Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Sunday, June 27, 2010

1:30 p.m.

WCC Ballroom B

Moderator – Gregg Silvis, Chair of the LITA Top Tech Trends Committee and Assistant Director for Library Computing Systems, University of Delaware

Panelists

John Blyberg

Assistant Director for Innovation and User Experience, Darien (CT) Library.

http://www.blyberg.net

 

Lorcan Dempsey

Vice President, OCLC Research and Chief Strategist, OCLC.

http://orweblog.oclc.org

 

Jason Griffey

Head of Library Information Technology, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

http://www.jasongriffey.net

Pattern Recognition

 

Monique Sendze

Associate Director of IT and Virtual Services, Douglas County (CO) Libraries.

http://www.DouglasCountyLibraries.org

 

Cindi Trainor

Coordinator for Library Technology and Data Services, Eastern Kentucky University Libraries.

http://citegeist.com

 

Joan Frye Williams

Information Technology Consultant.

http://jfwilliams.com

 

Panelists will speak on three types of trends: current, imminent (6-12 months), and long-range (3 years or longer).

Blyberg – Multilevel convergent media.

If we look at the way we consume media now on our various devices, content delivery is not one-dimensional.

Media and information are flowing in the context of what’s happening in the world around us. Ex. – Twitter.

Users (not manufacturers) are the ones who find ways to take advantage of new devices.

In the past convergent devices have been less effective than their component parts. Think about trying to write a term paper on an iPhone. You’re not going to do it, because it’s not the right device to do that kind of work.

With new devices such as the iPad, the quality of the convergent device is greatly improved so we can do things in a much more efficient way.

Convergent devices provide the opportunity for everyday people to connect to something larger.

Dempsey – Mobile

As we begin to provide services for mobile devices, it’s not a matter of mobilizing the existing array of services. It’s about how services can be reconfigured for this environment.

It also offers a way to connect the physical environment and the digital environment. How can we connect users in our physical spaces with new experiences? QR codes offer one possibility.

We can think about services in a new location-based sense. WolfWalk from North Carolina State University offers one example. Users can walk around campus looking through an app on their phones, and historical building information from the library archive is overlaid on what the see. (augmented reality)

Mobilization introduces microcoordination. We coordinate our activities at a much more fine-grained level (because we’re always connected). This changes the way we think about space because people need to meet in a more ad hoc way. We need better ways of microcoordinating and the facilities to do that.

If you have a lot of devices, you can do a lot of creative things. Things move up to the cloud because you want your content to be available on every device wherever you are. You don’t want to be tied to a particular machine.

Griffey

For the majority of the life of the library, the material we bought has been tied to a container, and that container provided the user interface. Increasingly what we purchase is no longer in a container: it is information without an interface. We’re having to purchase or build the interface to interact with the information. Over the last few years we’ve been trying to give people mobile containers because of the increasing use of mobile devices.

The next big drive will be in the area of touch-based interfaces. This is happening because of touch-based phones, the iPad, and the upcoming devices that will follow the iPad. These have changed the way we have interact with things things that contain information.

People who have used iPads describe them in emotional ways. People are emotional about books because we interact with them in a tactile way, and there is a connection when we touch them. Interfaces like the iPad give us that back. Touch-based interfaces give us unmediated access to the content: there is no mouse or pointer between us and the content.

As more touch-based interfaces emerge, that will be the method by which younger generations interact with information.

Sendze

We will see a lot of new devices making their way into libraries. The differences will be in the software and applications.

Libraries are still in the infancy stage of interacting with mobile technology, but the commercial sector is already doing this very well.

Libraries are going to have to adopt a different approach from that used in dealing with library catalogs in terms of having disjointed interfaces. We’re going to move really quickly with the software and applications for mobile platforms in order for us to be relevant.

Users aren’t coming to us because of mobile devices; they’re coming to us because of the experience.

Will there be a time when we don’t have public access computers and provide instead a platform for users to interact and have a library experience? People are coming into the library with their own devices, and they want to access our content. The hardware will not be an issue.

The iPad changed the mobile platform because of the user experience. Will we be able to get to the point in our libraries where we are using mobile devices to interact with patrons? (Ex. circulation transactions)

We need to develop a mobile strategy so we will continue to be relevant to our users.

Trainor

We’re undergoing a transformation of libraries from places where users have to figure out where to go depending upon what they want (ILL, etc.) to places of "You ask for it, we get it.

This has implications for library workflows, tools, and user-centeredness. Services should be user-centered rather that fitting workflows around the tools that we happen to have.

How do you get patrons to things that you don’t own? Some libraries are experimenting with putting MARC records for all e-books offered by their vendors into the catalog. If the library doesn’t own the item a patron needs, there is an option to purchase. Collections are more patron-driven.

Williams

I don’t track technology. I track human behavior, cultural changes, and follow the money. I look around and see what kinds of implications that might have for library technology.

The recently-failed economy was driven centrally and included a lot of lawyers, bankers, and accountants. Local governments seem to be interested in the "creative economy." There is a lot of talk about cities and counties thriving by attracting people in creative disciplines. The model for a creative economy tends to be individualized small business – typically home-based – entrepreneurial, and hyper-local.

How can libraries intersect this particular trend? Libraries are well-positions as incubators for "creatives," because they have great bandwidth, they’re media-rich environments, and they’re already established as meeting places.

There are implications for our workflows around what business we think we’re in, what environment we’re creating, and how we support that technologically.

The biggest challenge right now is to create workspaces that support creativity and innovation with all of its mess and iteration. If our technologies are deployed around discovery and transport, and if we assume that delivery of content is the end of our story, we’re hard-pressed to imagine a workspaces that supports a messy, iterative, studio creative process. But that’s where the money is.

