ALA 2010: Top Technology Trends

Speakers: Gregg A. Silvis, Joan Frye Williams, Lorcan Dempsey, Cindi Trainor, Jason Griffey, Monique Sendze, John Blyberg

Liveblog | This is being filmed.  You have been warned! 😉

Order of Business
Each panelist will discuss a current trend
Then we’ll focus on immanent trends
Then Long term trends
Questions (we ran out of time)

Current Trends

John Blyberg

  • Convergence – mulitlevel convergent media
  • content delivered in ways that are NOT one-dimensional
  • ex: twitter is a backchannel communication
  • users find new ways to use products to interact with world around them, not the manufacturers
  • same tool for personal, social, professional, artistic, government
  • right device right interface for right purpose.  With things like the iPad, devices can significantly improve the convergent device idea.  These device will fit out lives better.
  • We’re still working out political & social ramifications
Lorcan Dempsey
  • Mobile: as we begin to provide services for mobile devices, we must figure out how to reconfigure services for this environment  – “atomizing” what to provide
  • Things like QR codes are linking physical & online environments in new ways
  • Location based services – NC State University – are associating pics of a building on campus with special coll photos of the building throughout history
  • Microcoordination at finer level – Figuring out places to meet up, call home for what you’ve forgotten at the store
  • How we think about space is changing – formal spaces are becoming more relaxed as ppl need to find places to meet in an ad hoc way.  This is a large part of SBX dominance
  • Push to the cloud – if you have all these devices, you want to push stuff to the cloud to access it anywhere
Jason Griffey
  • New world for content: before, content was tied to a container, eg. a codex.  This container by necessity controlled how info was used
  • Now: information sans interface.  We now have to buy or build the interface to interact with info
  • Mobile will drive touch based interfaces.  We will change how we interact with objects that contains info.  Tactile interfaces inspire an emotional connection.  Touching to interact gives back this connection that a keyboard doesn’t provide.
  • [This is not the first time I’ve heard people say that tiny kids are in love with iPads and are expecting to touch to interact with everything. It’s fascinating how fast good design can change the world, my feelings on Apple’s censorship of apps aside. – A]
Monique Sendze
  • Mobile devices are going to proliferate
  • Difference?  The apps & software
  • Libraries are in the infancy stage of tapping into the app technology
  • We have to adopt a different approach that what we used when the catalog was on a PC
  • People want out expertise; we have to act quickly to meet this need in the app driven world
  • Will there ever be a time when we don’t need to have public access PC?s Maybe/maybe not.
  • [Wow…another iPad mention]  Will we get to the point where ppl can use their iPods & iPads to let people interact with the library
Cindi Trainor
  • Transformation of place from users needing to figure out where to go in the library to get something based on if we own it or not to a place where if you ask for it, we get it.
  • Implication for workflows in libraries, tools we use, user-centered
  • Collections are more & more patron driven.  How do we integrate items we don’t own into our OPAC?
  • Patron-driven colldev: Some experiments with every MARC record for their vendor’s ebook – the library can buy an item or borrow it on request.
Joan Frye Williams
  • She tracks human behavior & money
  • Economic trend with local govts: our recent failed econ was very centrally driven.  Local govt now seems to be interested in the creative economy – city / counties thriving by attracting creatives.  Individualized, small biz, hyperlocal, frequently home-based, businesses.  The library is well placed to help them: great bandwidth [hummm…perhaps academic libraries have great bandwidth, but it feels like public libraries eek by with a smaller pipe.  At least, it feels like that at 3 PM when I want to watch a webinar at work. 😉 – A] & other things.
  • We need to create workspaces that support creativity & innovation with all of it’s mess.
  • We have a hard time figuring out how to support iterative creation.
  • Stop being the grocery store; become the kitchen
  • Combine things like telepresence & tools that people can’t do at home solo
  • MS Surface workstation sales have gone up fairly quickly (no competition) but there is an opportunity here to exploit
  • PS: your lighting people need to consider diff between horizontal & vertical work surfaces.  A PC & smartphone needs different lighting
  • need to come up with a way to corral creative content
  • platforms don’t need to always play well with each other.  Individuals create own personal info frameworks. You can customize your life & devices different ways.  No right answer to tap into or even understand all devices
  • Collaborativeness of things like the Surface.  iPad software often takes into account collaboration, like a board game – checkers but also things like Scrabble, with secondary displays for each player to see their private bit
Immanent Trends
  • 3D home fabrication [she’s talking about 3D printers – A]  Makers are starting to call it Fabbing
  • equipment is available now
  • The line is blurring between information about the thing and the thing itself
  • We need to think about the rights to the e-versions of 3D things
  • Right now the eworld is flatter than regular world, but in the future we’ll need to know more about this kind of stuff
  • Ex: her husband looks for things by shape.  We do not tag by shape.  Perhaps we need to think about things like that.
  • division between anonymity & open source
  • as more ppl use emerging tech, we’re being more thoughtful about being social & we’re being social in new ways
  • whose responsibility is it to preserve all this info, like on FB?  How is it preserved?  When it can’t be bought & owned by a single library.
  • Terms of service can say “We own all this info”  How do we then preserve it for later generations?
  • cloud computing
  • she thinks its going to be a disruptive tech
  • “just like with 2.0 we had to redefine what librarianship means” [what happens to librarians or libraries who didn’t redefine? – A]
  • we’re going to have everything hosted in the cloud soon.
