There’s been a lot of buzz across the telegraph wires about something called “Library 2.0.” It hasn’t made the 10:00 news or Oprah yet, but if you’re a librarian who can’t stay away from the internet (“Hi, my name is Josh, and it’s been 5 minutes since the last time I checked my aggregator.”), you’ve almost certainly heard (or rather, read) people yakking about this “Library 2.0.” It’s the biggest thing to hit the streets since the hula hoop or ADHD.
But while there’s been a lot of raving and enthusiasm for the Library 2.0 mishegoss, the skeptics are also out in style. They stride into the revival tent, stomp up to the podium, grab the microphone and ask..well, some darn good questions. What exactly is Library 2.0? What will it do for me, my library, my patrons? And what the hell is “the Long Tail”?
I can’t answer the skeptics. Not in one little blog post, at any rate. Not all by my lonesome. But I can start adding my voice to the cacophony. This isn’t really a question and answer session anyway, it’s an on-going dialogue. Like Waiting for Godot or My Dinner With Andre, only funnier and with more references to Greek mythology and household cleansers. Or maybe it’s more like Trainspotting, with code standing in for smack.
Whatever. Let’s start with the personal and the enthusiastic. Because while I myself remain somewhat skeptical, and rely on the hardcore skeptics to keep me from flying to close to the sun, I’m horribly excited about Library 2.0.
Why? Take a look at Michael Stephen’s post on the ALA Techsource blog, “Do Libraries Matter: On Library and Librarian 2.0.” See those principles of Library 2.0? Those are my principles. This isn’t just about getting all geeky about the latest website, it’s about people, decisions, empowerment, conversations, and evolution. At its heart, Library 2.0 is about the best of populist democracy and Gersbackian futurism. Jetpacks and psychic powers for everyone! The way we communicate, the way we get and transmit and store information, it’s all changing. If librarians aren’t at the front of this, then what the hell are we doing?
I know, I know–in our postmodern, post-ironic age, it’s not cool to be overly enthusiastic about things. And I promise, I’ll look at this Library 2.0 hoohah with a more critical eye. But for now, for today, don’t rain on my parade. Let me have my jetpack and psychic powers. Let me soar towards the sun.