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Ten Months In

I remember a conversation Michael Casey and I had in August 2005 that began when he asked me if I had ever heard of Web 2.0. I answered honestly, and am now ashamed to admit, that I had not heard of it. After giving me a basic idea of what Web 2.0 is all about—sharing, collaborating, empowering the user—he then said something I'll never forget: "Now, think about taking these concepts of the changing web and apply them to libraries. What do you get? Library 2.0."

Simple! Right? Of course, elements of Library 2.0 (sans the name) were being discussed, debated, and even in a few rare instances implemented before we had this conversation. But we now had a name for this new model for library service, and after a few more trips to Starbucks, Michael launched LibraryCrunch in September 2005.

In October 2005 I attempted to Google "Library 2.0" and came up with nothing close to the concepts that we were discussing and were beginning to be discussed by others in the blogosphere. Now that same search yields a variety of results.

Library 2.0 faced early criticism before it could even be clearly defined. There was a very early critical analysis of the concept when it was still evolving which ultimately seemed to increase interest in the idea.

Library 2.0 has come a long way in the past 10 months. It has survived despite the controversy and criticism. We now have a clear, yet fluid definition: user collaboration, constant and purposeful change, and reaching the long tail. Librarians from around the world are discussing this concept. It is a topic at conferences, courses are being taught on it, there are a growing number of librarians blogging it, and books are being written on it, including one by Michael and me.  It will be exciting to see what will happen over the next year with Library 2.0.

library 2.0

Comments

Well said! I just took L2 to 5 places in Minnesota and spoke with over 250 librarians on the topic.

I can't wait to read your book!