April 11, 2006
Libraries Join the Web 2.0 Revolution
Stephens suggests that libraries should adopt Web 2.0 software to engage patrons with interactive services that are more like a conversation than top-down delivery of services.
Stephens' top ten list of Web 2.0 trends includes Blogs, RSS, Wikis, Instant Messaging, Podcasts, Text Messaging, Social Software (such as MySpace), Mashups, Open Source Software, and interactive catalogs.
One example of an interactive catalog that combines many of these technologies is Plymouth State University's catalog which has been ported as a blog called WPOPAC using WordPress. The top entry is the most recent item added to the collection.
The blog gives them a Find More Like This button which then gives them dozens of ways to search the catalog.
For this entry, they've added a search box to search within the book on Amazon and they even added Technorati tags!
Another innovative application of these technologies is St. Joseph County Public Library's wiki oriented towards the public to help patrons find materials by subject.
Neal R. Axton, Reference Librarian, William Mitchell College of Law
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