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Medical Librarian 2.0: Use of Web 2.0 Technologies in Reference Services.

Medical Librarian 2.0: Use of Web 2.0 Technologies in Reference Services. Edited by M. Sandra Wood. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press; 2007. 213 p. $32.00. ISBN: 978-0-7890-3606-3. Copublished simultaneously as Medical Reference Services Quarterly, v.26, supplement no. 1, 2007.

Health sciences librarians have widespread interest in Web 2.0 technologies and the ways they can be utilized in health sciences libraries. Mark Funk, AHIP, 2007/ 08 president of the Medical Library Association (MLA), with his theme "Only Connect" and the appointment of the MLA Task Force on Social Networking Software, has highlighted this interest. Recognizing this interest, MLA sponsored a webcast, "Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices: Discovering the Participatory Web," and an online continuing education class, "Web 2.0 101: Introduction to Second Generation Web Tools."

M. Sandra Wood, AHIP, FMLA, noted in her introduction, "By the time this volume is published, newer technologies will have appeared as the Web is constantly changing" (p.2). However, this text will serve both as a primer for those health sciences librarians who are just exploring the topic and need a foundation and as a source of ideas for those ready to implement some of the technologies.

Chapter authors of this text are well known in the field of health sciences library technology, and many of them are bloggers on technology topics. A variety of Web 2.0 topics are discussed, including Web 2.0 librarianship, virtual reference services, and use of really simple syndication (RSS), podcasting, streaming video, content management, wikis, and mash ups. Some essays include research results on the use of the technology. Illustrations or screen shots are also included to clarify the issues presented, software names, and references for further analysis.

It should be noted that some of the essays are very technical, for example, the chapter on streaming video and the explanation of the architecture of content management systems. This was the one drawback in a text that otherwise provides fundamental information.

Wood is the editor of several Haworth journals of interest to health sciences librarians as well as of numerous books for the publisher. She has thirty-five years of experience as a medical reference librarian and is an active member of MLA and the Special Libraries Association. She is a Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals, is a Fellow of MLA, and has served on MLA's Board of Directors.

It is noted that the material was copublished simultaneously in Medical Reference Services Quarterly, volume 26, supplement number 1. However, this supplement is not included in the subscription cost of the journal. Although some of the authors have published on similar topics, the material seems to be new for this supplement. An index is included not only to the technologies, but also specific software and technology implementation examples.

As Wood notes in the introduction to the book, "Web 2.0 technologies facilitate libraries getting the right information to the right user at the right time" (p. 3). This text will provide the foundation and examples to help health sciences librarians move in that direction.

Judy F. Burnham, MLS, AHIP,, Biomedical Library, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL

DOI: 10.3163/1536-5050.96.4.019
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Author:Burnham, Judy F.
Publication:Journal of the Medical Library Association
Date:Oct 1, 2008
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