Raising Awareness

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UKOLN is based at the University of Bath.

Program 2009: Library 2.0: Balancing the Risks and Benefits to Maximise the Dividends

A paper on "Library 2.0: Balancing the Risks and Benefits to Maximise the Dividends" was selected for inclusion in the Program: electronic library and information systems journal.

Citation Details

Library 2.0: Balancing the Risks and Benefits to Maximise the Dividends, Kelly, B., Bevan, P., Akerman, R., Alcock, J. and Fraser, J. Program (2009), Vol. 43, No. 3, pp. 331-327.
ISSN: 0033-0337, DOI: 10.1108/00330330910978608


The paper is copyright Program (2009). We are grateful to Emerald Publishing for permission to republish the paper.

Library 2.0: Balancing the Risks and Benefits to Maximise the Dividends
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Conceptual paper
Web 2.0, Library 2.0, risk assessment, risk management



This paper provides a number of examples of how Web 2.0 technologies and approaches (Library 2.0) are being used within the library sector. The paper acknowledges that there are a variety of risks associated with such approaches. The paper describes the different types of risks and outlines a risk assessment and risk management approach which is being developed to minimize the dangers whilst allowing the benefits of Library 2.0 to be realized.


The paper outlines various risks and barriers which have been identified at a series of workshops run by UKOLN for the cultural heritage sector in the UK. A risk assessment and risk management approach which was initially developed to support use of Web 2.0 technologies at events organized by UKOLN (a national centre of expertise in digital information management based in the UK) is described and its potential for use within the wider library community, in conjunction with related approaches for addressing areas such as accessibility and protection of young people, is described.


Use of Library 2.0 approaches is becoming embedded across many Libraries which seek to exploit the benefits which such technologies can provide. The need to ensure that the associated risks are identified and appropriate mechanisms implemented to minimize such risks are beginning to be appreciated.

Practical implications

The areas described in this paper should be of relevance to many Library organisations which are making use of Library 2.0 services.


The paper should prove valuable to policy makers and Web practitioners within Libraries who may be aware of the potential benefits of Library 2.0 but have not considered associated risks.

Author Details

Brian Kelly is UK Web Focus and Team Leader, UKOLN, University of Bath, UK. E-mail:

Paul Bevan is Senior Research Officer (Web 2.0), Department of Public Services, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK. Email:

Richard Akerman is Technology Architect - IT, National Research Council Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information, Ottawa, Canada. E-mail:

Jo Alcock is Resources Librarian at Learning and Information Services, University of Wolverhampton, UK. E-mail:

Josie Fraser is a consultant from Leicester, UK. E-mail: