Thursday, November 03, 2011

Stephen Abram's Keynote: How do we move to the next step? @ Library2.011

Notes from the Keynote: @ Library 2.011 Thursday, November 3, 2011

Libraries cannot afford to just be descriptive and market themselves as only books/database articles.
Patrons want "to love" something.  How do we re-position ourselves as knowing stuff that will help their real lives?

Librarians need to stand up to the challenge and have "help" sessions to enable patrons and prepare them for web 2.0 and mobile apps.  Otherwise, we'll have problems sustaining libraries in the future.

How do we make books social on a learning level? What programs do we need to create so that we may exceed the walls of our physical spaces?  Can we get it to the next level?  We cannot hide behind the book; we cannot hide behind the computer either.

Libraries are fundamentally about framing questions.  We are experts at improving the quality of the questions.

We need to move beyond transactions and move toward transformation.  The book is evolving.  Our profession needs to evolve re: perception of books. There are more saavy users and devices are moving into 'almost free'.  Sharing/collaborating is now social. Learning is social.  We know about our customers more than ever before with web 2.0.  Now we are able to support social context.

The challenge is to how to teach people what content is right/wrong or correct/incorrect on the web. What we learned from Amazon is that it's an environment for sharing information/reviews about books.  There is a new Google lending environment. Book borrowing will go to the web, engaging not only with the books but with others, with the author, with the videos.  eBooks allow for sharing notes while reading; this social nature challenges how libraries address patron confidentiality.

Why do people read?  See Stephen's notes:  to learn, to interact with others, to teach, etc
What is the role of books which are shared collectively/collaboratively?  The platform (ebooks) is not what changes things; it's in deciding how others can engage with the ebooks.  The social tools embedded in the devices is what will ultimately matter.  Sharing is what will matter.  This is why we belong to groups/communities.  The regulatory world is changing. We are moving way beyond the print environment.   Librarians know there are rights beyond copyright involved in the social act of reading. The reader experience is altered by geo-tagging; it can also manipulate what you are reading within the Google search engine.  We need to understand search engine optimization (SEO).  We are Google's product --one they are serving up to advertisers.  In some cases, it improves the user experience.  In other cases, the information "filter bubble" can manipulate what you are reading.

Evolution of answers: these are issues of confusion and sense-making.  Librarians need to provide people with tools to teach them to make sense of the information.  We can find "good enough" answers in many areas, but these good enough answers are not enough when doing important research such as health/wellness or divorce. The process of extracting articles from books is what databases do; podcasts, charts, video, and social web can build the "enhanced" book on any given topic.

Will libraries become publishers for their communities? 
Libraries are for learning, research and discovery, for helping society progress, for curation, and to have an impact on the community.  We have to understand and provide for our community needs.

Mobility is a game changer.  Where is the social help and how do I get the help where I am? 
We need to embed librarian 'goodness' into the user experience. All the tools we know and use will ultimately change sooner rather than later.

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