.

Reading through this thread, I am struck that a fair number of the comments are not so much based on being anti-Library 2.0 or anti-Web 2.0, as the beginning of the process that leads to 3.0.

Just as an example, it is not difficult to imagine creating a Library of Congress space in Second Life. You could have the Reading Room. You could have all of the services. You could interact with staff by walking up and talking to them. You could get to the virtual LC by flying there from any point in Second Life. It would be cool. Maybe it will score us some points with the youth demographic. But is it a good model? By creating a virtual physical world, we bring with us many of the problems of the actual physical world that we were trying to avoid with Web 1.0. Web 1 brought a lot of value to the people that we were trying to serve in terms of getting them immediate and generally free access to information. Unfortunately the process “disintermediated” (to bring back an old word) the library itself and a lot of the value that the professionals in the library were adding—selection of quality resources, organization of content to assist finding the correct content, assistance in finding information, sharing of purchased content—all of the traditional functions of librarians. The human component has tended to be one of the hallmarks of 2.0 technologies. I am suggesting that Library 3.0 will pull from both.
I do think the rhetoric has a lot to do with 'resistance.' The marketing of some library 2.0 ideas has been pretty poor; the marketing, not the ideas or the people behind them. And often there has been little understanding of the diversity of libraries and the people they serve. We all tend to imagine a service isn't good when it doesn't meet our needs, and treat ourselves as typical- when we may not be. We need to look at all groups and their needs- obvious yes, but not often done- we focus on the groups we like, are comfortable with, or who validate our self-image.
Library 2.0, as part of an overall shift in delivering services, is great. but it's not the be all and end all. To extend Dale's religious analogy, we need servants of the word *and* of the table; a balanced approach. I'd say some lIbrary 2.0 proponents have been *very* Moses ;)
My experience has been that most people react to 2.0 stuff with, "What's the use of it?" This makes those of us who enjoy "playing" with these things feel defensive. I have personal experience with the advantages of blogs (as a web publishing mechanism), wikis for collaboration, online applications (word processing, etc.), and bookmarking. I can speak directly to those and how they have helped me.

Other things I'm still trying to figure out. I've found Second Life to be most useful for networking (and getting a publication credit). We decided not to go with podcasting, despite grant money being available, because we couldn't see a use for it at our library at this time. It does work for some libraries, but not ours, at least not right now. After I've said things like that, I've found that some people are more willing to listen to me about things I think they should try.

Not every new thing is going to work for every library. (Wouldn't life be boring if it did? We'd all be carbon copies of each other!) Proponents need to put that caveat in every article and every presentation. No one should be shamed into trying something new--that's very bad pedagogy.

I think that early adopters need to be prepared to give practical uses for things that they are enthusing about, and/or be prepared to say, "I'm not sure what it's good for yet." It's also helpful to give examples of things that you've tried that you don't think are useful, at least not to your library. It would help if "resistors" would let us "play" for a little before demanding a practical application. We are experimenting here, and experimentation takes time and often leads to dead ends. If both camps would acknowledge that, communication would be better.
Well, conversation could go something like this:-

'Here are some things/services which we think will help the library'
'How so?'
'Benefits a-z, we hope; but we need time to work it out'
'Ok go ahead; put up what you think will work, come back to us when some of the other things are worked out and we can try them then'
To me, 2.0 has the potential to really transform library services, simply by reaching users/patrons/customers/whoever in ways that they prefer, rather than using the easiest way for us as librarians.

The problem I have is with the gimmicky nature of a lot of the discussion about the subject. I work in education, a sector that just loves to attach buzzwords to everything. Blended learning for instance, is a term for a concept that libraries have known about and used for a long time - we know that we need to adapt to keep our users, and we know that information must be provided on a variety of platforms and in a variety of ways so that users have choice. To listen to the education sector though, you'd think that they'd just discovered this - just have a look at lists of training events in professional organisations - using new terms and phrases implies that this is a new thing that you do not yet know about, but that you must know about, and you should therefore get training.

Secondly, there's the race to be the first with everything. Setting up Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), blogs, wikis, forums is all very well if you've researched the demand for this. Too many places just feel that they should have the technology because they can, and because everyone else already has, and because they might get an award or extra funding or kudos if everyone else in the sector finds out about it. I'm still struggling to persuade our students to renew online and check reading lists on our long-established website.

My own belief is that it will be a great thing for libraries, but we need to plan and market it well, and ensure that our users are actually interested.
I think that's the hope of Innovators and Early Adopters of the 2.0 technology (forgive me for the library school jargon...), but a lot of folks are just waiting to see how the tools can be applied to the things that they do to make what they do better. So no matter how many times I tell people that bookmarking sites in del.icio.us works better and is more helpful to others than bookmarking sites in folders on their browser, until they see the actual application and the categorical 'betterness' of it, they're not going to change. Even then folks might not change, if they're comfortable with what they have and don't see enough reasons to change.

That's where the 2.0 courses really help, not just for the short digestible chunks, but also because many of them show an administrative buy-in of 2.0 ideas, and offer some form of incentive (some courses offer awards to people who complete the entire course, like USB drives or cameras or music players).

I have seen a lot of backlash against Second Life, very similar to backlash that I saw to MySpace a couple of years ago, from librarians. Now people are starting to realize that MySpace isn't the important part of social networking technology - MySpace is just one application of it, and one way to understand the technology. I think Second Life could be the same type of situation - In ten years, Second Life might be gone, but there will be many other similar and/or improved types of online communities that will be thriving. Our job isn't to be in Second Life so much as to figure out how the elements of Second Life can be made to fit our purposes, and keep our eyes open for newer incarnations of that technology. Who knows, maybe there will be a Ning-like Second Life-like technology that comes around, where people can build their own virtual social network worlds, even on their company intranets.

I do go on.

I have a wiki where I've put up lesson plans based on Helene Blowers' and other people's Library 2.0 classes. You can see it/make use of it/help me make it better at http://instructionwiki.org/Library_2.0_in_15_minutes_a_day

Take it easy,
It's just too bad that the library MySpace fad seems to have come just when MySpace is getting "so last year"...
I like your comment about some upcoming "Ning-like Second Life-like" yet to be named technology - to me, that's a big reason why we try these things out. Not so we can use Second Life, etc. forever, but so that we're ready to jump on that next big thing before it becomes passe.

Very nice .good thanks for sharing



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