November 04, 2005

Library 2.0

I just finished a story for about librarians and the brand-new virtual world. God bless librarians...

When students research term papers via Google and bloggers reiterate facts about every imaginable topic, they are stealing work from us, say some librarians.

So at the Internet Librarian conference last week, over 100 library professionals speculated about how to survive in a world of Web-based, user-created content.

They've dubbed their initiative Library 2.0.

These innovative librarians realize that some Web 2.0 technologies, such as blogs, wikis and online databases like Google Print, are already competing for the attentions of library patrons.

The librarians aim to build a participatory network of libraries using Web resources like blogs, wiki tools and tags.

They hope that the Library 2.0 "movement" will break librarians out of brick-and-mortar establishments and get them to interact with patrons through blog comments, IM and Wiki entries.

But the emphasis on the library as keeper of reliable information remains.

"Publicly edited technology will make libraries and librarians even more valuable where people are trying to sift through the vast amounts of information and misinformation," said Darlene Fichter, a Web consultant and data library coordinator at the University of Saskatchewan. "That information ecosphere is getting larger, richer, more complex."

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