Thursday, September 27, 2007

Book Review: Library 2.0 by Casey & Savastinuk

I've been slowly chewing on Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service by Michael Casey & Laura Savastinuk and finally finished it this morning. As a review or primer, it's fantastic. It's exactly the book to hand to a senior administrator or library trustee who is willing to read it (=relatively open-minded about new initiatives). The authors explain the basics of Library 2.0 and describe the distinctions between the theory behind participatory library service (Library 2.0) and the technology that can support it (Web 2.0). The writing can be somewhat repetitive, particularly toward the end, but that might just be because they were telling me lots of things I already knew.

Many of the changes outlined in this book are things I've seen the beginnings of in my own institution. Service review teams that cut across staff lines vertically and horizontally; a verbalized commitment to openness and trust of one's staff at all levels; a recognition of the need for constant, moderate, moderated change; and more. All of these are components of Library 2.0 and are described in some depth. The final chapters on Getting Buy-In and Maintaining Momentum are particularly useful for those of us who are trying to push foward some of these changes and need advice for the next step in the process.

In short: a good summary for those already on the Lib 2.0 cluetrain, and a reasonable first book for the as-yet unconvinced. I recommended it to two senior-level managers just this morning, and their first response was to suggest that the whole management team needed individual copies. Rah!


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