Take my thoughts on Tagging and apply those to Library 2.0 – because it’s the same concept in my mind.
I read a book called “Cult of the Amateur” by Andrew Keen which was very interesting and insightful albeit difficult to read at times because I knew from the get go that I disagreed with some of his premises.. and that I thought many of his arguments had logical fallacies.
Buut… point being, he denounced all things YouTube/Blogs/Amazon/internet..etc. Or so he made it sound in the beginning, until he finally came around and admitted that they weren’t all bad but they did have flaws/potential for flaws. Or so I gleaned…I think his point was that we shouldn’t let the amateur take the place of the professional/expert. And I agree.. I think that can be taken too far though. I don’t the YouTube is the root of all evil (or all the money that hollywood and music/movie professionals are losing.) I do think the world needs to suck it up and realize that things are changing, including our media and how we like/want to access information. It’s not all for the better but it’s reality. And can you really fight a declining society, anyway? That’s the real question at stake here..
I wrote down some quotes from the book and my thoughts on them that I might transpose onto here, because it really did provoke my thinking on this whole issue of Internet and Library 2.0.
I will say.. the internet/blogs/delicious/youtube/videos/and maaaybe even myspace are tools. Tools that can and should be used. That is no guaruntee that they will be used rightly. Therefore their products won’t always been beneficial. Therefore if Library2.0 is dependent on that.. it’s bound to fail. We all need boundaries.We can’t all be the smartest and best. yet neither can we entrust everything to the smartest and the best (absolute power corrupts absolutely, right?)
I believe passivity is wrong, dangerous, and damaging to the human mind. I believe we should be active learners and contributers to the learning society, even if some of us are “slower” learners than others, or just plain dumber than others. (I gotta say that to allow myself some room in this Library 2.0 realm.)
Therefore, I like the idea that the web is allowing us such an open and easy way to contribute. I like that we can all build and then share resources without killing twenty trees and then waiting four weeks for it to ship across the country.
But I don’t think everything is worthy of being shared. I don’t think everyone should share. And I don’t think I should regulate what’s what on that spectrum. I don’t know who should, but I do think somehow it should be regulated.
So, Wikipedia, right? That’s what comes to mind. Confession: Wikipedia is almost always my first source. Why? Because I know I will find what I am looking for. Why else? Because I know I tend to be lazy, and like the quick/easy answer. Do I think that’s right? Not always. Do I think that’s the best? No.I do wish I had more of an initiative to search things out and turn every question I have into a research paper. But the fact of the matter is that I have a lot of questions and my life will only last on average, 80 years (and I’m not even guarunteed that.)
Ok, so the real question: Is Wikipedia my only source? Not when it matters. Not when it is a question about my health, or a research project, or something that matters dang it. Now I may have very low standards for what matters (i.e. fascism doesn’t matter, I’m satisfied with Wikipedia’s defintion.) But I do have standards!
Here’s what I do: I looked up “international literacy day” on Google today. Clicked the Wikipedia result (#5), and ended up reading (and trusting) Wikipedia’s ‘list of countries by literacy rate’. I mean… if someone was going to go through all the trouble of coming up with those numbers, who I am to question them? (Ok, so sometimes that is and sometimes that is NOT my attitude.) But I also followed a direct link to the official Internation Literacy Day website (that was NOT above the Wikipedie site on my Google search results.)
So… all that said.. I like Wikipedia. I use Wikipedia. But I am not a huge fan of this mystical force called “Library 2.0”
Why? Because it’s just another outward expression of Post-modernism. And although that’s the trend of our culture and therefore nearly irresistable, I can sitll resist it for as long as I am able. I am religious and I am opposed to the religious expression of Post-modernism as well(the Emerging and more particularly the Emergent Church.) Now don’t get me wrong – I find their ideas intriguing and their mantras alluring. But when it comes down to it they are wrong. And I don’t want to be wrong. (Although I am probably “wrong” for saying they are wrong.)
But ultimately.. I am torn on this idea of Library 2.0 (i.e. postmodernism in the library) because ideally it is great but its implications can be frightening. And I don’t know if I am ready to bear the consequences of those implications.. especially since I haven’t figured them all out yet.
All that said, maybe I am reading too much into it? Maybe I just need to say “go internets!” and have it be done with, and discover that there are no real consequences to be had, not in light of all the benefits reaped.