We need to stop being the grocery store and start being the kitchen.

This is not a real change from our current capacity; it’s a change in emphasis. We think our work is done when we deliver content. We don’t provide the tools for people to work People go home and don’t always have the tools to work with the content.

As we design new workspaces, we have to consider the new ways in which people work. It’s not all with perpendicular monitors. The iPhone, iPad, Microsoft Surface, and similar touch-based technologies are even changing lighting requirements. Architects have never even considered these new ways of working.

I see a real problem with how we collect and manage creative content. The way people in creative areas access their content seldom has to do with topical descriptions. We have a lot of technique around how WE find stuff, but that’s not the work that’s going forward, and we need to support that too.

Question from Sendze to Blyberg

How confident are you that we’ll get to a point where things are so platform-independent that they all play well with each other.

Blyberg – I don’t think they have to play well together. Individuals need to find the devices that best fit their lives and create their own information frameworks based upon their needs and interests. That’s why the marketplaces isn’t just iPhone. These devices are just portals into what’s going on in our world.

Griffey

The way people are designing apps for the iPad is starting to take into account the ways in which people work collaboratively.

Williams

3D home fabrication. The line is blurring between information about a thing and the thing. The library world has moved in some disciplines toward collection, distributing, and manipulating shop drawings, CAD files, art. We need new ways to think about, organize, and manage the rights and re-versioning of the things.

In the future we’ll need to know a lot more about how things move from a set of descriptions to the object itself. We’ll need to know more about how that will be managed and retrieved.

Ex. Architects look at shapes. We don’t bring a design sensibility to the way we organize things. We don’t tag by shape. There is room for a new type of information that is a step in the manufacturing flow.

Trainor

Facebook – Anonymity and open-source

As more people (non-techie people) begin using emerging technologies, the conversations around these social tools are changing.

Who is responsible for preserving the new collective knowledge being created online? This content can’t be bought and owned by a single or even multiple libraries. For example, the Facebook terms of service states that contributed content belongs to Facebook. Will we be able to go back and look at this Facebook content in 100 years?

Sendze – Changes in the way IT as a function is delivered.

When technology started coming into libraries (especially 2.0 technologies), there was a shift in what librarianship was going to be. We all had to redefine what it was going to be.

Cloud computing is going to redefine the way we use our back room IT staff. We have situations where entire infrastructures are being hosted in the cloud. A lot of my infrastructure is already in the cloud. My web services are with Amazon. My backups are in the cloud.

IT is going to have to become embedded in the day to day work of the library. They’re no longer going to have to be the back room people.

Griffey

There are currently two main classes of e-readers: e-ink devices such as the Sony Reader, the Kindle, and the Barnes & Noble Nook; and LCD devices such as the iPad.

The prices of e-ink devices (Kindle, Nook, etc.) are plummeting. By this time next year we’ll probably see $50 e-readers.

"How does it change our acquisitions and our materials processing and our circulation when you can purchase an e-reader for under $50 that has the entire western canon on it for free?"

How do you change the model for providing books for an intro to literature class when you can buy a device that has every book the students will read and the content doesn’t cost anything?

At this price point, e-ink devices become almost disposable. At the same time there is a rise in LCD and OLED displays. The new iPhone display is 326 dpi. This is literally better than the quality of most printed magazines. This technology can eliminate some of the problems that people have noted with electronic displays because the quality is literally better than print.

These types of screens will allow us to display things and provide content in ways that were never possible before.

The 2011 iPad will probably have Apple’s new Retina Display. On the low end we will have disposable e-ink devices.

Dempsey

There is a lot of interest in what is currently called the discovery layer. Over the next few years they will change the character of how we look at the library collection. As these services represent as much of what is available as possible (licensed materials, books, digitized materials), they will come to be seen by users as the full library collection. The library collection will be what is available through the discovery layer. This will push the integration of other services. You could also see Google Book material, ILL services, and a variety of other services.

Once you reach the point where these services are part of the library offering, more patron-driven options begin to emerge. You can present a "possible collection" through the discovery layer, and behind that decisions are made about whether to acquire things based on patron demand and discovery.

Blyberg

Open source library systems

If you have something really successful you see instant returns, and you see them fairly quickly. But you get to the point where successes plateau, and everything gets quite a bit harder. At that point you have to decide whether to quit or keep going.

The next 6-12 months is a period of a dip for open source software in 4 areas: technical, logistical, financial, behavioral.

Logistical – A lot of libraries have migrated to open source systems in the last year – so many in fact, that they’re going to have trouble finding support. There are a limited number of support agencies, but this mass exodus from proprietary to open source systems has really overburdened the existing support system.

Technical – The open source alternatives available right now don’t really go toe-to-toe with proprietary alternatives in terms of feature sets. That’s okay in the short term, but in the long term this lack of functionality may be compounded into other problems.

Financial – We’re coming to the end of first- and second-round grant funding for open source implementation, and there’s no guarantee that the money will still be available in the future.

Behavioral – I think that the open source community has a way to go before it reaches the point where it can participate professionally in discussion about what open source is and can be. Ex. A paper critical of open source was leaked last year, and the response from the community was less than professional.

This is sort of a natural process on the way to becoming a significant contributor.

Griffey

4th generation mobile infrastructure will be in place in 3-5 years. 4G will give a minimum of 100 megabits per second to cell phones. It will be like walking around with an ethernet cord in your pocket. We don’t really know yet what we’re going to do with this level of bandwidth, but it gives us an unprecedented ability to send/receive information quickly.

