Script at http://www.bohyunkim.net/blog/archives/3215
Recording at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/60105499
The closing keynote for the 2015 Library Technology Conference at St. Paul, MN at March 19, 2015. http://libtechconf.org/ #LTC2015
24. Economists Call It
“the Second Machine Age”
Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine: How
the Digital Revolution Is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and
Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy (Kindle Ebook,
Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, The Second Machine Age: Work,
Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (W. W.
Norton & Company, 2014).
25. Highly-skilled elites & the rest:
employment and wage
Displacement effect of
Tyler Cowen, Average Is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great
Stagnation (Penguin, 2013).
29. Current Economic Trend
The optimal interplay between humans and
machines has become the new drive of today’s
economic growth. Business and industry call for
more highly skilled workforce who can work well with
smart machines, while eliminating jobs that can be
fully automated by machines.
This thins out the middle class; diminishes the
upward mobility; and increases the overall economic
32. Implications for Libraries
There will be a greater room for libraries to grow and
contribute towards job-related continuing education
and lifelong learning.
Libraries will have to play even a greater role in
bridging the gap between the haves and the have-
nots in terms of making information and technology
resources available as widely and evenly as
This trend may reverse. Some think that advances in
artificial intelligence and broad technological
development may create employment possibilities
that we cannot yet begin to imagine.
But whichever way the future goes, one thing is
clear. Education will be a key to the growth of
employment opportunities and economic growth in
the age of smart machines. Humans need to be able
to work more efficiently, operating or working
alongside with machines. And this requires more
38. Students Ready
for the Market
With its transdisciplinary competency-based
bachelor’s degree, “businesses will not have to
guess whether these students really are ready for
the market, ready for their business, ready for the
- Mitch Daniels, Purdue’s president announcing the university’s
transdisciplinary, competency-based bachelor’s degree.
- Transdisciplinary, competency-based bachelor’s
Univ. of Michigan
– Master’s of health professions education
Univ. of Wisconsin system
– Five competency-based online credentials which
range from a certificate to bachelor’s degrees.
40. Track & Measure
These competency-based education can potentially
reduce the time and the cost of educational
programs by utilizing learning analytics and other
educational technology tools to track and measure
students’ progress and skills obtained.
In this new climate of the labor market, learning
never really ends because workers are expected to
constantly renew their skills. They have no choice
but to become self-directed lifelong learners to stay
43. Where Libraries Stand
A. Where does a library stand when the greatest value
of education is primarily found in obtaining
B. What is the role of a library when education is
reduced to merely equipping students with the skills
that will make them hirable?
After all, don’t we champion more creativity,
innovation, and entrepreneurship than ever before in
education and libraries?
Don’t the maker movement and makersapces, for
example, demonstrate such things as creativity and
innovation a great deal?
55. How the Maker Movement
Demand for the adaptable
56. Makers & Takers
Makers have access to new technology.
Makers can afford investing their free
time and money in learning new
Makers are already knowledgeable and
tech-savvy enough to navigate this new
technology scene and use it to their
57. Idealization of
the Maker Movement
Makers as the heroes of the ultimate freedom.
Makers make things with their own hands, unlike
the majority of those who simply consume things
that are made by others.
With their creativity and technical knowledge,
makers will not only innovate businesses, create
more jobs, but also usher in more open and
transparent society and culture for all of us to
59. Issues with the Mainstream
Unduly emphasizes Individuals over systems
and misplaces freedom where regulations are
Unfairly treats labor as a hobby without pay.
Spreads the unsustainable expectation for
workers to develop new skills outside of work.
(In this scenario, workforce retooling becomes
the responsibility of individual workers, not
60. Ideologies at Work
Neo-liberalism ignores the issues of systematic inequality
and reduces it to the matter of individual choices and
The belief that technology can build a culture that is
more transparent and open is techno-utopianism that
tries to solve sociopolitical problems with technology
alone without addressing the root cause.
Instead, all we hear about the maker culture is how
productive and innovative makers are and we all must
become like those (because they are the future of the
new infinitely adaptable and flexible workforce that the
labor market is looking for.).
68. Access to Sharing Economy
“Anyone without money doesn’t have access to sharing. Even
in the age of access, people without money remain shut out.
Airbnb, the community marketplace that turns homes into
hotels, even saves on hospitality. The ideology of community
or collaborative commons leads to total capitalization of the
community. Aimless friendship is no longer possible. In a
society of reciprocal evaluation, friendliness is also
commercialized. One is friendly to get a better ranking online.
The harsh logic of capitalism prevails in the so-called sharing
economy, where, paradoxically, nobody is actually giving
anything away voluntarily.”
- Byyngchul Han, “Why Revolution Is Impossible: On The Seductive Power Of
Neoliberalism,” Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2014.
