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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

What is an emerging technologies librarian

I sometimes come across the most interesting things out in library blogworld. Here is an interesting post from LITA about what an emerging technologies librarian might look like:

In brief (with a few of my thoughts):
  • Avatar based virtual communities, such as SecondLife. I'm personally interested to see if SecondLife holds its own or if a "new" player to field takes the educational SIM world...
  • "NextGen discovery interfaces to library holdings" = NexGen catalogs and search overlays to facilitate more powerful and easier searching..
  • Wifi, especially WiMax (broadband wide-range wireless) -- is it really here yet? ;-)
  • Being ahead of the curve aka "the process for libraries attempting to make the jump by forecasting emerging technologies and understanding the coming dynamics better"? I think this is a challenge at a larger level -- the cultural level. Social networking + is about collaborative content created by users. While libraries have traditionally collaborated with each other and some users (faculty, members of the community, etc.), overall, it seems to have been a very hierarchical dispersal of information. Social networking is generally not hierarchical in a top-down way.
  • The impact of web based systems -- interoperability and network based service vs. desktop applications all of which have potential to change library work as well as what the patrons want to do/use
  • Widgets!!! Especially as related to the library catalog (can't wait! I do love the widgets!)
  • Expanded personal storage space and portable devices -- If users can store everything on an Iphone, PDA, laptop, cellphone, kindle, whatever -- how does that impact what the library is doing?
  • Video chat reference -- I'm surprised to see this on the list of emerging technologies -- it's been around for a while.
  • Personalized services via libraries, personal information, and how that relates to privacy issues -- I do think that digital identity (openID, etc) is going to become a huge issue in the next few years. As we can personalize more of the services on the web, where does our privacy begin and end?
  • Net Neutrality and scholarly communication (no mention of copyright or creative commons...)
  • ..and should libraries be concerned about new advances in technology(?) Of course, to a certain extent.
  • ..and then, the health concerns of working in this kind of environment. ;-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


College & Undergraduate Libraries presents

"Agility by Design: New Roles for Academic Libraries on Campus and Beyond"

College & Undergraduate Libraries, a peer-reviewed Taylor and Francis publication, invites proposals for articles to be published in a special issue focusing on emerging and perhaps unconventional roles of the academic library, both on campus and beyond. The growing intensity of users’ modern-day information needs coupled with an information technology landscape that is open and ever-changing is facilitating administrative, organizational, and programmatic changes within many academic libraries. In many cases, this is best illustrated by staff with new or unusual qualifications, backgrounds, or position descriptions; cutting edge services that are out of the mainstream; traditional services offered in innovative ways; new staffing configurations; new collaborations both on and off campus; and new roles on campus.

Would you describe your library as having any of these features? If so, then you may have an article to contribute to College & Undergraduate Libraries.

The special issue will be edited by Scottie Cochrane from Denison University ( and Valeda F. Dent of Rutgers University (

In their pieces, authors should focus solely on those aspects that might be defined as unconventional or nontraditional in any area of library operations, programs, services, or administration. Authors are invited to submit articles/proposals for pieces such as:

1. theoretical, philosophical, or ideological discussions of the transition from traditional library roles, services, practices and organizational structures, to the more nontraditional/unconventional

2. opinion or position papers

3. case studies

4. collaboration or relationships between librarians and other campus partners

5. collaboration or relationships between librarians and off-campus partners

6. research studies dealing with the impact of nontraditional/unconventional roles, services, practices or organizational structures

7. annotated reviews of the literature.

We welcome proposals from librarians and campus and off-campus collaborators, individually and as teams. The proposal should consist of an abstract of 500 words together with all author contact information. Articles should run at least 20 double-spaced pages in length.

For additional information, please contact either editor. Please submit proposals to Scottie Cochrane or Valeda Dent by August 18, 2008. Selected proposals will be announced September 5, 2008, and first drafts of accepted proposals will be due by December 5, 2008.

Scottie Cochrane Valeda F. Dent