John Miedema on Balanced Libraries

Once again, I’m going to bend my promise to simply note new reviews of Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change.

John Miedema posted a thoughtful review on September 18 on his eponymous blog (well worth reading, by the way). Here are the second and sixth paragraphs (of a six-paragraph review):

Balanced Libraries is a response to the discussions surrounding Library 2.0, the movement that has tried to use Web 2.0 technologies to reinvigorate library services. Some assert that Library 2.0 is about much more than technology, with each stone in the library system being overturned and re-evaluated, hopefully leading to better service for library patrons. Inevitably, change is met with resistance. The library crowd is reasonably adept at getting at the best of the enthusiasts and the resistors, but sometimes an experienced and clear voice is needed. In his book, Crawford lives up to his blog tag-line, “The library voice of the radical middle”. It could be the bible of the Slow Library movement.

Balance is not a sexy idea, but Crawford helps makes sense of the debate, showing how both change and stasis can be troublesome for libraries, providing a fresh take on the timeless wisdom that technology must serve library the mission, not the reverse.

There’s more, to be sure; please do read the whole review. Do know that I take “It could be the bible of the Slow Library movement” as high praise–and if you think “Slow Library” means resistance to change, you need to follow that link.

What else can I say? Buy the book–it makes an important contribution to a number of continuing conversations.

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