20 Things to Watch – Make that 21.

Stephen Abram is always ahead of the curve.  Here he lists 20 Things to Watch for that may affect the library world.

I have added my own #21 at the very end. The ones that interest me the most from his list are:

  • #1  Mobile – I think this one actually is the most critical space to watch. The I-phone is beginning to change the way that all media types are being delivered. Ease of use, access to voice, email, photos, music and video in a powerful, portable device. This changes everything. It isn’t the book reader, but it is the “information” reader and communicator. If your library isn’t plugged into this channel, only bad things can happen. Mobile as a “platform”. How will you be there?
  • #4  Tagging – with our customers and students so used to personally ranking and ranked material, we have to figure out a way to get this integrated into our catalog listings and our programming.
  • #9  Social networking – our libraries have a tremendous oportunity to link like minded groups of customers or students together. Then help link those individualzed groups to customized information, stories and learning.
  • #11  E-books – like it or not, the world is moving to digitized content. Libraries better figure out how to collect and share this digitized content or we will be passed by and move on toward extinction. If you don’t think this is important – check out the digital phone fiction genre that has been created in Japan. “Cellular Storytelling”  
  • #20  E-Learning – this is another revolutionary paradigm shift. Based on a customer focused, lifelong learning model, we can all continue to grow and learn. Based on the exponentially changing world we face – we better keep adapting and learning new skills. I believe the E-learning model will create customized methods of learning with customized programs of learning. How about a “digital information specialist degree with a minor in international politics or environmental economics”. I expect the learning combinations will be fascinating. Will your library find a way to be a part of this. Start experimenting now.

Now I would like to add my own entry.

  • #21 – Localized content – I believe that school and public libraries will start collecting, tagging and sharing the content that is created locally by the members of the community they serve. These are the stories, biographies, local history, photos, music, video, artwork(stored digitally) and more. This tapestry of content will be the fabric that binds our communities and generations together. There truly are compelling, inspirational, and exceeding valuable reflections, ideas, art and stories that will enrich our lives and our communities. Libraries will be at the heart of this.

What do you think are the most interesting and important trends to watch for over the next 2-5 years?


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