Researcher Masatoshi Ishikawa has developed a scanner that allows high-speed book scans simply by fanning the book pages in front of the camera. When asked about where he thought the technology would be use, Ishikawa replied that it would be use by cell phones.

What kind of world will it be when we have ubiquitous high-speed Internet access coupled with a device for which print is digitally available at any moment? Combine this with Google Translate . . .

Google Translate – Take a picture of words in another language, Google OCRs it, and gives it to you in the language of your choice.

Sendze

Profiling and the death of Internet anonymity

Search engine and other online companies are collection a lot of information about users and doing a lot of data analysis as well as commoditizing it. In contrast, libraries collection a lot of patron information, but we have policies for purging it. We really don’t hold onto patron data. It seems that our users are willingly giving a lot of information to online entities for what the users perceive as their own benefit. We have the same data on our users, but we’re not mining it or using it. I see an Internet that will offers ways to present content to users before they even know exactly what they want. Will this change the way we think about privacy in libraries?

Does the library have a better reputation for protecting privacy than companies?

Our users want us to offer better suggestions. They want us to present content that might be useful to them based on their profile. This could transform the way we look at patron privacy.

Trainor

The era of physical copy scarcity is over. What will be the rare and valuable things in the future?

It’s up to libraries to help provide access to whatever these rare and valuable things will be and to help patrons navigate that landscape.

What is the role of the instruction librarian when a lot of students interact with the library through the website? What is our role when we no longer have face-to-face interactions at all?

Williams

The information industry is evolving in ways that mimic the energy industry. There are interesting relationships between those who supply and those who distribute. Libraries have primarily been involved on the distribution side of information while the supply side has been globalized.

Many libraries are trying to attain clean information systems. But we’re all vulnerable to spills. What is the analogy to an spill? Massive loss of access. Massive data corruption. Government crackdowns after an incident that limits access to information.

Could there be a possibility of war of over preserving the information supply from a strategic partner who controls information that we didn’t create?

Is it possible to position libraries as strategic information reserves?

Blyberg

Two external elements pushing against libraries: Visual content and our access to it; the economy.

We’re going to enter a phase where libraries need to admit that they’re very inefficient. That will make us look at what our overhead is on backend processes. Some of these backend processes can be automated and made much more efficient.

Dempsey

Libraries have spent a lot of time managing the complexity of multiple streams of resources. Systems for bought materials, licensed materials, repositories for digitized materials, etc. This means that there is a lot of time spent on overhead activities and less time on managing the relationships with users.

Users are finding ways to get what they want in CONVENIENT ways.

Perhaps some of the ways libraries manage supply don’t have the same value or relevance because the supply channels are simplifying and users are finding content elsewhere.

There are a variety of areas where the library wants to make sure that their constituency uses information effectively.

Library systems don’t rate, recommend, and relate things in the same ways that consumer systems do. We need better ways of doing this in library systems, because users expect it.

Embedding resources in the environments in which people need them.

Services that connect your workflows to library resources.

Good search optimization techniques.

 

The liveblog for the session is available here.

 

The LITA blog writeup is available here.

 

The video of this session is available here.

 

You can read the American Libraries writeups here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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When I saw the iPad preview information, I was struck with a lot of the same impressions that others had: it’s a big iPod Touch. To a great extent, that’s still my opinion. However, several days ago I read a review that (somewhat) changed the way I think about the iPad.

David Pogue, writing in the New York Times, did a two-part review that looks at the iPad from both a techie perspective and an “everyone else” perspective. In his closing, Pogue wrote, “ . . . the iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it — books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on.” Strangely enough, these few lines made the difference for me.

When I look at a product – computer, camera bag, kayak, whatever – I take a “be all that you can be” approach. I expect the item to have loads of functionality. In short, I expect it to be the be-all-end-all device. That’s unrealistic of course, but I still expect it! So whatever the device, I look at all potential uses to which I might put it, and then I evaluate it based on how well I think it will meet my expectations.

This was the test that the iPad failed when I initially considered it. In my mind the iPad was the PERFECT form factor for a true tablet PC. However, it lacked the one-two punch I consider essential for a tablet: a stylus and good handwriting recognition software. In spite of what Steve Jobs has to say, I can see the value of a stylus, and I wish the iPad had one. I have previously used Microsoft OneNote under Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. The handwriting recognition software was really very good for either print or cursive writing, and I saw a lot of possibilities there. Unfortunately, the PC itself was just too heavy. That’s why I thought the iPad would have been perfect, but alas, no stylus.

But David Pogue’s review made me rethink the iPad. Once I resigned myself to the fact that it’s not a great device for creating stuff, the idea became a lot more palatable. When I think of it as a device for consuming stuff, it makes a lot more sense. Since my first portable device, I’ve read a lot of e-books. The iPad should be fine for that. The browser and add-on apps should make it a good device for consuming lot of other content as well.

This seems to make all the difference to me. In trying to accept the iPad for what it is, I have (somewhat) rejected what I think it could be. And it truly looks like a great device for consuming content.

So . . . maybe I do need one after all.

As always, the Top Tech Trends discussion was lively, and people contributed a lot of information to the live blog via links. Here is a compilation of links from the live chat in chronological order. In some cases, if it didn’t appear that the link went to the correct place, I tried to track down the site that I thought the user meant. I’ve also supplemented with a few links about the panelists.

 

To view the full live blog and Twitter coverage from top Tech Trends, visit the LITA blog.

