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  • Library 2.0

    Library 2.0 is a loosely defined model for a modernized form of library service that reflects a transition within the library world in the way that services are delivered to users. The focus is on user-centered change and participation in the creation of content and community. The concept of Library 2.0 borrows from that of Business 2.0 and Web 2.0 and follows some of the same underlying philosophies. This includes online services like the use of OPAC systems and an increased flow of information from the user back to the library.

    In Library 2.0, library services are constantly updated and reevaluated to best serve library users. Library 2.0 also attempts to harness the library user in the design and implementation of library services by encouraging feedback and participation. Proponents of this concept, sometimes referred to as Radical Trust, expect that the Library 2.0 model for service will ultimately replace traditional, one-directional service offerings that have characterized libraries for centuries.

    A September 2006 article in Library Journal titled, "Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library," begins by expressing the benefit of Library 2.0 to library administrators and taxpayers as providing "more efficient ways of delivering services to achieve greater returns on financial investments." The article continued by asserting that the much discussed Library 2.0 is important for librarians as it may radically change our customer service and interaction.

    In 2009, Holmberg et al. identified 7 key principles for Library 2.0: "interactivity, users, participation, libraries and library services, web and web 2.0, social aspects, and technology and tools", and offer the following definition for Library 2.0: "Library 2.0 is a change in interaction between users and libraries in a new culture of participation catalysed by social web technologies.

    Another concern is that the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies can allow users to spread hate speech and cyberbullying in the library system. It is suggested that librarians define hate speech in their user content policies and identify it when it occurs.

    Librarians have been working to retool library catalogs in order to make them more useful for patrons to find, organize, and interact with information in a way that has infinite potential for user customization. These new types of catalogs are a shift from "isolated information silos" to "interlinked computing platforms." In the past the information flow was mostly one way, from library to user. With new web tools information can be released to flow in every direction (library to user, user to library, library to library, and user to user).

    Nishat Kazi recommends that the clients interest area should be recorded when they join the library, and when they login to their account on the OPAC, new items which match their interests should be displayed to them. Kazi also recommends allowing clients to rank and review items in the OPAC, as well as giving other clients the opportunity to respond to these reviews. Key words can also be added by clients in addition to key words added by the librarian to facilitate searching.

    In China a participatory library named Xiaotu was developed by Tsinghua University. Xiaotu is an artificial intelligence library that allows users to interact with it by talking or chatting through a mobile app or social network. It provides real-time virtual reference service combining Tsinghua University Library capabilities with social network and third-party resources. The system is composed by a self-learning function that receives updates from users as they find some missing or wrong information. Connected to the largest social network in China, it provides easy access and owns a book reading group accessed by Tsinghua University Students in China. Its knowledge base includes Wikipedia and its Chinese counterpart, content revised by professors of the university, frequently asked questions (FAQ) accumulated from the university library, and other third-party resources presented in the Chinese internet.

    Library 2.0 has been a source of debate in the blogosphere. Some librarian bloggers have argued that these key principles are not new and have been part of the service philosophies of many library reformers since the 19th century. Others are calling for more concrete examples of how libraries can get to Library 2.0. Walt Crawford, for example, argues that Library 2.0 comprises a combination of tools and attitudes which are excellent ideas and not new to librarianship, a few business- and tool-focused attitudes which will not serve all users and user communities, and incorrectly places libraries as the appropriate source for all users to gather all information.

    Proponents of Library 2.0, such as Stephen Abram, Michael Stephens, Paul Miller and others, have spoken to these criticisms, arguing that while individual pieces of Library 2.0 may not be entirely new, the convergence of these service goals and ideas with many new Web 2.0 technologies has led to a new generation of library service. This includes the use of online social networks by libraries.

    Library 4.0 has been proposed as including makerspaces, context-aware technology, open source, big data, cloud services, augmented reality, state-of-the-art displays.


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