Talis white paper on Library 2.0

Just as I was about to leave work yesterday a new item popped up on my Bloglines notifier, Panlibus had a new post, so I “just checked” instead of closing down as I should have. A new white paper: Library 2.0, – the challenge of disruptive innovation.(PDF) appeared in Adobe reader, and I just had to sit down and read. Here are two of the many things that really caught my attention:

What good librarian would choose to hand ‘truth’ down from the shelves to those who then passively consume it, rather than engage in a dialogue with participative lifelong learners? Is it not preferable to help users build their understanding of the world around them with reference to a wealth of experiences from across formats, media, contexts, and their analogue and digital manifestations?


Remixing library services
Fundamental to the changes we anticipate for libraries is a shift from the delivery of a library service just within the library building, or simply from a library’s own web site. Consequently, as well as continuing to offer services to those who come to us, we need to reach beyond the boundaries of the library space, and begin pushing services out to people in the places where they are already interacting. For example, new technologies and new attitudes make it eminently feasible to break the OPAC down into a set of functional components, and to make each of those components available for inclusion in almost any page on the web, whether library-focussed or not. The OPAC itself is enriched by this approach, and the services formerly available only via the OPAC become far more widely available, and consequently far more valuable.

I really love it when somebody says what I have had mulling about in my head for so long, but have been unable to express in such a clear and interesting way.

The first quote is a great way to clarify on of the main issues with Library 2.0, that the central issue to look at and improve is the relationship between library/librarian and users, and accepting that the power is shifting to the user. In Library 2.0 there is a willingness to embrace the new opportunities to involve users in creating a better service on their own terms.

The last quote about the OPAC really resonates with a debate about library portals going on in Norway just now. I’m really in favor of a solution where the bits of any library service that is relevant are incorporated into any place where the user finds it useful. I really like the idea that library services becomes a part of a more complex service universe instead of a single library portal where only the most dedicated will go and find what they need. The recent linking between several national library holdings and Google Scholar is a typical example of the thinking that libraries need to be integrated into existing and popular services. Wonderful work and very interesting to see where this development will go. I am especially interested in how the users of these services will react.

The Talis paper is very interesting, a good read, and easily accessible for all interested in the Library 2.0 discussion. The parts where the paper discusses Talis own technology are very useful for those of us that have to make desicions on ILS development and challenges both us librarians as customers, and all ILS vendors as suppliers. I hope that Norwegian ILS vendors read and learn. I for one will think about what issues I will raise with my own ILS vendor to try to bring our system into the Library 2.0 world.

And yes, I did manage to pick up my son from school before it closed:-)

I'm a norwegian librarian.

Posted in Blogging, Library 2.0, OPAC
2 comments on “Talis white paper on Library 2.0
  1. Paul Miller says:


    thanks for the comments – I’m glad you found the paper useful.

    The second of the quotes that you pick out is one that particularly resonates with me. So many of our big programmes, in the UK and elsewhere, are devoted to building monolithic destinations that very few people ever visit. The drivers behind those destination sites are often good, but they need to be disaggregated and made available in other places. And yet we keep doing it…

    Talis would, of course, like to apologise to your son for any distress caused when you left him standing in the playground… 🙂

  2. […] Talis white paper on Library 2.0 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: