Biblioteksdagarna 2007: Library 2.0 (Michael Casey)

Michael Casey, Division Director, Technology Services, Gwinnett County Public Library, Georgia, USA

Flickr: Michaels photos from Stockholm

This is a short summary of Michaels speech at the Library 2.0 conference Biblioteksdagarna 2007 in Stockholm:

Library 2.0 is…

all about library users – and non-users: keeping those we have while actively seeking those who do not currently use our services
about constant – and purposeful – change: a model for library service that enables libraries to respond to constantly changing customer demands. Our customers, our technology and our own lives are changing – at a greater speed than before. We are now meeting the challenge to serve customers that simply don’t have the time to come in to the library – as they used to. We have to prepare for constant change, but change must be purposeful, not change for the sake of change. It must fit within the library’s mission and vision.
about evaluation: library services should be seen as constant BETA = always responding to your customers, always asking ourselves: do our users like it? Are they successful? Nothing should qualify as a sacred cow.
more of an offshoot from Business 2.0 than from Web 2.0. Business 2.0 is about opening a dialogue with the custumers. They now have higher demands than before: they expect to be able to call, e-mail and get live reponse from you. They expect you to allow them to give you suggestion how to improve your service and they expect you to listen. If you don’t listen – you go out of business.
about building stakeholders (Michael Stephens), encouraging the building of an almost personal relationship with the library, almost like a family.
about communicating with your customers in a two way stream electronically (John Blyber)
the natural evolution of library services to a level where the library user is in control of how and when she gets access to the services she needs and wants (Thomas Brevik)
about social spaces: libraries are not just books – they should primarily be seen as social spaces
about teens – libraries are for them too
about user participation: we need to collaborate with our customers. Fundamentally your library system is your community.
about reaching “The long tail”. Learn from Amazon’s experiences
about embracing new technologies: the library should be a place to go to in order to learn new technologies. Go out to the community! If most of your users have computers and high speed internet at home you shouldn’t invest much in that, but if the users don’t have access at home you should provide it in your library. Don’t forget: technology is just a tool! Ask yourself: Does it fit your library’s mission and your organizational culture? Technology has to allow us to do more with less.
about money and politics – people expect transparency. We have to show returns of investments. It’s about building a base of stakeholders. We have to be able to sell ourselves to those who are giving us our money

Michael Casey ended his presentation by citing Jeff Rohwer in Wired Magazine (June 2007-05-28):

“The democratization of media through Web 2.0 technologies is forcing companies and individuals to look at themselves and the work they do in a new light. It’s forcing us all to have a healthier relationship with our customers, clients, and business partners. And at the end of the day, honesty and transparency are an important component of any relationship”

…and, finally, asking:

Will people always need libraries? Yes, but prove it! It’s up to us, not the customers.

After the presentation a poll was carried out among the audience:

Is Library 2.0 good for Swedish libraries?
. The overwhelming majority of the listeners expressed a positive attitude:

82,8 % Yes
1,8 % Dont’t think so
15,4 % We already work that way


2 Responses

  1. […] Blog zum Biblioteksdagarna 2007 gibt es eine kleine Zusammenfassung zum Library 2.0-Vortrag von Michael Casey. Ein bisschen eigenartig muten allerdings Aussagen wie […]

  2. Fantastic summary. Thank you, Åke!


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