Building Academic Library 2.0

This video captures the keynote speaker Meredith Farkas along with several other speakers at a conference at the University of California, Berkeley division.

The context for considering the advice was that of a public library that employs limited Web 2.0 tools and services.

The presentation was packed with good advice and selecting only 5 pieces of advice was not an easy task.

  • Start out simple and see how things go
  • Work to meet changing user needs
  • Understand staff member’s needs and limitations
  • Time must be devoted to all of this
  • Avoid technolust

Start out simple and see how thing go – this is a good reminder to not get involved in highly complex activities when you do not know how users will respond.  Better to start simple and see a response, then make an assessment of how it is going, are the expected results present?  This may help you to tailor services or approach to user’s needs and values.  It will also prevent a loss of resources by not investing time, energy and money into things that are not required or wanted.

Work to meet changing user needs – the environment is changing so rapidly that we need to be flexible and responsive to users needs.  Make sure we are listening when they tell us what they need and make the opportunities for them to express their needs.

Understand staff member’s needs and limitations – people learn in different ways, give them training, foster learning and development.  Don’t assume staff resistance is because they are not open to new ideas or technologies.

Time must be devoted to all of this – no library can successfully be transformed to a 2.0 Library without allocating staff time.  Staff cannot be expected to add this to their many duties or be forced to do it in their own time.

 Avoid technolust – this advice reminds us while there are many interesting and cool kinds of technologies available, we would not implement for these reasons.  We need to be meeting user’s needs, everything must have a purpose in serving our clients.

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