Web 2.0: Knowledge, skills & attributes

INF506 Module 4: Online Learning Journal (OLJ) question:
What do you believe to be the essential knowledge, skills and attributes of an information professional in a Web 2.0 world?

The most effective information professionals in a Web 2.0 world are those that are most in tune with users in a Web 2.0 world. Their knowledge, skills and attributes will be well tailored to the community that they directly serve. It is clear that this is critical to the success of library operations and marketing (Huvila, Holmberg, Kronqvist-Berg, Nivakoski & Widén, 2013).

Librarians and other information professionals are facilitators, first and foremost. We can’t be telling people what to do and how to do it. As outlined in my post on November 24, Web 2.0 is centred around being interactive and allowing for two-way communication. The best librarians will be those that understand how the most widely used Web 2.0 platforms operate (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.). They’ll use them to interact with library users to ensure that these users are getting what they want, how they want it. This means not only understanding how such tools operate, but also the behaviours, culture and etiquettes of the communities who use them (Luo, Wang & Han, 2013).

Working with and understanding library users in this way might sound like an obvious goal to many. Its power in targeting the marketing of a library would also seem to go hand in hand with it. However, few library marketing studies have even consulted the actual users despite their often stated recognition of the importance of user needs (Huvila, et. al, 2013). Clearly it is important that we walk the walk when it comes to seeing librarians as true user facilitators.

Library manager Christine Mackenzie (2007, p.120) is certainly awake to this. She highlights that the central role of libraries has shifted from being about the presentation of information. To Mackenzie the central role of a library today is about facilitating people to “participate, interact and create”. Perhaps a strong statement, but one I agree with. Libraries are about information access, but they are about people first. Nothing connects people in the online environment better than those seen in the world of Web 2.0.


Huvila, I., Holmberg, K., Kronqvist-Berg, M., Nivakoski, O., & Widén, G. (2013). What is Librarian 2.0 – New competencies or interactive relations? A library professional viewpoint. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 45(3), 198-205. doi: 10.1177/0961000613477122

Luo L, Wang Y, Han L (2013) Marketing via social media: A case study. Library Hi Tech 31(3), 455–466.  Retrieved from http://link_resolver.unilinc.edu.au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/unilinc/resolver_icon/csu.gif

Mackenzie, C. (2007). Creating our future: Workforce planning for Library 2.0 and beyond. APLIS, 20(3), 118-124.

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