Quick Links: Talumpati | Licensed Librarians | Filipiniana Online | Stereotypes | Leadership | The Philippines

Library 2.0: A View from the Third World

By Perry Joy R. Lumabao
The author is my student. I considered editing the paper, but decided that it would be better to leave it as is, except to add the links to the original paper.
Do libraries matter in the world of Google and Amazon? Basically, this is the question in Ken Chad's and Paul Miller's paper “Do Libraries Matter: The Rise of Library 2.0” (pdf, html). They answered yes, libraries matter. There is, however, a hitch. In order to continue being relevant, the library must keep up with the way Internet-based services provide information – to offer ready-access from any place, at any point in time.

“Access to information from anywhere at any time.” Apparently, this is the guideline or motto for Library 2.0 that Chad and Miller proposes in their paper. At the point of need, information seekers can access the library through the Internet. They would not have to physically be in the library in order to gain a desired information – minimizing the problem of limited library hours.

The question for us is, “Does the UP Main Library need this type of service?” Library 2.0 is applicable and useful for libraries in rich countries like the UK. But for libraries in a third world country like ours, I don't think we need to employ this type of service.

The UP Main Library is an academic library catering to the needs of its student population. Limited opening hours – mentioned by Chad and Miller to be a limitation – is not necessarily a limitation for academic libraries. If we consider the academic loads of students, I don't think that the current library hours is a hindrance to providing service. Even if a student enrolls with a maximum load, he or she will still have time to visit the library and find the information she needs.

As mentioned above, our patrons are students. From a scale of 1 to 10, how many student have access to the Internet? How many have their own computers? And for those who have computers, how many have a connection to the World Wide Web? How many students access the Internet through computer shops?

Considering the questions above, we must note their financial capabilities if we are indeed thinking providing for a service like Library 2.0. Not all students will be able to access an on-line type of service. Not all students will be able to fully utilize and take advantage it.

Cost and maintenance is also another factor we need to look into in employing Library 2.0. How much will the library spend in order to implement this type of service? How much will its maintenance cost and how often will it be done? Who will be responsible for maintenance?

Even if Library 2.0 uses a mash-up of free applications available through the Internet and the library can avail this type of service and its maintenance, we will go back to the topic of misdirected goal. We might be able to employ this type of service but will it serve its purpose of providing information to a larger population, or even to all, of our patrons? I believe not. Not in the UP academic library setting.

Category: Libraries

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...