MLA2006: Finding the Future: Library 2.0

Stephen Abram was the keynote at the Missouri Library Association conference. Here are some notes from his session.

Stephen’s job – looking around corners.

Showed Pew 2020 predictions…

  • everything will be connected by then
  • Virtual reality will be more compelling
  • Tech refuseniks – emerge as a cultural group (DOPA as example).
  • Disclose more info about themselves wittingly and unwittingly
  • English will be a universal language of global communication

Aside – California elected an action figure as governor… (Abram is REALLY funny – make sure to hear him speak!)

Libraries unfetter information because we have library staff.

Libraries do How and Why questions well – focus on those. Also community and learning questions.

Focus on local info – gather all local government websites for instance…

What do Libraries do best?

  • we create an experience
  • we improve the quality of the question
  • We support community and learning

Don’t teach how to read – that’s a very low level of awareness. Teach how to learn, how to discuss, etc.

Six times more people have library cards than drivers licenses

Discussed a huge genome/leukemia database that doesn’t use boolean – it is accessed via a gaming console…

Aside… Stephen’s cousin wrote Everquest…

community, learning, and interaction – the top three reasons why people use libraries – not books. Example – when an old person checks out a book, it’s the interaction that’s important…

95% of college students have Facebook accounts.

Facebook – a sustainable social network for life.

First build the big grassy space and watch where everybody walks. THEN build the sidewalks.

People became extremely quiet as Stephen started on future always-on, smartphone, etc stuff… they were a bit blown away by what’s just down the road.… thousands of tv shows within 5 minutes of being broadcast…

You HAVE TO play with these new things to figure them out. You also have to allow this play time.

“If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.”