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Immovable Objects and Irresistible Forces
 

Immovable Objects and Irresistible Forces

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A presentation at the Library of Virginia on April 28, 2008.

A presentation at the Library of Virginia on April 28, 2008.

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  • Thank you very much for the invitation to be here today. This is my second opportunity to speak at the Library of Virginia, and I don’t get many second opportunities to speak anywhere! I was invited to speak here in October 2006, not long after OCLC published the Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources report. Could I see a show of hands of who was here that day? Thanks…there will be a little repetition of some of the data from that earlier presentation, but I hope you’ll see those numbers in a somewhat different context today. My title today refers to what I believe is the greatest challenge that we as librarians face today: the irresistible forces of new technology and the changing world view of our populations that are running headlong into the immovable objects which have been our institutions. Now, before we get off on the wrong foot, I don’t mean to imply that our libraries haven’t changed over the past few years. But I would allow suggest that if my grandfather, a great library user, were to return from the grave, he would not find most libraries significantly different from what he left when he shuffled off his mortal coil in 1970.

Immovable Objects and Irresistible Forces Immovable Objects and Irresistible Forces Presentation Transcript

  • Immovable Objects and Irresistible Forces The Library of Virginia April 18, 2008 George Needham Vice President, Member Services
  • Our “inconvenient truths”
  • Change: an inconvenient truth
    • “ It is not necessary to change.
    • Survival is optional.”
    • W. Edwards Deming
  • The Attention/Resources Balance
  • The library paradigm shift
    • From… Custodian of books 
    • One medium 
    • Own collection 
    • Just in case 
    • In-sourcing 
    • Local reach 
    • You go to library 
    • To...
    • Service-oriented info provider
    • Multiple media
    • Library without walls
    • Just in time
    • Outsourcing
    • Global reach
    • The library comes to you
    • Credit: Julie S. Sabaratnam
  • OCLC Reports
  •  
  • Using libraries today?
  • Using libraries today?
  • Implications
  • Implications
  • Implications
  • Information: an inconvenient truth “ Where would you for information on nutrition?” Consult a professional source 56% Look it up in a book 18% Ask a friend/family member 9% Consult a magazine 8% Consult a library 1%
  • The Public Library Inquiry, 1947-50
  • Extinction Timeline
  • Extinction Timeline
  •  
  • How you would rate information available from each source? Adapted from Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (OCLC, 2005) Percentage rating impressions “favorable” or “very favorable” Search engines 88% Libraries 79% Bookstores 77% Online bookstores 58% Online libraries 46%
  • What sources have you actually used? Adapted from Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (OCLC, 2005) US respondents E-mail 74% Search engines 71% Instant messaging 53% Online bookstores 52% Library Web Site 31% Blogs 19% Ask an expert/online question service 15%
  • Comparing libraries to search engines Adapted from Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (OCLC, 2005) Attributes Libraries Search Engines Trustworthy/credible sources 60% 40% Accurate, quality information 56% 44%
  • Comparing libraries to search engines Adapted from Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (OCLC, 2005) Attributes Libraries Search Engines Trustworthy/credible sources 60% 40% Accurate, quality information 56% 44% Reliable/always available 28% 72% Cost-effective 25% 75% Easy to use 15% 85% Convenient 11% 89% Fast 8% 92%
  • Trustworthiness of information Adapted from Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (OCLC, 2005) Information from libraries is… Less trustworthy than information from search engines 9% More trustworthy than information from search engines 21% NO DIFFERENCE in trustworthiness 70%
  • Comparing librarians to search engines Adapted from Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (OCLC, 2005) Assistance from librarian was… Much better 20% Better 24% NO DIFFERENCE 43% Worse 9% Much worse 3%
  • “Significant Misalignment”
  • Pew’s “Digital Footprints” report
  • Privacy? What’s that?
  •  
  • 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Subjects of interest Items checked out online from a library Items browsed for on an online bookstore Items browsed for at a bookstore Items checked out at a library 20% 21% 22% 28% Subjects searched on a library Web site Subjects searched while at the library Items purchased from at a bookstore Items purchased from an online bookstore Subjects searched on the Internet Social security number What the public considers private 16% Books read Adapted from Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World (OCLC, 2007). 18% 18% 18% 19% 19% 19% 73%
  • What the public considers private
  • Finally, a convenient truth!
  • Collaboration
  • Library collaboration
    • “ Collaboration is an unnatural act committed by non-consenting adults.”
    • Robert Martin Texas Women’s University and former director of IMLS
  • Library collaboration
  • Yet another inconvenient truth
    • “ The point is that Google is designed, organizationally, to say yes. Throw it online, put a ‘beta’ tag on it, and see what develops. That’s the real essence of open source. That’s a key Internet value.”
  • Good grief…
  • Exercise time
  • “Every day, in every way…”
    • Émile Coué, the father of “Conscious Autosuggestion”
    • For librarians: Maureen Sullivan, the mother of “Appreciative Inquiry”
  • Roles for the library % agreeing or completely agreeing that this is a library’s role A place to learn 85% A place to read 81% Make needed info freely available 80% Support literacy 78% Provide research support 77% Provide internet access 73% Promote kids’ learning/development 73% Provide free needed info for less fortunate 71% Place to get books/videos/music 70%
  • “Tear down these walls!”
  • User-centric libraries
  • Jargon Free Libraries
  • Jargon Free Libraries
  • Sticking to our principles
    • Reading matters…
    • …but only if it’s coupled with intellectual freedom
    • The library is a place of respite
    • Kids deserve a richer environment than TV alone can provide
    • “Secular transformation”
  • The Public Library Inquiry, 1947-50
  • What they wanted then…
  •  
  • Let’s keep up the conversation! George Needham 800-848-5878, extension 5173 [email_address] http://scanblog.blogspot.com
  • References
    • De Rosa, Cathy, et al. The 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition. Dublin, OH: OCLC, 2004.
    • De Rosa, Cathy, et al. Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources . Dublin, OH: OCLC, 2005.
    • De Rosa, Cathy, et al. Sharing, Privacy and Trust in Our Networked World. Dublin, OH: OCLC, 2007. Free downloads of OCLC reports: http://www.oclc.org/reports
    • The Extinction Timeline may be accessed at http:// www.rossdawsonblog.com/extinction_timeline.pdf .
    • “ George and Joan Thinking Out Loud.” Infopeople podcasts, 2007- . Free subscriptions available: http://feeds.feedburner.com/InfoblogGeorgeAndJoan
    • “ Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future.” London: CIBER/University College of London, 11January 2008. http://tinyurl.com/3b7ffg
    • Madden, Mary, et al. “Digital Footprints.” New York: Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2007. http:// www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Digital_Footprints.pdf
    • OCLC Office of Research. http://www.oclc.org/research/software/ default.htm
    • The “Zone of Mediocrity” chart may be accessed at http:// tinyurl.com/bkbtk .