Last night the keynote was delivered by Marshall Keys, and was titled Lost in Translation: what today's trends show about tomorrow's libraries. As I mentioned briefly in a previous post, this turned out to be pretty much the same talk Stephen Abrams gives on Millennials and what they mean to our future, but it was nice to hear it from someone else :-) Several times Marshall admitted that many of his examples tend to make traditional librarians more uncomfortable than they were likely to make this crowd of DE Librarians, and I found that to be true. As a whole, we do have a little more practice thinking outside the box. What follows are several of the quotes I grabbed. They should convey the gist of his talk. Hopefully Marshall's ppt will be made available as well, at which time I will link to it.
Question overheard on Boston Mass Transit, asked by a young woman to a young man, "What's a cassette?" -- our users are changing!
Talked about blog mentality, illustrated with the following ideas:
1) What I think is important.
2) What I think is important to other people.
3) Things are important because I think they are important: the “whatever” corollary:
4) If I don’t think it’s important, it isn’t important
5) Esse est percipi (to be is to be perceived)
I was worried he was going to slam the bloggers, but he was just working up to pointing out that this is the mentality of our upcoming (and current) users. Couple of quotes slamming Gorman and Cronin, and Marshall pointing out that our current library leadership doesn't seem to understand this mentality.
Privacy is unimportant - community is important. This was a strong theme of his keynote, and later he pointed out that libraries seem to care more about our patrons privacy than our patrons do, and this may actually hinder our ability to deliver some of the services our patrons would like to see!
Lots of examples of community-based websites, and customized services.
Old – everything is on the internet
New – everything is on the phone
Chaotic technology – new stuff coming down the road – Any time, any where, any way – this is what people are used to today.
I haven't had a chance to look this one up, but he mentioned the problem with peer-to-peer personalized information access and recommended the following article: Lean consumption – Harvard Business Review, March 2005.
This one really caught my eye -- Young folks today (13 - 25?) have no expectation of privacy because they do not believe that it exists in an electronic environment. "If I view it or send it, they will see it, and I don’t care." Wow!
What must libraries do to serve a world in which:
- users expect information to be delivered to them?
- users expect technology and interfaces to be highly personalized?
- users care more about convenience and community than privacy?
Emerging Technology – life beyond browsers -- The web browser is 2D envoronment, but video games (psp and Xbox) are 3D environments, and young folks are completely comfortable in 3D online worlds – what if people were accessing your library though these tools? What if they could navigate their avatar through your 3D library? (one of the poster sessions today was about this very idea - Appalachian State University Libraries are working on a VirtualWorld community called AppEdTech where students can walk around a virtual library and access the services within - not sure if collections are integrated as well - will do some more exploring to find out).
Libraries are committed to a medium (books), not a message. Does the AMA have a "Centre for the Stethoscope" the way LOC has a "Centre for the Book"? (trying to get a rise from the crowd here ;-)
Creating a library for the millennial generation. Susan Goldberg Kent’s answer, “ The future for libraries is personalizing service on a customer interest basis” and “The future focus of technology in libraries will be promoting and delivering content-rich programming.” Users have the technology – we need to adapt to it.
Marketing message – any time, any place, any way you want it, your library is there.
RSS and push technologies mentioned at the 54-minute mark (1-hour presentation) :-)
The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed – William Gibson
Only time for one question, which was whether, as academic librarians, we're doing our patrons a disservice if we "give them everything they want instead of teaching them how to find it themselves" and Marshall replied that we should really be following the special libraries approach where information is delivered directly to the CEO. To paraphrase, "What’s important for students to learn in college is how to synthesize the information, not necessarily how to find the information. Collaborate with faculty on the quality of information – it’s more important for them to learn to judge quality than it is for them to be able to find it themselves."
There was no time for rebuttal on this one, which is too bad as it could've led to an interesting discussion of library economics, among other topics.
Marshall's a good speaker with some good ideas. Now I have to go back to explore again whether we can get our catalogue to display on a cell-phone screen (here's your warning, David!)
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