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Location: New Castle, Indiana

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Librarian 2.0

I just attended a SirsiDynix Institute Web Seminar about Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and Librarian 2.0. It was a very interesting panel discussion. And, I ended up with a couple of thoughts.

I'm wearing my library administrator hat when I say this:
There was a discussion of teens on skateboards in the parking lot or in the library. One library wanted to write a policy to deal with this issue. That's very close to home because we have quite a few kids (tweens & teens) who come to the library on their skateboards. The comment from the panel was that in creating this policy, the library is turning these kids away from the library and sending them a message that they are not wanted or welcome at the library. My problem is that unfortunately, some of these kids are not well-behaved. Now, by no means is my library a place where people are shushed and expected to sit quietly with their nose in a book. But, how do we balance being welcoming to all with the very real issue of damage and possible injuries. We've asked the skateboarders to leave their skateboards at the desk while they are in the building and for the most part that's worked out pretty well.

I also wondered if another type of "digital divide" will develop in the library world. I was thinking of the other libraries in my area who are very small. Maybe they only have 1 librarian. And that person might not be very tech-savvy. Are they going to be passed by in the library 2.0 world? Small libraries will say they can't afford to do some of these new social software type things. And I don't think that they are always talking monetarily. Many are time poor and staff poor. I have a lot of interest in learning these new tools, but it is not my main job. I do what I can and try to stay up-to-date, but I also have a great staff to help me accomplish the things we do. I just wonder how this will all affect the small, rural libraries.

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