The Evolving Library


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Presented at the MLGSCA Technology Symposium March 6, 2009 in Cerritos, CA.

The library of today and the future is about online resources and bringing the information to the consumer not waiting for the consumer to come to the information. How can libraries use these technologies to find the potential online user and give them information while still serving the traditional in-person library user?

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The Evolving Library

  1. 1. The Evolving Library Michelle Kraft MLS, AHIP 2009 MLGSCA Technology Symposium Cerritos, CA
  2. 2. Evolution <ul><li>Sociocultural evolution is a term for theories describing how cultures and societies have developed over time. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Human social behaviours are learned in a social environment and through social interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change is inevitable </li></ul></ul>- Wikipedia
  3. 3. The Library as an Ecosystem
  4. 4. So Why Is This Important <ul><li>The evolution of library users </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The individual is evolving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Large increase in already “evolved” users </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. User Demographics <ul><li>Seniors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1925-1945 (ages 64-84) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Baby Boomers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1946-1964 (ages 45-63) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gen X </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1965-1980 (ages 29-44) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Millennials </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1981-2000 (ages 9-28)‏ </li></ul></ul>-Forrester Research. The Emerging Work and Implications For Training. 2005
  6. 6. Net Generation <ul><li>Gen X and Millennials are the “Net Generation” </li></ul><ul><li>Born with technology </li></ul><ul><li>Always known cheap, quick communication </li></ul><ul><li>Prefers to work in peer groups </li></ul><ul><li>Little tolerance for delays </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-taskers </li></ul><ul><li>Used to experimenting, prefer experiences to create knowledge </li></ul>
  7. 7. Net Learners <ul><li>Seniors and Baby Boomers make up the “Net Learners.” </li></ul><ul><li>Had to learn technology, usually along side the Net Generation </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps land line, cell phone not primary phone </li></ul><ul><li>Prefers individual work </li></ul><ul><li>Shows more patience, happy when technology works </li></ul><ul><li>Used to receiving information linearly </li></ul><ul><li>Less experimenting, prefer instructions </li></ul>
  8. 8. Tipping of the Scales <ul><li>Gen X and Millennials make up a large group of users or potential users. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>88 million people born between 1977-1997 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Now 27% of the U.S. population </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>85 million Baby Boomers were bon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Now 23% of the U.S. population </li></ul></ul></ul>-Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott.
  9. 9. Different World View
  10. 10. Online Uses and Expectations <ul><li>“ Our generation shops online, dates online, takes classes [online], yet we still need to drive to the municipal office to pay for a dog license.” </li></ul>-”The Net Generation.” Government Technology. Oct . 2006
  11. 11. Online Uses and Expectations <ul><li>“ If you aren't going to make it easy for me, I am not going to try it. I have enough hoops to jump through during the day to deal with.” </li></ul>- Mike Kraft. Trying to sync Google Calendar with his iPhone
  12. 12. What? It isn’t Online!?
  13. 13. Two User Types & One Library <ul><li>Net Learners come to the library to search or read </li></ul><ul><li>Technology makes research easier but isn't a requirement </li></ul>
  14. 14. Two User Types & One Library <ul><li>Net Generation wants the library to come to them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They can research or read when and where they want to </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology required for research </li></ul>
  15. 15. Library and User Evolution <ul><li>In the past patrons came to the library, now the library comes to the patrons. </li></ul>
  16. 16. What To Do? <ul><li>Critical eye </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at sacred cows </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Road Trip </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs Assesment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SWOT analysis </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. What To Do? <ul><li>Copy Others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fine if works for you library </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Asses Implementing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need technology? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change library space? </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. It Isn’t All Technology <ul><li>University of Rochester Gleason Library </li></ul>
  19. 19. What To Do? <ul><li>Get Moving </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t plan to death </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not librarian input </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Users and non-users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different age groups </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Different professions </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Reach Your Users
  21. 21. Get Out! <ul><li>Start or do more outreach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What keeps you in your office at your desk? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is it really important? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Things are just fine the way they are? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Could things be done better? </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Different Users = Different Approaches
  23. 23. Different Outreach Approaches <ul><li>Both groups learn completely differently </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Net Learners – use instructions, think linearly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Net Generation – multi-task, experiment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Both groups communicate differently </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Net Learners – usually one conversation, face to face, phone, email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Net Generation – multiple convesations, email, text, phone </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Different Outreach Approaches <ul><li>Two types of hands on instruction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Linear, instructor led, detailed handouts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experimental, sideline coach, quick reference </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Different instructional aids </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Handouts, step by step </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Videos, self guided tutorials </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Different Outreach Approaches <ul><li>Different learning objectives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to use technology to accomplish goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who to call for help </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology won’t accomplish all goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When to call for help </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Different Outreach Approaches <ul><li>Different elevator speeches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Like to know you can help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Have the resources to save them time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specifically how can you help </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Already saving time, but would like to save more </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Different Outreach Approaches <ul><li>Both groups food and prize driven </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lunch and learn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Different food </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Different times </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gift cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Different types of gift cards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Free Parking – seems to work for everyone </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Evaluate <ul><li>Listen for feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Usage statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in conversations </li></ul>
  29. 29. Rinse and Repeat <ul><li>Change is inevitable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Patron characteristics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Always opportunities for growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hospital projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Residency requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daily job </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to make changes </li></ul>
  30. 30. Questions?