Relevance of Web 2.0 for Library Services in Digital Era

Relevance of Web 2.0 for Library Services in Digital Era

Jane Igie Aba, Theresa Osasu Makinde
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9034-7.ch020
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This chapter is on relevance of Web 2.0 for library services in digital era. Web 2.0 tools play crucial role in effective service delivery of librarians. The study covers awareness, utilization, benefits, and challenges that affect the use of Web 2.0 by librarians for effective service delivery. The concepts generally implied that Web 2.0 can be used by librarians as information acquisition tools to gather information from sources outside libraries (e.g., blogs and wikis), information dissemination tools (such as RSS feeds), information organization tools that facilitate storage and subsequent retrieval of information (social bookmarking and tagging), and information sharing tools that facilitate the bilateral flow of information between libraries and patrons (social networking and media sharing sites). This chapter examines the concept of digital libraries and highlights the major features of a digital library and how it can be used. The potentials of digital library are very crucial as means of access to knowledge and information that will facilitate development.
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The library has witnessed the rapid transformation in applying information technology and unprecedented change in the mode of rendering library services in the last three decades. Libraries have developed and diversified their services based on advanced information communication technologies. This is due to the way Information and Communication Technologies tools and services have influenced library services. Web 2.0 is a second generation web-based technologies for communication. This Technological advancement offers great opportunities for libraries to reach out to users far beyond the traditional boundaries of physical building. Libraries have been affected by the technological advancement of web 2.0. It is primarily on “user-centeredness” or user-participation Vijayakumar (2010). Library users are enticed to use library services due to access to web 2.0. Currently, the use of libraries are threatened by Internet and web 2.0 which could be deployed as a strategic marketing tool for libraries. Gobinda Chowdhury (2006) argues that ICT and internet technologies have changed the nature of libraries in all sectors and the perception and expectations of the user community (Chowdhury,2006). The change in perception of library users have restructured the entire concept of libraries and redefined its objectives. These changes are facilitated by the rapid changes in web technologies which have led to significant rise in social networking websites and online applications. This enable like-minded users share resources, create; tag and label content. The web has become useful and creates a vital means of providing learning resources to students. Information dissemination and sharing was previously a one-way means of communicating information to users, but a new wave of the internet technologies and the upgrade of web such as web 2.0 applications users to interact online. Thus, web 2.0 applications such as wikis, Blogs, social bookmarking, YouTube, Podcast, File share etc. has enhance the dissemination of information through multiple means of communication(Christian 2017). The development of web 2.0 technologies has enhanced information communication and technology (ICT) capability by creating new domain where human being can associate with each other with unique properties (Dhar and Sundararajan, 2007). With the use of dynamic web 2.0 over the static web 1.0, people no longer access content only rather they can now access and create collective knowledge via web 2.0 applications. Lee (2010) opines that technology has had the most dramatic influence on the youngest members of society, also known as the millennial generation.

Historically, the term Web 2.0 was coined in 1999 by Darcy DiNucci and was popularized by Tim O'Reilly at the O'Reilly Media Web 2.0 conference in late 2004. (O'Reilly, 2005). The key feature of Web 2.0 is that allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in web space and ensures creation of community knowledge. This feature is a step towards the vision of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who envisioned the Web as “a collaborative medium, a place where we [could] all meet and read and write” (News, 2005). Web 2.0 is the second generation of Web-based services emphasizing online collaboration and sharing, Web 2.0 is an advancement and modification of Web 1.0. Web 1.0 was known as (READ-ONLY) where internet users went online to find information. Hence, users were only allowed to read without making input. This is similar to the use of library to locate books and other informational materials. Web 2.0 is defined as the collective set of Internet-based tools such as wikis, blogs, web-based applications, social networking sites etc (Boateng, Mbtika and Thomas 2010). Web 2.0 is regarded as (READ/WRITE) zone where educators have become active participants and content creators. They not only find information on the internet, but they also create and shared content (Thompson, 2007).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Library Services: Referred to in this study as information services, and activities or functions provided in the library.

Web 2.0: Referred to in this study as a collective set of Internet-based tools which includes wikis, blogs, web-based applications, social networking sites.

Utilization: Referred to in this study as the practical application and use of Web 2.0 to render library services to users.

Awareness: Referred to in this study as the extent to which library users are sensitized about the functions, values and varieties of Web 2.0 services and resources in the library.

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