Thursday, January 25, 2007

Library 2.0 -- it's on!!!

Just as I was talking about social software in libraries and the "next generation catalog," here comes SOPAC, the "Social OPAC," created by John Blyberg at the Ann Arbor District Library, which has all the very things I was talking about -- reviews, comments, tagging, customization, the works. Fabulous!

AADL is very cutting-edge on the 2.0 front -- their website has been blog-driven for a while, using blogs to advertise events, publicize new acquisitions and let the director talk to the citizens. It is a very supple, natural, yet dynamic website. And I daresay it was neither terribly expensive or difficult to create -- if you know some Web programming. These tools are designed to be easy, to be used and tweaked by ordinary users. This is not out of the reach of even modest libraries, if someone is willing to put the time in to learn the skillls. Or if the library is open to harnessing the native skills of its younger, more tech-savvy workers.

The SOPAC, of course, is more complicated, but it is built, as I understand it, with a set of customizable modules overlaying the catalog, and interacting with it to retrieve and display bib records. They did it themselves, by the way -- it is not a product of their automation vendor.

Another neat, very 2.0 thing about it is that you don't have to be an AADL cardholder to have a SOPAC account and add content. Anyone can register. So you can play aroud with it! Add tags! Write reviews!

That's what 2.0 is all about -- collaboration.

It's just super-cool. Watch the movie, too -- it's neat and very informative.


jeffrey said...

I read about this at the same time I finally started messing around with It's pretty darn cool. I wish we were moving faster to bring this kind of sophistication to NOPL. But we're still in the baby-steps-to-recovery mode at present... as I'm sure you know.

K2.0 said...

I'd like to see these kind of tools used by NOPL to reach out to the people of the diaspora. A Recovery Blog, a Recovery Wiki, things to help people stay in touch with the homeland. There are probable even more powerful ways to do that which I haven't thought of yet.