The video A Vision of Students Today should be a must-see for every educator and school librarian, especially those in higher education. In our University library, we often mull over how to keep/make the library relevant to our students when they (and many faculty) seem to believe that every answer and every research topic is available on the web. Sometimes they are even using electronic library resources but don't recognize that the library is involved in supplying that resource to them. However, in the OCLC Newsletter article, "Web 2.0: Where will it take libraries?," Rick Anderson, University of Nevada, Reno, argues that we should focus our efforts on integrating our library resources into the user's daily environment and on removing any barriers to the needed information. Can we do this without being invisible? Perhaps. In that same newsletter, Dr. Wendy Shultz presents a future where libraries look and act very different but are very vital and relevant.
I appreciate those who are able to have a vision of change. This article by John Blyberg, 11 reasons why Library 2.0 exists and matters, considers the needed changes revolutionary and not just adaptive. Although written in 2006, we are still dealing with the questions he raised. I feel that our profession - both the professions of education and librarianship - are slow in responding to the possibilities that Web 2.0 has opened up. But people everywhere outside these professions are grabbing these possibilities with gusto, as we have learned through these 23 Things. Are we helping to prepare our students to succeed in this fast-paced, sharing, collaborative, super-creative world, or do they feel they have entered the Stone Age when they get an assignment or come to the library? Hurray for those teachers and faculty who are changing their teaching styles, involving their students, and incorporating 2.0 tools. Hurray for those libraries that are embracing physical and virtual change to become user-focused. Hurray, and thank you Spring Branch, for helping us take these small steps forward into the Library 2.0 world! We'll get there. We may not be the engine, but we won't be the caboose, either.
- Farmgirl Librarian
- I live on a ranch in West Texas, where my husband, son, and I raise a few cattle. Our only crop is feed for the cows and my husband insists he is a "rancher" rather than a "farmer," although the place we now call home used to be his grandfather's farm. I drive 75 miles to Abilene for my job as a University librarian. I love the job and the drive.