The People's Network 10 years on: opportunity seized or missed?


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Delivered by David Potts of the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) at the Annual Conference of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS), which took place 1-3 June 2009.

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  • The People's Network 10 years on: opportunity seized or missed?

    1. 1. The People’s Network - Ten Years On David Potts Project Manager – Libraries The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council
    2. 2. Timeline <ul><li>1997 – New Library: The People’s Network report </li></ul><ul><li>2000 – 2002 Creation of the People’s Network </li></ul><ul><li>2002 – 2009 Use and development of the People’s Network </li></ul>
    3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Ambitions and assertions in original report </li></ul><ul><li>How the People’s Network has developed for libraries </li></ul><ul><li>How the People’s Network has developed for users </li></ul><ul><li>The changing network environment </li></ul><ul><li>Moving forward </li></ul><ul><li>The role of MLA </li></ul>
    4. 4. 1997 tag cloud! <ul><li>Consumer content access training </li></ul><ul><li>support </li></ul>
    5. 5. The position and influence of libraries <ul><li>An ‘ unrivalled reputation for helping the knowledge seeker’ (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ As other institutions and services adopt new technologies, it is vital that libraries are at the leading edge of change and maintain their place at the hub of the community’ (1997) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Web scale library-like services <ul><li>How many librarians were involved? </li></ul><ul><li>Where are libraries and librarians having web scale impact? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we doing ok? Or could we do better? </li></ul>
    7. 7. User interfaces <ul><li>‘ It is also vital that we listen to people’s views about our proposals to develop library services using the new technologies’ (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>How do we present online library services to the public? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local library web sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Libraries often don’t control their own sites </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. The public library web site – what there usually is <ul><li>Fragmented approach and varying quality (151 authorities) </li></ul><ul><li>Several clicks down from corporate home page </li></ul><ul><li>Standard information: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>List of libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opening hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catalogue search </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online reservation/renewal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscription databases </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. The public library web site – what there usually isn’t <ul><li>Loan a book online – have it delivered </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 functionality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RSS feed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Live’ data </li></ul><ul><li>Links to other local library web sites </li></ul><ul><li>An easily recognisable URL </li></ul>
    10. 10. Infrastructure <ul><li>‘ The network would enable higher-quality connections to other similar networks, and permit the creation of services for delivery across the whole of the network’ (1997) </li></ul><ul><li>People’s Network is still essentially, access to the web </li></ul><ul><li>No common infrastructure to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve bandwidth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authenticate </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Network Management (All from 1997) <ul><li>Procurement of services which form the network services, and achievement of economies of scale on behalf of public libraries (2009: Reference Online) </li></ul><ul><li>Co-ordinating the provision of services offered on the network either by participating libraries or third parties (2009: Enquire) </li></ul><ul><li>Managing contracts with the telecommunications suppliers on behalf of public libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Operation of the network to standards set by and on behalf of public libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Managing interface with other networks e.g. JANET </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping up to date with the technical developments on behalf of public libraries and promoting continual improvement </li></ul>
    12. 12. Moving Forward <ul><li>Digital Britain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cutting edge bandwidth hungry services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media/Digital/Information Literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Learning Revolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Role of informal learning in the learning continuum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning pledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>find flexible ways of using our existing spaces, or opening up new spaces, for learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>encourage and support learning organised by people for themselves </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>embrace new ways of learning, including the use of technology and broadcasting </li></ul></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Role of MLA <ul><li>09/10 Action Plan for Libraries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MLA/SCL Digital working group </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>JANET / PSN </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Library Loans Online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enhance Reference Online </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scope national gateway to local library services </li></ul><ul><li>Increase visibility of digital resources in libraries, museums and archives </li></ul><ul><li>Work with UK Online Centres on Digital Inclusion and Digital Britain implications </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage libraries to sign up to the Informal Learning Pledge </li></ul>
    14. 14. The 1997 Tag Cloud revisited <ul><li>Access – People’s Network still excellent </li></ul><ul><li>Content – more innovation needed from libraries domain </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer/User – new modes of engagement always required </li></ul><ul><li>Training – largely provided locally </li></ul><ul><li>Support – available to all users </li></ul>
    15. 15. Summary <ul><li>People’s Network an amazing fillip to public libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Was AND IS an incredible opportunity for public libraries </li></ul><ul><li>New ways needed to engage users </li></ul><ul><li>People Networks crucial to future of People’s Network </li></ul><ul><li>Develop infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Invigorate, innovate, connect </li></ul>
    16. 16. Thank You <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>