Emerging Technologies IG

LITA’s Emerging Technologies Interest Group met Monday morning and reveled in a successful audiobooks panel which discussed Playaway devices, Netlibrary offerings and other items in a well-attended session. It was interesting to hear how Apple has not been involved w/ ALA & has not had a booth in 4 years; they did not wish to participate in the panel.

A discussion ensued about podcasting and how it can be seen as a narrowly focused term. Eric Ipsen, outgoing chair of the SIG discussed a need to discuss “push” technologies which get library information into the hands of users without having them come to us in physical libraries. He remarked that we need to use a term like “pod learning” to truly describe all of the possibilities of podcasting. Since kids communicate in bursts, Eric says, through IM’s and cell phone text messages, they have an ongoing knowledge of what others are doing in a way that is not simply “pinging” each other just to say “hi.” The group agreed that this has important implications for learning in libraries.

Maurice (“Morris”) York from Emory University discussed podcasting at ALA Annual 2007, as a possible preconference program or concurrent program in Washington DC. If you would like to help him plan and/or present a podcasting session, email him at mcyork@emory.edu — and tell him you’re from AASL! There are many possibilities for partering with other ALA Divisions or groups on educating librarians about technologies for learning.

Joe Ford, incoming SIG chair, discussed the updated charge of the SIG, which is to identify technologies with automation and information and user services and their impact on library services; if you have any ideas on what needs the ALA membership may have, all are welcome. Podcasts as e-reserves, RSS delivery to cell phone, wi-max and broadband metropolitan wireless, patron book purchase request tracking and real-time delivery of video were items mentioned to start in the short time the group had together, and more discussions will occur online.

If you know of a library that is doing wonderful things with emerging technologies, let us know!