Tag Archives: oclc

Some responses to the Web 2.0 section of OCLC’s NextSpace

This is a multipart section, so I will only be responding to individual ideas that struck me.

1. Rick Anderson was the first commentator. In his piece he argues:

But if our services can’t be used without training, then it’s the services that need to be fixed — not our patrons. One-button commands, such as Flickr’s “Blog This”, and easy-to-use programs like Google Page Creator, offer promising models for this kind of user-centric service.

While I whole-heartedly agree that our web services need to be functionally intuitive, in its entirety this section of Rick’s argument seems to bash user education. As I have argued before, I think that education is even more important in a Web 2.0 world. I believe we need to teach users to think critically about how to evaluate and contribute to Web 2.0 conversations and resources. I do agree with Anderson that libraries are ill-equipped to educate all of our users in the classroom. I see this as a call to build new online resources and services that help our patrons learn the skills needed to survive in a Web 2.0 information landscape.

2. In the second section, Michael Stephens’s discusses core attributes of Librarian 2.0. In contrast to Anderson, he states:

Users will create their own mash ups, remixes and original expressions and should be able to do so at the library or via the library’s resources. This librarian will help users become their own programming director for all of the content available to them.

If not through education, how will librarians guide their patrons in this process of discovery and creation?

3. In the third section Chip Nilges discusses how OCLC is building off the principles of Web 2.0. He states the following:

O’Reilly’s notion of  harnessing collective intelligence, for instance, is at the heart of OCLC’s cataloging cooperative, resource sharing network, and virtual reference cooperative.

He later explains,

Services under consideration include including tagging, list creation and sharing, citation management, personal cataloging, and the like.

I see the move from the first of these stages to the second as the true transition to Web 2.0. It shows a move to recognizing library patrons as the true end users of our services and collections. Furthermore, it represents a more explicit trust in the collective intelligence of our users.

4. I love some of the practical suggestions posed by John Riemer. I will highlight my favorites, but will refrain from discussing them in great detail because I am already exploring them in my Master’s paper. A couple of ideas are the following:

Relevance ranking techniques should be driven by much more than the mere prevalence of keywords in the bibliographic record and be fed by a wider range of metadata, such as circulation activity, placement of materials on class reserve lists, sales data, and clicks to download, print, and capture citations.

User-initiated services like renewal, recalls, and interlibrary loan requests should be complemented by views into the campus bookstore’s inventory, options to purchase from an online bookseller, displays of availability in any geographically proximate library, opportunities to see and select terms for expedited delivery, etc.

If you want to learn more about how I envision the above services, or why they fall into core Web 2.0 values, please check back to read my Master’s paper.

5. The final commentator, Dr. Wendy Shultz is a futurist. In her section, she attempts to describe both current and distant trends. In fact she makes it all the way through Library 4.0. I am going to wait a little before I start worrying this far into the future.