Partridge, Lee and Munro stated in 2010 “that Librarian 2.0 is not an ideal label, and that it will (and should) fade away into non use.” (Partridge, Lee & Munro, 2010) Now in 2013, I think the label has disappeared. Even the term ‘Web 2.0’ has been replaced in common language with ‘social networking’.
Meredith Farkas stated in 2007 in her presentation at the University of California when discussing the characteristics of Academic Librarian 2.0, that it might not “be all about technology” and that it is about having an attitude that requires responding to user needs “including the technology have-nots”. (Farkas, 2007)
So what is Librarian 2.0 in 2013? I think a key trait of Librarians has always been their desire to help people to find the information they are after regardless of where that information might be. The format and location does not matter; it is about getting access to the content.
Librarian 2.0 is about knowing the where, why, how, what of that resource. The type of information or resource will give clues about its likely location. Librarian 2.0 knows where to look. They know how to look. They will help locate the resource then deliver it, or show its location, to the customer using the method chosen or suited to the customer.
Some common examples are: an elderly person with limited technology skills might need some specific information printed out for them; a pre-schooler might just need to be able to reach a PC monitor and mouse or touch screen to start playing an age appropriate computer game; a retiree with a new electronic tablet might just need to know how to access the Wi-Fi in the library; and the next book in a popular fiction series remains a typical question in a public library.
The Librarian in 2013 can assist across all media to suit all skill levels.
So I think the essential skills required for librarians in a Web 2.0 world are:
- An open mind
- An enthusiastic attitude to new technology
- A dedicated lifelong learner
- A person who is keen to share skills and knowledge
- A thinker and evaluator
- A challenger of rules and ingrained behaviours
- A natural detective
- Someone who is interested in being engaged in conversations that hang on the event horizon of the collective conscience of social evolution. (my words)
Farkas, M. (2007). Building Academic Librarian 2.0. [Video file]. Presented to the Librarians Association of the University of California. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_uOKFhoznI
Partridge, H., Lee, J., & Munro, C. (2010). Becoming “Librarian 2.0”: The skills, knowledge, and attributes required by library and information science professionals in a Web 2.0 world (and beyond). Library Trends, 59 (1-2), 315-335. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/journals/library_trends/v059/59.1-2.partridge.html