LITA’s Top Tech Trends

Tags: #ttt09 #toptech #ala2009

Livestream was at – – check it out after the fact!

Clifford Lynch, John Blyberg, Roy Tennant, Joan Frye Williams, Eric Lease Morgan, Geert van de Boogaard

Mobile Computing:

  • John: mobile devices, etc have already outstripped normal PCs. We are comfortable with ultra-mobile devices. Next step is what does that mean and how does it affect us
  • Geert: Lots of challenges for libraries. You can make an iphone app. Delft is making their own download station for mobile devices
  • Joan: transformatin, not information, is the point. The way stuff is delivered will change – but being engaged with people won’t change. Public libraries are delivering experiences far more than information
  • Roy: isn’t throwing either his iphone or laptop away – uses both for different purposes.
  • Joan: a transformation – Palmer House Hilton doesn’t have free wifi – Joan will never stay there again.
  • Clifford: computation is moving off devices & into the cloud. The CLoud is still new – what are we going to put there, what are we comfortable with, etc…
  • Eric: use different devices for different purposes
  • John: look at mobile & computing devices from the point of view of how they’re being used by people. We already rely of third-party systems – right now, they’re just locally-based. It’s no different than storing info in the cloud.
  • Geert: mobile devices – use it to consume culture. You can do alot with designing for mobile.

Open Everything:

  • Eric: Temper the notion of free everything with a little reality. Some orgs will want more control. It’s not one or the other – it’s a both/and. There will always be a market for selling stuff, others will put it out for free – there will be a balance.
  • Joan: doesn’t think the markets will be the libraries – the markets will be the end users. They are less fussy. EBSCO underwrites NPR! SOme companies are moving away from us, and going directly to the end user.
  • John: yes but. That’s currently where the focus is. But … we’re building our front-end tools on the back-end of tools that haven’t been updated in a long time.
  • Geert: in 10 years… you have an easy way to build and distribute software ie Apple’s App store. Get users or 3rd parties to develop simple software to serve people’s needs – could be a good model for the future.
  • Roy: Pretty much agrees with Eric.
  • Clifford: sorry – Clifford’s talking, but I’m not getting it. Something about scholarly publishing

Now a lightening talk section – each speaker is going to talk for 3-5 minutes


  • opportunity in library land to explore humanities to a greater degree.
  • Think about generating computing power in new ways. Using the heat generated from a PC to heat a greenhouse… hmm…
  • and other stuff


  • sense-making is important
  • Following on Twitter is a good verb
  • using tools to construct narrative from shorter snippets of info
  • quick response tags – the b-tags. Point of need info.
  • learning snacks. Doesn’t demand a lot of the user’s time, but gives them what they need – an immersive but brief experience
  • People used to go online – now they just are online


  • looking backwards …
  • Codec Synt… that old Bible that’s online. Reconstructed virtually, spanning multiple libraries. This type of thing can get more interesting in scholarly work
  • Bandwidth is becoming a problem… (I think it’s always been a problem, but whatever). More video, more cloud, etc.
  • continued sudden implosion of stuff under current economic situation. (ok – Clifford didn’t say “stuff”).


  • Future of journalism & what that means for libraries and users.
  • opportunity for libraries to get involved in the process.
  • idea of intense rapid trending. ie., twitter trending. Iran elections and twitter. Saw the extremism/rioting take place … but it wasn’t just the iranians saying it – it was the world – because that’s how the tool works. Influence of the crowd isn’t always a good thing.
  • Started to engage the end user from an experience design viewpoint. Used to use the term customer service. Now discussions are around experience design. And it’s moving from online experience design to offline experience design.


  • research what the user is doing and where’s he getting it. in US people are using media 6-8 hours a day. You need to get a picture of where the user is getting and using media…. get a picture of it, then translate it back to your building, your library
  • digitization of cultural heritage. Huge collections, powerful stuff – big challenge for libraries getting that cool stuff online
  • peer-to-peer downloading. doesn’t know of a library that’s getting into this. That’s where our users are getting content … so we should be there too.


  • The flow: being in the flow (like Twitter). It’s gone in a month or so. Email has a flow, but it gets trapped in ponds (folders, inboxes). Twitter is just gone. How do you study the flow of info, for example with twitter and the Iran elections?
  • The cloud: just another round between centralized and decentralized computing. There used to be mainframes … in a way, they’re coming back via a cloud. For libraries – alot of our server rooms will be going away. We’ll have a shift in staffing. More IT staff will move into public services, since we won’t have to have server rooms.
  • The rain: tough economic times. Force really tough decisions with resource allocations. Make the hard decisions, not the easy ones. Easy but bad – 15% cuts across the organization. Harder but better – do strategic reshifting of staff and budgets. Be prepared for when we come out of the finance hole.

Semantic web:

  • Roy: thinks it’s a bit much. Linked data – that’s a better concept. Do the little things that haven’t really been done yet.