Web 3.0 & Libraries

Since the advent of Web 2.0, speculation has abounded as to what form Web 3.0 will take.

Tim O’Reilly and Jennifer Pahika (see my previous post) term the explosive evolution of web 2.0 technologies and platforms “Web Squared” – indicating the exponential nature of its growth. However, this term has not been adopted into the common vernacular the way “Web 2.0” was (a tern coined by Dale Dougherty in conjunction with Tim O’Reilly)

Augmented Reality video The future right now

Watch this Commoncraft video explaining “augmented reality” – a function of the internet available right now, and which has enormous potential for the future. There is also another video at the end of this post showing “augmented reality” and books, and what they will be like in the future – essentially 3D movies!

In this article about how libraries will use Web 3.0 in the future, David Stuart, of Wolverhampton University, looks at 3 different possibilities for what Web 3.0 will look like:

The 3D Web

When 3D online virtual environments were first available, librarians and teacher-librarians alike tried to imagine the possibilities for engaging students and patrons, and the world of Second Life seemed to have the most possibility. While there are still many passionate advocates, it has never taken the Library world by storm, probably due to its complexity, both with computational requirements and user skills. David comments:

“The 3D web will only become a realistic medium for the provision of library and information services when it becomes seamless with the rest of the web, becoming browser friendly…  Although much of the hype surrounding 3D web services has died-down, there is plenty of potential for its application in the provision of library and information services in the future. However, it is important that technologies are used because they are the most appropriate way to convey the requisite information – not just because they are the latest glitzy web technology”

The Semantic Web

The semantic web is a way of describing things on the interenet so that computers can understand. It is not just links between pages – it is about relationships between pages and computers understanding those relationships – eg collecting information about what medecines are relevant to a particular disease and where specialists for that disease are located in a country.

“Embracing the semantic web requires librarians and information professionals to not only move beyond the physical and virtual document, which has been the focus of much of their attention up until now. It also requires them to start thinking of interacting with the data on the web as a large information resource, rather than in individual data repositories.”

The Real World Web

This refers to incorporating parts of the web into our daily lives all around us, through the use of increasingly sophisicated mobile phones which will augment reality, and internet-enabled real-world objects which will send us real-time updates. Examples of how libraries are using this already are through the use of QR codes which Bath University Library is already experimenting with (see my previous post on QR codes), facial recognition software, and the use of RSS feeds to instantly give customers information about which services are available or which facilities are not being used.

Future libraries

According to David Stuart, “The 3D web, the semantic web, and the real world web, will all have a role to play in the future provision of library and information services. However, it is the real world web that is most likely to change the way users see the web – thus, this is the one most worthy of the 3.0 moniker. Not only will it provide an immediately-recognisable difference in the way users view the web, but the technologies are already available. Although the technologies are available for the semantic web, it relies on widespread adoption to become useful. It doesn’t seem likely that it will create a dramatic shift in the way we view the web any time soon. The technologies necessary for a more immersive 3D web experience are not yet established, and it is not yet clear how much it will affect the way that we view the web as a whole.

The three potential visions of the web discussed here are not mutually exclusive, but instead are likely to be combined in many as yet unthought-of combinations in the future, along with other new technologies. While Web 2.0 has been surrounded by a lot of hype and argument, we can’t get away from the fact that the way we use the web, as well as the content on it, has changed, and will continue to change in the future. Those who gain the most from the web will be those at the forefront of the change, not those playing catchup.

Augmented Reality and Interactive Books by Hitlab

Top 50 Librarian Blogs

If you’re looking for some blogs to subscribe to, you’re sure to find something to interest you at this site. The blogs listed include personal blogs, collective and community blogs, library and reference blogs, fun stuff blogs and Twitter streams.



Twitter for Libraries


Twitter – send a message in 140 characters – is one of the fastest-growing social networking phenomenas ever.  Guy Kawasaki calls it “the most powerful marketing tool invented since TV,…and it’s free.”

