Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Library 2.0 and Wikis

The readings on Library 2.0 caution us that the whole concept of Web 2.0 is constantly evolving as new technologies keep developing. Tom Storey wrties that, "The Web moves from simply being sites and search engines to a shared network space that drives work, research, education, entertainment and social activities—essentially everything people do." In his view, we will be constantly in touch with technology, everything will be online, connected to the Web. This is already evident in our use of cell phones, PDAs, and other handheld devices.

Much as I recognize this as true, I also dread this total reliance on devices as opposed to face-to-face conversations or even an actual phone call as opposed to a text message. I wish I could recall where I read this, but just this week I read an article (online, of course!) about how people were becoming too stressed out by this constant connection, that there was a grassroots movement afoot to TURN OFF YOUR CELLPHONE/PDA/COMPUTER! It seems to be common sense, but really, folks, there are times when you should just turn the things off and live! One shouldn't need a "movement" to do so, just common sense. If something is becoming a hindrance instead of a tool, then it's time to rethink your usage of that tool. So much for my views on personal usage...

So, what does this mean in terms of libraries? Well, the future is now, the Web is here to stay, and if libraries are truly to serve their clientele, they must also become linked to the Web in order to provide services in the most efficient manner. Wikis are the perfect way to do so.

There is an incredible amount of potential for wikis to be used in any library. The Bull Run Library Wiki is a wonderful example of the many ways information can be made available to the user through the use of a wiki. It even provides access to its own catalog and to WorldCat, so materials may be located in the area as well.

School libraries stand to learn a great deal by examining the way wikis are used in schools for everything from classroom projects to book reviews and lesson plans. Great ideas, great resources--I'm tagging these in my Delicious account!Follow the following link or school wikis:

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