As our Lis753 class comes to a close, I've been thinking about the Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 tools we learned to use: wikis, blogs, Flickr, YouTube, podcasts, rss feeds. I've wanted to contemplate them in a larger context than just the technology of it all. I wondered if the Web's inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, had any foresight as to how the Web would impact our society, our world. In Weaving the Web, Berners-Lee discusses the ultimate destiny of his invention which debuted in 1991.
His closing chapter opens with the question, "Can the future Web change the way people work together and advance knowledge in a small company, a large organization, a country?" We can answer that question. We know that the Web has changed the way libraries work and the way they advance knowledge.
Berners-Lee observes, "that people seem to be naturally built to interact with others as part of a greater system". Blogging? Flickr? MySpace?
"If we lay the groundwork right and try novel ways of interacting on the new Web, we may find a whole new set of financial, ethical, cultural, and governing structures to which we can choose to belong, rather than having to pick the ones we happen to physically live in".
I thought about our class visitors, Erik and Jaap, and how we were introduced to their library in Holland from their physical visit, yet we can continue to learn about their work at the Delft Library via the Web.
In a discussion of his goal for the Web, Berners-Lee describes a system that would take advantage of "ingenuity, inspiration, and intuition of individuals in a special way". We've seen examples of libraries subscribing to those technologies that maintain that goal. And for those librarians that have shied away from the technology, they may want to visit Berners-Lee's insights to understand the true nature of the Web and to use the evolving Web2.0 tools to provide their patrons with the information and services they need and want.