In just 3 years it has “evolved into a powerful new marketing and communications tool. Regional emergency preparedness organizations are looking at Twitter as a way to reach millions of people during a disaster. NASA is using it to regularly update interested parties about the status of space shuttle flights. And one journalist solicited help from fellow Twitterers to get himself out of an Egyptian jail.” (The Twitter Revolution)

To get a better idea of what Twitter is all about, here is an article by Sarah Milstein that explains it simply, and in particular looks at the ways in which libraries are using or could use this sevice. (Richard Beaudry)

Sarah says “a library could share all kinds of news that patrons want. Short messages can tell people about events such as readings, lectures, and book sales; newly available resources; or changes in the building hours. One message a day or one a week could share a tip on finding or accessing information online or in the building. Twitter posts can link to interesting news stories about literacy or about libraries. When appropriate, the posts can link to a library’s own website and blog for more in-depth information.”

Phil Bradley also has some suggestions for libraries and the types of things they could Twitter:

  • General information updates – opening/closing times
  • Staff information – new staff, old staff, anything about staff
  • New resources – new materials perhaps, collections of resources in particular areas, brief notes on resources that can be used for specific purposes/projects
  • General information – a library is there to provide access to knowledge, so why not do it via Twitter as well – ‘this day in history’, local events taking place in the town, pointers towards resources to supplement information on specific news stories
  • Countdowns for events taking place in the library
  • Linking to images of/in/about the library
  • News alerting services – take feeds from the BBC and CNN for example and reTweet (copy and send on) to your followers
  • Notify students/staff/users/clients about any and everything the library is doing.
  • Be involved in any conversations that take place regarding your organisation, library or subject area of interest
  • Current awareness with regards specific subjects for specific groups of people
  • Updating a news RSS feed on your library page
  • Share best practices with other libraries

“Given the many potential uses of Twitter for libraries—not to mention the likelihood that your patrons are already on it—it’s a great medium to embrace. And at just a few sentences a day, the lightweight format doesn’t require much time to make a big impact.” (Sarah Milstein)

See also  Librarian, Library and Catalog Tweets Revealed!

Learner-Centered e-Teaching and Motivation

I saw this video on Judy O’Connell’s blog HeyJude, and really appreciated it. 

When used in the classroom, the power of technology means that learning will become more vibrant, exciting, engaging and personally relevant to students. Teachers will be perceived as ‘credible, interested and current’ – in lives where currency is everything, where students have newsfeeds on their laptops and sports scores on their mobile phones. “Students these days don’t see most teachers as current, even though they may respect their knowledge.”

Students feel so comfortable in an internet world – they have ownership of it; its what they do on a daily basis, and “we have to be a part of the world students are living in” if switched-on students are what we want.


This video was created by the Memorial university of newfoundland and Labrador, and they have also created two others that link to this one: 

Learner Centered e-Teaching: Part 1  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b0Yp9mQ6bE

Learner Centered e-Teaching: Part 2   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wpat_JkqgPA


Reading 2.0

In the middle of the year I was fortunate enough to attend the NECC 2008 Conference in San Antonio, and one of the sessions which really inspired me was called “Feed, Tag, Research: Remixing for School Library 2.5″. A group of 7 innovative TLs from America and Australia shared their passion to incorporate best practice Web 2.0 technologies into their libraries to enrich and empower students of today and tomorrow.

Anita Beaman – librarian at University High School, Illinois State University – was one of those presenters, and her passion is to meld books, reading and Web 2.0 – using 2.0 technology to promote reading for pleasure. Together with Amy Oberts, TL from Oakland Elementary School, Bloomington, Anita has developed a wiki called ‘Reading 2.0’ aimed at bringing together all kinds of internet sites which promote interaction with books and reading. Check it out at http://readingtech.wikispaces.com/

These ladies say: “Harnessing technology to excite and empower your students’ literary development is our mission for Reading 2.0!

To encourage the digital native generation to read, we may have to redefine what we mean by reading. According to a recent article in American Libraries, teens are reading all the time–they just aren’t always reading in the “traditional ways.”So why not use what they DO read to encourage them to read more books? Use online forums like MySpace, YouTube, author blogs, and online book groups to help get your students excited about reading. Compile a brief list of links with additional info about an author or topic and print them on an address label. Stick the label in the books in a highly visible place–on the last page, or opposite the first page. Encourage your students to explore reading in their own territory.”

