Chris Zammarelli's posting earlier today on the 2.0 Business Librarian position at Florida Gulf Coast University included some great examples of how L2.0 language is making its way into job announcements and descriptions. In a related discussion a couple of weeks back, people were sharing frustrations with getting management support for implementing L2.0 services in their libraries, with people saying to focus on the services rather than the technology as a strategy for getting buy-in. The Florida announcement, or at least the version distributed to a number of listservs, does a nice job of emphasizing things like "Create wikis, blogs & infomercials for library resources" and the use of other L2.0 technologies as part of services to be delivered.

We recently went through a similar exercise here at California State University, Monterey Bay, when we put together the description for the Reference and Instructional Technology Librarian position that's just been posted at While we're certainly looking for someone with the kinds of technological skills and interests that many of you in this online community share, we intentionally cast the 2.0 aspects in the context of some of our core services because that's the way we see them being successful implemented here. We borrowed/adapted some well-turned phrases from other recent postings as well as crafting much of our own, and ended up with wording such as:

"This entry-level, tenure-track position offers creative opportunities for a forward-looking, self-motivated individual who is able to communicate effectively with colleagues, students and faculty to collaboratively design and deliver innovative, interactive library services to our community."


"In collaboration with other Library faculty, the successful candidate will evaluate current and emerging technologies in order to plan and implement digital service initiatives for the delivery of reference services and instruction (e.g., RSS, blogs, wikis, podcasts, IM, content delivery to mobile devices, use of gaming in library instruction)."


"We seek a colleague who can also provide vision and leadership for the Library’s efforts to engage library users through the creative use of social networking tools. "

I'd be curious to hear from any of you whether these examples manage to capture the essence of where L2.0 is heading in academic libraries.

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To me, Library 2.0 is a social phenomenon. My big issue is that many people seem to be seduced by the technology, and wind up thinking that L2 is only about using new software toys. They're going to be useless unless they're used to get people to patronize the library.

Forgive me if I am blunt here, but they're also going to be useless in your library unless the rest of the library staff is trained in them. (I'm assuming there's more than 2-3 staff members handling the public.) If all the maintenance of these technologies falls on one person's shoulder, then the library staff is not doing their job. All (or most of the) staff must be on board to implementing these tools to solicit and interact with the public. (If the job is being advertised as an "L2 position," to me that suggests that the rest of the staff can't deal with L2.)

Also: In five years, do you think the scene will be the same? No way. Probably all the tools we use now will have changed, companies will have merged, some tools will emerge winners and others will fall by the wayside. How do we manage this constantly changing environment?

If we make a commitment to L2, that means we're going to be open to all the new things that come down the road. It's like surfing the waves, not knowing what will come next. If we're going to be L2 librarians, that means we're going to be continuously investigating whatever the new website-of-the-month has to offer, as well as keeping the senses open to what web fans are doing and talking about.

So if you're seeking an L2 applicant, your staff better be ready to be dragged into the present.
Thanks for the insightful and frank comments as always, Bob. I agree completely that it's not about the technology, but what we can do with it, and that what we can do with it is social by definition. We're fortunate in that we do have a fair amount of buy-in and participation in various online social venues among our staff, but of course it's not yet universal and as you pointed out, there are some who will need to be "dragged into the present." However, since we're still a small institution with only seven librarians, the effort needed to bring the rest along is not as great as it might be in a larger library. What we need primarily is someone to bring more focus to what are now a bunch of individual efforts, but we're basically primed and ready to go.
When I saw this job announcement in my aggregator I started figuring out ways to finish my degree early because it essentially describes my dream job - and it's in California where all of my family is! I've been going to school part-time as I already have a great job doing a number of the things you mention and I have one more class to take in the fall. Drat! If it's still open in five months I guarantee that I'll apply!



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