Andrew Eynon’s Library Blog

A blog about librarianship in Further Education

How to make the transition to Library 2.0

Posted by andrewey on July 14, 2008

Of course this presuposes that the service and staff adopt the Library 2.0 ‘state of mind’ described in Academic Library 2.0.

Michael Stephens has identified 5 initial steps to becoming library 2.0:

Start a library blog
Create an Emerging Technology Committee
Train staff to use an RSS aggregator
Experiment and use 2.0 Tools
Implement IM reference

These are certainly very achievable aims even for a modest sized FE college – we will have achieved all of the above well inside 12 months.

Our library blog LibeRaCe has been running for almost 12 months and has generated far more interest and usage than hoped for – we are currently at over 12,000 visits in approximately 10 months of operation. Blogs can be set up quickly – the real work involved is maintaining it by adding a regular stream of posts (we aim to add a post every working day).

We have not set up an Emerging Technology Committee – because a formal library committee of this nature is unnecessary, and probably impractical, in FE. However, we do have informal meetings of the library staff interested in Web 2.0 – often with our ILT Champion. We also have a Library Committee where Web 2.0 developments can be discussed with teaching staff. Web 2.0 will be a standing item at library team meetings from September.

Setting up RSS agregators is part of our current Web Quest programme so that by September all library staff will be trained to do this – some are already using them (we have one using Pageflakes for all the library staff blogs so that staff can see at a glance if there are any new posts).

We are experimenting with a number of Web 2.0 tools – the most successful so far has been del.icio.us which we are using to create virtual reading lists for individual subject areas. Currently we have a general one for all subject areas and my library specific one. Other tools we are experimenting with include Flickr, Facebook, blogs, wikis and Youtube.

Finally, with regard to Instant Messaging, we will be using the Pronto tool which will be available within our Moodle VLE. We aim to use this as a general helpdesk facility – mainly for IT support rather than for reference enquiries (although that will be included too). The plan is to have this service in place for September.

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