Below are some examples of the types of information Anita puts into the novels in her library:

Meg Cabot

Want more of Meg?  Here’s where to look!

Website: http://www.megcabot.com/

Meg’s Diary: http://www.megcabot.com/diary/

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/meg_cabot

Myspace Groups: http://groups.myspace.com/megcabotbookfans or http://groups.myspace.com/authermegc

Teen Lit (MySpace): http://groups.myspace.com/teenlit

Readergirlz: http://www.readergirlz.com/ or  http://www.myspace.com/readergirlz

Not Your Mother’s Book Club: http://www.myspace.com/notyourmothers

Sarah Dessen

Hey!  If you’re a Sarah Dessen fan, check out these sites online:

Website: http://www.sarahdessen.com/

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/sarahdessen

Blog: http://writergrl.livejournal.com/

Sarahland: A Live Journal Community for Sarah Dessen Fans:


Teen Lit (MySpace): http://groups.myspace.com/teenlit

Readergirlz: http://www.readergirlz.com/ or  http://www.myspace.com/readergirlz

Not Your Mother’s Book Club: http://www.myspace.com/notyourmothers

Scott Westerfeld

Want more Westerfeld?  Check out the web:

Webpage: http://www.scottwesterfeld.com/

Westerblog: http://www.scottwesterfeld.com/blog/

Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/westerfeld

Westerfeld Myspace Group: http://groups.myspace.com/scottwesterfeld

Teen Lit (MySpace): http://groups.myspace.com/teenlit

Not Your Mother’s Book Club: http://www.myspace.com/notyourmothers


Lookybook is a great site where you can actually look at picture books before you buy them. At first I thought it was a bit silly to allow people to see the whole book first, but the more I’ve looked, the more I’ve found that I’d like to buy!  It’s just like standing in a bookstore and browsing the books – except you do it from your own computer at your leisure.


“The world’s longest bookshelf. Libraries and bookstores have limited space, so the only book covers you see are generally best sellers. But what about all of those other books—new books, obscure books, undiscovered gems that are stuck sideways on the shelf, or worse, in a warehouse somewhere. Since we have infinite shelf space, every book on Lookybook is displayed cover out and searchable by a number of different criteria.”

To find books, you can search by keyword, author, illustrator, subject or genre, or you can click on the “Book Tumbler” to get a random selection of books. Each book has listed the size, number of pages, age level, publishing details and a review. If you like the book, you then have the option to purchase it online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Book Sense.

You also have the option to create a free account, which then enables you to create your own bookshelf of favourite titles, add comments, email the link to a friend, or you can save the link to your favourites in Facebook, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon or Digg.

“Your Bookshelf. We value the book reviews of librarians and industry experts and we especially value the opinions of moms and dads. Because we are a site for looking at and discovering new books, we want to know what you think and like. Not only can you share your comments about a particular book, you can share all your favorite books by creating and posting your Bookshelf. Fellow Lookybookers can look at your favorites and show you theirs—creating a virtual show-and-tell about today’s best picture books. (register to get a Bookshelf)”

The downside is that there are not many Australian authors or illustrators on the site; the upside is that you might just discover some really nice picture books that you’ve never heard of before!

This is an example of a picture book from Lookybook:

“When Pigasso met Mootisse” by Nina Laden

Cooliris (PicLens)

Cooliris is a plugin that you can download to view images as a fantastic moving 3D  ‘picture wall’, rather than viewing them one page at a time as you would with Google Images, or Flickr. Once you have seen and used it, you will never want to search for images or videos in any other way!

” Cooliris, formerly known as PicLens, is a web browser plugin that provides interactive full-screen slideshows of online images. The plugin is available for Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. At present, the software is compatible with Google Images, Yahoo Images, Ask.com Images, deviantART, Flickr, Facebook, Live Image Search, Photobucket, SmugMug, Fotki, YouTube (for videos), and any web site that implements mediaRSS <link> tags in their HTML pages. The software places a small icon in the corner of an image thumbnail when the mouse moves over it, which launches into a full-screen photo viewer when clicked, but without giving an option to save any of the pictures shown.” (Wikipedia)

View a movie of the picture wall here:  http://www.cooliris.com/demo/?view=movie


The reason Web 2.0 is called the ‘read-write web’ is the ability that people now have to easily add content back to the web and collaborate with others around the world. A wiki is one example of this: “it is a website where anyone can edit anything any time they want.” (Will Richardson) Of course the most notable example is Wikipedia, a massive database of knowledge added to and edited by people in all countries of the world.

