Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Conference blogging: At first glance....

Too few plugs, no tables... what kind of digital natives are these? I think one of the first changes to conferences should be the addition of tables to conference rooms.

Stephen Abrams will be the opening speaker this evening. His talk is titled: "The Information Tornado". There are a lot of librarians packed into this room. Too few have computers or other electronic devices open for business. I would love to have a raise of hands for who writes blogs, who reads blogs, who uses chat, who uses other social software, who's on facebook or something similar... I'd just love to know how prepared or unprepared this group is. When the conference was first being organized you had to fill out an "application" in order to get in. Allegedly they were being picky about who could come. At least that was the feeling I got from the whole "application" process. I'm not sure that this group is any more technologically literate or advanced than any other sample of librarians in Idaho. On the other hand, this group has shown a real interest just by showing up...

We're being welcomed by Anne Joslin who's going over what they've done before about visioning our future.

And then we're off with Stephen. I highly recommend this guy as a speaker!!! He's dynamic, funny, engaging... I'm delighted to listen to him. He's talking about the information tornado at the rate of speed of a tornado. It's a problem keeping up with the ideas, web sites and information being spewed at us. Check out his blog at: http://stephenslighthouse.sirsi.com

First, there is a real need for Librarian 2.0, those who are able to deal with the dynamic and changing information world. And it is going to happen and the whiny babyboomers who have to double click are going to have to get over it. (His way of putting this concept is much more funny, AND whiney is his word)

We are going to have to deal with just one little change... the Internet. He talks about the changes our predecessors had to deal with. Changes like electricity.

Stephen: The tornado that's coming through our marketplace is huge.

Stephen: We'll have to discard somethings:
There's no place like home
Catalog cards, microforms...
Click your heels together?.
Take our rosy glasses off and see how things have changed

Stephen: If you can't deal with the changes you can always grab that bottle of kaopectate and move to Montana...

Stephen: The question we should be asking is
What's the BEST future?

Stephen: Are we about search? or about content, community, learning.

Stephen: We do really well with How and Why questions.
S: Google does really well with What and When.

In a study on how various groups read or scan information:
S: Boomers eyes move in an A frame (perfect for newspapers)
S: Just younger generation move in an F
S: Digital Natives eyes move in a circle then look in the center

My favorite slide of the entire presentation is a photograph of a sign that he found in Britain:

Changed Priorities Ahead

Another little sign underneath reads:

No stopping at any time

He compared these two ideas to the coming technologically rich future. We have to change our priorities and there's no stopping.

S: Our problems are too complex to be solved alone which is why our social and work networks are so broad and interlaced.

Stephen says are the verb not the noun. I'm not certain I agree with this. Librarians historically are about organizing the jots and tittles of books and scrolls. We are the repositories where learning happens, usually self or school facilitated. Where is our territory? What is the role of a library and librarian versus the role of the professor or teacher? As we move futher into the role of professor and leave the role of organizer what does that mean. Is this really what we should be doing as a profession?

S: Facebook (80% of all college students have one of these accounts)

S: We need to embrace: Portals - personalization, RSS, High density web pages (graphics)...

S: Intuitive is a lie. Intuitive is a learned behavior. For instance you didn't intuit eating with a fork. That's why you start teaching babies to eat with spoons...

I'm beginning to be quite put out about his concentration on boys. Boys do this, boys do that, you get more boys reading this or that. I'm quite frustrated at his boy focus.

S: Searching is not effective with vast amounts of data.

And then he was off on all of the great things that Google is now doing. Not that he thought all of them were great, there are definite threats to the library and to the free information model with the Google Library digitization project. Kinda fun to listen to him talk about everything from Google Local to Google Scholar.

S: Visioning of the future:
Broadband wireless is going to be ubiquitous
Thinking, & problem solving, not factual knowledge will be key
How are we going to handle streaming media? No more dvd's or cd's...

S: As questions become more difficult where will you go for answers?

S: Librarians improve the quality of difficult questions...

S: 6 Specific Areas to Focus on:

  • Intense Cooperation
  • Radical Trust
  • Homework Support
  • Productivity
  • Supporting Edgelessness
  • Seamless Find (OpenURL)
  • Social Spin (data driven)
  • Get beyond lists - visual

Funny how his list of 6 is actually 8. *VBG*

S: When working towards an online project just get something up and functioning. Begin with parts and then add to it. Don't wait till it's perfectly obsolete.

(They're videotaping this speaker, I'm hoping that this will be availble via 'cast.)

Lots and lots of what's new, what's hot, what's out there in Internet land. :) I love this stuff. From the audience response, this is new territory for some. I'm very happy they've brought this guy in to speak. There are so many cool, interesting and great developments coming. I hope we're able to implement some of this in our day to day library world. The questions are how to implement some of this material.

Cool websites that he mentioned in his talk. I only got a fraction of those mentioned...

Podscope, a podcast search engine

Microsoft's Window's Live Search: Academic (has full Elsevier database set in it)

College life, powered by Google


Open content alliance

VBI Virtual Reference Central

INFOhio educational process...

"Normative Data Project for Libraries" website? Go take a look

Einstein chalkboard

43 things website

Singing Fish searches for audio and video file content

Blinkx tv


Second Life

Next Generation of Library 3.0 -- Croquet

rss, facebook, pandora, standpoint, flagr, zimbra, suprglu, nya, blogbeat, wink, gOFFICE, tagworld, tailrank zazzle...

Oh my!

I'm hoping the rest of the conference is as good as this speaker...


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