David Lee King Keynote Presentation

The Future is not out of Reach: Change, Library 2.0, and Emerging Trends

David Lee King, Digital Branch and Services Manager at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas

David’s site: www.davidleeking.com

David Lee King is unusual for librarians: his job is “Digital Branch Manager” with a new job description created from elements of his old job, but with an entire focus of electronic resources incorporating library 2.0 concepts. He took a photo of the audience as he began his talk, for flickr. This report is a summary from the presentation.

The benefit for librarians of new technology: Some people think of change as lots of opportunity, lots of options. Yet some think: who knows what’s over the horizon, maybe trouble? DLK: “We are the lucky ones, interested in leading-edge technology for libraries.”

Transformations in the social networking world are rapid:
Example: YouTube, started in 2005 , is now one of the most popular websites in the world.

Emerging trends:

Old model: before 2000, there were no conversations on the web, one-on-one only.
New model: now, the internet is fundamentally an ongoing conversation on the web all the time.

  • Before Library 2.0, ways for comments in the library were limited. Now, a library director’s blog for AADR receives comments from readers on the web site. Now, a public conversation right on the web site about library issues. Keep the good conversation with the bad for realism and true dialogue.

Old model: not participation or interconnectivity of library staff and users of library
New model: use 2.0 technologies for participation with your customers.

On the web, friending is a new concept for libraries. Examples:

  • MySpace for libraries
  • YouTube channel
  • Buddy Lists on IM

Benefits of the friending concept: you can be friends for life, since you can so easily keep track of friends through changes of school, work, etc. Everything stays current for people with this model.

A trusted network of friends: “Always have the library in your pocket”

Content: post photos, events, media, all sorts of content

Old model: the physical library of books, pathfinders in print
New model: RSS, comments, subject guides with RSS, interactivity of librarian-generated content

  • Content going out via blogs: ex. Papercuts blog about new content for books; 60 second book reviews; a human voice telling you about what’s new in the library. Take a look at the videos they have on
  • Let library users help create part of the library with youtube videos
  • Wikis for libraries: Stevens County – Have Stevens County create information for Stevens County. The library staff creates something and then gets out of the way.

Old model: authority control, subject headings
New model: Authority control plus new systems for patrons to tag content.

  • Add delicious tags to book records in catalog along with traditional cataloging.
  • Lamson Library: Casey Bisson, adapted the library catalog and web site to WordPress.

The Web as Platform:
Old model: computer pc as platform
New model: use distributed content: google docs, a different model using open-source programs.

  • Use the web to create content, connect to others, interact.
  • Old model : patrons visit the library to access the web… so they can do stuff outside the library

Old model: combine content in a research paper
New model: freely combine content from more than one info source online

  • Add mashups to Libraries: ex. Danbury Library Catalog

Why use these tools?

  • Be relevant to the next generation: IM/text messaging; create user-generated content (flickr, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook)
  • Web 2.0 tools are useful and convenient for storage of image, video, and text files.
  • From the world of commerce: Amazon, EBAY, consumer sites are examples of entire communities creating content for others to use.
  • Another example: newspapers’ online sites: the editors start content, readers comment online results in a participatory form that is quicker than paper.
  • Mobile technology is getting easier to use, coming down in price, and fun to use: Examle: IPhone: this device looked fun to use on the tv ads.

What are other libraries trying out?

  • Computer classes for all skill levels, all ages
  • Second life projects
  • Charlotte-Mecklenberg Library: made a podcast station for kids
  • Teach the current generation information literacy: show them flickr, vanity searching, aggregate news, subscribe to your library.
  • Teach older people social networking tools so they can learn how these work.
  • Teach a class on how to use flickr
  • Teach a class on myspace for parents so they can learn about this system, its risks and benefits.
  • For librarians: Library 2.0 helps you save time: Organize professional reading through rss and blog feeds, IM can save you time over email or phone; bookmarking can save time in delicious. Work smarter by using these tools.
  • Rationale: Customers want to participate! Example is Time Magazine Person of the Year: YOU – refers to the millions of people who are creating content on the internet.
  • Be a community leader: become a community resource.
  • Teach small business owners how to make a blog to connect with their customers
  • Teen Tech Week – teach skills, teach animation videos, runescape videos, be relevant to users through teaching.
  • New jobs in libraries use these skills: NextGen Librarian, Web 2.0 Librarian, Emerging Technology Manager, User experience strategist …these types of job descriptions that use library2.0 skills are becoming more common.

How do I make time for new stuff?

  • Making time is a balance between willingness and priority.
  • You have to want to change.
  • A common complaint: ”I’m not techie enough” However, this is not true, since Library 2.0 is NOT techie stuff, uses easy technology., everyone can create a word document, so they can blog.
  • Adapt job descriptions: when they post a new job opening, David King’s library looks at the job description and makes changes to meet new directions they want to develop. Another way: adapt job descriptions for current jobs to match technological changes.
  • Let go of the past: the OCLC Perceptions Report is a useful survey that indicates good directions for libraries.
  • Try it out: do something scary to stay relevant. Try 23 links, look at library 2.0 sites and play around with them.
  • Library managers: grant staff time to explore, send staff to formal training, arrange practical trainings for library staff. As administrators, describe these change succinctly, plan carefully, use constant communication with staff, model new behavior for library staff, give people extra time to learn if needed. Don’t block the entrance or prevent them from using new tools!

5-year forecast:

  • The web is 17 years old. By 1993, Mosaic existed. Yahoo started up in 1996, but in 11 years, everything about Yahoo has changed.
  • Changes in the library world from 17 years ago: many. Now there is more interaction, participation, personalization of content “My amazon” more multimedia, more mobile technology – actual functionality for those without technical skills, easier designs (via templates and skins)
  • Libraries increasing use 2.0: Atchison Public Library: this library is using wordpress for their entire library site
  • In 2017 libraries will be anywhere, anytime, anyhow.
  • In 2017 libraries will be about communities, not computers.

Everything will look different in 5 years, and David Lee King can’t wait!

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