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Library 2.0, Beta

"The Web is becoming an operating system right before our eyes, and it's pretty cool to watch it unfold." (Jenny Levine)

Jenny Levine of The Shifted Librarian has an excellent piece in ALA TechSource titled Hello, Library (1.0) World! in which she examines the mashup of Web 2.0 ideas and Library 1.0 offerings -- leading, hopefully, to a Library 2.0 world. She even mentions several items that we will add to the OPAC Wishlist.

But what strikes me when I read Jenny's piece is more than the technical Web 2.0 creations, it's the direction of thinking that seems to be evolving among many in the field of library services.  Constant change is replacing the older model of upgrade cycles.  Let me repeat that, constant change is replacing the older model of upgrade cycles. Take a look at such sites as Flickr and Gmail and notice the beta label.  These services have been out for over a year, and still they refer to themselves as beta products. Why? Because they are upgrading at a frenetic pace, pushing new developments out almost daily, and bypassing the older, structured, version upgrade cycle.

Bringing this thought process to library services is difficult but most certainly not impossible. This, to me, is one of the definitions of Library 2.0 -- harvesting ideas and products from peripheral fields that can then be integrated into library service models to improve existing services and create new services, and then continuing to examine and improve these services without being afraid to replace them at any time with newer and hopefully better services. 

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» The only thing constant is change from See Also
There is a post titled Library 2.0, Beta over at Library Crunch that has a few lines that I like very much: Constant change is replacing the older model of upgrade cycles. Let me repeat that, constant change is replacing... [Read More]