Cites & Insights on Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0″

Walt Crawfors Crawford (sorry Walt!) writes the widely read and usually interesting newsletter Cites & Insights. Where he in the latest issue (PDF)(Volume 6, number 2, 2006) tries to sum up and describe Library 2.0 as a phenomenon, based on quotations from bloggers and also critique the concept and the bandwagon “Library 2.0″ as he calls it. So far it is probably the most thorough treatment of the Library 2.0 conversation that is going on in the biblioblogosphere. Although I think it is a useful piece of work I do worry that the focus is too narrow. Maybe the time for such a summing up has not come. The conversation is new. Crawford seems to have about commented on almost all posts on the Library 2.0 discussion so far. If we say that this conversation is about 6-7 months old it certainly needs a little more time before we should start to dismiss it, or even say that we know what it is. Crawford has the time and energy to discuss and comment on the choice of individual words in several blogposts. He certainly has the right, but I must admit that I got a sinking feeling in my middle section thinking about how he would dissect this blog if he ever discovered it and not focus on the central ideas and memes that might be gathered from the posts and comments in the blog. And that is my main problem with Cites & Insights this time. It does not sum things up, does not do what I most like about Cites & Insights, find the central ideas and roll them out for the reader, easily accessible and digestible. This time I think we found a lot more Cites and less Insights than usual from Walt Crawford. I look forward to the continuing discussion on Library 2.0 and how we can improve library services to the library users/patrons with the ideas and concepts that we find in the open source movement, creative commons, web 2.0 and other sources which has not been available before. And I think that in the future there will be more worthwhile Cites & Insights from Walt Crawford also on this topic.
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Posted in criticism, Librarian 2.0, Library 2.0
2 comments on “Cites & Insights on Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0″
  1. I’ve discovered your blog, and you need not worry about dissection.

    The special issue came out the way it did because I could not “find the central ideas and roll them out”–because I don’t believe there is one consistent set of central ideas. I think the name covers too many inconsistent, conflicting, and confrontational ideas to be useful. Thus, the issue, which lays out what’s being said.

    I would say that while the conversation about the tools and ideas–which should absolutely go forward, and which is a very good thing (although implementations are even better!)–is 6 to 7 months old, or maybe a lot older, the “Library 2.0″ thing is between two and three months old. And is, I believe, a distraction.

    Frankly, if the conversation turns back to a focus on what tools and ideas will be useful for libraries and implementations that help libraries move forward, I probably won’t spend much time on it because people who know more and are better qualified will have said what needs to be said.

  2. lib1point5 says:

    Thank you Walt. I think maybe the one thing that has Library 2.0 rubbing some people the wrong way, or as you put it, it is not yet a coherent set of ideas and have conflicting and confrontational ideas. I think that this is a neccesary phase of the development of a more coherent Library 2.0 concept. Maybe, maybe not, the eagerness of the people “who have seen the light” is the main problem. But if things are well in library land, then there should be no problem in accepting a few eager-beavers who thinks they know it all and can save the libraries from themselves. If things are not well, and we need to examine new ways of working and doing things, the all contributions, also the ones that are conflicting and confrontational are useful as ideas that we need to examine think about and make up our own minds. And we do need a theoretical framework for libraries, if we call it Library 2.0, fine with me, we can also call it something else, but so far the phrase has stuck, so lets work with it and get on with exploring, examining and having a great time making libraries as great tomorrow as they are today.

    Thomas

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