  • Her library? local area network- web infrastructure – backups = all cloud
  • IT is going to have to become embedded in the day to day work of the library
  • They’re going to have to become consultants working with biz office & front line staff to develop systems & things of value to the org [what will happen to libraries with IT departments who will not / can not / aren’t allowed to do this? – A]
  • e-readers
  • 1) e-ink and 2) LCD/OLED = two modes of display for ebooks.
  • e-ink screen prices are plummeting.  Kindles now $180.  Nook $150.  Kobo $150.  By holiday season? $99 and next summer $50.
  • When this is so cheap, how will this change our acq, materials processing, circulation, etc. when you can put on there every single western canon work on a near-disposable device?
  • [Yeah, new iPhone screen resolution supposedly is better than print.  I still prefer the concept of e-ink.  The fact that it doesn’t emit light avoids eyestrain better, imho.  Perhaps I’m a weirdo or being all betamax about it! 🙂 – A]
  • Anticipates disposable eink devices.
  • discovery layer changes, like the single search box
  • overcomes deficiency of metasearch model (the fragmentation)
  • people will change how they look at the library & its collection
  • user will see the full library collection as what’s available in the discovery layer
  • will push us to add things like patron driven buying & ILL, google book search integration
  • if people see the 1 search bar as the library’s collection, you’ll end up with more demand driven collection development
  • data well – used in Europe.  Massive amount of data; expensive.  Present a possible collection in the 1 search overlaying a different infrastructure [caffeine deficit is making me lose the track here. I see it, not sure I’m conveying it well. – A]
  • open source library systems
  • Seth Godin’s Dip – what happens when success plateaus out & stuff is harder.  Do you quit or keep going?
  • We’re now in the Dip for open source library systems
  • logistically: a lot of new users.  So many they’re going to have trouble finding support [it’s always September – A]
  • technically: open source has less rich feature sets right now.  In the longterm, that may compound into other problems
  • financially: the end is in sight for 1st & 2nd round of open source implementing grants & there is no real guarantee funds will exist again.
  • behaviorally: community has yet to mature to participate in national discussion on open source.  (He’s talking about a specific incident last year)
Long Term Trends
  • 4G in place…(min 100 mbps to cell phone) We don’t know how to use this kind of bandwidth yet, but in combination with things like a flip scanning [like how the Doctor reads! – check youtube for vids -A]  Inventor thinks this is going to be in the cell phone – makes print available digitally at any moment
  • ubiquitous Net attached to any device you can carry around with you, with the ability to translate any text you want & send it wherever you want
  • We’re gonna have a hard time when students riff the Encyclopedia Britannica & walks out with it….
  • profiling & death of Internet anonymity
  • Goog, MS, etc., are collecting a lot of info about us & doing predictive analysis for commoditization
  • How on earth are we going to protect our patron’s privacy
  • We purge data by policy & choice
  • But our users are willingly giving it up to Goog.
  • We have the same data & aren’t mining it & using it.
  • We need to think about can we use users data to present them with what we want.  Will users changed expectations of privacy change what we need to do about privacy
  • Steven Abrams asks doesn’t the library have our patron’s trust?  [Should we push into to ppl based on their profile?  – Interesting – A]
  • era of physical copy scarcity is over, so what’s rare & valuable in the future?
  • bandwidth & devices
  • if our economy continues to rely on capitalist lifeblood, what’s the next scarcity & how do we teach patrons to navigate this changed landscape?
  • What is the role of teaching librarians if the biggest service point is the website. What is our role when we no longer have face to face interactions at all?
  • Info industry evolving in ways that mimic the energy industry
  • We have been involved with local dissemination
  • Info industry has been going global
  • Some libraries have gone in the direction of the local power company
  • Many libraries are trying to maintain clean information infosystems, but we’re vulnerable to spills.  There could be an info disaster of similar proportions – there could be a catastrophic interruption of access to data.  Perhaps we need to think about this!
  • What if we go to war over preserving the information supply with nations who control it when we didn’t make strategic information reserves?  Maybe libraries should be this strategic supplier
  • digital content, our access to it, digital copyright laws, etc.
    • if we’re not cornering or even being a blip on the radar with edelivery – what are we going to do?
    • DVDs won’t circ in 5 years like they do now.  That’s a lot of our #s.
    • We need to stay true to our initial purpose, but change the way we interact with our users
    • A different faces, esp. public libraries
  • the economy itself putting pressure on all of us
    • entering a phase when we admit we’re inefficient in some ways.  Our overhead? Backend – techserv, processing, cataloging, etc.  We can automate & improve efficiency
  • how we’re shifting from managing supply to demand
  • we’ve managed the complexity around bought & licensed materials & digitized materials, etc.
  • therefore a lot of overhead managing this complex supply
  • we’ve spent less time managing ways users might benefit from supply
  • users also are finding ways to get what they want in convenient ways
  • library should be less about managing resources than it is about managing our users’ ability to use the information collectively
  • we need to add ranking, recommending, recommending, etc. to the catalog
  • embed resources in the environment where people use them
  • development of community & a social layer around library resources.  It’s a fundamental part of people’s online expectations
  • help connect workflows of learning & research to our materials – cite managers, and other useful tools
  • “Mission of the library is to help people make their own libraries” – it was a quote

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