Web 2.0 and Libraries – Synergy or Consignment to the Dustbin of History?

When I worked at the MIT Libraries, I remember Ann Wolpert’s axiom (the Director) of libraries always being ‘relevant, excellent and adaptable’. I’d heard from colleagues that over the years the selection of these particular attributes might vary slightly, but the first one ‘relevant’ was always omnipresent serving as the nucleus of qualities essential for decision and policy making. Against the evolving landscape of the web, never has relevance been more central to the positioning of libraries to support their continued viability and vitality.Whilst it’s been some 3 years since I first took Phil Bradley‘s blog course at TFPL, the recent expansion of my subject portfolio to include Film, Media and Theatre has motivated me to explore likewise the expansion of resources available in Web technologies to support these subjects. It’s been my goal to integrate these Web 2.0 developments into the research training and reader inductions I provide. If the vast quantity of applications seem daunting to folks I can only say that you’ve just got to ‘do it’ (as the old Nike campaign used to exhort). After doing a bit of digestion on the results of a cursory literature review, the bulk of the past few weeks have been spent testing these softwares and social networking services. So if I can do it, anyone can.

The use of these applications are endless and their use has been exponential. Libraries can not ignore these trends. Further, we must fully integrate what we do best in information management and the development of information literacy skills with what we can learn from these technologies so that we can remain relevant for years to come.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging on some of the applications I’ve investigated and how I think they can support and supplement research endeavours. For now, I leave you with a clip I just made using Animoto and loaded up to Youtube.
Its title is Web 2.0 – An Information Literacy Trailer.

All of the elements needed to create this clip, including resource discovery, production and implementation, draw on these Web2.0 applications: Zoho,Reddit, Digg, Technorati, Delicious, Furl, Diigo, Slideshare, Rsizr, FotoFlexer,Flickr, Filebig and Youtube.

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