An information professional in a Web2.0 world should have a very high level of information literacy which is evident in the variety of ways they are able to support the users within their sphere – whether library patrons, students or colleagues.
This service support may be at the level of initial search interview on a face-to-face basis or the provision of timely training and support to access a digital, virtual and global information environments. I agree with Abram (2007, p6) who suggests that, rather than just passively viewing/receiving information, what users experience through Web2.0 is “characterised by the more human aspects of interactivity (such as)- conversations, interpersonal networking, personalization and individualism”. These human and social interactions are engaging their users in a more collaborative and collegiate manner.
The information professional in this Web2.0 environment should demonstrate an understanding that their client-users are individuals with differentiated needs and abilities, and with various preferred ways of communicating and learning. All interactions should enhance their competencies with emerging tools – allowing greater access and integration of information into their lives.
Information professionals (IP) should therefore, immerse themselves in these Web2.0 tools with a view to learning and integrating those assessed as being useful within their professional practice. These IPs need to simultaneously be building their own capacity and that of their co-workers and clients so that there is an increase in competencies relating to their ability to locate and filter information, then utilise it ethically within the development and expression of their own ideas.
To achieve this goal, information professionals need to become efficient in balancing their time between personal professional development and that of others. Remind yourself, that explaining the ‘How to’ is often the best way to confirm the skill within yourself. Connecting with a ‘Community of Practice’ (CoP) or being active in a ‘Professional Learning Network’ (PLN) will support this purpose. More on this latter topic in a future post.