Participatory Networks at Midwinter

The final version of the Participatory Network Technology Brief ( developed for the ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy will be releassed at ALA Midwinter. The full brief will be available via the web. Many, many thanks to those who took the time to comment on the first public draft.

There was an active period of comments on the public draft of the Participatory Networks paper from mid-October to the first part of December. The comments came in three forms: e-mail to the authors, postings to a web based bulletin board systems, and comments and edits to the paper posted as a collaboratively edited WIKI. Commenters ranged from noted members of the library community, such as Karen Schneider, Walt Crawford and John Buschman to library science students. The most active mode of comments was the bulletin board and e-mail. Few actual edits were made to the WIKI site, with most participants choosing, instead, to leave comments via the WIKI.

The table below summaries the nature of the comments, and the anticipated effect in the final document:

Comment Thread Discussion Anticipated Effect
Library 2.0 Commenters felt the work of the Library 2.0 community was not well represented here, and that a lot of good work done was missed. The Library 2.0 section of the document will be reworked to acknowledge the work of Library 2.0, and discuss a participatory librarianship model as a means of advancing the work of the Library 2.0 community. Many of the commercial Web 2.0 examples have been supplemented or replaced with Library 2.0 examples.
Use of the term â??Conversationâ?? Several commenters felt the use of the word â??conversationâ?? was incorrect, or at best, straining the meaning of the word. Conversation was presented as an informal exchange of ideas between people. The authors clarified the use of conversation and highlighted the use of â??Conversation Theory.â?? A separate theoretical piece is anticipated.
Commercialization of Libraries The use of Web 2.0 technologies and the text seems to promote the use of commercial ideas in the library, and therefore seems to advocate for making the library online more commercial in nature. More library examples were used to highlight how commercially developed technologies does not require commercialization. It was also noted tht there are some libraries in commercial settings.

There will be two presentations on the brief at ALA Midwinter. The first Friday January 19, 2007 to the advisory board of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy and the second, an open meeting, on Saturday January 20, 2007. The Saturday briefing will be part of the “Washington Office Update Session” 8:00 A.M.â??10:00 A.M., Washington Convention Center, Rooms 611-614.