- RT @smalljones: In Belgrade, sad to learn of the death of my @uncsils colleague Jerry Saye who loved this part of the world especially S … 2012-06-08
- @moonlighter1965 all the details here: http://t.co/faNvUwj4 #Scopus for Institutional Repositories 2012-06-08
- Scopus Citation count issues resolved | http://t.co/HfEaWSM3 2012-06-07
- Check out PubMed Related Articles in the SciVerse Applications Gallery http://t.co/Xr165KlO 2012-06-06
- RT @bemobley: nifty: Layar Creator brings interactive augmented reality to print media | The Verge http://t.co/nrCQNHoD via @verge 2012-06-06
- Fix coming fast – Scopus citation counts currently experiencing technical issues | SciVerse http://t.co/wFtaEr7s 2012-06-05
- RT @alicebell: Zadie Smith: “We need to talk about libraries” http://t.co/vw0Zff4o (ht @sarahemilyduff) 2012-06-03
- RT @PlumAnalytics: Interesting case study about gaming Google Scholar citations and metrics http://t.co/gQ4WRPK8 #altmetrics 2012-06-02
- RT @jasonpriem: Univ. of Manchester #IR using embedded #altmetrics (Google Analytics + citations) to make the case for value. Nice! http … 2012-06-02
Archive for the 'public libraries' Category
A few days ago, Peter Bromberg of Library Garden posted a version of an essay called “Library as Place”. I had the good fortune to meet Peter at Library Camp a few weeks ago, and I wholeheartedly agree with the arguments of his essay. However, I feel it is important that we, as librarians, look beyond the walls of the library when discussing library as place. We need to expand our vision to include digital library as place. We are already doing this implicitly by incorporating social tools such as blogs and wikis into our websites. However, by explicately acknowledging this phenomenon, we can utilize what we already know about the physical library as place when building online communities. In fact, I originally created my Academic Library 2.0 Concept Model to demonstrate the parallels between physical and virtual library places. It was only after completing the model that I took the additional step of recognizing the virtual library places as Library 2.0.
(green = third place)
When discussing library as place, Peter brings in the concept of “third place”. It is exactly this version of physical library as place that my model hopes to parallel in the virtual world. Peter explains:
By our very nature we offer people a “third place” (not home, not work) where they can come to explore, imagine, think, learn, play, and reflect. Our function as a “third place” has never been more important to our continued health and relevance. If libraries are to survive and thrive we must redouble our efforts and refocus our energies to ensure that we are not only “third places” but destinations of choice.
Taken in a different context, isn’t this exactly what we are trying to transform our web sites into? MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr are wonderful examples of the online third places that people spend their time. What is different about the virtual world is that it is easier to incorporate the library into other third places. For example, if a patron is on your library’s MySpace page, then it could be argued that they are both at MySpace and your Library.
For those who are having trouble conceptualizing of the web as a place, lets look at the example of Second Life instead. As a 3D virtual world, Second Life is more obviously a place. The Second Life Library 2.0 is also the most obvious example of digital library as third place. If a patron is at their house on their computer in Second Life at Library 2.0, where are they? If they are focused enough, they are at the Second Life Library 2.0. Where we are is often more mental than it is physical. By embracing this concept, we will be able to build more compelling physical and virtual places. How might we go about this? Peter asks the following:
Why would someone in our community choose to spend their time here rather than somewhere else? Related questions might be: What does the library look like, smell like, feel like, and sound like? What do our signs communicate? What kind of environment are we offering to the community and how do library staff contribute to the creation of a friendly, welcoming environment?
Outside of smell, couldn’t we apply all of these questions to our websites? To conclude, the next time you find yourself discussing “library as place”, please ask how the discussion would apply to the online world.
Yesterday I was fortunate to attend the Paperhand Puppet Intervention’s “ “. Danielle Latman, took a number of photos that I have now uploaded to my Flickr account.
The fourth and last part of the show was a puppet rendition of Jeannette Winter’s book “here and follow the photo stream, the photos and their titles will share (part of) the story of Alia Muhammad Baker, the librarian of Basra. (If you play the slideshow, the captions will be lost.)“. For obvious reasons, we took particular care to document that part. Above is the first image from the series. If you click
“The Librarian of Basra” tells the true story of how Alia, a librarian in Basra, took steps to protect the books in her library both leading up to and during the War in Iraq.
