Overview of content related to 'url' http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/taxonomy/term/15264/all?article-type=&term=&organisation=&project=&author=helen%20leech&issue= RSS feed with Ariadne content related to specified tag en 23 Things in Public Libraries http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue64/leech <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue64/leech#author1">Helen Leech</a> describes a collaborative project to increase front-line staff's understanding and use of Web 2.0 in public libraries.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Did you know that:</p> <ul> <li>Of the Generation Y – the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s – 96% are members of a social network</li> <li>There are some 200 million blogs on the World Wide Web</li> <li>One in eight couples who married in the USA in 2009 met over the Internet</li> <li>If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth largest by population in the world after China, the USA and India</li> </ul> <p>All the statistics emanate from Socialnomics [<a href="#1">1</a>]. They are designed to be attention-grabbers, and they will no doubt provoke ferocious debate. However, what is unarguable is that some seismic shifts have taken place on the Internet in the past ten years, and social media and user-generated content now play a huge role in the way many people create and share information and how they communicate with each other.</p> <p>These changes have crept up on public libraries. Ten years ago, we became Internet experts when the People's Network initiative put 30,000 computers into our buildings. We became used to the new role of teaching people how to use a mouse, what a search engine is, how to create an email account. But when it came to content, we tended to leave that to our customers. Friends Reunited came along, followed by Myspace, Wikipedia, Youtube, Facebook, and we were dimly aware of them as social phenomena, but we did not have much to do with them in our day-to-day work.</p> <h2 id="Changes_in_Public_Libraries">Changes in Public Libraries</h2> <p>So what has changed and why do we need to know about them now? The list below is by no means exhaustive but represents some of the main drivers behind changes emerging within public libraries in the UK.</p> <ol> <li>The need to help people get online. As I write, every public library in the UK is being asked to sign up to Race Online [<a href="#2">2</a>], the initiative to get 100% of the population clued up by the time the Olympics happens. The reappointed UK Digital Champion Martha Lane Fox launched the Race Online 2012 campaign in March 2010. The initiative reports that more than 600 partners have pledged to help more than 1.7 million new people to get online by the end of 2012. Its rationale is "to build a UK of near-universal web literacy by the time of the Olympics, with access as easy and affordable as water, electricity or gas and skills considered as fundamental as literacy and numeracy: [its] ambition is to get everyone of working-age online by the end of this Parliament." People need to know the key skills for getting around online, and a large part of these skills involves social networking.<br />&nbsp;</li> <li>Changes in the way people communicate. There is a subtle shift taking place in electronic communication, moving onwards from email towards more collaborative methods: file sharing and cloud computing, social media that include information 'walls,' instant messaging and mobile apps. There is growing evidence that Generation Y and the Millenials – the generations born after the late 1980s – are moving towards very different methods of communication. It is important that library staff understand these technologies, since they are going to become as mainstream as email very shortly.<br />&nbsp;</li> <li><em>Communities in Control</em> [<a href="#3">3</a>]: you might recognise this as the title of a recent government paper, looking at the need to pass control over political processes to local communities, and how this could be achieved. The principle is being reinforced through the new administration's Big Society initiative [<a href="#4">4</a>]. New technologies are allowing people to mobilise in a way that simply has not been possible before, to create and share content, and to become involved in the running of public libraries in radical new ways. It is also worth looking at the International Association for Public Participation's <em>Spectrum of Public Participation </em>[<a href="#5">5</a>] which gives some idea of the range of ways in which we need to work with our communities, from providing them with information all the way up to acting as facilitators so that they can manage and run services themselves. It is also worth watching the film <em>Us Now</em> [<a href="#6">6</a>], which gives a glimpse of the way that new technologies might affect people's relationships with central government and public services. It highlights the way that social networking applications allow huge numbers of people to collaborate to do previously unthinkable things, like run a bank. If communities can make the day-to-day decisions necessary to run a bank or a second division football club, then it starts to become possible that they could do the same for political processes or delivery of public services. Library staff need to understand this culture of engagement, and to understand the tools that facilitate it.<br />&nbsp;</li> <li>The economic environment. The next four years, 2010-14, are going to be the hardest public services have seen, and we are going to have to make cost savings everywhere we can. There are clear benefits in collaboration, and the tools that are available for this are improving rapidly. Which is where <em>23 Things</em> comes in.<br /> </li></ol><p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue64/leech" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue64 feature article helen leech bbc google imperial college london university of huddersfield wikipedia archives blog cataloguing cloud computing database facebook file sharing flickr google wave instant messaging librarything mobile podcast rss search technology social networks software tagging twitter url video web 2.0 wiki youtube Thu, 29 Jul 2010 23:00:00 +0000 editor 1565 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk