Exercise 15 is to “Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the future of libraries and blog your thoughts.” In the No. 2, 2006 issue of the OCLC Newsletter, Rick Anderson, the Director of Resource Aquisition at the University of Nevada Reno Libraries, states that “Libraries are poorly equipped and insufficiently staffed for teaching. Ask yourself what your patron-to-librarian ratio is (at the University of Nevada it’s about 680 to 1) and then ask yourself how you’re going to train all those patrons. We need to focus our efforts not on teaching research skills but on eliminating the barriers that exist between patrons and the information they need, so they can spend as little time as possible wrestling with lousy search interfaces and as much time as possible actually reading and learning. Obviously, we’ll help and educate patrons when we can, and when they want us to, and the more we can integrate our services with local curricula, the better. But if our services can’t be used without training, then it’s the services that need to be fixed—not our patrons. One-button commands, such as Flickr’s “Blog This,” and easy-to-use programs like Google Page Creator, offer promising models for this kind of user-centric service.”  I wholeheartedly agree with him, but this can be a daunting task for an academic library.  I think that Elms College’s Alumnae Library Web site redesign is much more user-centric, but we’re constantly thinking of ways to improve it. 

Michael Stephens, a Librarian and Blogger, states that the progressive “librarian understands that the future of libraries will be guided by how users access, consume and create content.”  Gone are the days when the patron needed to come to the library to access library materials.  Librarians need to breakdown barriers and allow users access wherever they are.  I really like this new user-centric focus in libraries.  Constantly learning new technologies can bring about a bit of technostress, but it keeps the profession new and exciting.

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