Tuesday, 23 June 2009

One Counter, two cultures

Next week SINTO is running a seminar on Web 2.0/Social Computing, led by Stephanie Taylor of Critical Eye Communications. This is a course that Stephanie has run for us before and is very popular.

In her own blog Libraries in a cold climate, Stephanie raises an issue that she has come across in several courses she has run. Library staff are often blocked from accessing Social networking tools at work. She point out:

In some UK public libraries, things are so bad that on one side of the counter, library users can freely access social networking sites via PCs linked up to the People's Network, but on the other side of the counter, library staff are blocked on their own PCs from accessing those same sites. The customer side of the counter - free access. The professionals' side of the counter - no access. This is the situation in many of the UK public libraries today: one counter, two cultures. Is this really the best way serving users of public library services? Of any library services?

Stephanie raises an important point. Social networking tools are a valuable source of information and an important CPD tool. Library staff must be able to use these tools at work.

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