Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the co-editor of the upcoming book from ACRL, Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Think About Information. You can follow him on Twitter at @t_swanson.
From Michael: Download the new NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Library Edition. I served on the expert panel to select the topics: go.nmc.org/2014arl
The New Media Consortium (NMC) in collaboration with the University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Chur, the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB), Hannover, and ETH-Bibliothek Zurich are releasing the NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Library Edition at a special session of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) World Library and Information Congress 80th General Conference and Assembly. This is the first edition of the NMC Horizon Report that delves into the realm of academic and research libraries in a global context.
The report describes findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving library leaders and staff a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report was designed to provide these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.
“Education professionals across the world have used the higher education editions of the NMC Horizon Report for years as a springboard for discussion around important trends and challenges,” says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC and co-principal investigator for the project. “Finally we have been able to produce a report aimed directly at the needs of academic and research libraries — and what we have found is that academic and research libraries are leveraging new technology in some very important and creative ways.”
Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption for Academic and Research Libraries
The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Library Edition identifies “Increasing Focus on Research Data Management for Publications” and “Prioritization of Mobile Content and Delivery” as fast trends driving changes in academic and research libraries over the next one to two years. The “Evolving Nature of the Scholarly Record” and “Increasing Accessibility of Research Content” are mid-range trends expected to accelerate technology use in the next three to five years; and “Continual Progress in Technology, Standards, and Infrastructure” and the “Rise of New Forms of Multidisciplinary Research” are long-range trends that will be impacting libraries for five years and beyond.
“The trends identified by the expert panel indicate that libraries are doing a better job at making their content and research accessible, whether through mobile apps, enriched catalogs, linking data, and user friendly websites or by creating more spaces and opportunities for discovery,” notes Rudolf Mumenthaler, Professor for Library Science at HTW Chur and co-principal investigator for the report. “The outcomes of the report are very compelling and it is an honor for HTW Chur to be deeply involved in this project.”
Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption In Academic and Research Libraries
A number of challenges are acknowledged for presenting barriers to the mainstream use of technology in academic and research libraries. “Embedding Academic and Research Libraries in the Curriculum” and “Rethinking the Roles and Skills of Librarians” are perceived as solvable challenges — those which we both understand and know how to solve. “Capturing and Archiving the Digital Outputs of Research as Collection Material” and “Competition from Alternative Avenues of Discovery” are considered difficult challenges, which are defined as well understood but with solutions that are elusive. Described as wicked challenges are “Embracing the Need for Radical Change” and “Maintaining Ongoing Integration, Interoperability, and Collaborative Projects,” which are complex to define, much less address.
“ETH-Bibliothek is proud to be a partner of this report,” shares Andreas Kirstein, Vice Director and Head of Media and IT Services at ETH-Bibliothek, and co-principal investigator of the project. “By articulating some of the most daunting challenges that academic and research libraries face, we are already making progress toward solving them.”
Important Developments in Technology for Academic and Research Libraries
Additionally, the report identifies “Electronic Publishing” and “Mobile Apps” as technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. “Bibliometrics and Citation Technologies” along with “Open Content” are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; “The Internet of Things” as well as “Semantic Web and Linked Data” are seen emerging in the third horizon of four to five years.
The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed and conducted by the NMC that engages an international body of experts in libraries, education, technology, research, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in academic and research libraries. The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Library Editiondetails the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.
“This first library edition of the Horizon Report marks some important evolutionary steps,” says Lambert Heller, head of Open Science Lab at the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB), Hannover and co-principal investigator of the project. “Academic and research libraries are now being seen as incubators for experimenting with emerging technologies and are even leading the way at many university campuses across the world.”
The NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Library Edition is available online, free of charge, and is released under a Creative Commons license to facilitate its widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.
Thanks to everyone at the Information Literacy Section Satellite Meeting hosted by Limerick Institute of Technology, Limerick, Republic of Ireland. I have thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and the conversations!
As of August 5, 2014, more than 80 organizations from across the U.S. and Canada have signed up to participate in Outside the Lines, a weeklong celebration demonstrating the creativity and innovation happening in libraries. The campaign is designed to reintroduce libraries to their communities and get people thinking – and talking – about libraries in a whole new way.
Outside the Lines, scheduled to take place September 14-20, 2014, is designed to help people understand how libraries have changed into dynamic centers for engagement. Participating organizations will connect with their communities through creative, unexpected activities meant to demonstrate how libraries are more relevant than ever before.
It seems like I’ve been here forever, but as of this month I’ve been at the Chattanooga Public Library for 1 year, 4 months. In that time, we’ve accomplished a lot of great things for the Chattanooga community. At the same time, I haven’t been able to share as much because….well, things just got really busy in a good way! So this post is my Chattanooga catch up post….a way to share all of the positive things that have been happening around Chattanooga over the past few months.
