Information Online 2007 – Day 3 – Session 1

I know, its been weeks now since the conference, but sometimes that’s the way it goes.

Joanne Lustig from Outsell presented the keynote on the last day – “Library Futures: users, technology and you”. 2007 is the time of experiential content, situational format (not just text or media), contextual information (not just access), whatever, wherever, whenever, worlds within worlds (not the just the internet) and avatars (not just users or creators).

Compelling forces are accelerating technology with the periods between disruptive technologies shrinking. This in turn has repurcussions on user behaviour and expectations. Our libraries will experience consumer driven tech, rise of individualism, changs in society and societal behaviours, agile technology and processes. Everyone has ADD!

There is an information glut: purchased content, web content, data warehousing, user-created content, with many ways to use and search, all of which is very confusing to users.

Users seeking info at work: in 2001 it was 79% internet, 5% intranet and 3% libraries. In 2006 it was 57% internet, 19% intranet and 4% libraries – we need to make the best use of our intranets. Information gathering has productivity issues too: 2001 – average of 8hrs, 44 minutes for information gathering and analysis, in 2006 it had gone up to 12 hours. (based on corporate library data)

The biggest issue for knowledge workers is knowing what’s available! Search failure rate across the board is 31% – can’t find what they are looking for. Self help culture is not doing too well, we should be able to help.

Path to the future: Imperatives: know your users and funders, align with your organisation, know the competition, keep an eye on the horizon and lead change
New models: place transformed or gone, users have it their way, information embedded into workflow, librarians embedded into enterprise, dive in and have fun!
Options: can buy off the shelf solutions for enterprise tagging, wikis.

“The future ain’t what it used to be and neither is the library”. Its up to use what it will look like.