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Web 2.0 : A New Dynamic in Information Services for Libraries

Ebrahim Randeree and Lorri Mon

(Submission #9)


Web 2.0 and social computing are transforming everyday users of the Internet from information consumers into interactive information generators. In 2006, Time magazine highlighted this change in selecting “YOU” as their Person of the Year. [1] The concept of Web 2.0 has no boundary, but reflects a notion of the web as a platform supporting creative interaction. [2] With the numbers of Americans participating in building and sharing content on the Web estimated to have reached 54 million in 2003 [3], the proliferation of social computing sites reflects the change in the general public perception of the web as search tool to the web as a mechanism for participatory content creation and dissemination.

How does the change to Web 2.0 impact traditional information-delivering institutions such as libraries? For librarians, who have typically have worked with vetted sources and database vendors that provide information sources from companies and publishing agencies, Web 2.0 represents a challenge of new and unexplored territory. The rise of Web 2.0 content creation raises many new questions regarding:

•where librarians should draw the line in regarding “sources” of information

•what constitutes a reliable and credible source, and whether librarians should meet the information seeking needs of their patrons regardless of the source

•the extent of responsibility librarians should have in building their Web 2.0 resource knowledge

•the changes in LIS education potentially necessary to create Web 2.0 savvy librarians

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