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What does Web 2.0 mean for public libraries?

Rooney-Browne, C. (2009) What does Web 2.0 mean for public libraries? Post-Lib.

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Abstract

Public libraries face many challenges in the 21st century and it seems inevitable, given the current financial and political climate that these challenges will continue to grow. The modern day public library now operates under severe financial constraints but is still expected to respond to the evolving needs and expectations of users and compete with commercial alternatives, both in real world and virtual communities. Online services, such as Google, have emerged as effective alternatives for a new generation of information seekers who are accustomed to accessing information quickly; and on their own terms. For the purpose of this article the author has chosen to highlight the increasing popularity of the second generation of the web, often referred to as Web 2.0 (O'Reilly, 2005), as one way of ensuring that public libraries remain relevant and continue to fulfil their role as educator, information provider and recreational destination within our communities.