One of the big new things in my world is library management. I manage The 2nd Floor, which is our brand name for the kid/tween/teen area. It’s a huge space full of many different personalities, ages, and ideas. I do the weekly scheduling, make sure payroll gets in on time, order supplies, think a lot about the big picture stuff, and make sure that the staff is happy. Looking at what I just wrote doesn’t seem like much what I’ve learned is that a lot of these little things add up. My brain is constantly running, making sure that I’ve done all the necessary management things while still keeping focus on the big picture: The 2nd Floor as a place in the community where kids, tweens, and teens can have fun and learn something along the way.
It’s a change for me and I think it would be a change for most youth services librarians. Why? We’re very creative individuals. We dream up programs in our sleep. We are the living embodiment of a makerspace. Blending that creative brain with a management brain has been a challenge, but I’m getting there. You don’t have to kill one to have the other. You can make it work together.
VOLUNTEERS One of the big realities that I’m learning about it that you will never have enough staff to do everything you want to do. The other part of that is that, wow, hiring people is expensive. It’s not just the salary you need to look at, but benefits and all that other stuff.
That’s where volunteers come into the picture. The problem is that I’ve never been good with managing volunteers. It’s just not in my skill set and I’m ok with that. Luckily, Megan Emery is good at that and we work together. So basically when Megan got to Chattanooga she took the keys to the car and ran with them. And here’s how awesome it has been:
July was one of our biggest months with teen volunteers and it showed. They took on projects that helped spruce up The 2nd Floor, making it more visually appealing for our community. They became our 3D printing experts, working one on one with anyone interested in trying out the service for the first time. Our 2nd Floor staff had more time to focus on their projects, focus on customer service, and in general just be great employees. Volunteers matter a whole lot for the public library, and it’s even better when you give them a chance to work their own special brand of magic when they volunteer.
STATISTICS Every librarian has a library guilty pleasure. My guilty pleasure is statistics. I love collecting them, analyzing them, and then using those stats to help me make decisions. I love it when stats are down because it tells me that I need to grow and change something. I love it when stats are up because, well, that is just something that makes you feel really good.
I won’t bore you with individual stats that went (way) up last fiscal year at the Chattanooga Public Library (if you wanna check them out), but I will say this; having an idea of what is/what isn’t working will really help you better serve your community. It sharpens your focus and allows you to better delegate resources to the events and programs that best serve your community. Starting this month, the 2nd Floor started keeping track of how many people use the various areas of our space. The results so far have given us the numbers to back up exactly what all of our staff have been feeling: we’re very busy these days. As a manager, this allows me to look at how we’re working and how we can make improvements to better suit our staff.
CONSISTENCY IN PROGRAMMING I’ve grown to really love strong, consistent programming in libraries. If you do something well, you keep doing it and all throughout the process you keep on growing, refining, and making things better. However, at the same time you have to recognize when something isn’t working and make those changes. Consistent Programming gives your library something great to share that your community will remember. Think of each program as a brand. Get those brands into the minds of the community and they’ll be asking for more.
PEOPLE Back in 2010 when I wrote my first TTW post I talked about leadership and working in groups. At the core, that post was all about what really makes the public library work….PEOPLE.
It’s the people that work in the library that make things awesome for the community. No matter where you go in libraries, you always have to remember that it’s people that matter. Treat them with respect and love. Help them all along the way and let them know that their work counts in making your community a great place. I try to remind the folks that work on The 2nd Floor of that all the time. Working in a public library is important work for the community and YOU are making your city a better place to live.
The Library, with a staff of 42 FTE, attracts nearly 30,000 people to its programs and circulates over 730,000 items. The Library includes the Trove, a library for children, and the Edge, an innovative library for teens that includes a digital media lab. The final phase of its capital campaign will create a Learning Commons for adults as well as a café and bookstore.
Special consideration will be given to candidates with experience, training, or interest in any of the following: digital media, emerging technologies, services to teens, services to adults 55+, and local history. Experience in instruction is a plus, as is fluency in Spanish.
Internet Librarian International will take place in October in London.
2014 Theme – Positive Change: Creating Real Impact
UNDERSTAND the changes you can make to ensure your communities thrive
LEARN about emerging models and roles that meet the changing demands of end-users
HEAR how libraries – and librarians – must change to be future ready
TAKE HOME new skills and ideas for transformative new services to impact positively on your organisation
The Dark Matter of the Internet Michael Edson, Smithsonian Institution; Open Knowledge Foundation; Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), USA
According to Michael, history is defined by periods in which we thought we had a pretty good idea of what was going on, punctuated by brief moments when we realised we really didn’t have a clue – we’re going through one of those moments right now, and it’s all wrapped up with the internet and scale. Like dark matter, the internet has a force, a mass, and a capability that is often unseen or undetected. For today’s organisations, success comes down to how well we harness the dark matter of the internet and the collaborative, social, peer-to-peer and read/write opportunities it presents. Join us to hear Michael’s thoughts on how the internet’s dark matter is the future of our libraries and information environments.