While not related to libraries, the third part, “Seeing with New Eyes”, was also very impressive and featured a 20ft+ Buddha. Below is a picture of the giant Buddha in a battle of wills with a giant demon, Mara.
You can view all of the photos from the puppet show here.
If you are in the Triangle region, the show runs through the weekend of Sept. 8-9. You can find details about showtimes.
One of the primary characteristics of Web 2.0 is that it involves trusting one’s users. As librarians, we have always placed immense trust in our users. As defenders of intellectual freedom we have defended freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to meet, and so on. We have collected the most unpopular and crude materials alongside those that are popular and beautiful. We collect political commentary from all sides of an issue. It has always been my belief that we do this because we trust in our patrons to be curious, intelligent, and compassionate readers. Our democracy is founded on the idea that, given both sides of an argument the majority of people will be able to distinguish what is good and true from what is bad and false. We have always trusted that this majority of our readers will be able to distinguish the good from the bad. Moreover, we have trusted our patrons to use the knowledge they have gained outside of the walls of the library. Like the press, libraries expose people to all ideas and expect them to use this knowledge in political, academic, and social discourse. Towards this mission, we not only collect different points of view, but open our meeting rooms. We let all groups use our meeting rooms, but allow all patrons to attend, whether in support or protest. As librarians we are neutral. At the reference desk, we attempt to give our patrons whatever resources they need to discover the true answer to their problems. We let them decide for themselves. This is extreme trust. How then is Library 2.0 different?
Traditionally, excluding our meeting rooms, we expected our patrons to use the knowledge they gained outside of the library. Eventually ideas would trickle back in through traditional media sources such as newspapers and books. The read/write web has sped this process up. Now it is possible for readers to feed their knowledge back into the system in real-time. Libraries have always been considered places of reading. Library 2.0 is a place of both reading and writing. I would argue that it was always our idea that patrons would write their ideas down and that they would eventually reenter our libraries as part of the historical record. We always trusted that the majority of our writers strive to distinguish that which is good and true. Library 2.0 now requires us to maintain this trust in the majority. We must continue to trust that most readers are curious, intelligent and compassionate. The only difference is that the evidence of this will now be created and stored on our servers. It has always been easier to put hate group propaganda in the stacks than it has been to host hate groups in meeting rooms because the first can be obviously lost among the true and good arguments around it. In fact, it is only noticed when we search for it. In the meeting room or on our blogs, that hate speech is in your face. However, I guarantee that if any such bigotry is posted to a political discussion hosted on our blogs, it will quickly be drowned out by the voices of more responsible patrons. Moreover, those citizens will cite other sources on the web and in our collections. They might even make a compelling enough argument that the minds of a few lurkers are changed. This is what democracy is all about. This is what libraries have always been about. Web 2.0 has just changed the dynamic of how intellectual inquiry and democracy operate. In this way Library 2.0 speaks to some of the best of traditional library values, and, in so doing, defends the library as a cornerstone of democracy in a networked world.
To me Library 2.0 is not revolutionary, but instead evolutionary. As my Academic Library 2.0 Concept Model suggests, I believe the main goal of Library 2.0 is to figure out how to carryout the librariesâ€™ traditional roles in a read/write world.
I was just about to post this and noticed that Barbara Fister has touched upon these ideas in a post titled Gathering Intelligence on the ACRLog. She proposes the following in a discussion of Wikipedia:
Wikipedia could be a useful and familiar metaphor for the collective intelligence in the library – and for the social networking that has gone on for centuries.
I also noticed Learning is essentially a social activity by Judy O’Connell:
Ultimately, it’s not just about skills and competencies in isolation, but about skills and competencies within the greater context of our global society. The reality is that the web environments of social networks are very empowering when utilised to develop ideas, share resources, hone knowledge and empower creativity.
In my next post, I am currently planning to explore how we might use the principles of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Web 2.0 to harness the collective wisdom of our patrons.
I have been teaching a few classes a month on such topics as internet basics and computer basics at the local public libraries as part of the Community Workshop Series, which is a collaborative venture between the University Librarie’s and the local public libraries. Since we started this program last fall I have designed two courses based off my past experience working as a reference technician at the Northborough Free Library in Central Massachusetts. This morning there were 11 attendees to my “ ” Workshop, which is the best turnout I have yet had for this one. Hopefully things continue to grow. A few weeks ago we got some press and at least one person from the class I taught a few weeks ago had found out from the paper. Hopefully things continue to pick up.