Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Are Real World Library Tools an Entitlement?

In a post over at Tame the Web, Michael Stephens has a thread about How to Sell RSS. While the topic is interesting in itself, what caught my attention was the following comment (name omitted since it is the perception I am addressing, not the person):

"I have grumbled on various library blogs .... about how little stock I put into the whole Library 2.0 movement because it struck me that you were preaching to the choir and not providing us with real world tools that we could use to improve as librarians."

Like libraries themselves, there are librarians that have resources and librarians that do not. We do not blame a successful library for the failings of another. Similarly, the failure of a librarian to improve themselves should not be placed at the feet of other library professionals. Librarians need to communicate with their administration to make sure they have the resources to help them improve, or find a new position in an organization that does. Self improvement is just that.

Many, if not all, technology-oriented librarians want to come up with new tools and share them with the world. It is not that simple. The resources required for libraries to innovate are thin everywhere - even at large academic institutions. In fact, the exception to the rule is when someone not only comes up with a solution but has the resources to make it available for all. ( a recent example: LibX).

There are many librarians out there with great ideas but not the resources to do anything with them. Blogging is a way to get ideas out with a hope that someone with resources can take the idea and run. At the very least it may spawn other ideas.

Unfortunately, all too often the choir is the only group that will listen. Sphere: Related Content

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