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Library 1.7.02-4 pre 6
I really, really hate this Library 2.0 meme for a couple of reasons.

1) All of our problems will not, in fact, be solved with AJAX and web interfaces

2) In fact many of our problems cannot be solved by technology at all (try doing interesting and meaningful and different work with the current body of MARC records out there and see what I mean)

3) This quest for 2.0 would be better served if "2.0" was a milestone on the journey to "Library 4.5" -- I mean, come on folks, let's get back into innovating.

4) I think it trivializes some actually exciting and useful work that I fear will continue to fly under the radar because it's not "Web 2.0" enough.

Maybe hype is necessary to rally the troops, but I really wish vision would get more attention.


At 8:22 PM, November 20, 2005, Anonymous Jonathan Williams said...

I share your concerns Ross, but I'm absolutely astounded at the speed with which Library 2.0 has been picked up, at least by library bloggers. I think it speaks to the fact that librarians who care about technology are frustrated with what is available now, and are looking for new solutions to some of their problems.

I believe there is an opportunity in all of this hype for innovative library developers, especially those working in small teams at libraries, to showcase their new exciting and useful projects. But I fear, as you do, that some of the most forward-thinking projects will not get the attention they deserve because they are perceived as either inaccessible or not ready for implementation.

At 8:57 PM, November 20, 2005, Blogger Ross said...

Jonathan, I think we're in agreement. I almost feel that whatever it takes to begin talking about how to make our services more accessible, useful, modern, integrated, etc. then let's do it.

And, certainly, I think this notion of "Web 2.0" will play a role. And I think there's a lot that libraries can benefit from adopting a lot of the technology of the major implementors of "Web 2.0".

To draw out your last paragraph a bit, I'm really worried of a couple of things:
1) That slick presentation will win out over usefulness

2) Our vendors will throw in a dash of AJAX, a sprig of RSS, up the yearly charge and say they've improved their product.

Today is a day of lists.

At 12:47 AM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps what we need is slick, useful presentations. :P -dchud

At 8:10 AM, November 21, 2005, Blogger ph0rman said...

...as long as they have kick-ass titles ;).

but semi-seriously folks, the instigator side of me wants to start talking about Library 3.0; after all it looks like 2.0 is almost scope closed...


At 8:15 AM, November 21, 2005, Anonymous Roy Tennant said...

Well, slick presentations have their purpose, but even more impressive can be running code that solves problems. Pain avoidance can be a powerful motivator. If we can build applications and services that prevent or alleviate pain, the slick presentations won't matter.

At 10:05 AM, November 26, 2005, Anonymous Casey said...

Ross, if we continue to think about Library 2.0 in software terms, then you're absolutely right. But it's much more than that.

I think you're pointing at it without saying it: the software for Library 2.0[1] doesn't work without Librarians 2.0. That is, we face challenges that can't be met with bolt-on solutions.

It won't work without talking about our metadata standards or questioning our service models. And programmers and systems librarians can't do that alone.

[1] Version numbers are a convenient shorthand for: we are at $x, we need to be at $x++. The specific number is irrelevant to me.

At 2:45 PM, November 30, 2005, Anonymous dchud said...

casey: good point. Back in the 1990s when we were largely still recon-ing we used to joke that "as soon we we're done recon-ing the catalog, we can get on with recon-ing our content. And then, we can recon ourselves." Seems the content bit is well under way...


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