 

Amanda Etches-Johnson

Blog without a Library

http://twitter.com/etches

 

Jason Griffey

Jason Griffey dot Net

Pattern Recognition

http://www.twitter.com/griffey

 

Joe Murphy

http://twitter.com/libraryfuture

 

Lauren Pressley

Lauren’s Library Blog

http://twitter.com/laurenpressley

 

David Walker

David Walker’s Website

 

LITA Blog

http://litablog.org/

 

Top Tech Trends Midwinter 2010 on Ustream

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/midwinter-2010-discussion-group

 

Baylor University – Library Resources for Mobile Devices

http://researchguides.baylor.edu/library_resources_mobile_devices

 

Usabilla

http://usabilla.com/

 

CrazyEgg

http://crazyegg.com/

 

Top Tech Trends Twitter Stream

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23alamwttt

 

FourSquare

http://foursquare.com/

 

Horizon Project

http://www.nmc.org/horizon

 

2010 Horizon Report – web

http://wp.nmc.org/horizon2010/

 

2010 Horizon Report – PDF

http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2010-Horizon-Report.pdf

 

Augmented Reality Example for Android

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b64_16K2e08

 

Harper County Public Library Mobile App

http://www.hcplonline.info/hcplmobile/

 

National Library of Medicine Mobile Apps

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mobile/

 

Copia: a social, e-reading experience

http://www.thecopia.com/

 

LibraryThing iPhone App

http://www.librarything.com/blog/2010/01/local-books-iphone-application.php

 

Blio – free eReader software

http://blioreader.com/

 

Article: Singularity Proponent Ray Kurzweil Reinvents the Book, Again

http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/12/blio-ray-kurzweil-book/

 

Smell of Books

http://smellofbooks.com/

 

Article: The Strange Case of Academic Libraries and E-Books Nobody Reads

http://www.teleread.org/2010/01/07/the-strange-case-of-academic-libraries-and-e-books-nobody-reads/

 

Article: New Study Documents Epidemic of Online Book Piracy

http://www.publishers.org/main/PressCenter/Archicves/2010_January/EpidemicofOnlineBookPiracy.htm

 

Online Review Form for Top Tech Trends Session

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/F5R7W7V

 

Other Top Tech Trends writeups from around the net.

 

Library Journal: ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting: Top Tech Trends Panel Focuses on End Users and Ebooks

 

Market Intelligence for Librarians: Top Tech Trends from ALA’s Midwinter Meeting

 

Library Journal: ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting: LITA Reboots Top Tech Trends Panel

 

Krafty Librarian: LITA Top Technology Trends

This time around LITA’s Top Tech Trends featured an entirely new set of speakers who had never appeared on this panel before.

 

AMANDA ETCHES-JOHNSON

User Experience Librarian

McMaster University

 

JASON GRIFFEY

Head of Library Information Technology

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

 

JOE MURPHY

Science Librarian

Yale University

 

LAUREN PRESSLEY

Instructional Design Librarian

Wake Forest University

 

DAVID WALKER

Web Services Librarian

California State University System

 

The discussion was moderated by Top Tech Trends chair, Gregg Silvis.

 

To view the live blog transcript from Top Tech Trends – ALA Midwinter 2010, visit

http://litablog.org/2010/01/alamwttt/.

 

David Walker

We need a mega-search that goes beyond Google Scholar and takes advantage of link resolvers – a sort of next-gen federated search.  – working to craft something that is unique to your library.

How do you give access to hundreds of databases that libraries subscribe to?

As more content is brought together, new systems will provide greater/better access.

Any tool that addresses a fundamental problem for libraries will  have great penetration.

Because data lives in silos, searching means going to silos. RSS feeds means going to silos. How do we get  a unified mobile interface?

Vendors are currently engaged in a numbers race. Who has the most journals? Who has the most content?

We need to be able to pull data out of vendor silos and bring it together in a single service. Once we do that, we can add services on top of a single data stream.

Why aren’t library consortia coming together to build their own discovery systems rather than leaving this to the vendors?

 

Are libraries giving up more control to the cloud?

 

Amanda Etches-Johnson – Some institutions don’t have federated search! What improvements will we see from it?

 

David Walker – Federated searches level the playing field. It creates a better search, allows faceted browsing.

 

Amanda Etches Johnson – 2009 buzzwords: user experience. One of the problems is that no one can agree on what it means.

In the user experience design world, people are talking about how it makes users feel.

Mobile interfaces are stripped down. You don’t have time, bandwidth, or real estate for fancy design.

Users are seeking out mobile interfaces – not just on mobile devices, but also on regular screens.  Need for speed!

What we do for mobile devices is really going to impact web design and what we do for large-screen formatting.

Automated usability testing is up and coming. Subscription-based options for doing usability, but this doesn’t replace usability professionals! Check out http://usabilla.com/.

Who is responsible for developing the user interface experience? Does the vendor do it? Does each institution do it?

 

An interesting thought emerged from discussions around the table and from audience-submitted comments. How exactly do we measure the user experience? User experience quality is hard to measure, but we still need to be having the conversations. It was noted that currently most user experience research is coming from outside libraries.

 

Lauren Pressley – Different types of groups expect different things from us.

 

Jason Griffey – Currently building a new library at UT Chattanooga. They’ve spent a lot of time thinking about physical usability and overall usability of the structure.

 

How do you pair this with online usability and user experience across services? Twitterer memclaughlin notes that website design should connect with physical library design.

 

Amanda – Literature talks about how to develop a more holistic approach. Be cognizant that there are other elements to consider.

 

Joe Murphy – We have recently seen near-universal mobile adoption from all patron groups.

The changes are coming from user expectations. Small downloadable apps for smartphones.

SMS is the oldest, strongest, and most flexible mobile app. It’s more than just a communication tool. It’s also a research tool.

Use of SMS for reference has really taken off, but just because it’s a new environment doesn’t mean that it changes core values of reference and libraries.

