Interestingly, I have heard the rumors that the J. Paul Leonard Library located at San Francisco State University is closing. Not forever, but for the next three years. It is scheduled to reopen in 2011. At first I thought, “Well that doesn’t help me. I am graduating in 2008.” However, I researched the rumor a bit further to discover that it is quite fascinating how the library will work during the closure. The library itself is going to further transition into the wonderful world of Web 2.0 using online interactivity. “Books and media will be available by online request for pickup within 24 hours at a distribution desk in the HSS building. Research assistance will be available at both locations and by phone, instant messaging or e-mail.” This is how it should be! It saves time for the students by expediting student research. Check out the blog that has been dedicated to the project: Library Project About to Begin
Meanwhile, what can educators learn from this supposed un-dilemma of the library closing? In the article Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries it pointed out that a library using Web 2.0 tools will provide better access to their collections and better user support for that access. According to the article, four essential elements of a theory for Library 2.0 are:
- Provides a multi-media experience
- Socially rich
- Communally innovative
When you think of the most successful online business of the book industry, I will bet money that 99% of people will say Amazon. The system works and without having to diagram the Amazon site, it should be noted that it contains all four essential elements listed above in regards to a theory for Library 2.0. Most notably is the idea of “communally innovative.” This idea focuses on the changing community and allowing the library users to help change the library is novel.
For years, I hated doing library research. I hated the system. I hated the slowness, the smell and the people in charge. It was fun to be bad in the library, but it wasn’t fun to research in the library. The older generation puts their nose up to this honestly and has on multiple occasions told me how upsetting it is that kids these days do not know how to use the library card system. But why do they have to? This should be extinct. The world has changed and young people need to know how to do online research that is right their at the fingertips accessible 24/7. Yes, it is wonderful to browse through books and get leads on related books in a section that you are in, but really do most people have time for this? In this fast paced world? No!
During my younger years, adults made me feel so bad that I didn’t know how to use the library system and therefore, I never used it. In addition, reading wasn’t the easiest thing for me when I was younger. However, I remember the first time I learned how to use Google. I was instantly addicted. I went from one link to the next, overwhelmed with the tremendous amounts of information that I could find so easily. I would tell myself, one more link and that’s it and go on for hours and hours of research! I got the Google bug and never stopped. If I had this when I was in high school, I would have known so much more and would have been much more well read. I know that I am divulging way too much personal information to you, and you might even be judging me for my lack of sophistication, but I know that Google and the Web have greatly changed my sophistication beyond recognition. It was what I needed, but did not have access to when I was younger. I grew up in the wrong generation. That is why this idea of Library 2.0 is exciting. Just think about all of the young people that will be turned on to learning and it will be so natural!
The scholarly article, Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries was published June 29, 2006. I located it using Google Scholar like the Instructor of our Internet Authoring course suggested. The relevance of this article to my blog topic Web 2.0 in the Classroom is quite substantial.