Posted by Lori Ayre on September 6, 2006

Judy O'Connell (heyjude) has developed a very nice graphic called the Library 2.0 Meme Map. As clever as the graphic is, I think it is missing a key component of the Library 2.0 environment; namely, the fulfillment side.

The fulfillment side of library services in a library 2.0 world is something I've been thinking about for the last several days in anticipation of my talk at Moving Mountains: A Symposium Exploring Library Courier Services. My talk is guessed it Delivery 2.0.

Some stray thoughts on the topic: A true 2.0 library will get the information to the user wherever the user wants it. It will allow the user to specify the format of the item in and the manner in which they will receive it. A 2.0 library will let customers who wish to pay for premium services do so, e.g. Fed Ex Next Day Delivery for an $15, Messenger Delivery today for $20.

A 2.0 library will find a way to get the item into their users hands or inbox regardless of whether that requires buying the item, borrowing the item, digitizing the item, or downloading the item. All 2.0 libraries will have reciprocal relationships for borrowing and returning items so that most any library can borrow an item from most any other library regardless of library type or region.

A 2.0 library will provide an easy-to-use self-addressed stamped envelope that can be used to return the items by mail (think NetFlix...and hold that thought).

As soon as I get my synapses going on this topic of library 2.0 and delivery 2.0, I end up struggling with the limitations of ILS 1.5 I see the original text-based library systems as the 1.0 version (there are still some out there). ILS 1.5 is what we've got now -- graphical interfaces on top of same old ILS systems (oh, plus MARC field 856).

I'm developing ideas about ILS 2.0 with much help from Karen Calhoun of Cornell who wrote an excellent report called The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its Integration with Other Disocovery Tools (PDF). Among numerous great ideas, Karen suggests enriching the catalog experience with services such as "more like this," "get it," cover art and reviews. And I recommend such services as "Your Friends's Faves," "Librarian Picks," "Recommendations for You."

Back to my synapses...having helped our user find stuff to read that they are going to lovebecause we are treating them like individuals with unique preferences instead of as generic-walmart-customer, we alow them to build their book queue. Now, if they choose, each time they return an item by mail (using those handy return envelopes mentioned above), the next item in their queue goes out to them. Just like NetFlix.

Let's keep going. Because we're asking our customers to rate the books they've read (which allows us to build their customized recommendations), we will know which books really knocked their socks off. When weeding time comes up, we notify the people who LOVED that book (or something similar) that they can now buy that book. Yep, just like NetFlix.

John Blyberg ( identifes the hurdles we face getting to Delivery 2.0 but I think I'm a bit more hopeful than he is. He describes the library condition as a bit of a catch-22 when it comes to delivery because library's don't charge for services and have to manage huge inventories of stock. But...why can't we charge for some services? And, one thing the catalog does very well is manage stock. What we also need the catalogs to do is exchange stock with our 'business partners."

It's all doable. We just have to have to will to make some changes. That gets us into Librarian 2.0. But let's leave it alone for now.