“Did you notice that the world has shifted?”

Michael Stephens woke up a session at the Texas Library Association in San Antonio this morning with that question.   I’m just back from the conference and mulling over a Library 2.0 presentation by Stephens and  Jenny Levine (the Shifted librarian herself).

If we approach everything about the library with a “user centered” approach(Casey), from how the library is set up, to how our web pages are designed, to how online catalogs work, to what services we provide–then how does that change the library?

Stephens shared a statement from the Cluetrain Manifesto

“We are watching. We are not waiting.” 

How applicable that statement is to web 2.0 and our students.  They are already instant messaging, texting, you-tubing, myspace-ing, facebook-ing.  They aren’t really going to wait on us to figure this out because it’s part of their lives.

I’ve already been thinking about all this in terms of research class projects, but for some inexplicable reason, I hadn’t really thought of it in terms of all the library’s services in general, so I’m pondering some of the examples they presented.  

Here are some ideas they shared for creating a web 2.0 library environment (mixed in with a few of mine): 

Have students create their top ten list of books (like you can on Amazon) either on paper or online to share with other students.  Get more input from students on our library renovation project.   Add more interactive reference features to our website–like instant messaging using meebo or a “text the librarian feature”(there’s  a service that changes the message to an email which the librarian receives). 

Levine also mentioned having a student or patron give a podcast or video tour of your library, which I think is a great idea.  It’d just be fascinating to see how they “view” the space and what some barriers are for them as well.

I’ve also been thinking about this idea in terms of school more generally.

Are there ways we can take in more student input on the school in general?  Suggestion boxes?   Student surveys on what courses they’d like us to add to the curriculum?  Instant message tutoring in the evenings?   Student planned and created displays?    Student narrated video tour of the campus?  Student interviews about customer service on campus?  All these are ideas that come to mind.   As Stephens pointed out, the “2.0” part is about people contributing content and sharing their ideas–whether it’s advertising 2.0, business 2.0 or school 2.0.

The first thing I’m planning to do?–change my web page title to “Your Library.”

More tomorrow after some sleep!

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