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Ranga 2.0 January 10, 2006

Posted by unamable in Library 2.0.

With no apologies to Ranganathan because he may just have said the same thing given the circumstances…..using his five laws in this “Library 2.0″ age

1. Content are for use.
Libraries are designed to be used in the physical and digital dimensions, they are not icons or symbols we are in awe of – except in that they should be “cool” “awesome” or “wicked” from the patron’s perspective. We want people to interact with our libraries, bounce around in them, do things, work with us and have fun in the process. We want people to use and interact with our libraries, wake them up, produce things there, be creative, and have fun doing it.
2. Every bit of content its user
All of our collections, book or other content item, seek to have a direct or indirect connection to at least one of our patrons – our job as library workers is to make sure that the item gets enough exposure that it fulfills its potential or being read, passed on, quoted from and therefore has a useful life while in our collections. In order to do this we need to engage more tightly with our resources making sure that they all get the description, access points, display and promotion they deserve. Maximising the value of our materials by keeping them current but not forgetting that we need to have access to the “long tail.” We need to entertain our patrons with the content such that they discover beyond what they are immediately looking for.
3. Every reader their book.
We have such an intimate connection with our patrons and our content that we know (before them) what they are likely to want. All of our content services are based on patron information of the first quality through (inter)face-to-(inter)face exchanges.

We don’t want to be too intrusive but we do want to know what they want/need to know! Otherwise we end up buying things, doing things in a vacuum – which is where we are now. And this one also takes account of those who see no need for what we do or what we think we offer.
4. Save the time of the user.
This is where we ensure in our public areas that people quickly find what they are looking for and in our backrooms to keep in touch with how our information is described and structured in a way that access is seamless and rapid (with all the description and access points and metadata necessary to make the item “glow in the dark”). The continued TLC of the library public relations engine is important since we need to be constantly in touch with what our patrons are wanting, needing, doing or trying to achieve while in our physical or digital domains.We need to be clear on the main reasons why our patrons come to us – and prioritise these for ready accessibility and findability.
5. The library is a living organism.
This is the area where we have been most negligent. Our libraries are at risk of becoming marginalised and moribund. The Internet Age has given us the means to re-invent what we do. Can we make use of its opportunities and its tools, those feverishly sprouting social softwares for example, to draw in, connect, engage, excite and keep our patrons coming back for more! The library needs to be flexible and agile in order to response to the evolving needs of the patrons. This can only be the case if our librarians keep up on all of the opportunities presented by this social software age.



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