For some users, the only reason that print is relevant is when it’s not available electronically.

Mobile technology is changing our opinions about what is acceptable in libraries. Do our libraries even have the cell phone signal strength to support the technology?

Location-based gaming is up and coming. How do we manage it, and how do we leverage it? There can be rewards for using location-based services such as waiving fines or other, less traditional options.

Twitter became a standard in 2009. Now that it’s a standard libraries are reacting to it in a different way. It’s a platform for services. Some user groups may never use Twitter, but that shouldn’t stop us from using it to engage other groups.

The ability to be continually flexible is very demanding!

Mobile technology does not change the soul of libraries.

 

David Walker – What do smaller libraries do? What should they be focusing on?

Joe Murphy – If we spend more time prepping for technologies and services, what suffers? How do we balance serving our multiple constituencies?

We have to figure out the priorities for future relevance. We have to be ready for the next couple of years in addition to maintaining traditional strengths.

 

Lauren Pressley – Augmented reality  – blending virtual data with the real world

Augmented reality combines real and virtual data in a way that happens in real time with a 3d nature.

The extra data helps people gather more meaning from what they’re seeing.

As an example, consider the instant replay of a hockey game. You can see a virtual line that indicates the path that the puck traveled. You don’t actually see the line, but it helps you better understand what happened during play.

 

Greater potential for augmented reality games?

2010 Horizon Report predicts impact of augmented reality in education.

Augmented reality helps organizations/individuals embed contextual information.

Check out WolfWalk from NCSU for an example using historical pictures from digital collections.

 

Library applications? Imagine a tool for the periodicals section – tutorials pop up to help users at point of need. Or how about a pop-up that helps users visualize and maybe even narrow in on call numbers when they’re searching the stacks?

And a suggestion from Twitterer jaimebc: When you walk into the library an augmented reality app could give you information on award winners and best sellers.

 

David W. – Do you see libraries taking ownership of that? Does the public library take ownership of the city?

 

Ideally – an application that allows users to plug their own data into it. Crowdsourcing again.

 

By layering groups of historical photos, users could walk down Main Street and see what it looked like in the 1850s, 1870s, 1900s, 1920s, etc.

 

Jason G. – The unique integration of archival materials. Libraries have an opportunity to use archives as teaching/training tools as well as interesting tools for the community.

 

David W. – As you browse the stacks, people miss part of the collection if it’s back on a server or in archives. Augmented reality could fill in those gaps.

 

Jason Griffey – 2009 was the year of the iPhone App Store.

App store opened in 2008. By January 2009, 500,000,000 apps had been downloaded. App downloads are now into the billions.

The growth has been unlike anything the computer world has ever seen.

Given the popularity of the app store, pretty much every other cell phone manufacture is getting on the bandwagon.

With all of these apps though, there are only a handful that are library-specific.

 

Jason predicts that 2010 will be the year the app dies because of HTML 5 and CSS 3.

HTML5 allows for offline storage. You can store locally using just HTML 5. Native audio and video support can reduce the need for Flash. It supports Canvas – online drawing.

If you’re thinking about writing an app, think about writing it in web standards.

Jason notes that about 95-96 % of what he currently does can be done in a browser.

New standards will bring really rich app-like experiences inside a browser.

 

A couple of Twitterers pointed out the need to develop on platforms besides just the iPhone. Perhaps these new web standards are the way to level the playing field on development.

 

Group topic – The Reinvention of the Book

Moderator Gregg Silvis brought out a 10-year old Rocket e-book and an Amazon Kindle. Form factor is surprisingly similar. In fact, several Twitterers noted that the two devices are "frighteningly" similar.

 

Jason – Thinks that the e-book as a hardware device is dying. Sites like Copia, Blio, and multifunction devices such as the (upcoming) Apple tablet may contribute to this. Copia will allow users to interact in ways such as social annotation. Blio allows instructors to embed quizzes in the text.

 

Lauren – The issue of ownership with e-books is different. For many people, reading is a solitary experience that individuals share with the author.

The concept of ownership with e-books is different.

How much will publishers move to a format that libraries feel comfortable with?

 

Joe – I don’t see e-book devices having a place in a library. The focus should be on content.

I can’t get books from the library on my iPhone. I’m buying it through the Kindle app on my iPhone.

For some of us, our iPhone can be our everything device.

The Twitter world has really changed my expectations of reading.

 

I want to be able to interact with the text.

 

Amanda – Devices are not the future. We have a lot of subscriptions that are read on computer screens.

 

David – Undergrads are going to very specific online journals because it’s easy and convenient. Sometimes they would actually be better served by going to the catalog and finding a book with a more general treatment of the topic.

E-book licensing isn’t friendly to smaller institutions.

If e-books were as accessible as journal articles, would that change undergraduate research behavior?

 

Jason – Publishers should pay attention to the recording industry and learn that DRM only hurt music sales. No consumer likes DRM.

 

Audience  and Twitter comments – A lot of users just don’t have access to laptops and mobile devices. Perhaps they can’t afford them. Perhaps their network infrastructure can’t support them. Where do libraries come into play? Over the years, libraries have been among the first to place technology in the hands of users. Do libraries have a role to play with e-book readers?

 

Another online commenter pointed out that even when people cannot afford some things, they often have cell phones, Playstations, Wiis, etc.

 

Other Top Tech Trends writeups from around the net.

 

Library Journal: ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting: Top Tech Trends Panel Focuses on End Users and Ebooks

 

Market Intelligence for Librarians: Top Tech Trends from ALA’s Midwinter Meeting

 

Library Journal: ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting: LITA Reboots Top Tech Trends Panel

 

Krafty Librarian: LITA Top Technology Trends

David Lee King

Cindi Trainor

Michael Porter

Meredith Farkas

Roy Tennant, Moderator

 

Description of the analogy of the elephant – People grab onto different parts and form an opinion based

 

Q – What does library 2.0 mean to you?

