Responses to the Academic Library 2.0 Model

The Other Librarian has an interesting criticism of Michael Habib’s revised Academic Library 2.0 Model – that it is too library-centric. This is a good point. The Other Librarian writes that “If Library 2.0 is going to be a model for anything, it has to include the introspective account that “Library” is not even (and never will be) close to the centre of most people’s daily lives.” I think that this is a point that we must all remember. From a conceptual standpoint however, I think that we need to have the library in the middle of this model. Those of us trying to . . .

(Dramatic aside – In the middle of typing this post, a big, scary bat did a dive bomb at my head in my living room. I had to call my husband to come home and capture it. By the way, I get the all bugs and sometimes the mice and he gets the bats – quite equitable. This is the second bat in the house this week. You might be quite right if you think I’m not sleeping too well this week. – end of dramatic aside)

Those of us trying to apply the concepts of library 2.0 to our library services are starting from the library. The library is what we have to work with. So, the library is our center. But from there, we need to remember that it isn’t the center for our patrons.

In another post, Remaining Relevant wonders about how this model would look for public libraries. I agree that the model may be much more complex since public libraries generally have a more diverse and larger patron base.

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2 Responses to Responses to the Academic Library 2.0 Model

  1. I’m realizing that I ought to put my real name in my blog. 🙂

    I gotta quote Karen Schneider on this one (http://freerangelibrarian.com/2006/06/the_user_is_not_broken_a_meme.php):

    “The OPAC is not the sun. The OPAC is at best a distant planet, every year moving farther from the orbit of its solar system.

    The user is the sun.”

    I believe that you can replace OPAC with library. Library 2.0, to my mind, is the warm fuzzy feeling that the user gets when we do our job right.

    I also believe there are very good ways to approach services beginning with the user. If the “library is what we have to work with,” then it is a constraint on a 2.0 world. Much better to focus on the strengths of the community and build on them. Also to think about libraries beyond the (both real and conceptual) bricks and mortar.

    I think we also have to think about libraries as being beyond the real and conceptual “academic,” “special” and “public.”

    This does inspire me to try and do a model myself, though.

  2. Thanks for the defence Jennifer. I responded to Ryan’s original post in a comment on his site.

    Ryan,

    I believe that public, academic, and special library distinctions stem directly from the different user groups served. Academic libraries do serve students, faculty and researchers and this does effect how their services might be different from a public libraries.

    I believe library is a valuable concept and should be our starting point. However, I also agree that libraries are beyonf the real and conceptual bricks and morter. Libraries have a strond tradition of public service that we need to learn from. Libraries provide unique services to our patrons. While we need to move forward and adapt to changing needs of our users, it is important to remember our original values. We cannot be all things to all people, which means that we are working with real constraints. Library 2.0 is in part then deciding how to expand our services in a way that meets our users needs while maintaining our unique identity. I hope that the general Library 2.0 model I am working on will speak to some of your points.

    I look forward to seeing your models. I think this is a valuable conversation to be having and new perspectives are important in these still early stages of development.

    This said, thank you both for your comments.

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