LSC 555 Blog Post #5

Reflections on O’Reilly & Battelle (2009) and Holmberg (2009).

Web 2.0 encapsulates the idea of the individualized web. Instead of the web being a one way street of finding and taking in information, web 2.0 is about generating and sharing information by users and customizing how one views information.

This has shaped the evolution of library services. No longer are librarians gatekeepers of information, but rather they are sherpas providing pathways to information. Because users can find information from multiple avenues, librarians are more in the business of analysis and evaluation of information than they are gathering and researching. For me, this summarizes the idea of Library 2.0.

In their search for a definition of Library 2.0, Holberg, et.al. use many of the buzz words surrounding libraries, including: multimedia, collaboration, interaction, among others.

I appreciated the approach to Holmberg, et.al.’s paper, which took a “2.0” approach by crowdsourcing their research and really applying the individual-centric approach of web 2.0. And, at the same time, the authors applied a fairly quantitative analysis of their research (e.g. co-word analysis and mapping). 

Of most interest, the distinction between soft social aspects versus hard technology is one that could be applied to other analysis. The former captures the ideas of interaction and collaboration, while the latter sides more with social media tools. This distinction is significant because each require different approaches and understanding to get to the goal of interactivity.

O’Reilly and Battelle, take the Web 2.0 concept even further. The most striking point for me, was their description of collective intelligence. Moving beyond simply crowdsourcing, the authors extrapolate the idea that the web is always learning. It learns because its users and developers are learning to do more with more. Keeping this concept in mind will be important to developers and users alike. For librarians and the Library 2.0 it means remaining agile in how information is discovered.

References
O’Reilly, T., & Battelle, J. (2009). Web Squared: Web 2.0 Five Years On. http://assets.en.oreilly.com/1/event/28/web2009_websquared-whitepaper.pdf

Holmberg, K. (2009). What is Library 2.0? Journal of Documentation, 65, 668-681.

This blog post fulfills an assignment for a library school course and includes readings related to information systems.