Sunday, June 18, 2006

More on Government 2.0 and on Government Library 2.0

On June 8, 2006, a post on Slaw.ca referred to the Government 2.0 Think Tank, which is all about leveraging Web 2.0 concepts about interaction and open source technologies to improve the way government manages information and provides services to citizens.

In Quebec, the CEFRIO IT research firm has teamed up with the Réseau informatisé des bibliothèques gouvernementales du Québec (RIBG), a resource sharing consortium of Quebec government libraries and documentation centres.

CEFRIO and RIBG have launched a research project into the future of government library services in the context of the emergence of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 concepts.

In its preliminary environmental scan and literature review, the CEFRIO consultants comment that articles and studies about the transformation of government libraries in general are scarce. Available material does show, however, that government libraries are still behind many public and academic libraries when it comes to innovation and Web 2.0-style transformations (more collaboration and user interaction, knowledge sharing and management, etc.).

CEFRIO identifies a number of key shifts in the kinds of skills and competencies government libraries will need to develop in their staff, if they aren't already:
  • the shift from the reference service model to value-added research and environmental monitoring
  • the shift to more on-demand information services (through the use of new, personalized tools like RSS feeds etc.)
  • the shift from reaction to being pro-active, anticipating needs within the context of the overall information management strategy of the entire organization
  • the shift from just cataloguing and classifying to also managing metadata, records management, information architecture and building taxonomies
  • the shift from copyright to digital rights management
The CEFRIO documents refer in a number of places to the analyses being developed by the Council of Federal Libraries as part of their Community Renewal Project.

The Council's purpose is to improve the coordination and sharing of resources between federal government libraries, including the Supreme Court of Canada library, and to promote communication, cooperation and professional development among federal library staff. All of this in the current context of philosophical changes in public service management, which is moving, officially anyway, in the direction of responsiveness, accountability, and transparency.

The Community Renewal Project does not use the expressions "Web 2.0" or "Library 2.0" but many of the ideas associated with them bubble up periodically in the more recent project documents.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:35 pm

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