Digital Inclusion – The Big Mission Rachel Neaman, Go ON UK
Rachel Neaman is the newly-appointed CEO of Go ON UK, the digital inclusion charity. Prior to joining Go ON UK, Rachel worked at the UK’s Department of Health, where she was responsible for developing digital strategy, policy and guidance on transforming public services, as well as on assisted digital and digital inclusion. In this keynote, Rachel will explore how digital skills are empowering people, businesses and countries and describes a roadmap to digital inclusion and prosperity which will have resonance for information professional from all sectors.
Founded and Chaired by Baroness Lane-Fox, Go ON UK is the UK’s Digital Skills Alliance, dedicated to inspiring and supporting people and organisations that want to share their digital skills with others.
This reminds me that the library should be human. It means that behind the keyboard, behind the blog, and behind the Facebook page, there’s a person ready to have a conversation: ready to help, ready to listen.
For example, New Zealand’s Christchurch City Libraries’ Twitter page includes the photos of all of the official “tweeters” for the library. I toured Christchurch recently. The city suffered in the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. The libraries there adapted, sometimes changing locations, sometimes working in adverse conditions. Through it all, there has continued to be this strong Twitter presence that includes the human face of the library: those six smiling folks with their initials beside the thumbnail pics. They sign their tweets, in effect saying, “This is what I have to say. I’m representing the library, but this is me and this is my sort of human face on the library.”
It pains me when I encounter librarians who refuse to share their photo online or wear a name tag while on duty. If we’re seeking to build that human connection, that human relationship, it should start there. Stephen Abram said it best to me over dinner one night: “Would you go to doctors or seek out lawyers who refused to put their picture online?”
So happy to see this beta version of the new Johnson County Public Library Web site go up, including this most human, most engaging “about the staff” page.
Sean Casserley, County Librarian, remarked about this on a Facebook when I shared the link:
Yes, we talk about this and thought that since you have your face in the real world it would be OK if it was in the virtual world. Our staff was awesome and really embraced the idea. I am really proud of them. Real people serving real people is how we roll at JCL.
The Hyperlinked Library: Everywhere and Anytime Learning Spaces
Emerging mechanisms for global communication and collaboration are changing the world and the way the world learns and interacts. Individuals are constantly engaged in conversation and expect to have their information needs satisfied immediately, on any device, and wherever they happen to be. Learning via mobile devices happens in an entirely new landscape, infinite in every direction. Information is no longer bound to a form, and access to information through mobile devices has unbundled learning from traditional delivery systems restricted by time and space. It has made anytime, anywhere collaboration and feedback possible. It has fostered impromptu conversations without concerns for language and cultural differences. Knowledge networks form and expand that can directly connect all levels of participants, from beginning learners to experts. These virtual exchange spaces can offer endless opportunities for future-thinking librarians, who use self directed learning opportunities to develop skills as online experience curators and engagement developers.
In A New Culture of Learning, authors Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown write, “Where imaginations play, learning happens.” This should define library services for now and in the future. Intelligence, user-sensitive planning, and insights from research will guide the creation and implementation of physical and virtual library spaces that function as creative and playful environments. Online, multi-scale platforms aimed at social learning and participation will spark new conversations that spread deep within library culture and extend out into disciplines that have historically made few connections with physical library collections or librarians.
Many professionals and members of the public will never have the opportunity to visit particular libraries and will never happen upon most library websites. Libraries housing unique and valuable collections, works and artifacts of local significance, and information sources not yet digitized must find ways to reach out to a world of learners who depend upon the curators and caretakers of inspiring works to initiate contact with the public through outreach, advertising, and social sharing. Libraries that are already providing online services and digital materials must constantly watch for innovative solutions that could be included in their information center processes, designs, and Web presences.
There are disproportions in comfort, experience, and ability with technologies, and all types of libraries should offer online learning programs that aim at enhancing the public’s digital literacies. Self-directed learning activities fashioned on the Learning 2.0 model, teach the concepts and skills necessary to use emerging communications technologies. Citizens who are unable to access opportunities to enhance digital literacy lose the ability to prosper in our hyper-connected world. The authors of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) report entitled Building Digital Communities define digital literacy as the ability to “access and use information and communication technologies.” I might call digital literacy “life literacy.” Without access to these skills, the report states, “full participation in nearly every aspect of American society—from economic success and educational achievement, to positive health outcomes and civic engagement—is compromised.” Lifelong learning goes hand in hand with life literacy.
LIbrarians must experiment with new roles in these virtual, expansive spaces where learning is a continuous conversation. Practices of exploration, participation, and play can turn the gathering and use of information into sequences of discovery that foster innovation and invention. The Hyperlinked Library model offers a design framework for constructing experiences that will combine the tenets and skill sets of librarianship with the explosion of open, participatory knowledge construction made possible because of new technologies and the information professionals who experiment with, master, and teach these technologies.
Becker, S., Coward, C. Carandall, M., Sears, R., Carlee, R., Hasbargen, K., & Ball, M. A. (2012). Building digital communities: A framework for action. Washington, DC: Institute of Museum and Library Services. Retrieved from http://www.imls.gov/assets/1/AssetManager/BuildingDigitalCommunities_Framework.pdf
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Charleston, SC: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
People, Libraries & Technology – A Weblog by Michael Stephens