Sunday, August 26, 2007

Week 6 Thing 15 - Library 2.0

Since as librarian/teacher I've been in charge of collection building and have been trying to meet the needs of students and staff with books, audio tapes, videos, CD ROMs, DVDs and computer software such as Reading Counts, I've been aware of the challenges of using technology. Students were having a hard time with software that gave written directions when they were as yet too young to read. I have been to conferences where vendors were eager to show how their software was more user friendly, the learning more interactive.
These articles show the obstacles (I mean challenges) and the advantages and visions that change is bringing.
Note: I made a point of looking for a female presenter in the list when I saw so many were male.

I have to disagree with "Icebergs" about the lack of justification of having a collection. Books are still very portable and in demand by students. Not everyone has a computer, and if they do, not necessarily on the internet, and if so, not necesarily available to the student. I wish more books were available online. I wish there was a free online catalog I could access. I also doubt the joy of holding a book, carrying it around, and sharing it with a friend will ever be replaced by technology. IN any case, our collection includes technology to be "borrowed" by students who can't afford the cost or space for a large collection like a library can. I agree that libraries need to change and it can be done one boat at a time. I also agree that training is an obstacle but that the constantly improving tools are solving that. What could be easier than Flikr's calendar maker that gives the user creativity tools to make their own personal product.
I also agree with Michael Stephens that the librarian is very necessary as a guide and needs to be able to embrace the Web 2.0 tools, plan for the users, and make good yet fast decisions.
Dr. Wendy Schultz wrapped it up nicely: libraries of the future (and now) need not to replace the libraries of the past (libiraries 1.0 - 3.0), but to absorb them. We will not drop the archival value to replace it with software, but will have place for both. And librarians will always be needed: as guides whether to help select books or to narrow the search for websites; to help provide the resources as well as to help find and select what the user wants.

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