low tech library 2.0


Michael Stephens reiterates that library 2.0 is more than technology, to which, I imagine, some of us are saying, “Well, thank goodness!” Not all of us have us have huge budgets to send people to conferences or the space/time/staff support/equipment to hold DDR nights or coworkers who are hip to (or interested in being hip to) the latest hot tags on del.icio.us. Many of us are still operating in .98 beta.

But does that mean we can’t use any of the principles of library 2.0? (Which, as many others have pointed out, are not so different from the principles of Ranganathan). No. This, then, is my inaugural post for a series on low tech library 2.0. I’ve been trying to come up with more ways for YA patrons to contact me. Since we don’t have a YA space in the library–just some bookshelves and a bulletin board–and since I work in the children’s room, out of sight from the YA shelves, I don’t see them very often. Since my library doesn’t allow IM, they can’t IM me. Since many of our patrons don’t have home internet access, IM and e-mail wouldn’t be an option for them anyway. So I went with a very old-fashioned idea. Pictured above (at least if the Blogger photo upload worked) are some of the most recent suggestions that have come into the suggestion envelope I put on an empty slot near the YA magazines as another way for the YA patrons to communicate with me. How is this L2.0?

  • It’s where the patrons are–literally. There is a suggestion box up near the front of the library, and there’s an electronic one buried in the library catalog (which I can’t link to directly, since the catalog runs on sessions). Neither of these are very user-friendly, nor are they where teens congregate.
  • It’s as anonymous or as open as the user wants.
  • It’s interactive–I post responses to the requests (e.g., “Okay, the first few volumes of Ceres Celestial Legend are in my next book order. The latest in the Alice series is Alice On Her Way, which we own, and there’s a new one called Alice in the Know coming out in a few months, which I’ll definitely get.”)
  • It’s my attempt to connect in some way with patrons and to make them feel that they have some connection with the library and with “their” librarian.

What other low tech library 2.0 (or whatever you want to call it) is out there? Feel free to comment below, write about it on your own blog, e-mail me at lauracrossett at hailmail dot net, or IM me (at home) at theblackmolly on AIM.

3 thoughts on “low tech library 2.0”

  1. I am glad you are addressing this, and I am looking forward to the series. It so often seems that L2 (or whatever you want to call it) is about the toys (no matter what the pundits say or deny), that I find it reassuring some places may be in .98Beta, and they still look for ways to best server the patrons. Best, and keep on blogging.

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  2. Hi Laura,

    Good post–which I picked up as part of my final pass for the special Cites & Insights. Once you read that, even if you’re sensible enough to skim, you may see that “Library 2.0 is whatever you want it to be.”

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  3. I was just bemoaning the lack of concrete examples of how people can get to this mystical “library 2.0”, and then I find your post which is exactly what I was looking for! Nice to see someone who is cutting through the philosophies/hype and offering librarians good, simple, concrete ideas for making our libraries better. BRAVO! Keep up the great work; I always greatly look forward to your posts.

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