The Library is Participatory
Part of the reason I went to library school is because I love talking to people about books. I knew working in a library would give me lots of opportunities to talk about books with lots of people. This type of participation in the library has always appealed to me, and I really began to think about this aspect of libraries during Michael’s lecture over the weekend on the hyperlinked library. I mean, I always have loved discussing books with people, but it wasn’t until class that I thought about how it is a part of the participatory library.
Another thing that really struck me this weekend was the redesign of libraries. I think if libraries are going to be more participatory than they have been in the past, then libraries must change and be redesigned. We saw pictures of how libraries have changed their reference desks. Many of them have been reconfigured so they’re more user-friendly to ALL users–librarians and patrons alike. The desks have been redesigned so patrons and librarians can sit side by side and participate in searches together. I think this is important. It makes libraries seem more friendly if users can participate in tasks along with the librarians.
Something else that can be redesigned in libraries are the services. In Library 2.0, Casey and Savastinuk talk about getting users involved in planning services. This type of participation can go a long way in getting users interested in the library. If users actually take part in planning services, I think they would be much more inclined to take part in them.
Making sure the library is participatory is very important during this time of Library 2.0.