At the Ref Desk (8/13/18): Complaints upstairs about someone playing the trumpet in one of the computer labs. Oy. [more...]

The First Thing to Learn is to Forget the Technology

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 1/17/08 (4:10pm)

We all have our moments of epiphany. John Blyberg had his recently regarding Library 2.0. In a post called, "Library 2.0 Debased" he pulls no punches:

It's very evident in the profusity of L2-centric workshops and conferences that there is a significant snake-oil market in the bibliosphere. We’re blindly casting about for a panacea and it’s making us look like fools.

He goes on to warn against "arbitrarily introducing technology that isn’t properly integrated into our overarching information framework". Our choice of technologies needs to make sense, he argues, ultimately to our end-users.

This of course is completely true. As a survival tactic, if for no better reason, you'd think we'd all be trying to work out our core competencies long before shopping around for technologies.

Unfortunately a lot of what passes for "L2.0" seems to go in the opposite direction.

All too often it's how to build our libraries around blogs, wikis and social networks -- rather than the other way around. Add to this a level of individual affirmation and self-discovery more appropriate on occasion to a revival meeting than a PD, and you have a picture not of innovation but of its caricature.

Worse, there seems to be a certain element of one-up's-manship in play, at least among the more ambitious, with whoever adopting the largest number of 2.0 technologies in the least amount of time being perceived as most "cutting edge".

This isn't going to work. You might as well have a chicken with its head cut off picking technologies. At least the results would be harder to predict.

[h/t Blake]