I sometimes come across the most interesting things out in library blogworld. Here is an interesting post from LITA about what an emerging technologies librarian might look like:
In brief (with a few of my thoughts):
- Avatar based virtual communities, such as SecondLife. I’m personally interested to see if SecondLife holds its own or if a “new” player to field takes the educational SIM world…
- “NextGen discovery interfaces to library holdings” = NexGen catalogs and search overlays to facilitate more powerful and easier searching..
- Wifi, especially WiMax (broadband wide-range wireless) — is it really here yet? 😉
- Being ahead of the curve aka “the process for libraries attempting to make the jump by forecasting emerging technologies and understanding the coming dynamics better”? I think this is a challenge at a larger level — the cultural level. Social networking + is about collaborative content created by users. While libraries have traditionally collaborated with each other and some users (faculty, members of the community, etc.), overall, it seems to have been a very hierarchical dispersal of information. Social networking is generally not hierarchical in a top-down way.
- The impact of web based systems — interoperability and network based service vs. desktop applications all of which have potential to change library work as well as what the patrons want to do/use
- Widgets!!! Especially as related to the library catalog (can’t wait! I do love the widgets!)
- Expanded personal storage space and portable devices — If users can store everything on an Iphone, PDA, laptop, cellphone, kindle, whatever — how does that impact what the library is doing?
- Video chat reference — I’m surprised to see this on the list of emerging technologies — it’s been around for a while.
- Personalized services via libraries, personal information, and how that relates to privacy issues — I do think that digital identity (openID, etc) is going to become a huge issue in the next few years. As we can personalize more of the services on the web, where does our privacy begin and end?
- Net Neutrality and scholarly communication (no mention of copyright or creative commons…)
- ..and should libraries be concerned about new advances in technology(?) Of course, to a certain extent.
- ..and then, the health concerns of working in this kind of environment. 😉