I don’t want to be grumpy, but I feel a little grumpy.
I love the readings about participatory libraries, which promote important ideals like user focus – people are hyperlinks (Stephens), delighting our users (Denning), and connection focus – functioning as a connector (UTS Library), “the internet’s super power is connection without permission” (New Clues). Every class I’ve had emphasizes these values, but though this conversation is at least a decade old, it doesn’t seem to be reaching the intended audience. Maybe that’s unfair, but my limited experience indicates there’s a long way to go to steer this ship (US libraries) in this new direction.
My first library job was at a public branch that pretty much epitomized everything Library 2.0 is
trying to change, and the 3 “wrong answers” to the library’s future (Denning), such as using technology to computerize existing services. The staff jealously protected their domains, and while they didn’t seem unaware of the changes occurring, they didn’t exactly embrace them either.
My next job was at an academic library that provided traditional services well, but was still firmly situated in Library 1.0 – the staff were very siloed and there was little effort to engage users (or front line staff either). The director had great ideas, but was quite resigned about getting them implemented.
It makes me nervous, facing the job market when I have internalized a flatter and more dynamic model that may be hard to find IRL.