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.

Library 101 – New Video, Song, and Resource has Launched!

Library 101 has launched! There are a few things you should know about the project:

But even better than watching the video, listening to the song, or reading an essay is this – please participate by commenting! Let us know what YOU think is a “Library 101″ for your library – what do you think librarians need to know to succeed? Tell us in the comments attached to each essay!

Gadget Graveyard

Remember my library’s techie toybox? What happens when those gadgets are new no more? Check this article out (found via vBSetup): Gadget Graveyard: 10 Technologies about to go extinct.

Here’s their list:

  • landline phones (ok, my family still has this – check back with me in another year or so)
  • floppy disks (my kids once asked me “what’s a floppy disk, dad”? I stared at them a sec, then realized they had never seen one. Time flies!)
  • wristwatches (don’t wear one – that’s what my iPhone’s for! and the computers I stare at all day)
  • VHS Tape and VCRs (yep – still have these, too)
  • Beepers (iphone again – the beeper is no longer needed)
  • Film Cameras (haven’t had one for years)
  • typewriters (interestingly, my 9-year old has one … ONLY because Molly [the American Girl Molly who lived in the 1940’s] had one, and my mother-in-law still had an old one in a closet. Yes, a typewriter was an odd present for a 9-year old, but she loves it!)
  • walkmans & discmans (haven’t had one in years)
  • dialup (My library serves a whole county – Topeka has broadband, the county is pretty spotty)
  • DVDs (I still use these, and we still watch DVDs. But that’s now. They’ll be gone in 10 years time, I’ll bet).

What would you add to this list? Or how about this question – what in this list does your library still support, and why?

Pic by Timothy Hamilton

SXSWi2009: The Future of Social Networks

#sxswfsn is the hashtag

Charlene Li

Her paradigm – social networks will be like air. They will be where/when we need them – not site-dependant

Shopping as an example
– walk into a store, you see people.
– “walk into amazon” – who do you see?
– Showed a mockup of filtering reviews to people you know

Even TV is getting social
– newscasters have been inserting twitter hashtags into the news ticker feed
– Charlene really wanted to just see what her friends thought
– some set top boxes have this functionality

Enterprise networks are starting to be social, too.

Three things are needed to make social networks like air
1. Identity – who you are
2. contacts – who you know
3. Activities – what you do

Two sets of standards/rules that exist right now
– Facebook
– Open Stack

Many, myriad identities:
– she’s an author/writer person
– she’s a mom
– doesn’t want to blend necessarily

Friend management is tough
– facebook now lets you sort friends into groups
– she friended her co-author … at least 20 different times in a variety of places – why isn’t is just once?

Have to put our trust in someone
– with identity, with contacts, with activity stream

Talking about social algorithms
– ex. gmail showing your top 20 contacts without you asking for it

What gets everyone to be open?
– the money
– ex – Facebook Connect taps into offsite – this gave them more awareness, more people, more views
– ex – earthwatch trip

Talking about ads that can appear on many different networks

The Rise of the personal CPM

What should you be doing to prepare?
1. evaluate where social makes sense
2. think about your back end
3. prepare to integrate social networks into your organization

The idea of a flipped org chart with customer on top, ceo on bottom

I sent a twitter hashtag comment/question – her whole point is that social networks are like air. But then she’s basically suggesting that we should control where the “air” is and is not. So my comment – But if it’s like air, you can’t choose where SNs makes sense and where they don’t – it would be everywhere no matter what, right?

The Beginning of the New Normal

change agentTwo posts caught my eye over the past couple of days, and they’re still rumbling around inside my head … let’s see if I can pull a couple thoughts out of the cacophony.

Both posts discuss how lots of industries are at the beginnings of huge restructuring/remaking themselves or are disappearing entirely, and how much of our lives will seem like upheaval until the “new normal” is reached. No one’s exactly sure what “normal” will look like (after the recession and remaking is over) – but everyone’s sure it will be completely different from now.

Here’s the first article, and the main one setting off thoughts for me: The Great Restructuring, by Jeff Jarvis. Jeff talks about our recession – first quoting Umair Haque calling it a great “compression … as an economy built on perceived value reconciles with actual value.”

Jeff also mentions this article from the New York Times and ends up calling our current recession a “great restructuring.” Then, he lists thoughts about quite a few industries and their future. Here’s a partial list of them:

  • America may well not be in the auto industry soon.
  • Financial services will have to be completely remade
  • Newspapers will vanish
  • Magazines are in worse shape than I would have guessed and many will go
  • Books’ channels of manufacturing, distribution, and sales will go through upheaval
  • Broadcast media will become meaningless, replaced by digital delivery
  • Large-scale retail will shrink and consolidate and then be transformed by a search-and-buy economy
  • The blockbuster economy in entertainment will become harder to support as more attention and money shifts to the tail.
  • We should be so lucky that elementary and secondary education will also face such pressure.

And that’s just a few (go read the article for the whole list and some great thoughts).

Here’s the second article raising a ruckus in my head: Big Music Will Surrender, But Not Until At Least 2011 from TechCrunch. This article mainly gives a music executive’s perspective of coming changes for his industry, and how they currently plan to figure it out. So it’s one industry’s perspective on how change will ultimately play out for them. Interesting take.

My question to you – are you ready?

Look at that list from the first article: books, magazines, newspapers, media. All going through huge changes, all going to be remade. And all stuff that’s near and dear to our librarian hearts!

Some of these changes are already starting, you know:

  • Newspapers and Magazines have already started going digital. It’s just a matter of time before more/most decide to stop printing that paper thing and go completely digital.
  • Books… {David quickly ducks} DON’T freak out! Of course I think people will still read books. That’s a given. But have you looked around lately and seen the Amazon Kindle? Or the iPhone ebook reader that millions of people are now carrying around? I have a book on mine to read right now. Those 300-page paper things will eventually turn digital – because it’s simply a container for the content – not the content itself.
  • Music and movies – think LPs/8-Tracks, Cassettes, CDs or super 8, 16 ml, vcr, DVD … and compare that to iTunes or Netflix emerging subscription models. Also going digital!

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for libraries – most of our huge buildings exist to primarily hold physical stuff. What will we do when there’s no physical stuff to hold? Will you still be able to justify that large building? That staff? (My answer to that is yes, you can … if you are planning for change now).

How are you starting to re-think your services and libraries? My library is in the middle of strategic planning, and we’re going to tackle that whole “re-think everything” approach. Looks like Darien Library has been doing that, too. How about you?

Closing thought – I live in lucky times – I get to see … basically … my whole life change before my eyes. And I get to help it change.

Bonus reading:

  • An interesting article on remaking education
  • This post is where I found the title of for my article … good post, too – focuses on economic stuff