Friday, September 3, 2010

Mentally Prepping for the Futures Symposium

Over the last few weeks, I have spent a lot of time pondering library technologies and their future developments. As many of you know, Chinook Arch staff have been working away to bring you both BiblioCommons and a new website. Recently, however, I have also been investigating how to effectively plan for those technologies that will improve our services for you and your patrons.

In order to do so, I have been reading a variety of things and partaking in some educational opportunities. One of the most interesting resources I have come across has been “The Bookends Scenarios: Alternative Futures for the Public Library Network in NSW in 2030,” which Kerby Salberg sent to me and I would highly recommend. On the side, I have been reading Richard Florida’s new book “The Great Reset” and for the last six weeks I have been taking an Elements of Technology Management course from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

All of these activities have led me to wonder a few things. How do we prepare for what technologies are coming and how can we guess what your patrons will want? Right now there are many trends that are overhauling the current library landscape, which is still in flux. To make our best guesses about what will happen, we need to look to the patrons to see what they are doing right now and where we can do things better. Therefore, I would like to encourage you to turn your eyes to your own communities and observe what is happening and changing and share those observations with. If we wish to stay relevant in the future, we must consider what is happening today.

On that note, have a great long weekend!

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