Library 2.0 is a term coined by Michael Casey on his LibraryCrunch blog. Casey (2006), say that Library 2.0 sees the reality of the current user-base and says not good enough, we can reach more people. It seeks to do this through a three-part approach — reaching out to new users, inviting customer participation, and relying on constant change. Much of this made possible thanks to new technologies, but the services will only be partially tech-based. Library 2.0 is not something that will enjoy a seamless or fluid transition period. Moving to Library 2.0 will require a rethinking of many models with which we have grown comfortable. This push will not necessarily come from within. Indeed, most catalysts will be from outside – financial crises, staffing shortages, user expectations/demands, technological changes/barriers, etc. Many library systems are already somewhere on this continuum of change, breaking through the old pitfalls that includes identity-crisis, role confusions, goal-fixation, over-attachment to successful methods, requiring perfection before release/implementation, lack of discernment, and interminable attempts at consensus.
A theory for Library 2.0 has these four essential elements:
It is user-centered. Users participate in the creation of the content and services they view within the library’s web-presence, OPAC, etc. The consumption and creation of content is dynamic, and thus the roles of librarian and user are not always clear.
It provides a multi-media experience. Both the collections and services of Library 2.0 contain video and audio components. While this was not often cited as a function of Library 2.0, it is here suggested that it should be.
It is socially rich. The library’s web-presence includes users’ presences. There are both synchronous (e.g. IM) and asynchronous (e.g. wikis) ways for users to communicate with one another and with librarians.
It is communally innovative. This is perhaps the single most important aspect of Library 2.0. It rests on the foundation of libraries as a community service, but understands that as communities change, libraries must not only change with them, they must allow users to change the library. It seeks to continually change its services, to find new ways to allow communities, not just individuals to seek, find, and utilize information.
Thus, Library 2.0 is a user-centered virtual community. It is also socially rich, often just electronic space. Librarian 2.0 might act as a facilitator, provide support and responsible for the creation of the content. Users interact with and create resources with librarians and with one another. In some ways, it is a virtual reality for libraries, a Web manifestation of the library as place. A library’s presence on the Web in Library 2.0 includes the presence of that library’s constituency and utilizes the same applications and technologies as its community, a concept Habib (2006) recognizes in a very useful model for Library 2.0 in regards to academic libraries.