Library 2.0 didn’t just suddenly appear one day, it has been an evolution in progress every since Library 1.0 (Farkas, 2007). The only difference is the technologies available now and a change in public access to information – it’s available to everyone, anywhere, 24/7, and even in their own pockets.
Meredith Farkas (2007) made several recommendations on how to build Library 2.0 in her keynote speech at the 2007 Librarians Association of the University of California, Berkeley Division symposium, of which I will take 5 that best apply to non-university libraries and see how my own part-time secondary school library shapes up to them in the year 2013.
1). Know Your User (22:15) and
2). Go where the users are (34:00)
Our library, like most others, takes student and staff recommendations for books and resources and we do our best to purchase these items. But would I say we know our user? Not really. We also do not try to reach our students where they are, as Farkas recommends, and we aren’t getting feedback from non-library users on how we could make them library users. Suggestions? A facebook page, a twitter feed, a tumblr account, blog… If our students are online between classes and after school, we need to be also.
3). Don’t just focus on technologies (41:00)
Our library is very new (just 3 years old), as is the whole school, but I’m not sure if a librarian was ever consulted in the designing of it… For library 2.0 to truly emerge in this space improvements could be made to the flexible learning spaces and furniture and on how the library is perceived in the school. More flexible hours would also be an improvement.
4). Make keeping up a part of people’s job descriptions (54:00)
We can build social networking site connections to relieve problems in point 1 and 2 above, but if I (or the library clerk) are not allowed to use the sites as part of our work day then they will become outdated quickly and useless to our students.
5). Finally, get to the teachers! (60:07)
It is just as important to get to the teachers, or faculty as Farkas refers to, as it is our students. Teachers are the ones who see all types of students in their classes. If only the library-minded students actually enter the library doors, the teachers can be there to advertise the library to everyone else. If teachers know what is available in the library physically or online, they can recommend the services to struggling students, or attached these services to research assignments etc. This is happening to a very small extent at our school, but could be utilised so much more!
Farkas, M. (2007). Building Academic Library 2.0. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved Dec 11, 2013 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_uOKFhoznI