Early Adopters

I gave a ride home to a co-worker the other night and while we talked shop he mentioned the importance of libraries (and library workers) being early adopters of technology.  I totally agree, even if I’m not able to see the practical application of some new technologies in a library context.

Computers in Libraries this month included several great articles about Web 2.0  in libraries.  The libraries surveyed were all American, but the picture that was painted seemed reflective of Canadian libraries as well.

Does your library have an OPAC (62%)? A website (82%)? A blog (31%), facebook/myspace page or twitter feed?  How about RSS feeds (14%), tags (and maybe patron reviews) in item records or online registration for library cards or events?

And beyond Web 2.0 tools are chat and text reference, online tutorials, videos and podcasts.  There seems to be at least one library application for every emerging technology.

But, none of these things are easy to run and maintain.  They require different levels of technical expertise, the ability to spend the time on upkeep, and require an affection for the technology used.

On the other hand, knowing how to use/run any of them looks really good in an interview.  And there are many free & easy to use versions of the various tools out there.

How does your library measure up?  What services do you like?  Which ones do you dread?

I love them all and would love to hear your thoughts!

Below are the citations for the articles mentioned, they can be found through EBSCO’s Academic Search Premier database.

Lietzau, Z. (2009). U.S. Public Libraries and Web 2.0: What’s Really Happening?. Computers in Libraries, 29(9), 6-10.

Woodard, A. (2009). From Zero to Web 2.0 Part 2. Computers in Libraries, 29(9), 41-44.

And take a peek at some of their content online: http://www.infotoday.com/cilmag/default.shtml


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