24 July 2006

That "Library Thing"!!! and Web 2.0

I continue to be surprised and delighted by the innovative enthusiasm of some of our library professionals - and realise that perhaps the time has come not to be quite so 'quiet' about Web 2.0 technologies and their place in the world.

If the journey is still a bit confusing for you, keep an eye out for the next issue of SCAN. If all goes to plan there will be an article SCAN commissioned me to write called Engaging the Google generation through Web 2.0. The premise behind this article is to ease readers into the meaning and importance of understanding WEb 2.0 before launching into "well, what does this really mean for libraries, and what is Library 2.0??".

However, I have some great colleagues in the Parramatta Libraries who have embraced Web 2.0, and are busy responding to the opportunities/challenges. Here is another example...

Some time last term I read about Library Thing.....yet another Web 2.0 development. Didn't share this with anyone....but was thrilled to find (during morning tea at the SIRSI Unicorn Train the Trainer sessions) that Beth Ashworth has gotten right into using LibraryThing to manage her personal book collection. After suffering an unfortunate loss of her own spreadsheet setup of her resources (trust those husbands!) she has pounced on LibraryThing as the solution.

What does LibraryThing offer? It allows you to create your own library collection, and share this information with others as well. Most importantly it uses the Z39.50 protocol - and we parramatta groupies know just what this allows us to do!! Using this protocol Beth can search a global list of over 40 libraries, and import images and information from Amazon to populate her own LibraryThing collection. Beth can also add reviews, and other information, so you will find her review of Birdwing published in Fiction Focus Review also added to her LibraryThing collection. In addition, LibraryThing allows the use of Tags to organise and display information, print a spreadsheet of holdings etc.

Great work Beth. You will find Beth's LibraryThing space here and the profile of her Karaba Library here.

Goodbye to home grown programs and spreadsheets! Hello to Web 2.0 social networking and ease of operations!!

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