Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Library 2.0 Bubble

Google's Blogsearch shows a heavy increase in the use of the term "Library 2.0" in 2007 compared with 2006. The increase is 6-10 times greater. Is a bubble forming (possibly to burst) or is this merely the initial part of a long, upward graph to last for many years?

The only reason I ask is because there is a lot of talk about a Web 2.0 bubble and whether it exists or not, and will it burst. Are MySpace and Second Life positioned for a hard fall?

I've noticed on some of the Library 2.0 social networking groups on places like Ning and Facebook that many of the librarians actively involved say they are having trouble keeping up with all the various social sites and saying anything substantial. I keep hearing librarians say they are the only ones at their library with an interest in 2.0. Something like a wiki is set up at their library site, and then abandoned, because there isn't really much use for it or interest in it.

The librarians on these sites represent a very small minority of the total number of librarians. It's really just the vanguard that has any involvement whatsoever with 2.0. Most librarians have no interest in it, and when it comes up in a discussion, they pretend until the topic goes away.

Will some members of this vanguard of librarians get tired of it, frustrated with their solitary fascination with online social tools not shared by their co-workers, and drift away? Or will more and more librarians become inoculated with the 2.0 virus, inject fresh ideas and keep the trend line moving upward for years to come? As goes Web 2.0, so goes Library 2.0?

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