Library 2.0 and participatory library services

Library 2.0 and participatory library services

Librarian 2.0

Based on your reading in Modules 1, 2 and 3 so far, and your examiniation of the definitions of Librarian 2.0 and the views presented in the above YouTube clips, define what you believe to be the essential knowledge, skills and attributes of an information professional in a Web 2.0 world.

Write up your definition as a post (of no more than 350 words) in your OLJ.

 An information professional must be flexible, receptive to feedback, able to judge and change according to the success of their projects and must have the confidence to try new things.

The flexibility to keep up with emerging technology:

The information professional of today must be able to keep pace with the rapidly changing nature of Web 2.0 technologies. A person working in the information environment of today will not flourish if they are resistant to change.

The ability to listen to feedback from users:

Information professionals in  Web 2.0 world need to listen to the needs and wants of their users. Web 2.0 technologies provide us with a unique opportunity to interact with our users and to observe what they are saying about the services we provide. A successful information professional will listen to this feedback and use it to help improve their services.

The ability to measure (and act upon) what does and does not work:

An information professional must be able to look, critically and subjectively, at the success of their Web 2.0 projects. If the organization’s social media strategy is not working, the information professional must be able to act upon this despite their personal feelings about – or their attachment to – the project.

The confidence to try new things:

 Information professionals in the time of Web 2.0 must be confident to try new technologies. New ways of connecting with and providing service to our users are constantly emerging, so we must be confident in our ability to experiment with these tools. To be a successful information professional, one must not lose confidence if one Web 2.0 does not work for our organization; Instead, this should be seen as an opportunity to learn and to try other tools.


Making Web 2.0 work for your organisation

Making Web 2.0 work for your organisation

Examples of Web 2.0 working for libraries & info agencies

Select three (3) libraries of your choice that use social networking to meet their goals.

Develop a comparative table which documents how each of the libraries use social networking tools to support information service provision, educational programs, conduct business etc.

Based on this comparison (and in no more than 350 words) develop your own list of “Reasons why libraries should be on social media”, and draw upon aspects of these three libraries to illustrate each point. 

I chose to compare the social media tools used by the State Library of Victoria, the State Library of New South Wales, and the National Library of Australia, in order to better understand the ways in which we can use social media to improve our service.

Reasons why libraries should be on social media

Improve our customer service:

Social networking sites – Such as Facebook and Twitter – can be used to connect with users in a way not previously possible. As well as receiving direct feedback from users, libraries can search for mentions of themselves elsewhere on the sites, allowing them to see what users think of their services. All three libraries have both Twitter and Facebook as part of their social media strategies.

Extend our technical services:

Social media allows us to improve and expand upon the services we provide in the library. “Ask-a-librarian” chats, used by all three libraries, means that users can find help with reference queries without needing to come into the library.

Catalogue apps, such as the one developed by the National Library of Australia (NLA), can be used to let users search the catalogue from their mobile devices and Catalogue Update RSS feeds (Used by the NLA and the State Library of Victoria) keep users aware of new items added to the catalogue.

Show that we are more than books and journals:

Social media provides an excellent way to promote events and exhibitions. Social networking sites such as Facebook, and library blogs (Used by all three libraries) provide platforms for libraries to share news.

Share our collections:

Using social media, we can share special features of our collections with users. The two State Libraries that I compared were particularly impressive with their use of Web 2.0 tools.

The State Library of Victoria provides their own “Discover Ned Kelly” app to allow users to fully explore their Ned Kelly Exhibition. I was particularly impressed with this use of Web 2.0 technology to engage users with the collection.

The State Library of New South Wales uses Historypin, a collaborating pinning site, to share their collection of historical photographs. On Historypin, users pin photos to locations using Google Maps. The State Library is contributing to this by pinning photographs of historical NSW, allowing users to engage with history as they compare the State Library’s photographs with those taken today.

