If you haven’t seen it already there is a new Cites and Insights out devoted to Library 2.0. I haven’t posted much specifically about it compared to others but managed to be quoted in iy. Unfortunately it looks like my posts were misunderstood. I’m not sure how much of this is to blame on my writing skillz as there has been previous misunderstandings with my posts. I figured I might as well respond with what I hope is clearer.

The first thing Walt goes into is my Hiding Complexity post. I was surpised to see it cited as a post “about potential difficulties with a more open architecture”. I actually opened the post with “One of the benefits of a more open architecture” but maybe I didn’t back that up with the rest of the post. My hope was to show that having an open architecture would allow libraries to customize the interface to their needs, making it as complex or as simple as needed for the application. Currently in some systems you can tweak templates and remove icons but it doesn’t have a robust system that can really push the customization.

The next part was that my post may have suggested that privacy didn’t matter. That is far from what I hoped to convey and is the opposite of what I believe. I do think libraries make tradeoffs though. If your keeping records of what people have checked out then your trading some privacy as the price of business. There are libraries now that you can just do a cash deposit to check out the book but that is far from the norm. If your library offers book clubs that have people read the same book then there is another privacy issue. If I know how long someone has been in the club and what books the club has read then I can probably tell what that person has been reading, even without the library keeping a patron history. But the fact of the matter is that the person has given up this privacy probably because they WANT to share what they are reading with others. The same goes for RSS of reading lists. I used to have my reading list on this site (coming back soon after some site work) because I liked the idea of showing what I was reading. Telling someone that they can’t use RSS to show their book list due to privacy I think would be the same as telling someone they can’t join a bookclub or tell anyone they’re apart of it.

Many of the services out there have a trade-off with privacy. Some will want to make the trade-off for the service, some will not. I don’t think this is the same as saying privacy doesn’t matter. I think it is the service provider’s job to make sure that the user is aware of the privacy and security issues involved. If you offer RSS feeds you should make sure the people who OPT-IN know what they are getting. If you offer patron history and recommendations then they should know what could happen, especially in this age of Patriot Act. I chose to turn on Google Search History and I knew that I was giving up some privacy. That’s not to say I don’t care about my privacy, because I do. I want to stress that I think such services should be opt-in and I believe libraries such as AADL are doing a decent job of that so far.

The final portion of my section is in regards to my Talis response. I’m still a bit confused by what Talis sees as their ideal and the library’s place in it. Regardless Walt brings up that there are no real-world solutions made by non-vendor developers. I would argue with this saying that there are plenty of solutions currently being created by developers. If you take a look at any of the code4lib people’s blogs you will see solutions they have created for their libraries. A complete ILS? Maybe not right now but then I would say there isn’t a real-world solution right now at all, just real-world problems that many people are working to fix (including vendors).