Libraries ‘are about something deeper, about information, about access to knowledge, about providing a public space where citizens can interact with each other, all within the context of an exchange of knowledge. Libraries are at the core of our understanding of civilization, and if we are to keep them healthy, we’ll have to make sure that they continue to answer deep needs in our society, rather than provide particular services because they’ve always done so.’ McGuire (2011)
I love this view of what a library is. Social networking existed long before Twitter and stories were shared long before the invention of the printing press. There is something very human in the exchange of ideas and information. The information landscape maybe changing but the core values have remained the same. The debate over the book vs. the e-book is an excellent case in point. Rebuck (2012) says we should ‘be agnostic on the platform, but evangelical about the content’. The most important factor is not whether you read an e-book or a good old fashioned paperback, it is reading. Research shows that if we stop reading we are less intricate, less interesting and less empathetic (Rebuck, 2012). We don’t want this to happen, do we?
Libraries need to serve the present information needs, using the tools of the present. Librarians need to embrace this change. As I ‘remix’ (in true Library 2.0 culture) John F K’s famous quote ‘Ask not what technology can do for you but what you can do for technology’, the challenge is not to retro fit. The impetus to disseminate information must drive the technology, not vice versa. As a service provider, libraries must innovate and facilitate the distribution of knowledge. Are you ready to lead? Are you ready to boldly go where no one has gone before?
Brown(2011) puts mobile library websites and apps as her number one social media and library prediction for 2012. The 21-40 year olds according to Rebecca T. Miller, “are voracious about how they use library services, and they are early adopters of technology. Getting to know them provides insights into future demands, and responding to their needs, with an eye on the next generation, will help foster a deeper connection to what the library delivers.” (PRWEB, 2012). Mobile technology is fast information on the go! With smartphones on the rise, libraries need to have mobile apps.
Brown, A. (2011, December 29). Top 10 social media and library predictions 2012 [Blog post]. Retrieved from: http://socialnetworkinglibrarian.com/
McGuire, H. (2011). What are libraries for? [Weblog] In the Library with the Leadpipe. Retrieved from: http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2011/what-are-libraries-for/
Rebuck, G. (2012, January 2). Don’t let technology stultify your brain – download a book. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/dont-let-technology-stultify-your-brain–download-a-book-20120101-1ph65.html