Thursday, July 3, 2008

Thing #15: Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the Future of Libraries

I started this section in a positive mood, reading the articles, but after reflecting on the realities of the current school library world, well...

Interesting to read the OCLC interviews/articles on the future of libraries. Sure as shootin', we cannot expect to survive the inevitable funding cuts if we just sit in our physical school library spaces without bringing forth creative interfaces and products that will safely intrigue the power-players in our school hierarchy while also safely engaging our students in the hunt for relevant and authoritative information, providing brain-stretching and satisfying entertainment, and, yes, developing the love of reading for personal satisfaction.

Seeing David Warlick's comments on how much he enjoyed giving presentations outside the USA, in locations where teachers and school librarians can actually use the Web 2.0 tools that foster authentic student learning and products... sigh...

Yep, David, it seems that we are forced into being curmudgeonly gatekeepers of technology tools, guarding a single portal to keep students safe at school, while the students are learning, exploring, growing, and sometimes messing up outside of school. They invest enormous amounts of time in SecondLife or MySp@ce or Facebook when, given both latitude and direction, these same students might be creating new aggregations of knowledge and interactive-learning -somethings that will allow others to experience that part of Everything that is their particular passion. "All of us is smarter than one of us," the wisdom of crowds opines.

My vision of Library 2.0 is just so much cloud-gazing, in the practical sense. Since there is just one of me, and a whole lot of next-levels-up protection (of students, of the district's technology equipment, of the district itself), it seem fairly unlikely that I will be able to pull together Library 2.0 for my students and staff in the immediately forseeable future.

It costs money and/or time to have an online OPAC, therefore we don't currently have it. Realistic concerns about student misuse of interactive technologies, including chat and e-mail (a bit pre-Web 2.0, I grant you) , are specters haunting our teaching possibilities, so that train of thought is shunted onto a siding for an indeterminate time.

Looks like another chocolate infusion is required at this point to avoid becoming completely hopeless about the what-we-should-provide-for-our-users that is not-gonna-happen-anytime-soon,,, and some mood-uplifting music from -- selecting Positive-Energetic, in Latino, Classical, Vocal,World, and Reggae styles - ahhh, that's better!

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