Yes, I’ll join the growing amount of discussion on library 2.0 since John Blyberg wrote a post re-examining the library 2.0 movement. Like most, I’ve had mixed feelings about the whole web 2.0 movement and libraries – sometimes seeing great potential and other times wondering if it really meant anything to our users. I agree with Meredith Farkas when she suggests that we really need to consider the needs of our users. Do they care that we offer 2.0 applications? In many cases, the answer is no.
That being said, I believe that it is important to experiment with these 2.0 applications/technologies. For the most part, there is little cost associated with them. I beleive that libraries do need to be proactive rather than reactive and this is where Meredith’s comments on assessment are vitally important. If it’s not working, reassess and if it doens’t make sense, stop investing time in it.
I work in an academic library and I think there are some great 2.0 apps that our students and profs could use. I’ve often asked at the research help desk if a student is familiar with certain apps/technologies (del.icio.us, zotero, even blogs) – the answer is a resounding no. Facebook, yes (although I met a student yesterday who confessed to not having a facebook account and was lambasted by her friends). I think this is a role that academic libraries could play – introducing useful applications to their users – not just any 2.0 application simply because it’s 2.0. This requires knowing our users and perhaps even survey their needs and wants (not a revolutionary concept but one that is often forgotten)
Personally, I’d love to see (and hope to see and I don’t think I’m alone in this) drop-in sessions for such tools and liaison introducing faculty to them. I know this is being done elsewhere and it is this use of 2.0 in libraries that I think makes most sense.