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* Friday, July 1, 2005

Finding Stephen: He's at MLS!

Oops - didn't realize I hadn't posted my notes from Stephen Abrams' presentation at MLS last month. Unfortunately, they really don't reflect the full range of what he discussed because I got caught up listening to him. I've just uploaded his presentation as a PDF over on the MLS web site, too.

Addendum: I also forgot to mention that the podcast didn't work. We ran out of time to try and set up something more professional, but in the end Stephen wore a microphone attached to my Archos MP3 player and unfortunately it experienced a hard drive error at some point, so we lost the audio. I do believe it was a full moon that night....

Finding OZ: Discovering a Bright Future for Libraries!

This is the first year book circulation has gone down since we first started collecting data in 1919
— could this be that we’ve finally cut book budgets too much?

Light is a good metaphor for what we’re trying to do
Kids we’re getting ready for will have grown up with a beam of light on a chip with unlimited storage

Showed the Googlezon EPIC video; then showed how parts of it are already happening

Highlighted Sharon Terry’s story: http://arl.cni.org/sparc/meetings/ala05mw

Talked about search engine optimization and getting libraries to the top using code and technology (blogs, etc.)

Google now has a vice president of library markets – they’re targeting us!

will use Google Wallet to do micropayments for articles in Google Scholar; at $.50 an article, users won’t go to the library for the free version

need to position ourselves correctly if we’re going to compete with Google Scholar

aimed at 15–19–year olds because they haven’t decided yet
— have more money to spend, haven’t decided their buying patterns yet, have a higher chance of being richer when they grow up

Google Print already has 250,000 books with an imprint date of ten years or less – how does that compare to your library?

public libraries don’t show up in Google Local because we don’t buy ads; you can manually add yourself, though, so do it!

“Is Google that 5 inch wave?…” (that became a tsunami) – we can see this and we need to change our services and adapt in order to stay relevant

“librarians love to study things to death, but we forget that our objective is not death”

if you count up all of the budgets of public libraries in the U.S., we’re bigger than Google – we’re just using it poorly
— need more collaboration, sharing, consortia

people learn by reading AND discussing
— one book, one city; learning

need to engage our communities with information

we’re not in the information delivery business – think of bank tellers who were in the business of delivering dollars
— if we view ourselves this way, all we do is delivery articles, books, etc.; same thing will happen to us

losing “viewing their eyes” in the virtual world (can't see facial expressions)
— have to figure out how to deliver experience/interaction online
— where community is the goal

libraries can be “bricks, clicks, and tricks”
— where you are, where you’re going, and where you want to go

talks about “circles of trust!” (yay!)

only 20% of users are text-based learners, which is what librarians are

if you know libraries are social institutions, these social networking sites (especially the ones that use folksonomies) become very important to us and the way we build our web sites
— the digital divide is not about hardware; it’s about software and building things

(note: several people said “wow” out loud during the session)

“intuitive is something you learn” – have to excise “intuitive” from our language

have to think about the density of information and how we present it

Google answers as many questions in one day as every library everywhere answers in four years
— lesson: we don’t scale well
— but we have communities and we can push out good information to them

we’re good at the “how” and “why” questions

so what do we do? we reinvent the librarian

says 1/3–1/2 of all reference questions coming into TFML are via IM — Aaron, is that right?!

“it’s almost unethical now to not have an IM service” because of the people it serves (physically handicapped, learners, etc.)

have to push librarians back into the virtual space

we have wonderful people to help people inside the building, but we don’t on the web site where 90% of our use is happening

know your market; Normative Data Project — http://www.librarynormativedata.info/

the market has moved on us, so data from 3 years ago or longer is useless; the NDP is constantly gathering data
— can track what’s going on in our communities the way Wal-Mart tracks what’s going on its stores
— will start doing this for the college and academic level next year

highlighted the University of Toronto’s “smart card” with a chip and how it helps with ADA issues
— if you’re blind, it sets the reader to the speed and voice you prefer
— if you’re deaf, it adds closed-captioning to the videos you watch

idea: if you have a library card, you’re allowed to come in and podcast whatever you want
— kids don’t want to write their report; they want to read it to you

mentioned portable storage and carrying around apps and data with you
http://www.tinyapps.org/

Five user spaces: learning, research, entertainment, workplace, and NEIGHBORHOOD

“libraries are the light at the beginning of the tunnel” (because that’s where you want the light to be)

it’s an exploration space, not a collection space

Stephen has collected thousands of stories about what people really want to feel in the library; he’s putting them in a database using the software that predicted 9/11 in order to find out what people want us to give them
— personas

interesting idea to have patrons purchase their books through the library; we catalog it and pay the OCLC fee, etc. when the patron is done with it, they bring the book to the library and we add it to the collection => a user-driven collection

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