Internet Librarian 2013 – The Next Big Thing
Roy Tennant and Emily Clasper
Roy started this talk by noting how difficult it is to predict the future accurately. The last big thing was the graphical web and that was 20 years ago. What’s happened in the last 20 years has been incremental in nature. Asking now “what’s the next big thing” is therefore a lot of pressure. A few things that Roy’s watching that keep him awake at night or is interested in: 1) The Maker Movement: This is potentially very personally empowering. 2) MOOCs: This will have an impact on how people give degrees, but it’s too early to tell what the impact on academia and libraries will be. 3) Open Access Movement: Getting to a real tipping point. When a highbrow institution like UC requires faculty to deposit their work in an open access repository, this will really affect libraries in the present and future.
Emily notes that MOOCs have taken learning out of the hand of the institution and placed that control in the hands of the user. What do we as professionals need to be doing in our own learning experience to be able to facilitate that for our users? This is affecting not just college students but lifelong learning too. Consider the “library as service” model—the library is everywhere. If you, the librarian, are in the community then the library is there with you…tapping into information and providing expertise and resources. Lastly, Emily believes we’ll see success measurements coming more to the forefront of library conversations. How do we tell our success stories to our stakeholders? Circ stats don’t cut it. Are you even asking the right questions about what constitutes a success for a library?
Then it opened up for group discussion. Some of the points highlighted by the audience: contextual awareness in web services, empower ourselves to take back what IT is doing and bring it back into the library, EveryLibrary PAC, being out in the community more, getting more art into the library, self-publishing through the library, telling our story differently to our stakeholders to communicate our relevance, gigabit connectivity to libraries, putting storytelling into the hands of the users, as libraries become places of making and idea creation can we help our users capitalize on that (patent lawyers were mentioned), followed by lawsuits for intellectual property infringement, knowledge audits, targeting/offering library-offered tech/software classes to city employees, reviving the people’s university idea in libraries, the move of periodical publishers limiting access to their content online (a role for libraries?), libraries being “the support center” for our communities about any topic, reexamining the bad terms of the licensing agreements we’re subject to that prohibit resource sharing between libraries, doing less with less, providing more at-home streaming services through libraries (which we can’t do because of freaking licensing agreements…dammit).