Status of Library 2.0 Model in Cape Town Public Libraries

Keywords: Library 2.0, public library, City of Cape Town, Web 2.0, social media, weblog


The Library 2.0 model is one of many library service models. It has its origin in and has borrowed concepts from Web 2.0, which is associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information-sharing, interoperability, user-centred design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. The focus of Library 2.0 is on user-centred change and participation in the creation of content. The purpose of this study was to investigate the implementation of Library 2.0 in the libraries of the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality (hereafter City of Cape Town) and the challenges they encountered in using Library 2.0 technologies to deliver services. The website of the City of Cape Town Library and Information Services Department was visited to explore the implementation and usage of Web 2.0 tools, including blogs, really simple syndication (RSS), wikis, social networking, and social bookmarking. In addition, data were obtained from an interview conducted with the manager at the said department in charge of technical services, which included the implementation of new technologies. It was found that City of Cape Town libraries were slow in adopting Library 2.0 technologies in their services—there was no evidence on the website of the use of popular Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, video- and photo-sharing/-streaming, RSS, social bookmarking, and mash-ups. The research shed some light on the Web 2.0 tools used by public libraries other than those in Cape Town and it also highlighted how they were used and what their benefits were. More importantly, the research demonstrated the need for public libraries to embed Web 2.0 tools in their services and to keep abreast with and embrace emerging technologies.

Author Biographies

Baganda Herman Muhambe, University of the Western Cape

Library and Information Science

Gavin Davis, University of the Western Cape

Library and Information Studies, Senior Lecturer