Breeding, Part 2

Web 2.0 and Beyond

How to incorporate computer-based resources and new technology in library services

Heightened user expectations

  • library users come with expectations set by their experience on the Web
  • conventions for navigating and exploring Web-based resources well established
  • dealing with large and complex bodies of information nothing new
  • sophisticated web skills
  • low tolerance for clunky and ineffective web sites
  • confident in their ability – reluctant to ask for help

Problems with the Status Quo

  • a look and feel that may not meet the expectations of the current generation of web-savvy users
  • the conventional library environment requires users to interact with many different interfaces, and search many different resources
  • overly complex
  • not always intuitive
  • users have to go to different places to find different kinds of information on a given topic

Web 2.0 is a blend of the traditional web and social computing.  Dynamic content, highly interactive, collaborative.  Users can get involved in the creation of the website.

Web 2.0 examples: RSS, blogs, wikis, Instant Messaging (IM), podcasting, etc.  Breaks the bounds of one-dimensional communication. Web 2.0 is about media beyond text.  The spirit of Web 2.0: YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr

Web 3.0

  • Web 2.0 plus Artificial Intelligence
  • Semantic web
  • Web 2.0 plus enterprise computing.  Instead of building individual web services, you have a suite of services that communicate amongst themselves

Library 2.0

  • Michael Casey first mentioned the concept
  • Web 2.0 plus library = Library 2.0
  • Apply Web 2.0 concepts to library applications
  • library blogs
  • new book lists through RSS
  • Wikis
    • intranets for staff documentation
    • collaborative resources for library users

    Enriched library catalogs

  • user participation in library resources
    • user tagging in catalog
    • reviews
    • ratings


  • the Web has been evolving since the very beginning
  • Web 2.0 didn’t happen all at once – don’t get hung up on 2.0; it’s been happening all along the way.  It’s a part of an ever-rising evolution


  • apply when appropriate
  • Web 2.0 can create isolated silos of information
  • Must evolve into an organized fabric of interrelated Web services
  • There are too many dead blogs and wikis already!

Web 2.0 started in 2004.  Time on the web can be measured in dog years, making the concept of Web 2.0 21 years old.  We’ve been talking about this stuff for a long time.
Web 2.0 is a good start.  It’s a more social and collaborative approach.”Everyone is so 2.0, they forget to be library, sometimes.”  (Love that.)

Library OPAC 1.0

  • feature rich, but complex
  • advanced boolean search
  • textual displays
  • results in alphabetical order or catalog key order
  • slow, cumbersome
  • focused on the physical inventory

Widespread dissatisfaction with most of the current OPACs.  Many efforts towards next generation catalogs and interfaces.  Movement among libraries to break out of the current mold of library catalogs and offer new interfaces better-suited to the expectations of library users.  Need to decouple the front-end interface from the back-end library automation system.

Library OPAC 2.0

  • satisfying to the web-savvy user
  • faceted browsing – drill-down model of search
  • graphical displays – cover art images
  • enriched content
  • user tagging, folksonomies, ratings, reviews
  • federated search as a separate service

Library OPAC 3.0

  •  Comprehensive search environment
  • beyond MARC metadata: full-text searching
  • Searching “inside the book”
  • fully integrated with other community and campus resources
  • ILS fully integrated with other information and business systems

Challenges and opportunities abound.  This is an exciting time for libraries.  Web 2.0 fuels new excitement for modernizing library services and supporting technologies.  There are opportunities presented by the explosive growth of digital content.  Hard work is required to draw the new generation to library content and services without breaking what works well for those from previous generations.


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