The library as a lab?

The experimentation and development going on in libraries around the world makes me think that one charatcteristic of Library 2.0 is that the library functions as a laboratory for development. This can take many forms. The OPAC experimentation that Casey Bisson does with WordPress, Ann Arbor Public Library and their superpatron does stuff with Amazon APIs that makes me sit up and think, and elsewhere other experiments are changig the library both in the electronic and physical world. If we start to regard change as a “normal” situation as I suspect you have to do in a lab, then maybe we can have a go at realizing what Michael Casey wrote about having to live with constant change. This sounds slightly threatening to me, so thinking about the library as a lab and myself as a slightly demented scientist/librarian helps me accept the concept of change as a permanent fixture of library life and even enjoy the process. No lightning-rods on the roof yet… Of course the next step is to let the library be a lab for library¬† users as well. Start having video recording and editing equipment in the library. Let kids play around with it and publish the result on the library webpage or videoblog. Of course everyone is welcome to record their podcast in the library sound-studio or try out other new technologies as the library makes the latest stuff available to users (after letting the library staff play around with it first). Experiment with interfaces, both in the physical world and virtually. Let the users comment, on the blog or on the desk, invite comments as you change and try out things, don’t just present the final product. You let yourself wide open to critisism, but also to valuable input that might improve what you try to do, or let you drop a failed idea before you spend too much resources on it.

— I think I’ll just go out and move some shelves around

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I'm a norwegian librarian.

Posted in Librarian 2.0, Library 2.0, OPAC
One comment on “The library as a lab?
  1. the library as an information manipulation lab?

    Librarian 1.5 conceptualizes the new library as a lab for developmentThe experimentation and development going on in libraries around the world makes me think that one charatcteristic of Library 2.0 is that the library functions as a laboratory for dev…

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