oa South African Journal of Libraries and Information Science - Library 2.0 : revolution or evolution?

Volume 75, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-8861



Library 2.0 is a controversial concept that stirs debate on many fronts. As the concept continues to arrest the attention of most library users and practitioners, a number of issues relating to its real nature emerge. One of these is the character of change it represents. While many library scholars and practitioners agree that Library 2.0 represents a change, they disagree on the nature of this change. Using a critical review of documentation and arguments on this subject, the authors identify three points of view on this change. Whereas some feel that the change is revolutionary and may drastically transform the profession - including renaming - others see it as an evolution of the current best practices to mould a better, user-centred service using modern technology. Still others see Library 2.0 as neither revolutionary nor evolutionary. This paper seeks to clarify these three points of view on the character of Library 2.0 change in libraries, as institutions, and in librarianship as a profession. It also recommends that while Library 2.0 should be seen as the latest instance in the development of the library and the services it offers, its role in facilitating participatory user-centric services should not be ignored.

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