I was flattered when Talis, a library systems and services company based in the U.K., asked me to be a judge in its very first “Mashing Up the Library” competition. Put simply, a mashup uses web services and data from two or more sources to create a new service.
John Blyberg took home the first prize with Go-Go–Google Gadget; Second Life Library from Alliance Library System took home second place. Rather than repeat it here, I will simply point to Teresa Koltzenburg’s excellent coverage of the winners on the ALA Techsource blog.
The flattery I felt in being asked was quickly overshadowed by the fantasticsubmissions to the mashup contestants. I found myself very distracted by the fact that I wanted to stop judging and start implementing! Though I have long been a proponent of “dis-integrated systems” and a fan of Talis putting the notion into action, the connection between “2.0” and “Mashups” to my notion of dismantled systems was not so clear to me until I saw what people entered into this competition–in many cases, the perfect blending of integrated library systems and services, third-party data, and good ol’ ingenuity.
While I’m throwing around references left and right, I highly recommend Michael Stephen’s latest publication in Library Technology Reports, “Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software.” Geared toward social networking and its use in libraries, the report is an excellent primer for those just getting started with social network technology, and nice resource for 2.0 practitioners. I love LTR, and this issue is no exception. The Talis competition and this LTR are just two recent examples of 2.0 put into practice.
It seems like the hub-bub over “Library 2.0”–Is it a movement? Is it a bandwagon? Is it a fad?–has subsided to make way for actual technical advances in library services (hallelujah!). Judging the Talis competition helped convince me of that. I was honored to be a judge, and I’m happy that Paul Miller, technology evangelist for Talis, announced that the competition is already started up again.
I’m adding this one to my judging repertoire (after the Sirsi Building Better Communities competition), and I look forward to someone cooking up an opportunity for me to join Jaye P. Morgan and Jamie Farr for a Library Gong Show–now that would be fun.
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]