Top Technology Trends

Reflecting On Trends

There have been so many great posts on this already, I am going to sort of skip the major summaries and get right to some reflections. I was surprised by the panel’s consensus that ILS and OPACs “suck”. I have long thought so, but it is not often that you get librarians stating that our main interface with which we greet the public is lacking is basic usability features. Maybe others have said it before, but it was the first time I had heard it so adamantly. What I heard overwhelmingly was that, as a business, libraries need to evaluate “disruptive” technologies and find ways to harness them for good. Many librarians see what we do as service rather than business, but I would argue that we do both. I think we need to take some queues from some other information businesses, Google anyone?, and re-evaluate how we present information to our users.

Karen Schneider made a point of saying that information has become more of a conversation, which she discusses in a post here as well. I have long believed that this was the true value of blogs, IM, wikis, and their ilk. We are now no longer fettered by physical constraints when it comes to discussing changes in our profession, our world, or our lives. Libraries who embrace new technology are opening up conversations between their users in Smalltown, USA and the rest of the world. Is your library embracing the world or building a wall?