CML Goes 2.0

August 12, 2008 at 4:33 pm 4 comments

I know, I know, the whole “2.0” thing is way over the top at this point. It seems like just about anything new with the web has to be 2.0 or it’s just not cool. Well, bear with me on this.

My library has embraced the idea that if we don’t get on board with all the innovations that the constantly changing online world provides us, we’re going to get left behind. If you read back through some of my entries you’ll see that I’ve been preaching this for a while. How we create, get, and interact with information is changing drastically, and if libraries are going to survive we need to adapt to this new world.

So what are we doing about it? For the next 9 weeks staff at my library are encouraged to try all the different things that are available online that are changing the world of information. There are 23 things to do over these 9 weeks, and if you do them all you’ll have a much better understanding of how the world is changing and how libraries can stay viable in this new world.

We kicked off today with a presentation by Michael Stevens. Anytime I go to one of these sorts of presentations I always come across a whole bunch of random thoughts and notes that I want to follow up on or do something with, even if I don’t know what right away. So here’s a sample of random thoughts from today’s presentation.

  • It’s all about the user experience, both at the library and online. If we create a great experience, people will want to come to both our site and our buildings. But this only works if the experience is seamless. We can’t put up a site and wait for people to find us, we need to put ourselves where people already are so that they trip over us. Don’t make silos!
  • What are we doing that restricts/controls customers/staff/spaces/web? Why do we do it? what do we lose by doing it? If a customer has a choice of going to the library where they can’t do x/y/z or a bookstore where they can, which place will they go?
  • Need to start taking down signs.
  • Need to edit the CML wikipedia entry
  • Know what groups you’re trying to reach and find ways to engage them.
  • Transparency: why do we lock down everything and keep everyone from making content? Most people are well-intentioned, and if someone decides to do something nasty we can deal with it as it comes up. Or for that matter, make the community self-policing. Let users flag objectionable material or otherwise notify us that there’s a problem.
  • We need to use our staff from top to bottom. Everyone has expertise, how do we mine all that knowledge for our customers? Let them read the staff blogs?
  • I can’t believe how many tweets are out there about the library! Why aren’t we already watching this? If someone tweets about the library, we should be answering!
  • We’re putting so much effort into launching chat reference, and all we really need to do is embed a Meebo widget in the catalog! Let’s do it!
  • “To be curious means to explore first.”
  • Why can’t we send a bluetooth message to enabled phones as soon as they walk in our buildings? “Welcome to the library, here’s what’s going on.”
  • Don’t let fear prevent you from trying something. There’s always reasons not to do something, why not just try it?
  • The time to act is now. We don’t have to proofread every memo for 3 hours. Last night a customer said to me that customers he knows have been asking for more computers for 3 years. We’ve got a committee working on it now, but why did it take 3 years? What’s been holding us back?
  • Why do we worry about kids using Myspace and FaceBook on the library computers? This is how they communicate! How is it different from the group of teens sitting in the Teen area talking? They’re still at the library!

Hopefully this project will give everyone the chance to think about these questions and others, and try to move us forward. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got a long way to go…


Entry filed under: Internet, Library.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gerald2.0  |  August 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    Nice summary of what WE can do to make the experience better. I thought Michael’s talk was inspiring. Not only that, I’m really looking forward to having staff “play” and “learn” together.

  • 2. Joy  |  August 12, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    great post, nick… you summed up michael’s presentation nicely! 🙂

  • 3. Christiana  |  August 13, 2008 at 8:29 am

    Thanks for the thoughtful post – I wasn’t able to go to the kickoff presentation, so it is helpful to hear about what was discussed. I can’t wait to get started with Learn & Play!

  • 4. R C  |  August 19, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Nice job. Have you seen this?


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