Internet Librarian 2011, Day 2: Keynote by Lee Rainie

Libraries and Learning Communities – Lee Rainie

three revolutions Pew has noticed

1. Broadband – 78% of adults use internet, 62% have broadband at home

  • Blog as a category is being obliterated. Most people don’t know they’re reading a blog – ie., a blog on a news site – people think they’re reading the news.
  • 13% of users are on twitter. But – those people are highly influential

2. Mobile phones – 84% (I think) of adults use mobile phones

  • There are actually more phones than people in the US.
  • 59% of adults connect to the internet through mobile. phones, laptops, tablets.
  • 35% of adults are smart phone owners.
  • laptops are more prevalent than desktops
  • 12% of adults have ebook readers
  • 9% have tablets
  • Still an elite audience
  • Hypercoordination – we don’t plan specific meet ups – we keep it vague, then use our new tools to figure out the meet up on the go.

3. social networking

  • half of all adults in this country, 73% of teens – use social networking sites
  • people ever age 65 – fast growing group. They’re online, friending their children, expecting photos yesterday…

important in 3 ways

1. sentries of information. people log on to their social networks first thing in the morning, rather than read the news.

2. evaluators of information – when people find confusing info, they turn to their social networks first. I’ve certainly seen and done that. asking if it’s true, and how much weight should I give it

– librarians – think about being nodes in people’s networks… dang. we need to be there!

3. serve as audiences – we are all performers. we are showing off for our audiences in a way.

Final thoughts about the futre:

1. What’s the future of knowledge

  • learning is now a process
  • old way – learning was objective and fixed, meant to be found
  • subjective and provisional now – sense of flow, a process, you learn together, change together. a need for vigilance to watch and stay with how knowledge is evolving
  • learners now create knowledge. if you are participating in the learning experience, and creating things, you learn more.
  • knowledge is organized ecologically – disciplines are mixing
  • we learn best actively doing and managing our own learning. We have to be active agents in the learning process.
  • our intelligence is now based on our learning communities, rather than on our individual abilities
  • you are as smart as your network – as long as you are willing to ask them.

2. what’s the future of reference expertise

  • embedded librarian model. librarians embed themselves in the community, rather than making community come find them.
  • we are on call for just in time information.
  • we can “bond” with the community. we can be nodes in people’s networks
  • we help people know about the broader picture.
  • We are often he first in our communities to learn social media … so we are the teachers of this to the community.
  • aggregator and curators of information.

3. what’s the future of public technology

  • hard to say – most of us would not have seen the iPhone right before it came out, for example. What we do know is that this technology will be changing rapidly and we really don’t know what’s around the corner.
  • The era of big data – sensors, cars, tweets, etc – making lots of data. How do we make sense of this “big data?” Librarians will possibly be asked to help figure this out. Mastering big data and analytics is important.
  • Different types of screens, post-pc world, more broadband, etc. No one int he expert world really knows either.

4. what’s the future of learning spaces

  • attuned to new kinds of learners
  • patrons are more likely to be self starters. They know where to go first – checking with their social networks, don’t need formal learning structures
  • collaborations are important.
  • value of amateur experts is rising.
  • amateur/expert scientists – Smithsonian has embraced the amateur community.
  • peer to peer health communities too – we are going beyond our doctors to our networks.

5. what’s the future of library as community anchor institution

  • ALA put out a guidebook on these issues – check it out (will be mentioned in Lee’s slides, but his slide deck froze up)
  • how much of your work is aimed at helping individuals vs helping communities
  • are libraries places for individual study or group based study
  • collection library or creation library?
  • portal or archive?

Pew will be doing a 3-year study on libraries and communities. This will be HUGE.

  • Stacey Lunsford

    The topic of amateur experts reminds me of the amateur scientists of the 1800s.  People with time and money would study birds, plants, etc., write papers about them and present them to “societies” – groups formed around that particular interest.  IN some ways, we are reverting to a previous time.

  • Batarang

    Instead of “I am a PC”, all of us should be saying, “I am an expert”.