Library 2.0: balancing the risks and benefits to maximise the dividends

Brian Kelly, Paul Bevan, Richard Akerman, Jo Alcock, Josie Fraser

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    Purpose: This paper provides a number of examples of how Web 2.0 technologies and approaches (Library 2.0) are being used within the library sector. The paper acknowledges that there are a variety of risks associated with such approaches. The paper describes the different types of risks and outlines a risk assessment and risk management approach which is being developed to minimize the dangers whilst allowing the benefits of Library 2.0 to be realized. Design/methodology/approach: The paper outlines various risks and barriers which have been identified at a series of workshops run by UKOLN for the cultural heritage sector in the UK. A risk assessment and risk management approach which was initially developed to support use of Web 2.0 technologies at events organized by UKOLN (a national centre of expertise in digital information management based in the UK) is described and its potential for use within the wider library community, in conjunction with related approaches for addressing areas such as accessibility and protection of young people, is described. Findings: Use of Library 2.0 approaches is becoming embedded across many Libraries which seek to exploit the benefits which such technologies can provide. The need to ensure that the associated risks are identified and appropriate mechanisms implemented to minimize such risks are beginning to be appreciated. Practical implications: The areas described in this paper should be of relevance to many Library organisations which are making use of Library 2.0 services. Originality/value: The paper should prove valuable to policy makers and Web practitioners within Libraries who may be aware of the potential benefits of Library 2.0 but have not considered associated risks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)311-327
    Number of pages17
    JournalProgram Electronic Library & Information Systems
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2009


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