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Intelligent libraries and apomediators: distinguishing between Library 3.0 and Library 2.0.

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Many terms and concepts have appeared in and disappeared from the history of librarianship. Currently, the use of “point oh” naming system to label developments in librarianship is prevalent. Debate on the appropriateness, basis and syntax of this naming system is ongoing. Specifically, the profession has been lately engrossed in discourses in various contexts to unravel the real meaning and potential of Library 2.0. But even before this debate is settled, a new term, Library 3.0, is seeking space in the core librarianship lexicon. This development is causing confusion among librarianship scholars, practitioners and students especially on whether there is any significant difference between the two models. Through documentary analysis, the authors explored the true meanings of these terms and have concluded that Library 2.0 and Library 3.0 are indeed different. The authors have also concluded that whereas Library 2.0 could be seen as attempting to weaken the role of librarians in the emerging information environment, Library 3.0 projects librarians as prominent apomediaries standing by and guiding the library users on how best to locate, access and use credible information in myriad formats from diverse sources, at the point of need. The authors therefore note that the prospect of the Library 3.0 model has revived hope amongst the librarians who were uncomfortable with the crowd intelligence architecture on which the Library 2.0 model was founded. Similarly, the authors have concluded that Library 3.0 provides the tools and framework to organize the infosphere that the Library 2.0 threw into disarray. Thus Library 3.0 is generally understood to be an improvement of Library 2.0 tools and techniques. The authors propose that a 3.0 library be perceived as a personalizable, intelligent, sensitive and living institution created and sustained by a seamless engagement of library users, librarians and subject experts on a federated network of information pathways.




Kwanya, T.M., Stilwell, C. and Underwood, P.G. 2012. Intelligent libraries and apomediators: distinguishing between Library 3.0 and Library 2.0. Journal of Librarianship & Information Science 45(3): 187–197.