Monday, January 29, 2007

library 2030 or 2010.....part 1

Having recently gone back to university for my last two semesters, one of our lecturers brought up the idea of what libraries will be like by 2030. Well, I thought I might blog this, but more hopefully this will be the library of 2010.

Change 1:- The impact of millenials.

Millenials are a follow on from Generation X and millenials are described as being:-

Sociable, optimistic, talented, well-educated, collaborative, open-minded, influential, and achievement-oriented. They’ve always felt sought after, needed, indispensable.

Millenials will become more and more to the forefront as a group of people by 2030. Unfortunately a problem with millenials is their love of feedback. As one writer pointed out:-

...this generation expects immediate and ongoing feedback, and is equally comfortable giving feedback to others...Providing feedback on their performance should play a big part, as should encouraging their creativity and initiative to find new ways to get tasks done.

Millenials' impact can already be seen in social cataloging sites such as shelfari and librarything, where people discuss books and make virtual friends and groups. Classification is often done by people generating there own tags.

Millenials, in utilising the idea of feedback loops and tagging, have made libraries take notice. In America, librarians and users want to bring radical changes to the OPAC (online public access catalog) system. Users and librarians want to allow users to have the opportunity to classify books, rather than have Dewey doing this for us.

Another example of the impact of millenials in 2030 (or 2010) upon libraries is they can aid in giving feedback to libraries. They could also be part of the advertising process to. This can already be seen to occur with the First InfoTubey Awards, which are allowing both staff and patrons to discuss libraries and advertise them. This is an area that will hopefully grow.

Change 2:- The impact of virtual worlds.

This virtual world can be seen in second life, which has brought about a flurry of businesses starting to trade in the linden dollar through selling virtual products.
Libraries have also been opened in second life. In 2030 or 2010, users could go to a virtual library and see what books they can pick up via a computer/phone or other device of the time. They can then order the book they want and collect it from a library that has it at a time that is convenient for them.

Change 3:- Enquiries and instant messenging.

IM will also become a more ubiquotus tool for enquiry desks. Advice will be sought more virtually than now from reference desks. By 2030 the reference desk will be not only about still doing checking for books via archiving etc, but also the digital aspect of archiving which has already begun. Reference desks will need to be aware of more web-based content, such as blog posts and websites.

This is the conclusion so far. I will add more idea's over the next few days.

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