These were such stimulating reads! It was fascinating to consider the suggestions that Matthews made regarding how libraries can better support learners of the 21st century, especially in the face of the shifting status of higher education. Emulating startups seems like a very reasonable model for libraries to follow. I also found it really interesting that our goal shouldn’t be to pursue a perfect, finished service, but to constantly put it under evaluation and evolution – as Casey also advocates in Library 2.0. In this light, I was intrigued when Matthews went on to describe his suspicions of traditional assessment procedures. While I think there are some very innovative things happening in the realm of user-centered evaluation, I hadn’t really thought much about whether or not the questions currently being asked are actually helpful, meaningful, or propelling us forward.
I also really loved the simplicity in Buckland’s description of libraries – they are essentially institutions that provide access to information. In this light, his suggestions for redesigning library services are absolutely justifiable and very much in tune with the sort of innovation and forward-thinking that Matthews and Casey proposed as necessary characteristics to the future of our profession. It’s very exciting realize that we don’t have to be bound by traditional means of performing services. His take on the future of the library that contrasts sharply with several works I’ve read that take remarkably bleaker and more sorrowful perspectives.
Overall, the foundational readings as a whole provided very honestly critiques about the current state of our profession and advocated for very sensible changes and innovations in librarianship that are primarily based on our ability to prepare for and embrace constant change. In general, I really appreciate the recognition that services and experiences that occur via the virtual world are still a form of reality. Those suspicious of technology and of how people engage with it today, in my experience, say things like “Get off the internet and become a part of the real world!” But the digital world is a part of the “real” world and it seems that Library 2.0 respects this and seeks to engage users through technologies that are familiar to them.