Monday, April 03, 2006

Library Melodrama 2.0

Having restarted this blog after a lengthy breather, I was looking around for some other librarian blogs to follow, and stumbled upon a melodrama involving A List librarian bloggers that jostled me into realizing something I think is important.

The original post that led to this seems rather tame to me. Nobody got shot or killed. Nobody cheated out of their life savings. No duel at 20 paces. But then it's easy for me to say that since I'm not involved, not an A List blogger, and don't know any of the principals or commenters.

But what strikes me about this brief soap opera, and the Library 2.0 discussion (hah, I almost wrote "debate") in general, is that a number of name librarians are actually discussing/debating/arguing about something related to libraries and librarians. They're not arguing about politics or social issues with little if any direct impact on libraries, which is what I've come to expect. But this is about libraries, librarians and their reputations and opinions on our profession--not someone else's.

At the risk of being branded a negative cynic, I see this as a good thing. They aren't debating about a library resolution condemning Bush or praising Clinton, but are showing real emotion about the library business! Can I be the only one who sees this as a positive development? Methinks we need more of this and less of the other.

This also suggest to me that, with regard to Library 2.0, there is a there there. A core exists, we just don't yet understand what it is. Something is at stake, and those closest to it know it. No one has a good definition of it, no one agrees on what it is, and no one seems to know when it really started (excepting who coined the term and when it was first discussed publicly, but those are separate issues). The term may not be the best, but it will have to do for now, until it is examined more closely and most agree on what it is all about.

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