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2008 10 22 Chris Batt Reykjavik
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2008 10 22 Chris Batt Reykjavik

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Presentation given at the The Future is Here: Are We Prepared conference, Grand Hotel, Reykjavik, Iceland, 22nd – 23rd October 2008

Presentation given at the The Future is Here: Are We Prepared conference, Grand Hotel, Reykjavik, Iceland, 22nd – 23rd October 2008


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  • 1. Libraries and Revolution: Challenges for the 21st Century Chris Batt OBE [email_address]
  • 2. If the technology works, something should happen now
  • 3. “ This is not a library, this is a revolution” From librarian to knowledge warrior Designing the future for public libraries Lack of money is a second order problem
  • 4. 150+ Years of Social Revolution 1850 2007
  • 5. The Beginnings of Universal Education 1850 The price of a book Newspapers and magazines Other media 60 hours work 1,700 None
  • 6. The price of a book Newspapers and magazines Other media 10 hours 10,000 Cinema, Radio, TV (one channel only) The Birth of Mass Media 1950
  • 7. The price of a book Newspapers and magazines Other media 20 minutes 190,000 +500 TV channels, The Google Age 2007 Internet, mobile phones, ‘always-on’ broadband, digital collections, personal learning
  • 8. An Age of Uncertainty Individual in the global community From universe to multiverse Rapid innovation Speed of technological diffusion If it is not on the Web it doesn’t exist
  • 9. Can libraries continue to be active agents for change and development? chrisbatt CONSULTING
  • 10. Connections Collections/content Customers/audiences Prior Knowledge Value Chain The Enlightenment Gallery, British Museum (The whole world in one room!)
  • 11. The Digital Enlightenment Gallery? The Land of Informed Bewilderment?
  • 12. Collections/content Connections Customers/audiences Learning Journeys into the Unknown
  • 13. The Search Engine Paradox
    • The convenience store for information
    • The doorway is easy to open
    • The drivers are not those of learning and knowledge
    • The deep, dark Web is invisible!
    • To get beyond browsing shop windows you have to learn new competencies
  • 14. The Knowledge Society A Universal Right to Knowledge Learning is for Life
  • 15. In the Knowledge Society, knowledge supports… Information diversity Creativity and innovation Knowledge economy and enterprise Social development Learning Cultural identity For everyone
  • 16. How to empower every person to want to learn and discover more about the world, every day
  • 17. Knowledge Learning for life Library Power Aggregating Storing Describing Disclosing Trusted Community closeness Discovery Mediating Understanding
  • 18. Where are the Knowledge Warriors? Where do we find Conan the Librarian?
  • 19. Challenges for the 21 st Century Librarian (knowledge worker?) chrisbatt CONSULTING Service Value Chain Personal Values
  • 20. Love Learning Challenge 1
  • 21. Learning is NOT the same as education Learning is a life skill Learning must be the heart of the library mission In the knowledge society communities will constantly need to learn new things Learning builds communities of interest Learning is the understanding of knowledge to advantage
  • 22. Challenge 2 Build Bridges
  • 23. “ Learning is a quest not a commodity” Neil Postman
  • 24. Bridges are tools of connection Connecting people to knowledge, culture and to ideas Reaching new audiences Enabling learning journeys Joining the library service to other policy and service priorities
  • 25. Online Resource Community Place Library Foundations of bridge building Development Agency
  • 26. Challenge 3 Be Streetwise
  • 27. “ The street will find its own uses for things” William Gibson
  • 28. Closeness to communities is a most under-promoted strength User/audience focus is fundamental People need help and guidance User-friendly and user-framed Services that can evolve as fast as community need Set the standard for other services to follow
  • 29. Topping Fold Library - community engagement in action Run-down library in a severely deprived community A manager committed to making a difference Community ‘ownership’ The library provides what the community needs Other services joining in
  • 30. Challenge 4 Be Revolutionaries
  • 31. Challenge traditional models Do the organisational structures work? Are there new skills needed in your team? What do you want your world and your communities to be like in 10 years time? What has to change to make it possible? Join the family of knowledge institutions?
  • 32. Five-year vision Access for all Convergence www.mla.gov.uk Social impact Global and cultural memories Raw material of the future
  • 33. What should the relationship be between the public library and other knowledge and learning institutions?
  • 34.  
  • 35. Challenge 5 Act With Passion
  • 36. “ If you cannot speak with passion about the value of what you do, who do you think will do it for you?” It must be passion with a purpose A shared narrative to catch the imagination of politicians and policymakers The elevator pitch QUESTION
  • 37.  
  • 38. Libraries of the Future
  • 39. Challenge 6 Be Leaders
  • 40. Giving leadership to others Empowering partnerships with others Leading the Knowledge Society Organising knowledge
  • 41. The Digital Enlightenment Gallery? The Land of Informed Bewilderment?
  • 42. “ In comparison with leaders in other parts of local government, public library leaders on the whole display stronger Transformational Leadership behaviours”  “ BUT they lack confidence in their own abilities, and that lack of confidence is often transmitted to their bosses” 
  • 43.  
  • 44. Strategic Content Alliance
  • 45. UK e-Content Framework for Knowledge, Learning and Research Community archive Family history Hobby/interest School Library Museum Archive Archive University Museum Archives Museums Libraries BBC, JISC, NESC, NHS Other Commercial sector Social change Europeana International standards Framework programmes International agencies UK public agencies Europeana local CONCEPTUAL SCOPE MODEL
  • 46. Challenge 7 Be Dreamers
  • 47. Ten impossible things every day How often do you think seriously about the future? Dream of 20 years time Lack of money is not the most serious problem
  • 48. Responses to the Digital World Digitise existing collections Create online versions of traditional services Buy commercial online resources Test out Web 2.0 tools
  • 49.
    • Learning
    • Bridges
    • Streetwise
    • Revolutionaries
    • Passion
    • Leaders
    • What is the learning value of the digital resource?
    • How do we ensure that people can find and use the material?
    • Have the community been involved from the ideas development stage?
    • Can we create collective structures to deliver more resources in better ways?
    • How do we jointly ‘sell’ what we are doing to politicians and policy makers?
    • Can we get other institutions to join with us?
  • 50. Prime Minister 2038
  • 51. Cabinet Ministers 2038 Minister for Culture
  • 52. Libraries and Revolution: Challenges for the 21st Century Chris Batt OBE [email_address]

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