Libraries, technology evolution, change, and success

Michael Porter, aka Libraryman.
Social networking tools encountered much more resistance four years ago. Plays online in a number of different venues – Second Life, World of Warcraft.
First time he had lefse was in doing training for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Adoption, integration, and effective use of technology is our biggest challenge.
Wherever you go in the world, there are libraries in some form. There’s something substantive behind this. We need to become more relevant with the use of technology, not less relevant.
Libraries=Content+Community.
October, 2006. 64 GB USB 2.9 Flash Drive – $5459.99.
July 2008- $349.99
April 2009 – $114.99
Within two years, an amazing price change. Think about the implications for five or ten years from now with this sort of computer hardware.
(Presentation in the gym, making hearing difficult – very echo-y.)
Science fiction vs. science fact.
Star Trek used LCARS  – Library Computer Access and Retrieval System. Also used a PADD – looks very much like an iPhone.
Content provision and access – what, when and how it is desired.
ROKU – connects to TV and to home network. Can stream video on demand. Has changed the way he views television.
Companies are providing services that are well ahead of libraries.
Slingbox – connects to entertainment system at home – can watch and control from anywhere you have broadband. Internet speed is the primary hiccup.
Screen technology is changing, as well. Think about how the size of televisions had changed.
The infrastructure that we have now in libraries is not what we need in order to succeed.
Cell phones 10 years ago were just phones. Now, they’re mini-computers.
Converged ubiquitous computing. Computer and cell phone – in a pen. Comment from a fellow librarian – Totally James Bond.
Content access is what libraries are about.  Where are libraries in this? The companies that are dealing with content access and making innovations, we need to think about them and how they’re doing things. We don’t have people working on our infrastructure to make the changes we need like business do – it’s not part of what libraries do. This is the lynchpin that is missing from what libraries do right now. We need to understand this stuff.
Ubiquitous computing – embedded, personalized, context aware, adaptive, anticipatory. What does this mean for libraries?
Espresso Book Machine  – books made to order, at point of sale, in 4 minutes.
What do you think your libraries will be like in 50 years?
Format or genre will become increasingly irrelevant. It’s all about content. as soon as iTunes realizes that electronic journals will make them money and is worth their time to pursue, they will start offering electronic journals for a lower price. What are the implications for libraries?
Where are libraries now?  We need to do something. We need something substantial and real to help this get done.
Success is up to us.  Libraries may not be able to survive and thrive if significant adjustments are not made soon. Give me what I want, when I want it, in the format that I want. If your library has an identity tied to content in the form of books, the majority of the content will not be in books in the next 20 years. Electronic content must become the major content format people associate with libraries.  Libraries must circulate electronic content better than anyone else. We need a digital strategy for electronics content access.
Lots of people have library cards, but libraries do a terrible job of electronic distribution. It’s a very complicated issue, and it’s expensive to deal with. We need to work together and we can change things.
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