Library 3D - transcending the physical world of library and resources

Technology has created a whole new world for us and with it a whole new experience.

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Technology has not only made tasks easier but it has made people live, operate and interact in a virtual world.

 My son was playing on his PS3 against his friend (who was in another location) online last week and I heard phrases like "don’t hit me!", "let me get up!", "I’ll get you…" -  I thought "the world has become virtual". 

Technology has brought new opportunities for libraries and has taken the library and librarians to places never dreamed of before. This has had a huge impact on librarians who have evolved to become explorers.  They have learnt to explore new technologies and take advantage of the opportunities that arise from it.

The evolution of Web 1.0 to Web 2.0

Web 1.0 heralded the internet and the World Wide Web. Web 1.0 is all about reading.  Users can read library resources on the internet without having to leave their homes. This was a huge development in an era when content had hitherto been locked in print and kept secure within the walls of a library.

Web 2.0 is a progression of Web 1.0 and has expanded the creation, consumption, sharing and recycling of knowledge and information.  The proliferation of technical hardware and software has developed a craving for the creation of information. Web 2.0 is the evolution of the World Wide Web, enabling people to share information and collaborate online. The transition of the WWW from data and codes to interaction and communication has had a big impact on the library and information world.

Libraries have been very creative in developing novel ways of reaching their users. Faced  with the challenge of providing for an information oriented generation, librarians have had to come up with novel ideas to keep them at the top of their game.

An off-shoot of Web 2.0 for library services is Library 2.0 in which the library ‘recruits’ users to become synchronised providers and consumers of information.  Web 2.0 has enabled a generation of end-users to produce information and share it via communication channels like blogs, wikis, social bookmarking tools, social networking and multimedia sharing sites.  

Library 2.0 is user-focused.  Library 2.0 enables users to suggest, advise, and even design the products they want. Consumers can have a say in what type of information they want, how they want it and when they want it. It is a shift away from the library figuring out what the user wants to allowing the users to direct what they want.

Libraries 2.0 is a two-way channel.  Consumers receive and feed back into the system.  Reviews and evaluations are key to Library 2.0. Users’ viewpoints and opinions help us discover whether our services are reaching their targets and librarians should listen!

However, reviews and feedbacks by users are just data. Data needs to be analysed and developed into evidences to chart the success or failure of a service and determine the options for improvement.

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