Web 2.0 in University Libraries

Occasionally I leave the idyllic confines of the law library/faculty and go to meetings in the main campus library. In one recent meeting, about strategic planning (not my favourite subject) I was waxing on about web 2.0 and what it will mean for the future of university libraries. For my folly, I was asked to give a (hopefully) short presentation on this to an upcoming management meeting. I have some readings and of course SLAW is a good example of social software, but I thought I need something that covered the whole area. Fortunately, a recent issue of Library Technology Reports is dedicated to web 2.0.

The print journal provided a useful reading l ist of relevant literature and one intriguing site and accompanying book that I have never hears of called The Clue Train Manifesto.

Here is an example:

“Networked markets are beginning to self-organize faster than the companies that have traditionally served them. Thanks to the web, markets are becoming better informed, smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations. …

People of Earth
The sky is open to the stars. Clouds roll over us night and day. Oceans rise and fall. Whatever you may have heard, this is our world, our place to be. Whatever you’ve been told, our flags fly free. Our heart goes on forever. People of Earth, remember ”

Does anyone out there know more about this book and the manifesto? The 60’s kid in me is curious.


  1. Read/download it for free Neil!

    One of my favourite authors/bloggers Dave Weinberger is a co-author.

  2. Some people find the phrase “web 2.0” too unclear or too gimmicky — I use it myself, though. An alternative way of describing the current set of developments is Read/Write Web. (Lessig uses the read/write versus read only distinction a fair bit.) It’s a bit more explanatory from a user point of view, perhaps.

  3. I read the Cluetrain Manifesto when it first came out in 2000, gave away my copy, and recently picked up a new one. It talks about doing business with regard to communicating with customers, and is sort of an anti-marketing manifesto. Its focus is on going back to storytelling and direct communication with clients. This fits in very nicely with the idea of blogs and wikis and other social software that has since come to the fore.

    Fans of prominent librarian, instructor and speaker Michael Stephens and his blog Tame the Web will be familiar with Cluetrain as Michael considers it a key text for library students and refers to it frequently.

    See also the derivative work, the Pinko Marketing Manifesto (“the age of marketing post-Cluetrain”)

    (if anyone has my original edition of Cluetrain, I’d love it back!)