30 Library Technology Predictions for 2008 by Stephen Abram

Stephen Abram, the V.P. of Innovation for Sirsi Dynix created a list of 30 predictions that may affect the public library world in 2008.  A few that I think are important are:

  • #6.  Open Source software will grow – especially in the user experience space where it will do very well.
  • #12.  The Google Docs suite will make real inroads into the enterprise space. It will be very hot in high school and college/academic spaces too.
  • #14.  Gaming, RSS and Blogs are totally normal in 2008. Not to be using them is to be well behind the curve of your average user.
  • #18.  “Local” will take off – watch for local ads, local search, GPS, GIS, Maps, and more. It will become increasingly personal and creepy. It will also affect browser settings, social sites and tools.
  • #22.  2008 will be the beginning of the end for DVD (Blu Ray is a distraction) as streaming media is adopted by Hollywood and the (dying) major networks on a much larger scale – dwarfing YouTube as it exists today. New licensing models will emerge for libraries in ’08.
  • #24.  eBooks will go mainstream in the business and professional space. Standards issues won’t be solved in 2008 and that’s sad for everyone, including libraries.
  • # 27.  Better identification and classification of user-generated content will give usage of that a bump in 2008. Can libraries play in that space locally?
  • # 29.  Hosted solutions / Software as a Service, Mashups and API’s will be very hot in 2008. This will address the consortia scalability and staffing issues in libraries.

I know, I know, I nearly copied his entire list. I believe Stephen Abram is a legitimate visionary and is a key leader in the library world.

If he is right about continued corporate mergers and acquisitions – the change of ownership and a potential elimination of products will leave some libraries scrambling for some vital technical services and products. Will libraries be ready for this?

I also believe he is right about the impending death, not only of Blockbuster, but the neighborhood DVD movie rental business. If libraries have used DVD’s to boost circulation numbers over the last few years, what happens when DVD’s go away? Are libraries ready for the streaming media business model?

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