 

Cindi – It’s not just a set of tools and technologies. It’s a philosophy. It’s about creating services and spaces for users that invite them.

 

Michael – What libraries do to fulfill their roles as community anchors has to change. There are new tools tht make us more vibrant and more relevant than ever before.

 

Meredith – Creation of services as an iterative process. You’re constantly fixing and assessing. It’s about putting our money where our mouth is and being really user focused.

 

David – Wikipedia as a tool – It’s a new way to present information and to let everyone contribute their knowledge. It’s a new philosophy about how to do things.

 

Michael – I’m more interested in what works. I don’t care about Twitter or Gmail or Facebook. Focus on why the tools do or do not meet our needs.

Cindi – It’s useful to think of Library 2.0 as a derivative of Web 2.0. Distinguish new types of companies from dotcom bubble companies. It enables software as a platform. There are applications on the web (not just on the desktop).

 

Meredith – Technologies that allow us to build communities and communicate with one another. People form relationships with others who are only electronic blips.

 

David – Making tech tools easy for non-tech audience to use. 2.0 technologies are made to connect people. If it is succeeding, the technology is out of the way.

 

Michael – 2.0 technologies can be distracting. It’s hard to know what to use as brands change (so pay attention to functionality). It’s very difficult to track the success (or lack thereof) of your institution’s use of these tools. It’s all anecdotal.

 

David – It’s sad that we’re still trying to figure these tools out because some of them are 15 years old. Disagree with Michael on tracking success. You can find blog stats. If users are commenting, then they are reading and engaged. Facebook gives some basic statistics and demographics.

 

Cindi – Just because someone had a page open for 10 minutes, how do you know they were actually reading it and not talking with friends?

 

Meredith – It’s scary that so little assessment is being done. We’re spending time on these services. Why not assess them?

 

Michael – If you use the reporting tools from these various sites, they don’t always sync up on the same timeline. When the way you report is numbers-numbers-numbers, that doesn’t account for social connections and interactions and how people’s lives are impacted.

 

Cindi – Tools like WordPress, Blogger, PBWiki, and Flickr gives libraries the power to reach out to audiences in new ways.

 

David – In a normal library, how do you capture this anecdotal evidence? It’s recorded in these social tools.

 

Q – What are some of the barriers you see to libraries adopting and using these new tools?

 

Meredith – We’re entrusting our knowledge and hard work to third party sites that may or may not be there in the future. Twitter is a good example of a highly popular service that is constantly losing money. People aren’t planning for web 2.0 tools the same way they’re planning for others with regard to backups, etc.

 

Cindi – Any time you want to do something new or create a new service, don’t be afraid of failing. Take a risk management approach. What are the terms of service?

 

David – What are the barriers? Technology. The bigger barriers are our own. If you want to really "get" a technology, you have to immerse yourself in it.

 

Michael – Years ago, there was a debate in public libraries about whether to circulate fiction. In the 1970s the companies that produced VHS and Betamax tapes went to court to prevent libraries from circulating them. Do we circulate digital movies in our libraries? Very few. Go to Netflix. THEY circulate digital movies. These companies are usurping our content distribution. If we don’t figure out a better way to circulate digital content, we’re in deep trouble. Setting up a blog or a Flickr stream are first steps in doing something about it.

 

Meredith – Time is a barrier. People say that they don’t have time to learn or do a new thing. People are asked to do new things, but no responsibilities are being taken away from their jobs. This has to change at the organizational level. People have to be given the time and resources to do this.

 

Michael – Use the tools to get more effort out of what you’re doing.

 

Meredith – We spend a lot of time outside of work learning to do these things. If our administrators don’t give us time and resources to do these things, then they don’t value them.

 

David – Some people are better at managing their time than others. Reference librarians do 20 hours n the reference desk and 20 off. What are they doing with the unscheduled time?

 

Q – What libraries are good examples of using 2.0 technologies and principles?

 

Michael – Lester Public Library in Wisconsin.

 

Q – What is the one thing you want to say to the audience?

 

David – Administrators and managers – let your staff go with it. The worst thing that can happen is that you have a filed project and learn something from it. That’s a positive outcome.

 

Meredith – These technologies are not a magic wand. We shouldn’t use a tool just because someone else is. Think about what is appropriate to your audience.

 

Michael – If you focus on your role and mission in your community, you’ll be fine.

 

Cindi – It’s a matter of having someone in your library who understands the role of these tools in the community.

 

Q – How can library 2.0 tools be supported in brick and mortar libraries?

 

David – We had a tweetup with free food sponsored by a local tv station. The library will be hosting a conference on 2.0 tools for the community.

 

Q – What are ways to help people who are intimidated by computers, let alone 2.0 technologies?

 

David – If you have staff who are still intimidated by computers, why did you hire them, and why do you still have them? Why have you not fired those people if they are not fulfilling their roles?

 

Michael – I’m a big advocate of partnering people. Pair someone with greater technology skills with someone with lesser skills.

 

Meredith – Technology petting zoos. I like the idea of having a place where people can play with technology in a non-threatening environment. Host a training session where people can just play around.

 

Cindi – Subject guide boot camp. People will spend all day together working on subject guides  and reinforcing their skills.

 

Q – It sounds like a lot of library 2.0 is marketing. Would you say that that sums it up or is there something that goes against that?

David – That’s only part of the picture. Marketing is part of it because it’s a broadcast medium. It’s also a collaboration platform for connecting and sharing. It’s more about using pooled knowledge to come up with a better idea.

