Library 2.0 as a New Participatory Context

Library 2.0 as a New Participatory Context

Gunilla Widén-Wulff
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch115
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The Library 2.0 is a continuation of the development of digital libraries and user oriented digital information services such as MyLibrary. The 2.0 is used to distinguish the present initiatives from the traditional library and information services denoted as Library 1.0 (Maness, 2006). Because of the technological development of electronic resources, the means of collecting, storing, managing, and using widely distributed knowledge resources stored in a variety of electronic forms has changed (Griffin, 1998). Digital libraries have been seen as libraries without walls being logical extensions to libraries (Fox & Urs, 2002) and they have shortened the distance between author and reader by giving a more direct involvement in the dissemination of information. The fundamental mission to facilitate and provide access to information and knowledge has remained, but the processes, tools, and techniques have undergone major development. The initiatives describing personalized Web services like MyLibrary (Cohen, Fereira, et al., 2000) are a further development of digital libraries, which define personalized library services to users who are Web users. This group of users expects customization and interactivity. After the initial MyLibrary initiative there have been several dozen implementations of similar projects worldwide. However, during the initial years, the adoption rates of these services reached only about 10% of the potential user community (Gibbons, 2003). It is important to look at the barriers to personalized service because this seems to be the future of the digital world and the next big challenge at hand; what challenge will the Web 2.0 services pose to the libraries where libraries share the technological and social space with the Web? New trends like personalization, self service, mobility, and technology have created a Web environment that is transforming how users are interacting with information (Bearman, 2007; Benson & Favini, 2006; Coombs, 2007).
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Defining Library 2.0

Library 2.0 refers to a growing area of interactive and social tools on the Web with which to create and share dynamic contents (Connor, 2007). In general it is a about the second generation of Web services and information technology allowing people to cooperate and share information online, shaping virtual communities. Library 2.0 is naturally based on the principles of Web 2.0 defined by O’Reilly (2005) as the network and platform delivering applications to the users to consume and remix data from multiple sources resulting in new content and structures. Web 2.0 is participative, modular, and permits the building of virtual applications, sharing information, and facilitates communication and the creation of new information (Miller, 2006). Using these tools people take part in the actual information production through blogging, posting Web-pages, instant messaging, engaging in e-commerce, chatting online, and so forth. It is a separate activity and at the same time something integrated into our daily lives (Haythornthwaite & Hagar, 2005).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Software: Dynamically and loosely connected types of software applications, which allow implementation, tracking, and archival of communication between individuals.

Participatory Context: A context where the users contribute to the creation of new information and contents.

Digital Library: A library in which a significant proportion of the resources are available in electronic format, accessible by means of computers. Libraries without walls being logical extensions to libraries.

Social Informatics: The study of information and communication tools in cultural or institutional contexts.

Library 2.0: A network of applications where users consume, create, and recreate information from multiple sources resulting in new contents and structure.

Web 2.0: Set of tools and techniques which are participative and modular and permits the building of virtual applications, sharing information, and facilitates creation of new information. Also called participatory Web.

Virtual Community: A group of people that communicate or interact via the Internet.

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