Web 2.0 in Libraries: Theory and Practice


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Talk given for SLA's Click University Live
January 10th 2007

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Web 2.0 in Libraries: Theory and Practice

  1. 1. Web 2.0 in Libraries: Theory and Practice Meredith Farkas SLA Click University Live! January 10, 2007
  2. 2. Presenter <ul><li>Meredith Farkas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distance Learning Librarian at Norwich University (VT). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Author - Social Software in Libraries . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Columnist – “Technology in Practice” column in American Libraries . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogger - Information Wants to be Free and TechEssence . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki manager - Library Success , ALA 2005 and 2006 , etc. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. What we will explore <ul><li>How the Web has changed since its birth in the early 1990s. </li></ul><ul><li>How the idea of Web 2.0 developed. </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><li>How the idea of Library 2.0 developed. </li></ul><ul><li>Some examples of libraries implementing 2.0 ideas and technologies </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Web of 1994 (Web 1.0) <ul><li>Democratized access to information </li></ul><ul><li>Most people were not able to put content on the Web. </li></ul><ul><li>Websites were largely one-way communications vehicles. </li></ul><ul><li>People still primarily got online information from major companies. </li></ul><ul><li>Some “social software” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forums and electronic mailing lists </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Web of 2007 (Web 2.0) <ul><li>Democratized participation. </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone can add content. </li></ul><ul><li>Many Websites allow commenting, participation, personalization, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>People have more options when choosing information providers. </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of social software allows people to build community from the bottom-up and collaborate in real time. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Birth of Web 2.0 as a concept <ul><li>Tim O’Reilly (of the books and conferences) was meeting with folks from MediaLive International who put on conferences and trade shows. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Looking for a way to define the post-dotcom bust era (marketing gimmick). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All of this was going on before Tim O’Reilly coined the term, but he gave it a name and gave people an idea to rally around. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Early definition of Web 2.0
  8. 9. Web 2.0 – Ways to Define <ul><li>Web architecture </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AJAX </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web as platform </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>API </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mashups </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Human aspects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 is made of people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network effects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wisdom of crowds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Web 2.0 Architecture
  10. 11. Web as Platform <ul><li>Web applications replace desktop applications. </li></ul>
  11. 12. API <ul><li>API=Application Programming Interface </li></ul><ul><li>Exposes a set of functions that make up the application and can be used in the creation of other applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Allows a developer to access the functions of another application in their own application so that they don’t need to build the functionality from scratch. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: Amazon, Google, eBay </li></ul>
  12. 13. Mashups <ul><li>Involves combining (or mashing up) two separate applications, or an application and data, to create an entirely new one. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually done through APIs, but sometimes screenscraping must be done. </li></ul><ul><li>Screenscraping – taking data directly from a Website. </li></ul>
  13. 16. RSS <ul><li>RSS is format for syndicating content on the Web. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on XML </li></ul><ul><li>Enables you to view content from different sites on a single page. </li></ul><ul><li>Many Web sites have RSS feeds these days if they have information that is updated regularly (examples: CNN , NY Times , Burlington Free Press ). </li></ul><ul><li>You can view RSS-enabled content on another Website, in an aggregator or via e-mail. </li></ul>
  14. 17. Web 2.0 Design Strategy <ul><li>Lightweight architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Rich, interactive and agile interfaces </li></ul><ul><ul><li>AJAX – Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allows pages to interact with the server without having to refresh </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Makes Web applications as responsive as desktop applications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Perpetual beta allows for continuous improvements. </li></ul>
  15. 18. The Human Aspect
  16. 20. Harnessing the Collective Intelligence <ul><li>There is a lot that can be learned from the aggregate knowledge and behavior of people online. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ratings systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledgebases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Folksonomy </li></ul></ul>
  17. 21. Would you rather get advice from a travel writer or millions of travelers like you?
  18. 22. Wikipedia – The New Peer Review?
  19. 23. Making Sense of the Web – 1.0
  20. 24. Making sense of the Web – 2.0
  21. 26. Network Effect <ul><li>The more people who are using a specific tool, the more useful it becomes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More recommendations = better recommendations (normalize the outliers). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More reviewers of Wikipedia = more oversight. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More people tagging Websites, more accuracy in tagging. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 27. Self-Expression
  23. 28. Egalitarianism <ul><li>Bloggers are revealing political corruption before mainstream media </li></ul><ul><li>More opportunities to showcase your talent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bloggers getting book deals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube video creators are becoming celebrities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcasters getting contracts with music industry </li></ul></ul>
  24. 29. Personalization
