I was reading Blyberg's blog today, entitled More than just faith: Radical trust. Although he apologised for not being able to write much, with quality like this who cares? Blyberg was discussing idea of opening social software to users/patrons and clients (choose which you prefer). Blyberg says:-
'if you have a social software system that allows users to tag OPAC items, you may want to put a lot of consideration in to what the users experience is like. By making this process both fun, connecting and obviously open (not interfered with) you send a clear message that “yes, we trust you to handle this responsibility”.'
This is so true. Users can feel empowered by being allowed access. In the world of library 2.0 or web 2.0, we need our clients to feel they are adding something to the system, not just taking. of course there are problems with the social software approach as Blyberg points out. These being 'With social software, comes social interaction. With that, come the tin-foil hats and assholes. Over time, you’ll get to know who these people are and where they troll for trouble. So will your other users. Anyone who has used the internet much knows what these people are like and how they can stir up a tempest. You can trust your other users to come to the conclusion that these individuals do not speak for your organization.'
I wholehearted agree with him. I recently proposed on this blog about setting up a blog at the library I work at. I have put this forward formally, but in doing so have pointed out there are problems with it (the same one's Blyberg mentions). But, if we are to make libraries part of the 21st century, we need to empower our users. If not we may be seen as an outdated institution, which is far from the case.