 

Cindi – It’s also a tool that lets users give feedback to us. It’s not just a wooden suggestion box in the corner.

 

Q – If you’re going to have a technology petting zoo, what tools would you show them?

 

Meredith – It depends on your population, what they need, and what will be appropriate to them.

 

Michael – Kindle, iPhone, Palm Pre, Flip camera, Livescribe Pulse

 

________________

 

David – Set your priorities and focus on them. Don’t focus on what will take the most or least amount of time.

 

Michael – If you’re going to do something like a blog, you have to have the plan, commitment, and follow-through to keep it updated.

 

Q – What some of the privacy pitfalls that we need to be aware of and let our patrons know about?

 

Michael – Every company doing these social tools is a for-profit enterprise. We care about privacy, but these companies don’t. I think there should be a non-profit connected to libraries that develops tools like this.

 

David – The bigger privacy concern is just a lack of understanding about what these tools do, where they go, and who follows them. People THINK they’re being anonymous. Some people don’t quite understand the tools well enough to know who can read them.

 

Q – There are people with legitimate arguments and complaints that Facebook and Twitter are a waste of time. These users may be feeling left behind in face of 2.0 initiatives.

 

David – The largest growing segment of Facebook users is the over-50 group.

 

Michael – We don’t have any trouble doing what we’ve always done.

 

David – My job is digital branch manager. My patrons ARE these users of digital tools.

 

Additional Reading

 

The Great Debate – Has Library 2.0 Fulfilled Its Promise? – at Librarian by Day

 

Has Library 2.0 Fulfilled Its Promise? at LITA Blog

 

Starter Questions for Ultimate Debate 2009 by David Lee King

<begin rant> Okay there was no reason for writing it as "mE" except that I’m fed up with companies that use funky capitalization to try to make themselves and their products stand out. </end rant>

I’m currently at ALA for the annual conference, and I realized something shocking today. I brought a book with me. A paper book.

Does that sound counter-intuitive – being shocked at the idea of someone taking a book to a library conference of all places? Well it shouldn’t, but for me it is. I’ve owned PDAs and/or smartphones for around 10 years, and one of my very first and very favorite applications was iSilo, a book reader. I’ve upgraded each time iSilo had an upgrade, and it was easily my most heavily-used application. Since I had this great book reader I really liked, when I traveled I just took several eBooks along on my handheld. Less to pack, a variety of books, easy, convenient. I liked it so much and it worked so well for me that I stopped taking books along. Sometimes I would buy a buy while traveling, but I had basically reached the point where I didn’t take them with me anymore.

Enter the iPhone. For various reasons, I just couldn’t stay with the Palm OS any longer. After switching to the iPhone, iSilo was one of the first apps I downloaded. (Incidentally, I was right in the middle of a book when I made the switch.) Unfortunately, I really dislike the iPhone implementation of iSilo’s autoscroll feature. I used it all the time on the Palm. Loved it. iPhone implementation? Not so much. The iPhone’s limited battery life and iSilo’s autoscroll problem have conspired to make me really go easy on actually using the phone. Yeah, that’s right. I’m afraid to use my iPhone too much, because I’m afraid the battery will run down leaving me unable to receive a call or send a text at the end of the day.

So . . . as I was heading out the door for ALA I picked up a paper book I bought in the airport on the way home from my last trip. Totally weird. I bought a new device that I thought would help me enjoy eBooks even more. But the limitations of the device and the program have actually pushed me back to paper. Who would have guessed?

LITA Top Technology Trends
InterContinental Grand Ballroom
Sunday, July 12, 2009

It’s a wrap for this year’s Top Technology Trends discussion. I’ve tried to hammer out the bits I can catch, and they’re listed here. For more information, check out the information captured in the live blog. This year’s backchannel was particularly rich thanks to all those who tweeted. To review the Twitter posts, check out #ttt09 and #toptech.

Panelists
Eric Lease Morgan
Joan Frye Williams
Clifford Lynch
John Blyberg
Geert Van Den Boogaard
Roy Tennant

Online Trendsters
Marshall Breeding
Sarah Houghton-Jan
Karen Schneider

Video help from the Shanachies.

Blyberg: Mobile devices and handhelds and ultraportables and sub-laptops have already outstripped laptops and desktops.

Van Den Boogaard: At Delft there are already devices for downloading books in the library.

Williams: I always feel like the outlier. There is a presumption that information is the point. The counter is that transformation is the point. The creative process is going to be very similar regardless of the technology. Are people isolated by mobility or merely integrated in new places?

Tennant: We’ll do some things on smaller devices and some on larger. I don’t see a lot of massive transformations in just five years.

Lynch – Clear that there is more access from various portable devices. Contrast access from computation. Computation is moving to the cloud.

In terms of the roles of libraries, the striking omission is the preservation role. Cloud may be part of the storage solution. The management is not really transferable to the commercial sector.

How much are we willing to put into the cloud, and how much are we willing to trust it?

Displacement of laptops to other devices. Ramification – easier to capture images and video. It’s a lot harder to generate substantial amounts of prose.

Morgan – Use the right tool for the right job. Supplement the handheld device with something more powerful. Mobile is good for small facts. Larger jobs require different tecnology.

Finding stuff isn’t the problem anymore. More information than I know what to do with. Need to create tools that let people do what the need to do with the information.

Blyberg – Everyone who gets online develops a secondary persona. Persona is developed through the handheld device. Need to distinguish between what is important and was isn’t.

Van Den Boogaard – People use mobiles for many different functions, but they’re not for everyone. Depending on the user, some people can do a lot with them. Look at what users are using handhelds for what purpose.

