Library 2.0 and promoting new services

Nicole at What I Learned Today is one of many people to post about the really good article by Michael Casey and Laura Savastinuk in Library Journal on Library 2.0. (This article would be a great help, by the way, in explaining what “Library 2.0″ means to someone who doesn’t follow the biblioblogosphere’s buzzing.)

Nicole, though, expresses this concern:

I sometimes wonder if our audience (lawyers) will ever want to participate in the creation of “both the physical and the virtual services” in the library. See with lawyers time is money – and I know that I don’t want to pay my lawyer extra because he was playing with the library catalog. I’ve been wrestling with this for a little while now – especially since we’ve been trying to implement new features in the catalog & on our website – will it matter if I add commenting to our blog? Will we get comments? Are our users rating books using the new rating system? Someone at my library (and I can’t remember who) made a good point – a treatise book is a treatise book – there’s not much else to it than that.

I think that medical libraries face similar questions, but I have come to believe that even the most technophobic clinicians served by my library will use new services if (1) they are easy to use and (2) it can be demonstrated to clinicians that the use of such services can save time, money, hassle, or professional mistakes.

So the first step is to be able to demonstrate the ease of use and value of the services to users, and the second step is to get that demonstration in front of as many people as possible.

Regardless, one can’t promote new services unless they exist, and one needs to be patient and persistant while waiting for patrons to catch on to the benefit of new services.

Nicole ends her post:

Anyway, this is a great article! And I’ll keep pushing for change – even if our patrons aren’t ready for it – who knows – maybe I’m wrong.

I think this is the right attitude to take. I have been asked previously why I’m trying to promote the use of feeds by clinicians when clinicians are not yet clamoring for them. The clinicians I serve eventually WILL be clamoring for these services when they hear (from colleagues at other organizations) how useful they are.

If you’re a library person interested in technology, do check out What I Learned Today and consider adding it to your aggregator.

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