Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Awareness of Library 2.0 and Participating in the Global Discussion among Librarians in Southwest Nigeria Universities

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Awareness of Library 2.0 and Participating in the Global Discussion among Librarians in Southwest Nigeria Universities

Article excerpt


Libraries use a variety of tools and techniques to and devise services to support the requirements of their users. Computer-based linking of sources and users has become more pronounced. The accessibility of electronic resources tempts users to satisfy their information needs beyond the four walls of the library. As the Internet has become an integral part of everyday life, librarians, like any other professional group, must attempt to make sense of these changes within their domain of expertise and engage with the opportunities and challenges raised.

The library has not escaped considerable discussion about the potential change afforded by ICT, particularly "Web 2.0" and social media. It is hard to sell this concept in most developing countries, since half the libraries are unequipped or and many librarians have not been trained to make these changes. Libraries of developing countries differ greatly. Some who are trying to implement innovations find it hard because only a small percentage of the population uses the Internet or computers regularly. Most users are not familiar with how modern libraries operate.

Library 2.0

"Library 2.0" is a term believed to have been coined by Michael Casey (Miller, 2006b). With Library 2.0 there is focus on going beyond the library building to offer ways of bringing together data held in individual libraries to use the transformational power of yjr Web (Miller, 2006a). Library 2.0 is associated with technologies such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds, etc., which facilitate a socially-connected Web.

Maness (2006), defines "Library 2.0" as "the application of interactive, collaborative, and multimedia web-based technologies to web-based library services and collections." Limiting the definition to web-based services avoids confusion and makes the term more useful in professional discourse. Maness further states that a theory for Library 2.0 can be understood to have four essential elements:

* User-centered.

* Provides a multi-media experience.

* Socially rich.

* Communally innovative.

The State of ICT in Nigerian University Libraries

Because of harsh economic conditions and government apathy, the content and quality of services of most Nigerian university libraries have deteriorated. Ajakaye (2004) decries the cumbersome, time-wasting, and rigid policies and practices of traditional libraries and librarians:

In the libraries, a patron undergoes a rigorous training on the cataloguing system, meets most times in the Nigerian libraries, rather disinterested-looking officials, spends more than half hour looking for the only book available, gets to know later that it had been borrowed, or even gets the book only to discover that some very relevant portions have been made away with. In the Internet, the same material is available to several different users at the same minute, same second, same hour worldwide. The truth, which cannot be disproved, is that with the Internet, a lot more fresh ideas are available to the students or the researcher than any library could handle.

With the installation of the ICT in the library, most of the antisocial attitudes and malpractices from library staff and students, like delinquency and mutilation of pages of books and journals, respectively, will be abolished. Any university library without a functional ICT connectivity will eventually become extinct. This is why Ajayi (2003) says that:

Any industry that sidelines ICT has simply signed a "death warrant" on its continued relevance. The library represents one area that has experienced this revolution. The fact that we live in knowledge based society with the need for universal access has made it necessary for the library to redefine its role and mode of service delivery. The traditional "brick and mortar" libraries need to give way to libraries that are not limited by geography. …

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