Library 2.0: blogs, Wikis, and RSS to serve the library.

Author:Zanin-Yost, Alessia


This article was previously published with the title Library 2.0. Blog, Wiki e RSS al servizio della biblioteca in AIB Notizie, 21 (2009), n. 2, p. 26-27. The original article is available online at:

"But if now there is Web 2.0, when we had Web 1.0?" This is a question that students and professors often ask me. Web 1.0 has existed ever since the Internet, but was mainly composed by textual material. With Web 1.0 the user was, in a way, limited to access and create information, since the publication of online information was limited to those who knew how to create Web pages, and had access to technologies that often were limited to the mass because of their high cost. Web 2.0 is made of written text but also by images, movies, music and sound, moving from textual information to one that is multimedial. With Web 2.0, the user is proactive and can create information, because of the availability of software that is easy to use and cheaper than in the past. Today, publishing online is not something exclusive of few and information can move freely, even if sometimes with negative effects. Neil Howe and Bill Strauss in Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation (2002), noticed that people born between 1982 and the 2000, the so-called Generation Y, have been using computers and the Internet as the main resources of research and communication. Wikis, Blogs and RSS are examples of how this new generation, as well as the older ones, uses these technologies to give, receive, and create information. This article offers an overview of three technologies, Blogs, Wikis and RSS with examples of how they can be used within the scope of the library and proposes to reflect if it is worth or no to adopt these services in one's library.

From Web 2.0 to Library 2.0

The most common definition of Web 2.0 is that of Tim O'Reilly. In his article O'Reilly (2005) explained that companies that survived the collapse of the technological sector during the 1990s had in common particular methods, concepts and technologies that allowed them to be cutting-edge compared to their competitors. These companies offered assessments of their products and services online, and customers used them to write personal comments and suggestions, thus creating a network of information that was then used by the same company to improve their products and services.

The request for new methods of communication online capable of satisfying the various needs of users have facilitated the development of Web 2.0 technologies like the folksonomie, keywords that are created by those who organizes the information available online; the AJAX, that allow an interactive and dynamic use of Web applications; and feeds that make interoperable content of different applications or platforms. Summarizing, Web 2.0 is an...

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