Friday, February 22, 2008

Thing 2

I read and re-read and viewed the videos and did a lot of thinking about this Library 2.0 stuff. On the one hand, I can see many ways that these social technologies can be used to benefit libraries. We can use the tools to draw our patrons to us in ways we could not before. perhaps reaching new people.

However, libraries have always been social networking places. These technological tools will just allow us to reach out in new ways to a broader audience. The tools can be used to let our patrons contribute to what we do as well. a sort of community building tool. One would hope that the real human contact will not be lost by adopting technology.

Time? Where will we find it? Dedicated librarians have always worked more than a 40 hour week. (Just ask my husband who for twenty plus years only saw me in the evenings hidden behind Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal and Booklist.) On the fly here and there we'll need to make the time to begin to expand our technological outreach. We want to keep those people we serve in the traditional ways, but try to capture those who are only occasional users by reaching out and making it easier for them to get to us.

This 23 Things program will allow us to experiment and find those things we can use to make our lives easier. The ones we adopt will probably be those that can be picked up quickly, adapted easily, and are inexpensive. The technology we've already adopted is not cheap either in time or upkeep. While it has relieved us of some clerical tasks, it has sucked up dollars that could be used for traditional library materials. You know, the ones people like to curl up with on cold winter nights. We need to maintain a balance of services to satisfy our frequent users while trying to pull in new users to support us as well. It will require careful thought to pick and choose among the rapidly changing possibilities. It's a daunting but exhilarating future ahead.

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