Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Technoschism - Stephen Abram

Stephen starts: Google serves many more people that all librarians around the world. But can Google understand the excitement of a child during story hour? Google cannot replace librarians (even as hard as they try). Do we let these search engines control how we serve our community?

Some New Technologies
light keyboards
projector the size of sugar cube- project computer screen on wall
i reader from Sony
e-book reader for $99 with reflected light
cell phones - Google phone and i-phone

Go XML - dominant personal devices - website needs to be seen on small screen too

Community - Are we misaligned with the end users?

Stephen offered a story-
Many children's librarians love their children but are not so sure about their mothers. They drop off their children and rush out of the children's room. Librarians are assuming that they are running out to smoke. But do we really know what they are doing? Maybe they are single parents trying to improve their lives? Maybe they are running upstairs to do research for a college paper that they are working on? The moral here is not to assume anything about your patrons. But to be prepared to meet you patrons where ever they need you to. In one library the librarians held a research class during story hour and had great attendance for both.

Paths on website - do we design our paths for our end users? Use graphics instead of words

"You can't make it too simple"

Understand and follow- JSR168 portlet and RSS - by doing this you ensure that your website fits on portable devices.

Google -250 million books - may soon rent books for nominal fees (This should scare librarians!)

"Get our heads out of the book"
Publishing and purchasing of books is up. Reading is up. We need to worry about our roles as librarians and not just defend the paper books.

How should we find our information? Google offers sponsor pages and are not concerned with our questions. Librarians are specialists and will be able to give information without it being skewed by sponsors. How do we let our patrons know that their searches are skewed?

Google Local - free wireless (entire cities & towns), find local businesses, find the best price of an item when walking through a mall.

However, when books are libraries appear!

Google is reaching out to students but not professors or librarians.

These big companies are trying to overtake our place in our communities. How are we going to handle this? How do we create an do we meet our user's needs?

"Libraries are about sharing' - social networking is also about sharing...let's make these connections.

What happens when DVD's die (or any other library inventory)? We need to be prepared for streaming...

Library 2.0 - be ready!

Get social-

Myspace - get involved! Bee where your patrons are!

Facebook - 95% of college students at U of Toronto have one.

Patrons can manage all your social groups through these networking sites. For life!

Second Life - a library here might receive 5000 visitors an evening.

Reorganize - virtual users are much different that physical patrons. Are we meeting their needs? We need to reach our future voters. IM-ing is how this new generation communicates.

Play - reinvigorate how we play. Set aside 15 minutes a day to play with these new sites. This gradual learning will introduce new technology in an non-frightening manner. Have your librarians take a library 2.0 class.

Increase your capacity to adapt!

I have to say this speech was very entertaining and very quick moving. This may not come across in this blog because sometimes I was so busy listening that it was hard to go back and describe what exactly had been said.
So to summarize: as librarians we must change, get to know the new technologies, meet our patrons where they are, we cannot sit back and just expect the patrons to come to us. There are many exciting directions that libraries are moving in...Let's Go!

Out Front With Stephen Abram: A Guide for Information Leaders - is Stephen's book if this blog sounded interesting to you.

No comments: