Thursday, November 29, 2007

Teaching the masses to fish

Kate at Loose Cannon Librarian has has a great post about how Library 2.0 is more about people than about technology.

What I love about this post is this:
"stamping our feet and scolding patrons about the quality of their Googling is not going to endear us to them. The 2.0 push has made a huge effort to harness technology to meet people where they are and reshape the library as a facilitator, not an intermediary."

Do you ever have a moment where you jump up and down and high-five the computer screen while shrieking "Yes!" at the top of you lungs like a crazed maniac?

No? It's just me?

Well, okay's just me.

I often feel like it's Librarians vs. Google in a competition for who owns information. Not just who owns information, though, but who owns the right to pass that information on to users. And, it sometimes seems to me that in an attempt to keep all of the information inside our physical and virtual walls that we forget that our users don't care about federated searching or controlled vocabulary as much as they care about getting access to the information they need in a timely manner and without too much headache.

It's a good reminder, then, that libraries should be less about standing between users and the information they need in a specific instance and more about helping users develop the skills to find the information they need in every instance.

Libraries that "get it" often get associated with the label "Library 2.0." But, as Kate points out in her post, it isn't about technology or widgets. It's about connecting people with the information they need to be successful.

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