73. Unsustainable solution to
a systematic problem
While crowdsourced fund-raising such as these
were well-meant by all means, it is an unsustainable
solution to a systematic problem whose solution
should not be found in personal donations.
Such solution can lead to avoiding more
fundamental questions, such as why the established
political, economic, and legal systems resulted in
such inequality in the first place and how we can
address it systematically.
74. How We Treat Learning
Whether we like it or not, schools, colleges, and
libraries will continue to educate students and
people to make them more hirable by improving their
skills and providing more information, more
resources, and more exposure to technology.
The relationship of economic exchange in education
- students as clients and knowledge/skills as
commodities – will continue and accelerate.
75. The Role of Libraries Is
“In the current climate of accountability and austerity,
libraries have become veritably “obsess[ed] with
quantitative assessment, student satisfaction,
outcomes, and consumerist attitudes towards
- Cathy Eisenhower and Dolce Smith, “The Library as Stuck Place: Critical
Pedagogy in the Corporate University,” in Critical Library Instruction: Theories and
Methods, eds. Maria Accardi, Emily Drabinski, and Ilana Kumbier (Sacramento,
Calif.: Library Juice Press, 2010), 314.
76. What We Do Not Want
We do not want knowledge to be treated as mere
We do not want learning to be reduced to mere
transactions that will build up to just enough
competencies to make our patrons hirable.
For that, we need to first and foremost understand
that the role of libraries is never apolitical.
77. Libraries as a Socially
Meaningful Public Institution
Libraries need to find ways to establish their stance
as a socially responsible and meaningful public
institution and reflect that in the ways libraries
We should be able to serve library patrons with the
full understanding of the current socioeconomic and
political conditions that shape libraries and their
Ideologies are human constructs. They can be
changed, but only when we understand them. This is
why libraries value knowledge and understanding.
78. Why Creativity & Innovation?
“… one of the fundamental tasks of educators is to
make sure that the future points the way to a more
socially just world, a world in which critique and
possibility —in conjunction with the values of reason,
freedom, and equality— function to alter the grounds
upon which life is lived.”
- Henry A. Giroux, “Lessons From Paulo Freire,” The Chronicle of
Higher Education, October 17, 2010,
The goal of productivity and economic growth cannot
be more productivity and economic growth.
79. What Technologists Can Do
As library technologists, we need to ensure that our
application of technology works towards altering the
grounds upon which life is lived ‘for the better,’ not worse.
As library technologists, we need to pay particularly close
attention to the way technologies are meshed with
ideology and what effect it has on the library’s mission
and our patron’s lives.
Technology is a powerful tool for boosting productivity
and enabling innovation. But it loses its value when such
productivity and innovation is pursued blindly.
“Surveys that Ithaka conducts periodically of faculty and
of library directors show a growing gap in our beliefs
about what libraries are for. Increasingly, library directors
(with the exception of those at research libraries) assign
more importance to the learning that happens in libraries
and less to maintaining collections.
Faculty surveyed think the most important role of the
library is the provision of the information they want for
their research and teaching.”
-Barbara Fister, “Schrödinger’s Library,” Inside Higher Ed., January 7, 2015,
- Ithaka Survey,http://www.sr.ithaka.org/research-publications/ithaka-sr-us-
81. ACRL Framework for
Authority Is Constructed and Contextual.
Information Creation as a Process
Information Has Value.
Research as Inquiry
Scholarship as Conversation
Searching as Strategic Exploration
82. John Jackson and Alice Whiteside, “Open Sourcing Ideas: Sharing and
Recreating a Library Instruction Program,” ACRL Tech Connect Blog, 2014.
ExCiting Food workshops at
Mount Holyoke College Library,
MA and Whittier College Library,
85. What We Want To Do
The Human Library project suggests a way in which
libraries that primarily deal with information and
knowledge can also operate as a socially responsible
and meaningful institution in the community, not just one
that provides the best value for money for borrowed
books, other resources, and library services.
In this climate of the commodification of education and
the constant demand on libraries to prove its ROI value, it
will be a long way to hash out the details of the library
operation beyond equipping patrons with desired job
skills and providing needed information resources.
92. For the the direction of your
next library project,
Remembering that libraries can act as a more
socially responsible and meaningful institution as
well as an information and knowledge sharing
institution can make a big difference.
93. Trevon Logan and John Parman, “The Rise of Residential Segregation,” Vox,
March 9, 2015, http://www.voxeu.org/article/rise-residential-segregation.
103. How Are Libraries Different?
Many institutions advocate technology and
innovation. How are libraries different?
Libraries can play a pivotal role in educating people
in areas that receive little attention from other
institutions, such as filter bubble, residential
segregation, assistive technology, and
environmental issues, and more.
105. Where else other than at libraries
shall we find the critical distance to
reflect on today’s constant push for
productivity and efficiency?
Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods http://libraryjuicepress.com/critlibinstruct.php