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Library 3.0

Friends, Romans, countrymen. I am here to tell you that we are, yet again, behind the times. There are people out there who are still talking about Library 2.0 and spending great amounts of energy figuring out a) what that is, b) how that differs from the Library 1.0 that must have existed even though it was never named, and c) how to put it into practice.

This is no longer enough.

I don’t care if we still haven’t even agreed if there is such a thing as Library 2.0. I don’t care if we haven’t figured out quite how to do it. If we don’t drop everything and run, we’ll miss the Library 3.0 train. Forget about your 23 things, your webinars (who invented that term, anyway?), and your virtual worlds. Those are so 2007.

“But what are we to do, oh wise Pegasus?” you ask. In answer to that I say, I have absolutely no idea. Apparently we’re supposed to be more semantic and stuff, so go do that. Also, Wikipedia offers up this definition of the web analogy to Library 3.0 thusly:

Web 3.0, a phrase coined by John Markoff of the New York Times in 2006, refers to a supposed third generation of Internet-based services that collectively comprise what might be called ‘the intelligent Web’—such as those using semantic web, microformats, natural language search, data-mining, machine learning, recommendation agents, and artificial intelligence technologies—which emphasize machine-facilitated understanding of information in order to provide a more productive and intuitive user experience.

Since I’m already fluent in “natural language,” I think I’ll just check that one right off my list. And last I checked, we had several hulking cabinets full of microformats, so I’m going to declare that one done, too. I’m also pretty good at recommending things, though people rarely seem to pay attention. Their loss.

All in all, we’ve probably got our foot in the door on this one, thank goodness. Still, we might want to start taking sides now, just to save time later. We’ll need some volunteers for the “This will devalue Library 2.0” camp, and a “this is silly, don’t talk to me about it” camp. Of course, we’ll need the “3.0 evangelist” camp, but if you’ve already had a turn as a 2.0 Evangelist, please be aware that you may be needed in the “This will devalue Library 2.0” camp. You can’t be the stars of the show every time.

Published inRandom Thoughts


  1. Courtney S Courtney S

    Where do I sign up for the “This is silly don’t talk to me about it” camp? :)

    Really, though, we’re still trying to sort out Library 1.0 (in some ways) at MPOW. Much less 2.0 or even 3.0. I’ll be trudging along behind, thanks.

  2. Iris Iris

    Hmm… Adding Josh’s name to the “This is silly” list. The threepointopian organization would like to thank you for stating your camp preferences early. It will really help with their pre-planning.

  3. Kirsten Kirsten

    RE: “And last I checked, we had several hulking cabinets full of microformats, so I’m going to declare that one done, too.”

    Just for the record, this is the point at which giggles turned into snorting, an activity not recommended while drinking tea.

  4. Ellen Ellen

    I’ll join you in the Library 3.0 evangelist camp – I got to library school too late to be an evangelist for 2.0 (I was more of a 2.0 practitioner who happened to go to lib. school…) and I do so love a bandwagon!

  5. waltc waltc

    I claim dibs on the “well, the ideas and techniques may be useful, but the term’s a load of…” camp. We’ll be busy removing the axles from the bandwagon…

    Although the “redefining the Semantic Web so it might actually accomplish something” camp might be more fun, as it’s been going for a while.

  6. Tom Tom

    I refuse to jump on the Library 3.0 bandwagon until someone adequately defines Library 2.5 or, at least, Library 2.25. They didn’t put that decimal point in there for nothing. If we’re not using it, we should just be talking about Library 2 and Library 3.

  7. Steve Lawson Steve Lawson

    I’m with Tom. Library 2.0 badly needs a service pack or something. It’s starting to look like abandonware to me!

  8. Tom Tom

    I like the service pack idea because then we really don’t need to explain what it is. If anyone asks what Library 2.0 SP1 is, we can just mutter and say, “well, we fixed some security issues” and leave it at that.

  9. Roy Tennant Roy Tennant

    Great post, Iris, and I try not to join crowds. To quote the great Groucho Marx: “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member”

  10. Iris Iris

    Just for you, Roy, I’ll start an “I’m not joining this crowd” camp. I foresee some cognitive dissonance that everyone in that camp will have to work through, but it will help the overall organization make sense.

  11. waltc waltc

    Seems to me that calls for an UnConference for the UnCamp. Let’s see. Ohio in August, Colorado in October… That works out to about 150 miles out to sea WSW of Salinas in January. Maybe we could compromise on the nearest wild river stretch near Salinas, with an UnConference UnGuided by a river rafting guide…if we only knew such a person.

    It is Friday, isn’t it?

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