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Web 2.0 and Library 2.0: Innovative Technologies for Building Libraries of Tomorrow with Examples

Library Herald Year : 2009, Volume : 47, Issue : 3 First page : ( 175) Last page : ( 193) Print ISSN : 0024-2292. Web 2.0 and Library 2.0: Innovative Technologies for Building Libraries of Tomorrow with Examples of their Applications at the INFLIBNET Centre*

Arora Jagdish, Director INFLIBNET Centre, Ahmedabad, Gujarat. *7th Dr SR Ranganathan Memorial Lecture delivered on 12th August 2009 under the auspices of Delhi Library Association.

Abstract The concept of Library 2.0 is borrowed from that of Web 2.0 and Business 2.0 and follows some of the same underlying philosophies. Library 2.0 encompasses a range of new and contemporary technological tools and techniques that are used for evolving collaborative environment required for Library 2.0. These tools and techniques can broadly be grouped into five categories, i.e. i) Synchronous Communication: Instant messaging; ii) Content Delivery: RSS Feed, HTML Feed, Streaming Media, Podcasting, Vodcasting and SMS Enquiry Services; iii) Collaborative Publishing Tools: Blogs and Wikis; iv) Collaborative Service Platforms: Social Networks, Tagging, Social Bookmarking Services; and v) Hybrid Applications, Programmes and Programming Tools: Mashups, AJAX, API and Toolbar. These tools and techniques are useful for libraries in providing new services and making existing services available in new and interesting ways. Implementation of some of these tools and techniques are likely to improve reputation and standing of libraries in the community. Some of them may successfully attract new patrons to the library, others may help to retain existing members or make libraries even more important as centres of the culture and history of their cities and academic institutions. Some of the new services may remain unused. However, since feedback and public opinion is a vital component of Library 2.0, such services may be abandoned in favour of other services that are better accepted by the users. Some of those changes may be viewed as disruptive, while others may not be feasible or applicable to all libraries. These new services and ongoing changes are likely to make libraries more interesting, more relevant, and better acceptable place. Applications of Library 2.0 has promise to bring revolutionary changes in libraries that are bound to bring about conceptual, cultural and physical changes in libraries to keep pace with the changes in communities and their information seeking behaviour. Applications of Web 2.0 technologies in libraries will result in a meaningful and substantive change in libraries, its collection, services and methods of delivery of services. The library's collection will change, becoming more interactive and fully accessible. The library's services will change, focusing more on the facilitation of information transfer and information literacy rather than providing controlled access to it. The implications of these revolutionary technologies are enormous and are discussed in the paper along with their examples as applied in the INFLIBNET Centre.

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