Library 2.0 debate

I’ve been staying out of the “is Library 2.0 overrated” debate that was sparked by John Blyberg – until I read David Lee King’s take on the discussion. As always, David has some intelligent and thought-provoking things to say about the discussion in the blogosphere, and the main theme of his post (are librarians *really* out there in the social networking world or just dipping their toes in the pool and then complaining that they aren’t getting wet?) struck home with me. I’ve said before that participation is key to getting people to notice you in the Web 2.0 arena – that goes for organizations as well as individuals. As David puts it in his article, Has Elvis Left the Building?,

How about #2? Who’s this Elvis guy? Elvis is the librarian – has he left the building? Or is he still sitting behind the oak reference desk, waiting for patrons to visit? You cannot participate if you haven’t “left the building.” What does it take for librarians to be successful in the digital space? Well… we have to go there. Not just randomly peek in once in awhile, but actually be present and active in that space.

He continues on from there, but that is an excellent point. At my library, we have Bobbi, whose job it is to be present and active in the Web 2.0 space. She does a great job and we get a lot of response to our 2.0ish efforts (considering the size of our population, at least) because of it. Not every library is that lucky, I know that, but just randomly posting a comment or two on a mostly ignored blog or creating a profile on a social networking site that you never return to isn’t going to get the masses to come in to see you. You have to be there – commenting on your friend’s pages, commenting on their blog posts, commenting on their Flickr photos… You get the idea.
I’m pretty bad about commenting – I only do it when I’m really fired up about something or I feel I have something important to say (yes, the bold was necessary – it has to be *that* important). I’m going to work on that, both personally and professionally, and become more of a presence outside the building, as well as inside of it.

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