I now grok Library 2.0… and the foundational readings!

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When I enrolled in The Hyperlinked Library, following a recommendation by my academic advisor, I wasn’t sure what to expect, aside from the course description. The foundational readings in the first two weeks of class provided an excellent framework for the information that will be grokked (for you Robert Heinlein fans) later this semester regarding participatory libraries and change management, the two key concepts that I walked away with.

Buckland’s 1992 Manifesto provides a solid foundation of the history of how libraries worked in the past and the present and where they will move to in the future. The Paper Library, with all its card catalogs and books, has moved into the Automated Library, where the back-end of the library’s operations are electronic and computerized, but the front end continues to put out physical products. The Electronic Library of electronic processing and digital products that can be used anywhere by anyone seems like a sci-fi fantasy, but we’re already close to being there, with full-text PDF’s hyperlinked to bibliographic data in databases linked together through Search and Retrieve standards and protocols. Our own Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at SJSU is a fine example of how the Electronic Library is already here and has become an integral piece of online education: without it, online students, like myself, would have a difficult time with research and papers.

What allows the Participatory Library to thrive in the 21st Century is the Electronic Library. Lankes, Silverstein, Nicholson and Marshall (2007) describe the library in terms of conversations: the facilitation of conversations through media, learning through conversation, Conversation Theory and the preservation of conversation. Whereas the Paper Library is a one-way conversation from the top to the bottom, the Participatory Library is facilitated by the Electronic Library, what with all the wikis, blogs, Web 2.0 tools and collaboration zones available for people to use. The mere act of reviewing a book within a catalog with comments for others to see is a conversation of sorts, incorporating technology in ways described by Casey and Savastinuk (2007). This is one of the many successful strategies of Library 2.0 and allows for the sharing of knowledge and the facilitation of information dissemination.

My big WOW moment in the foundational reading came with the following quote:

“Just as Google’s mail system embeds advertising based upon the content of a message, the library could also provide links to its resources based upon what a user is working on.” (Lankes et. al., 2007, pg. 9)

If advertising, why not learning? The technology is there; librarians just need to begin implementing it!

So how do we implement Library 2.0 strategies like these in ways that are easy for staff and users to deal with? Casey and Savastinuk reveal that Library 2.0 is about the management of constant change in the library environment, and requires participation of everyone who will be affected by the change, whether it is staff, users or external stakeholders. Change management is something that has been barely touched upon in my previous classes in the MLIS program, and an idea that I think will be helpful to learn in this class. The philosophy of incorporating constant change in the function of the library and its planning is smart and a paradigm shift in thinking… and the basis for Library 2.0.  I’m looking forward to discovering new Library 2.0 strategies as the course progresses!

I leave now with one of the first Librarian 2.0 Manifestos, written by Laura Cohen. Shortly following her publication of the manifesto, a librarian in Copenhagen named Soren Johannessen mashed it up in a video and uploaded it to Youtube. This is a great example of Library 2.0 not only in philosophy, but in action.

A Librarian’s 2.0 Manifesto


Buckland, M. (1992). Redesigning library services: a manifesto. American Library Association. Retrieved from http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Literature/Library/Redesigning/html.html

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, N.J: Information Today.

Lankes, R. D., Silverstein, J., Nicholson, S., & Marshall, T. (2007). Participatory networks: The library as conversation. Information Technology and Libraries, 26(4), 17-33. Retrieved from http://quartz.syr.edu/rdlankes/Publications/Journals/COLISFinal-v7.pdf



Mickel is an MLIS and the creator of Library Currents. His inspiration for the blog was the SJSU course "The Hyperlinked Library" taught by Dr. Michael Stephens, a course that is also a worldwide MOOC. If you wish to contact him, feel free to write to Mickel Paris at librarycurrents1@aol.com.


  1. carlie

    September 3, 2012 at 6:11 am

    That Google quote struck me too! Students can go to Google Scholar through our library’s website to access more full text articles, but can we draw in students who go to Google Scholar from their Google homepage instead and let them know of these resources, while still maintaining their privacy? Great post!

  2. Pamela Hawks

    September 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Really good point about the Google ads, Mickel. While everyone else is wringing their hands over the intrusion of privacy these ads represent (myself included), forward thinkers could be imagining how to put this technology to a better use. I suppose privacy could still be an issue concerning the patrons, but providing a way to turn the service on or off, depending on the user’s preferences could alleviate that. Thanks… you got my brain juices flowing!

  3. Beth Morrill

    September 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I love your reference to Heinlein and Grokking- what a great book.

    I have to admit, I am not there yet with the quote from Lankes, et. al. The idea actually actually kind of creeped me out. Must be too much dystopian fiction 🙂 Pamela’s suggestion about having this as an optional service is a good one. Perhaps my problem with Google ads is simply that I have no choice in the matter. That said, your point is a great way of thinking outside of the box, something that we will all have to do!

  4. Mickel Paris

    September 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Probably the biggest hurdle with the Google “ScholarSense” (as opposed to AdSense) idea would be the privacy issue. I don’t doubt that there would be an outcry about Google using the information for nefarious purposes, or some other company. Then 5 years would go by and people would no longer see the scholar suggestions. LOL. Does anyone click the Adsense ads anymore?
    I think the internet is showing anti-privacy creep … a move towards everything being out there in the open. Facebook is another reason for this anti-privacy creep, and I’m wondering if a whole new generation will be uncaring or careless to it. On a brighter note, a transparent government would be nice for a change… LOL!

  5. michael

    September 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Understanding the various approaches to understanding privacy in the social sphere – and in hyperlinked libraries – will be of utmost importance. that’s one reason I want my students experiencing a bit of bing out on the open Web for theis class. it will help us understand the potential and the pitfalls.

  6. Mickel Paris

    September 23, 2012 at 6:32 am

    I was just thinking of that tonight as I was diddling around with the blog site admin… I noticed that you can include your blog in search engines or not include it. It would be interesting to hear from any students who receive a comment from a member of the public.

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