Six trends driving the future of libraries

From Helene Blowers’ Library TechBytes:

A great list from Wired inspires Helene Blowers to ponder the trends librarians should consider for the future. Here’s some thoughts of mine on a few of them. This post has been unpublished since early July — I missed it in my MT software!

1. People Power

Are you ready for Generation C? For anyone and everyone creating content online?

I’m reminded of this passage from “Among the Audience” in The Economist

Last November, the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 57% of American teenagers create content for the internet—from text to pictures, music and video. In this new-media culture, says Paul Saffo, a director at the Institute for the Future in California, people no longer passively “consume” media (and thus advertising, its main revenue source) but actively participate in them, which usually means creating content, in whatever form and on whatever scale. This does not have to mean that “people write their own newspaper”, says Jeremy Zawodny, a prominent blogger and software engineer at Yahoo!, an internet portal. “It could be as simple as rating the restaurants they went to or the movie they saw,” or as sophisticated as shooting a home video.

If you are planning a renovation or new building, yiou will find yourself sadly behind the times if you don’t incorporate some facility for group collaboration and digital craetion. It doesmn’t have to be on a grand scale, but make some type of technology available! A study room could become a podcast studio as needed. A small computer center could be changed into the Digital Collaboratory or some such. And your technology classes should align as well with what people want to do online!

2. Video Unlimited

Have you looked at YouTube lately? have you pondered how library content might fit there? Have you pondered how you might help users get their own mini-movies up there for all to see?

3. Personalize It!

Can you say amazon? 🙂

6. All Access Economy

Are we locking down our resources too much? Are we locking down our public PCs? Can vacationers visit your library and upload their pictures to Flickr?