In INFO 202, my group’s cumulative project was redesigning one of my group member’s library website’s. The website was a hodgepodge of information, visually unappealing, and searches often ended prematurely by not following Weedman’s technique of “drilling down” (Weedman as cited in Tucker, 2018, p. 346). As I began reading the foundational texts, I was struck by Casey and Savastinuk’s examples of their versions of Library 2.0 and wondered if the example of Ann Arbor’s library’s website was still a model for Casey and Savastinuk’s Library 2.0 In the original description complete with photo of the main page, the library is noted by the acronym AADL. If not told by the authors that I was looking at Ann Arbor, I wouldn’t know the meaning of the website. The 2007 homepage is text based with seven headings. Fast forward to today’s Ann Arbor’s library page, it no longer uses an acronym and uses graphics to promote a less text heavy page. Seven headings now become four with the catalog prominently displayed below the masthead. No longer can customers add comments on their own personal page. Instead, customer comments are displayed after each holding whether it be a book, journal, or video.
Ann Arbor’s website is a current example of Library 2.0 precisely because it has changed from 2007. As Casey and Savastinuk (2007) walk through what makes Library 2.0, they advocate again and again for building change into the library’s organizational structure and not sporadically changing or following a strategic plan without regards to environment. They advocate for “constant purposeful change” through feedback from staff as well as customers (Casey and Savastinuk, 2007, p. 57). Additionally, they cannot stress enough – the importance of understanding the community. Since all communities vary in a variety of ways, each library should be different responding to the needs of their community.
Juxtaposed Buckland to Casey and Savastinuk, his planning is too linear. While some of what Buckland discusses comes to fruition, he details past libraries with what he sees as libraries’ future – electronic libraries that heavily use bibliographies and not catalogs. Redesigning Library Services feels like a blueprint, albeit an inaccurate one while Casey and Savastinuk’s vision seems more directional – head in this direction they are saying. Simply put, their vision is the Waze app. If their direction is blocked, they advocate turning in a different direction – by studying the community, talking to staff and customers, visiting other libraries.
While Buckland argues “planning offers us a chance to create the future” (Buckland, 1992, p.8), being a soothsayer is a tricky business. The Ann Arbor Library website clearly points this out in a comment on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone from June 8, 2007, “Flipped through it, doesn’t seem like it’ll go anywhere. Boy wizard is too cute to be popular, Strange invented vocabulary will be too difficult for most teens” (Zimmerman, 2007, para. 1). Well, in the the end, this Muggle disagrees.
Buckland, M. (1992). Redesigning library services: A manifesto. Chicago: American Library Association
Casey, M.E., & Savastinuk, L.C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc.
Weedman, J. (2018). Designing for navigation. In V.M. Tucker (Ed.), (2018). Information retrieval system design: Principles & practice (edition 5.1) (pp. 389-434). AcademicPub/XanEdu.
Zimmerman, W.F. (2007, June 8). Re: Ho-hum, won’t go anywhere [Blog comment]. Retrieved from https://aadl.org/catalog/record/10181109