Sunday, January 13, 2008

Week 6, #15

Having read all the perspectives on Library 2.0 from the list, I found some were much more relevant to my practice than others. "Away from Icebergs" has several points that caused me to think about how school libraries have changed during my career, using technology to deliver better service and enable patrons to give feedback and suggestions. The notion of having print materials "just in case" patrons need them is a luxury I have never enjoyed, having to operate within the constraints of a public school library budget. In fact, having materials available for patrons online for which there would not be sufficient shelf space, has increased the amount of information students have at their disposal. Also, this format allows multiple patrons to use the same title simultaneously, which would never have been possible with print format. The point about "user education" is also especially pertinent to schools, since teacher librarians spend much time educating both staff and students about the most efficient and effective methods to use in searches. When I consider any database for purchase, I examine how easily a patron can use it successfully without any prior instruction. This factor goes along with another idea from the article about the "come to us" model. Since all our school library's online resources, databases and ebooks, are available for remote use, patrons who use them away from school must be able to find what they need, since help is not at hand. Certainly, advanced features can be explained at school, but basic searches must yield satisfactory results. Remote access bypasses the "come to us" model of service, enabling students and staff to do research outside library hours. In addition, as I tell students, they have no excuse for neglecting their research as long as they have access to an internet connected computer, since I hand out bookmarks listing the URLs, user names and passwords for remote access to all the library's online resources. Parents and teachers take great pleasure in this ability afforded their students.
A point from "Into a new world of librarianship" I appreciated is that Library 2.0 embraces Web 2.0 while using technology to enhance services. As school libraries began to automate, I met some administrators who believed that simply putting the library's catalog on a computer would automatically make students better learners, increase test scores and raise literacy rates. Teacher librarians must always choose applications and materials judiciously, not simply for the sake of using technology.
A point in the wikipedia article about Library 2.0 mentions how users can get involved in designing library services and take a participatory role. While students in every library where I have worked have offered suggestions that have led to more and better service, Library 2.0 exponentially increases the opportunity to do so, and adds methods for patrons to contribute content, a major shift.


School Library Learning 2.0 Team said...

Welcome back to School Library Learning 2.0 -- good to hear your thoughts.

Please consider also posting your list of library quotes!

Best wishes.
- Jackie Siminitus
CSLA 2.0 Team project manager

Library Lady said...

I love the list. Thanks for sharing.

Rob said...

Great job, Ellie. What a great resource for all of us who are looking for library and book related quotes!