Open Everything

Morgan -Some institutions will want more control over their computing environment. Other institutions will be happy to have others manage it for them.

The photocopier didn’t put publishers out of business. The Internet didn’t put them out of business. It will be a balance.

We feel compelled to provide services to our patrons at any cost. We’re feel that we’re providing a public good.

Williams – I don’t think the market will be the library. It will be the end-user What we thought of as our tools are really now THEIR tools. Vendors are marketing directly to them.

Blyberg – Vendrs providing service vs. software – in the next 10 years (maybe less), companies that focus on services.

Blyberg – Open-source software is separate and completely different from the idea of software as a service.

Van Den Boogaard – I wouldn’t go for completely open software. I would go for a small system that users can build and add onto.

Tennant – It’s much more likely that Google will tire of negotiating with vendors and write them a check.

Lynch – The future of authoring and communication. Those

It’s important to recognize that the world of mass market communication is informed by a different set of values and economics.

Research libraries that interact heavily with the scholarly communication world will see a need for different kinds of systems. There is still an enormous historical mass of printed literature. It still embodies the practices of the past.

Lightning Round

Morgan – Exploring the realm of digital humanities to a greater degree. If you understand that there is enormous amounts of free text – more than ever before – there is a whole giant wealth of untapped information.

Tracking ideas through vast amounts of text, analysis to find similarities in texts, find tools to use against these texts.

We need to think about ways of harnessing the computer in different ways. What about sticking the computer in the greenhouse?

I have yet to see federated searching really fulfill the promise that it had. Instead people are trying to aggregate data and combine it with local content.

If we as librarians did this, we would be come more self-reliant

Williams – A human drive towards the reconstruction narrative.

In their work people are iterative are collaborative. It’s like jazz – finding the thread that runs through things. Find things that enrich one another.

Williams -The aggregation and combination of objects and experiential unfolding of training snacks. Doesn’t use a lot of someone’s time but uses a lot of communication techniques. Immersive but brief experience. New opportunity for libraries.

Question from audience – What about the democratization of access?
Williams answer –more people have phones than have ever had computers.

Government-issued information stamps? Easier to subsidize information access.

Lynch – Many mobile devices are rented by the month. In some ways that makes them more accessible.

Lynch – Agrees with Williams’ comments about narrative. More widespread and deeper than many people realize. Seeing a lot of discussion about how to make narratives portale across tools.

The idea of digital humanities has been building to critical mass.

We’re inviting the population to reconnect with 2,000 years of original documentary evidence.

Lynch – Bandwidth is a problem and getting bigger. The rise of the cloud is pure rhetoric if the bandwidth can’t support it.

Lynch – The continued sudden implosion of various things under economic pressures.

Lynch – Some things are just vanishing suddenly, but we aren’t dealing with the consequences. Corporate records, corporate history, public records.

Blyberg – The future of journalism. Micropayments.

Who’s going to do it first? There is an opportunity for libraries to get involved in the process. Libraries need to say this is an issue about access to valid information. We have a vested interest in making sure the transition to from print to online goes smoothly.

Rapid trending – Example of the Iran election Twitter tag. At first it was very practical information. Then an element of extremism was introduced. It was the world getting caught up in emotion and anger.

In the last year and a half, we’ve started to engage the end-user from an experience design standpoint. We used to use the term customer service. We see this in architecture, web pages, content management.

Audience Question: Are Google, FaceBook, etc. spawning crowdthink. Is it a fault of the tools? Are they making us stupid?

Blyberg – No, they’re making us smarter. I can have answers in 20 seconds. Our online experience lets us do instantaneous queries.

Williams – In talking about technical services, if you just automate a mess, you’re going to get a fast mess.

Lynch – How much of knowledge is just a command of facts vs. ability to use them. How much of a base of what kind of knowledge do we need to make interpretive synthesis?

Van Den Boogaard – Research what the user is doing and where he is taking his culture.

People are using media many hours a day, so you need to have a picture of what the user is doing. How are they using it? What are they using it on? Who recommends it to them?

Van Den Boogaard – Some people know how to digitize, but they don’t have a clue about how to present it in a way that people will use it.

Van Den Boogaard – If you look at where people are getting their movies/music/books, it’s peer-to-peer downloading. The libraries should be where the people are getting their products. It can be tricky.

Tennant – The Flow – the trend of communication being in the flow (Twitter). If you’re not there watching it, it can be hard to go back and get it.

The flow gets trapped in your inbox, but it’s there.

Journals publish papers as they become ready to publish. They let them our right away.

What do we do about capturing information that are parts of this flow? Scholars may way to study the communication that happened as events unfolded (ex. Iran election.)

Tennant – The Cloud – GoogleOS – Designed to get the user on the web right away. So many applications already live on the web.

Many server rooms will go away. Trend of software as service. Shift in staffing.

Reallocate people to have more interactions with real users.

Tennant – The Rain – Tough economic times. Think carefully about how to cut wisely.

Audience Comment: Semantic web – There seems to be an ability to organize everything, but the metadata structure behind it doesn’t seem to be able to support it.

Tennant – I’m not a fan of what’s called "the semantic" web. Too overblown.

New term : link to data. If we can expose data in away that it can been linked to other data, then we’re on the way.

Additional Reading:

ALA Conference 2009: Top Provocative Tech Trends from Library Journal

ALA Inside Scoopthe Blog for American Libraries

LITA’s Top Technology Trends at PLA Blog

LITA’s Top Tech Trends at David Lee King

The Monday Muse: Top Tech Trends at Libraries Interact

Top Technology Trends Today at Troy, Michigan, Public Library Tech Desk Blog