Is a Collections 2.0 manifesto in order? I posted this statement over on Library 2.0 on Ning and got some pushback, but I’m sticking with my guns. So, I am reproducing some of that statement here. I then said that 3 things were foundational for 2.0 collections:
- digital collections (I originally called these “electronic collections”)
- ubiquitous computing
- user customization–customer choice
To that I would add a fourth concept:
Collections are necessary to all 2.0 activities: That without collections (whether they are purchased, licensed, curated, discovered, or even contributed by users) there is no library and therefore nothing for 2.0 services to interact with. It is also fundamental that the nature, structure, and organization of collections can enable and enhance user interaction and community formation, or they can thwart these.
Digital Collections: Collections will become more and more digital (see Janus Conference). This will enable many kinds of uses we never envisioned before (see below). I don’t think, in the short term, however, that digital collections will completely replace print collections. Many things that our users want will not become digital for many years (if ever).
Ubiquitous computing (UC): will exploit electronic collections to allow access from virtually any place in the world at any time during the day. People will be using all kinds of devices to access information: PDAs, phones, laptops, UMPC, ebook readers. Not every collection will be appropriate for all these devices, but we need to think about making information available to users on a multitude of platforms. UC also means that the library is everywhere and the librarians are too. Librarians will be at the reference desk, on the web, in social networks, and perhaps even inside databases and electronic texts, helping people navigate and responding to questions—in real time.
Customer choice–user customization: will allow patrons to do things with the collections that are important to them. They should be able to save information and manipulate it in many ways: annotation, tagging, mashups, sharing, citation management. We should offer collections that enable these kinds of choices. Of course, collection development will be based on user demand in ways that we haven’t yet thought of. One of the big barriers to this kind of user freedom will be vendors and their concerns about property and copyright.
This last item is the most important to 2.0 collections: enabling people to do things with library data.
There are a lot of problems to solve here, but I think these are concepts we should be working to apply to all library collections in the future.