Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Task # 15 - Library2.0 Discovery

I agree with much of what I read in these discovery articles. I especially like Rick Anderson's comments that we must move away from the icebergs that can sink us: the "just in case" collection, the reliance on user education, and the "come to us" model of service. Michael Stephens' model of the Librarian 2.o is an excellent description of the librarians who will take us into the future. My concern is that these models of libraries and librarians show services being provided through the web, which is growing from PCs and laptops to Blackberrys, cell phones, Ipods, and other small devices. From my years at the Independence branch, I am aware that in Charlotte, the majority of the population we serve does not have access to these devices. Studies continue to show the digital gap as being an econonmic gap. Schools and libraries continue to be the place where lower income citizens can access the web, because they do not have access outside the buildings. Also, while at Independence, I saw a population of middle-age patrons who had no idea how to use a computer, let alone get onto and use the Internet. I think this is the generation who left high school in the 70's (when they did not have computers in their schools) and went right to manufacturing jobs. Now those jobs have gone overseas, and these workers need computer skills to compete for jobs, skills they do not possess. And now at the Myers Park branch, I serve the elderly who want a place to come and read, to discuss books with the staff, and to meet members of their community face-to-face. We also have a large population of toddlers and preschoolers whose early literacy skills we are enhancing through storytimes. I feel we cannot get so caught up in being a Library2.0 that we forget our mission to serve our entire population. We can't afford to shift all our services to a Web-based environment. We need to remember that instant messaging, weblogs, wikis and mashups are cool and useful for some, but certainly not for all. For now I see Library2.0 services being added to our services, keeping us current and up-to-date while not neglecting those who need us in the traditional model.


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