State Library of Victoria State Library of NSW National Library of Australia
Facebook Y Y Y
Twitter Y Y Y
Flickr Y Y Y
Instagram N Y N
Youtube Y N Y
Vimeo N Y N
Podcasts N Y Y
Search alerts Y N N
Blog Y Y Y
Ask-a-Librarian Chat Y Y Y
Specialty Apps Y Y Y
Pinterest N Y N
Historypin N Y N

Web 2.0 technologies and social software

Web 2.0 technologies and social software


Now that you have explored some examples of how libraries and the media make use of RSS to deliver updated information and the applications that can tailor and aggregate feeds for specific users, find two (2) additional examples of ‘RSS in action’, and develop a 350 word post to your OLJ on how RSS can enhance a library or information service’s ability to meet the information needs of its users.

RSS in action:

State Record Authority of NSW RSS Feeds

The NSW State Records Authority uses multiple RSS feeds to support its users. In addition to the News and Events RSS feeds – which seem to be quite common – State Records has a feed for their eNewsletter. The newsletter, called Now&Then, gives updates on items that have been digitized to Flickr, hints on how to search for the resources user need, and updates users about current exhibitions.

The State Records authority also has RSS feeds for their multiple blogs, allowing users to keep up with new posts. By using separate feeds for each blog, users are able to receive updates on posts that most suit their interests, or are able to subscribe to updates on all three of them. Archives Outside is aimed at users who are interested in history and nostalgia; Future Proof discusses conservation and records management; Opening the Catalogue discusses the State Record’s Open Data project.

British Museum Blog RSS Feed

The British Museum has an RSS feed for it’s official blog. One of the features of this feed that I found most use was the ability to search through older post. The search function allows users to search by keyword; to sort by Author, Date and Title, and to select from a list of tags. This extra functionality makes it easy for users to discover RSS feed posts that interest them.

RSS Feeds provide a unique opportunity for information organisations to reach users in a way that is convenient. I believe that it fits in with the needs of our “instant gratification” society: Instead of clicking through multiple links, going to particular web sites to check for updates, or scrolling through their social networking news feeds, people can receive regular digests of new information.


Social networking and information policy

Social networking and information policy

What policy issues have resulted from social networking?

Did You Know 4.0, by xplanevisualthinking.

Watch this video carefully a second time, and identify
five (5) examples of ‘shifts’ or trends that can have an impact on how
individuals behave as a digital citizens. Then
outline (in @ 400 words)  how you
believe these behaviours can impact on the need for, and development of,
information policy in organisations to address these behaviours.
You may wish to explore these from either a user/customer
perspective or employee/employer perspective, or a combination of both, and you
may wish to consider this task within the specific context of your own library
and/or organisation, or you can address this task in general terms.

 5 examples of shifts:

1. People using blogs and messages boards to talk about work.

2. People are using this technology for politics.

3. The majority of people now own mobile phones.

4. People are no longer paying for content.

5. Things are changing rapidly.

People are now using their online profiles to discuss their offline lives, including negative things about the organisations they work for. The video noted that among larger U.S companies, 17% have disciplined an employee for violating their policies. Any policy that the organization implements must bear this in mind, and be carefully worded to protect the organization’s reputation online.

During Barack Obama’s campaign, he relied solely on social media for his fundraising. In another example, Twitter “played an unprecedented role in the Iranian elections”. People are now using their online social networks to express themselves politically. It is important, therefore, that when organisations are drafting their online policies, that they think about the impact of employees using work-related accounts to express their political views.

This video stated that 93% of adults owned a mobile phone. Additionally, the video predicted that “the mobile device will be the world’s primary connection tool in 2020”. Information policy must be aware of how ubiquitous the mobile device is, and draft policies accordingly – As opposed to writing policies with only computers in mind.

People are no longer as willing to pay for content: For example, the video states that 95% of all songs downloaded the previous year (2008) were not paid for. This trend can also be seen in the decline of print newspaper users: Rather than buying newspapers, people are now preferring to read their news online. I believe that, when writing policies for information organisations, this should be seen from two angles. First of all, policies must be put in place that ensure that employees comply with copyright and intellectual property law when using online technology to provide information to their patrons. Second of all, policies should ensure that employees do not infringe on copyright themselves – for example, using work computers for illegal downloads.

Finally, policies must be able to cope with the rapid shifts that the video describes. Written policies will need to be flexible and allow for interpretation. They must be regularly reviewed and updated according to new trends, and can not be considered finished documents.


Xplanevisualthinking. (2009). Did you know 4.0. Retrieved from