An article has just been published in the newest issue of the Journal of Documentation that attempts to answer the question “What is library 2.0?” from the perspective of library professionals. (For those without access to the journal you can check out a related presentation here.)
Researchers from Åbo Akademi University in Finland used a technique that identifies trends based on the co-occurrence of words, as library professionals attempted to explain what ‘library 2.0’ means to them.
The researchers were able to map out seven core concepts or “building blocks” that they believe define library 2.0 from a professional perspective. These seven identified components of library 2.0 are represented in the image below:
The Building Blocks of Library 2.0 [image taken from http://library2pointoh.fi/]
The researchers could then use these core building blocks to provide their own empirically-based definition of library 2.0:
“Library 2.0 is a change in interaction between users and libraries in a new culture of participation catalysed by social web technologies.”
As you can see, this definition coincides with many previous ideas about library 2.0 and the notion that it is about more than just the technology – rather it is about what the technology is allowing us to do. Some would even say that technology is not essential to a definition of library 2.0 at all. What do you think?
Of course this would also mean that ‘librarian 2.0’ will be about more than just the technological skills as well. Is technology necessary to define your idea of librarian 2.0? Opinions are very welcome on our “Librarian 2.0?” page as always, so if you haven’t yet visited you might like to do so!
You can find out more about the work of the Finnish researchers above by checking out their blog (in English): Library 2.0: A new participatory context.