Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Meredith Farkas' Top Tech Trends from ALA

you can view and listen to her presentation in Flash format at http://s2.video.blip.tv/0330000525303/Librarianmer-MeredithsTopTechTrends705.swf. She lists the top tech trends she sees:

  1. open source software (& OS'!) - it's much easier nowadays to use open source & in case of products like wikis, the open source alternatives are at least as good (and often better) than enterprise-level/commercially-created software; interestingly, even the integrated library systems offered in open-source are largely on par with the commercial systems, and today they are much easier to deploy (not to mention, cheaper)

  2. capitalizing on user-contributed content (e.g., use of wikis) - knowledge-sharing, among staff AND patrons; another example, tagging, such as in Hennepin County Public Library (has patron reviews, booklists, add annotations) and in Ann Arbor, or University of Pennsylvania's "PennTags", which adds into the library catalog

  3. social software sustainably - abandoned blogs? that's a problem... so easy to start with social software, takes a commitment to maintain them; those that survived are those that added blog posting as part of their daily workflow; no longer putting tool before need (e.g., we need a wiki - why?) - they're planning & figuring out maintenance & migration/lifecycle issues

  4. going where our users are or letting them use our stuff when and where they want it!!! the majority of undergrads can't find library website on their university/college's site; where are people going instead of the library website? be there!!! make websites more usable, but also go where our users are - make it easy for them to use our content how, when, and where they want it! "it's good business" we need to put links to our digital collections in Wikipedia; instructional screencasts into YouTube; Instant Messaging for reference; make content portable through RSS; make our website obsolete!! funny, huh? but the point is to get the users to the content

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