  25. 31. Transparency <ul><li>If a technology is bad, people will quickly find out about it (blogs, ratings, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Companies trying to connect with users in a more personal way. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs (example: GM’s Fastlane Blog) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing via social networking sites </li></ul></ul>
  26. 32. Web 2.0 Backlash <ul><li>“ The Web is real. The Semantic Web is an idea and Web 2.0 is a marketing concept used by venture capitalists and conference promoters to try to call another bubble into existence.” </li></ul><ul><li>-”Old Hype, New Hype.” Scripting News </li></ul><ul><li>“ Over the last couple of months I've noticed an increasing sense of unease in the venture community about the trend in Web 2.0 company creation and financing events. While no one is officially willing to peg it Bubble 2.0 for fear of missing the next great opportunity, I've been having lots of conversations with venture investors about this nagging feeling that we've been here before.” </li></ul><ul><li>-“Built To Be Bought (Bubble 2.0)” Venture Blog </li></ul><ul><li>“ Well, Web 2.0 is bunk. Not that the elements of this rebirth aren’t there… It’s just that they cannot be classified under a common umbrella. They are forward lurches of various standards and technologies, some compatible, some not. Some revolutionary, some evolutionary, some impractical. Some are collaborative, others are highly competitive with each other.” </li></ul><ul><li>-”Web 2.0? It doesn’t exist.” IP, Telephony, VOIP, Broadband </li></ul>
  27. 33. Downsides <ul><li>So much content… few efficient ways to search it </li></ul><ul><li>The crowd isn’t always right </li></ul><ul><li>Trusting companies with your content </li></ul><ul><li>Who owns your content? </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy issues </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright issues </li></ul>
  28. 34. Library 2.0 <ul><li>Michael Casey of the blog Library Crunch coined the term in Fall 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>Popularized by popular bloggers and speakers in librarianship. </li></ul><ul><li>Book on Library 2.0 coming out in Spring 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>Controversial topic. </li></ul>
  29. 35. What is Library 2.0? <ul><li>User-driven change </li></ul><ul><li>Harnessing the long tail to provide services to people who don’t use the library </li></ul><ul><li>Harnessing the collective intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>More usable and transparent library systems (built on Web 2.0 ideas) </li></ul>
  30. 36. Library 2.0 Principles (by Paul Miller and Ken Chad of Talis) <ul><li>The library is everywhere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Available at the point of need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Go where our users are </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The library has no barriers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No barriers between user and information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The library invites participation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogs, wikis, tagging and commenting in the catalog, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The library uses flexible, best-of-breed systems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ILS made of small pieces loosely joined. Modular, interoperable Web services. </li></ul></ul>
  31. 37. What makes a library service 2.0? <ul><li>According to Michael Casey and Laura Savastinuk (authors of the forthcoming book on Library 2.0): </li></ul><ul><li>“ Any service, physical or virtual, that successfully reaches users, is evaluated frequently, and makes use of customer input is a Library 2.0 service. Even older, traditional services can be Library 2.0 is criteria are met. Similarly, being new is not enough to make a service Library 2.0.” </li></ul>
  32. 39. Library 2.0 in the Real World <ul><li>User driven change – survey your users, start an Advisory Board, talk to people in the community. Examine your policies (do they enable or alienate your users?) </li></ul><ul><li>Harnessing the long tail – Interlibrary Loan services, Netflix-type services, downloadable media. </li></ul><ul><li>Harnessing the collective intelligence – subject guide wiki, user comments in the catalog, etc. </li></ul>
  33. 40. Library 2.0 in the Real World (cont’d) <ul><li>Better library systems – OPACs that work more like Amazon and Google. </li></ul><ul><li>The library is everywhere – library services in MySpace, courseware, company Intranet. Web presence designed to meet users’ needs 24/7 </li></ul><ul><li>The library has no barriers – library resources are easier to find (be it through link resolvers, federated search, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Perpetual beta – library is always re-examining and improving policies and services. </li></ul>
  34. 41. Criticisms of Library 2.0 <ul><li>These ideas aren’t new </li></ul><ul><li>Too many ideas that don’t fit well under one umbrella </li></ul><ul><li>The label may alienate </li></ul><ul><li>We should focus more on concrete change than on labels </li></ul><ul><li>Is Library 2.0 just for rich libraries or libraries that employ coders? </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy concerns </li></ul>
  35. 42. Libraries Going 2.0
  36. 43. Ann Arbor District Library
  37. 46. Hennepin County Public Library
  38. 47. North Carolina State University Libraries Catalog
  39. 50. University of Wisconsin-Madison Ebling Library for the Health Sciences
  40. 51. Palos Verdes Library 40 Families Project
  41. 53. Washington State Library
  42. 56. Jenkins Law Library
  43. 57. Practical Considerations <ul><li>Find out what your population needs and wants from the library. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask people who don’t use the library what they’d like to see. </li></ul><ul><li>Examine current services and policies – are they meeting the needs of your population? </li></ul><ul><li>Do a usability study of your physical and online “space.” Think about “experience” </li></ul><ul><li>Fight the urge to say/think “but we’ve always done it this way.” </li></ul>
  44. 58. Practical Considerations (cont’d) <ul><li>How can you provide library services where your patrons are and at their point of need? </li></ul><ul><li>Find out what Web 2.0 tools your patrons may already be using. </li></ul><ul><li>Look at what services other libraries of your type are providing. </li></ul><ul><li>No one-size-fits-all approach – your population is unique. Don’t try to “keep up with the Joneses.” </li></ul>
  45. 59. Coming Up in Part 2 <ul><li>The Tools of Web 2.0 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Bookmarking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Custom Search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instant Messaging </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How these are being used in libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies for implementing Web 2.0 tools in libraries </li></ul>
  46. 60. Any Questions? Meredith Farkas [email_address] http://meredith.wolfwater.com/wordpress/