Over the past year or so, I’ve written about Library 2.0 many times: for previous classes, for work, and on this blog. Certainly the term has been buzzing around the web for a lot longer then that, but as I’ve only been involved with libraries as a profession for a little over two years, it is only in the past year that I’ve followed it. During this time, I’ve noticed that librarians are enormously fond of the concept, with many individuals and libraries firmly behind the idea that they can create a user shaped experience by encouraging interaction with the library and its content on the web. These tools are incorporated into OPACS, as I’ve already shown, but libraries also include them on their websites in a number of other ways. Like the other electronic services offered by libraries on the web, some of these tools have more instruction, explanation, and promotion on some websites then on others.
In this final review, I will be assessing the Library 2.0 resources that are integrated or promoted on the webpages of the four public libraries in this research project. I’m focusing on those tools that are mentioned on the website, as I am aware that sometimes libraries will create profiles for their library on various Web 2.0 tools and not promote them on their page. I assume that this is because they are aiming to attract users of those services to their website and not users of their website to that service. Regardless of why, I am interested in the services that the library provides on their website, that allows users to interact with the library.
As with the other reviews, I will focus my inquiries on three primary questions in each review.
- Look at what Library 2.0 tools are avaliable or promoted on the website.
- Review what assistance the library provides on the website to guide their patrons in actually using the tools.
- Assess what explanations as to why users would want to use these tools, and who exactly would benefit from using them.