There are many different sites where you can create free wikis for use in schools, but I have found Wikispaces very easy to use, and the support team there is very helpful. If you would like to set up a free wiki with Wikispaces, they have just given away their 100,000th free K-12 wiki, and they have 250,000 more free ones to give away. This means you don’t get any ads in your wiki, even though you haven’t paid for it. Click on the link below to read more:



These are a couple of wikis that I have created for my classes. The first is a reading/book wiki for my Yr 8 students, and the second is one I use with the Yr 6 students when we are looking at hoax websites and the credibility of Wikipedia.

Redlands College RIB-IT wiki  http://8rib-it.wikispaces.com/

Hoax Antarctic wiki  http://redlandscollege-antarctica.wikispaces.com/


If you would like to see how other people are using wikis in educaion, have a look at these sites:

Reading2.0  http://readingtech.wikispaces.com/

Library2.5 at NECC  http://necclibrarians08.wikispaces.com/

Teacher Librarian wiki http://teacherlibrarianwiki.pbwiki.com/

Will Richardson’s wiki  http://willrichardson.wikispaces.com

Vicki Davis, Westwood wiki  http://westwood.wikispaces.com/

Flat Classroom Project 2008  http://flatclassroomproject2008.wikispaces.com/

Horizon Project 2008  http://horizonproject2008.wikispaces.com/

Digital Citizenship in Education  http://digiteen.wikispaces.com/

Educational wikis  http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com/

Holocaust Wiki Project  http://www.ahistoryteacher.com/~ahistory/apwhreview/index.php?title=Holocaust_Wiki_Project

Voice Thread

 Voice Thread is a neat way to combine photos, videos and podcasts, but it also allows other people to view the voice thread and add their comments as well. You can also ‘doodle’ on the image as you add comments – e.g. you can add arrows, circle objects or underline words.

Voice Thread allows you to create 3 free threads, or you can register as a K-12 educator to qualify for special rates for schools. Making unlimited Voice Threads yourself as a teacher costs a one-off payment of $10, but if you would like your whole class to be able to create Voice Treads, this costs $10/month or $60/year.

To see how other teachers are using VoiceThread, take a look at this VoiceThread wiki put together by Collette Casinelli, and join the VoiceThread Ning started by Mark Carls. I especially love this book promotion VoiceThread where a number of the teachers at Valley Catholic school in the US are talking about their favourite books.

To create your account, go to http://voicethread.com/ and register, then click on the Create tab to upload photos or video.  You can then add comments by phone, by web-cam, by microphone, or by typing a comment. Once you have ceated your thread, you can easily post it to one of the websites below; you can add friends, then invite them via email to view the thread; or you can embed the code into a blog, wiki or website. 

The real benefit of Voice Thread lies in the fact that it is so collaborative. Once you have created your thread, you can share it with students on the other side of the world, and they can add comments to it as well.  Have a look at one of the voice threads that our students created for Book Week this year. (This is the email message that is sent out when you invite people to view your thread):

Winning the World Cup – Georgia and Zoe




Click the image or the link above to view and participate in the VoiceThread. Making comments is really simple and you can delete and re-record as many times as you like.

A VoiceThread is an online media album that allows a group of people to make comments on images, videos, and documents, really simply. You can participate 5 different ways – using your voice (with a microphone or telephone), text, audio file, or video (with a webcam). It’s easy to control who can access and comment on a VoiceThread, which makes it a secure place to talk about almost anything: business and academic presentations, travelogues, family history, art critiques, language study, tutorials, book clubs and digital storytelling. A VoiceThread allows an entire group conversation to be collected from anywhere in the world and then shared in one simple place.