Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Future of Libraries - week 6, thing #15

Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 are cropping up everywhere. Several of the journals and now of course the blogs I read are all about these subjects. Once again, things seem to be converging at this point in my tenure as a school librarian. The ideas suggested by these authors are compelling. They are talking about libraries in general, not specifically about school libraries, but I think much of what they write is applicable to today’s LMT and school libraries.

Without mentioning all of the points they made, here are two that resonated with me from just two of the authors:

Michael Stephens, Librarian, Blogger, “Into a new world of librarianship”
http://www.oclc.org/nextspace/002/3.htm writes about the Librarian 2.0:

“The most important traits of Librarian 2.0 include:

Librarians 2.0 plans for their users - This librarian bases all planning and proposals for services, materials and outreach on user needs and wants. User-centered libraries breakdown barriers and allow users access wherever they are: home, work, commuting, school, or at the library. This involves users from the get go in planning and launching services based on their needs. This librarian asks what new technologies or new materials users need. This librarian proposes building projects and involves users in designing those places.”

Right now, my high school is working on the plans for a large facilities building and remodeling project. The library will not be torn down and a new one built, but will be gutted, rebuilt and considerably enlarged. I am trying to take a serious look at what the library should be. Mr. Stephens’ words challenge me to plan for my users and ask them what they want and need. I read somewhere that I should take special note of those areas that users create for themselves in the library and try to incorporate those spaces in our plans. This seems to truly be what is suggested in this article.

Rick Anderson, Director of Resource Acquisition,
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries , http://www.oclc.org/nextspace/002/2.htm - warns us to keep “Away from the icebergs”:

“The ‘icebergs’ that I see threatening our progress, indeed our existence, are these:

The “just in case” collection - Crazy as this may sound, the time has come for us to look skeptically at the very idea of a library “collection.” … it no longer makes sense to collect information products as if they were hard to get. They aren’t. In fact, it may no longer make sense to “collect” in the traditional sense at all. As a Web 2.0 reality continues to emerge and develop, our patrons will expect access to everything – digital collections of journals, books, blogs, podcasts, etc.”

Again, this caught my attention as I look at the high school library and try to decide what needs to be in the library to meet the needs of the students and teachers. What books need to be here? What print and digital resources do we need to support the curriculum and meet the standards? What equipment, what shared or quiet spaces do we need? This article made me consider the standard we have for how many books we should have in a school library. In our own CSLA standards, we have long said we need so many books per student in our school libraries. What books are we talking about? Who uses my school library? What if the fiction collection and the reference collection were the only books I kept in the library? What parts of the classified collection should I keep? Should we keep the same standard and still strive toward a particular number of books on the shelf per student or do we need to find a new standard? What can Library 2.0, Web 2.0 and even School Library 2.0 give me to replace or supplement the books if I no longer have them? This is an interesting scenario for me to contemplate. These articles would seem to fuel this discussion with my school and with you all, my colleagues on this quest we have set for ourselves to learn more about the tools of Library 2.0.


IrmaPince said...

Wow! You have brought up so many good points. As a former teacher of a graduate level collection development course, I can appreciate your comments on how we must rethink what it means to collect information and build a library. Our world is evolving so quickly, that it is a real challenge to keep up.

librarymum said...

I was a university librarian before I became a school librarian and that has caused me to make many adjustments in what I think should be in a school library. Universities often have the option of having more historical resources in all subject areas because they have the space and the money. Many degree programs require them to collect and retain relatively large collections in particular subject areas.

In a high school library, I don't think we have that option, let alone the space and the money. Now with Library 2.0, I'm not sure what it even looks like now. I hope this will be something we all talk about.