Posts Tagged ‘library’

Library services for the future

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

Today I delivered an opening keynote at Developing Public Library Services for the Future at Ministry of Education, Finland. The audience consisted of library directors and specialists from all around Europe.

Here are the slides, a nice remix of some new, recent and past work:

Some of my advice for libraries:

  • Focus on the end-user and customer experience, not just the information.
  • Look beyond first hand metadata, to second party recommendations and third-party metadata.
  • Utilize open data more, build interfaces for people to do mashups with.
  • Transform the library facility to something that encourages participation or new reasons to go to a library.
  • Build mobile applications to locate books and get instant social navigation to library books on-location and online.
  • Understand the changing framework, not just the the (changing) content.
  • Don’t do the mistake of replicating libraries online as it is. They already did the mistake of replicating the classroom online.
  • The web is not a destination, but a network of decentralized components. Harness the network properties.
  • Look at QR-codes or similar cheap technologies and stamp them into every book for contextual information.
  • Look into mass-customization: how to customize the library experience to each individual regarding recommendations etc.
  • Understand the technological, social and economical drivers for future developments.
  • Rethink the virtual visit to complement physical visits.
  • Look into user-generated taxonomies (folksonomies), information visualization and new ways for “putting the same book in multiple shelves”.
  • Understand contextuality provided by the web and how to tap into it from the library perspective.
  • Stop watching TV and work on (the next) wikipedia.
  • What augmented reality applications could libraries develop/use?
  • Involve the net generation or experts from outside your own field for rethinking the justification for your existence.

Google’s mission is the same as libraries have had for centuries. It’s time to understand digital convergence in new ways.