Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Nothing is the Future by Wayne Bivens-Tatum (Academic Librarian)

(Found via here). Wayne Bivens-Tatum, an academic librarian from Princeton has a post Nothing is the Future. The post looks at how the web 2.0/library 2.0 has become:-

The future of libraries is Second Life. Wait, I mean Facebook. Or maybe it's Twitter. It's librarians in pods. Etc.The beauty of talking about the future is that it never happens.

Wayne does have a point, but as someone has mentions in the comments Walt Crawford has discussed this previously in an insightful (and longer) piece.

I do think that Wayne has a point. But, recently I was talking to a former work colleague about whether web 2.0 or library 2.0 had changed anything in the workplace? He felt that it had, in that it had re-invigorate new staff and perhaps even teach some old staff some new tricks.

Repackaging the library may seem foolish to some, but I think we may all agree doing everything the same, everyday is dull and repetitive. Yeah, second life maybe not the future or blogging, but at least you may improve the service and your own skill set. As one predominant library 2.0 blogger has said on Talis recently said:-

Meredith Farkas, Author of the book “Social Software in Libraries”. A couple of years after publishing her book, Meredith has become a little jaded about the way libraries are using social software, with some libraries seeing it as a magic wand for community building and engaging with their users. This chimed well with the thoughts of the Gang, who were drawn to the conclusion that like most software, it is just a tool. How you use a tool to communicate with your users, is far more important than the tool itself.

Finally, I would say people today have adapted to the web 2.0 idea for career reasons just as much for helping users. In the world today our library careers are based on short-term contracts. What we learn and can transfer to similar roles are as important to us as ever. Without a new skill set to assist our resumes we are dead in the water.

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