Tuesday, July 1, 2008

LITA Top Technology Trends - 2008 ALA Panel

Each year at the American Library Association conference, the Library Information and Technology Association (LITA) Division holds a Top Tech Trends panel. On 6/29/2008, the huge room was standing room only. There was a 10-person panel that included Karen Coyle-consultant, Eric Morgan-University of Notre Dame, JohnBlyberg-CT, Merrian-VT, Roy Tennant-OCLC, Clifford Lynch-CNI, Karen Schneider-FL, Marshall ?, Karen Coons-U of TX Library, Sarah Houghton-San Jose Public Library. Two speakers -- Sarah and Karen -- participated via videoconference.

Here are their Top Technology TRENDS:
1. Open Source systems. ILS was dead, but being re-discussed. OPAL system for K12 library automation market in NY. Much more action on the Public Library front, but will appear in academic libraries soon. There is a move to service rather than resources. Savvy companies will respond to the demand for open source library systems. The open source trend is good, but beware—read vendor descriptions carefully. - Marshall
2. Broadband – never enough and libraries are always playing catch up. It should be better. It is not necessarily a “free market” but a carefully orchestrated agenda” according to Coons.
3. Small print periodical market – If they move it online, they are going to an “open access” model. – Coons
4. Multimedia/Gaming – there are often 40+ people at a time in the library playing games. – Sarah.
5. Huge trend in upgrading rather than better using bandwidth (QoS) – Sarah
6. Sustainability of new and beautiful tools – how many abandoned blogs? – Sarah.
7. Virtual organizations – roots in collaboration across an organization. Now collaborative synch and non synch. “Beyond being there” by the National Science Foundation – telepresence technology. Expectation that travel will be more difficult. Telepresence needs to be better done/used because of the new demand.- Clifford
8. Net neutrality – censoring component (watch!) – Clifford
9. Remote storage/network-based storage/cloud storage – implications for insurance, privacy – Clifford
10. Move by some libraries and cultural heritage institutions to put their collections in places other than their physical locations – like Flickr. – Clifford.
11. Three Ages: Age of experimentation, Age of Game-changing surprises (Google digitizing all library collections), Age of re-tooling for constant change. DATA (get good at taking out data for ILS, ELM for our next system and for analyzing data)/People (individuals must take responsibility for learning)/Systems (take control with open source or turn over control to someone else) – Roy
12. Archiving blogs as historical artifacts.
13. Electricity – look at the amount used by Google and its impact on being “green.” -John.
14. Semantic web – smart index refers from your search and helps refine your search or find other items you may like. – John
15. Converged media hubs – portable devices – highly specialized, brings in RSS feeds. Dramatically changing the way users look at libraries. Users heavily customize their information. – John
16. Mobile devices are becoming more the norm, not computers. How to get libraries’ information onto the mobile devices? - Eric
17. Enterprise systems – Clifford
18. Libraries need to allow users to use content in other ways – for example tag, delete, compare & contrast, verbs, etc. – Eric
19. Handheld devices – want to do catalog search while in the stacks. Need equal capability in stacks and at home!
20. Increased user-to-user interaction.

What types of skills are needed? If you were looking to hire someone, what would you look for in your candidates?
- Thinking systematically and also creatively (art and science thinking)
- Patient (diplomatic, social skills) yet intolerant and not simply accepting stuff.
- People who are impatient with mediocrity.

Lots to think about. Wonder what will be on LITA's Top Tech Trends list in 2009?

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