An introductory guide to library technologies, now in its fourth edition!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Futures and trends in academic libraries (with technology in mind)

Here are two academic-library-minded items that speak to (1) trends in current library activities and (2) 26 possible scenarios for academic libraries' future. As you might imagine, they both lean heavily on technology.

2010 top ten trends in academic libraries [College & Research Libraries News] lists one trend specifically noting technology ("Technology will continue to change services and required skills") and yet most of the remaining trends reflect changes in publishing and research methods, our conception of the library as place, librarian skill sets, budget demands, etc., are all impacted by technology.

'Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025,' a report from ACRL, posits 26 possible scenarios for where academic libraries will stand in 2025. It was written by David Staley, a historian at Ohio State University, and Kara Malefant of ACRL, and was based on a survey of ACRL members. The future could be rather dark for libraries in two of the scenarios, one in which libraries are all but extinct, and another where librarians no longer earn tenure (which is already true in a number of settings). Other alterations would have huge impacts, but have more positive outcomes. There is also a brief podcast on the 33 page report at the link above.

I am intrigued to study these suggested futures and ongoing trends to see how well they fit what we're doing in our library and how we're envisioning the future. It's interesting to learn from the perspectives of others.

#Ask4stuff via twitter from WorldCat

From Bill Drew, writing at Baby Boomer Librarian, I learned this morning about a new Twitter-based service that queries the WorldCat database (see #Ask4stuff via twitter from WorldCat. Sending tweets with the tag #Ask4stuff followed by one or several search terms will return a link to results in WorldCat. You can also specify that the results come from a WorldCat Local instance. This has some real possibilities.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Swiss Army Librarian � Staff Technology Competencies :: Brian Herzog

Here's a link to a blog post by Brian Herzog - Swiss Army Librarian � Staff Technology Competencies - that describes a model for identifying and listing core technology competencies for library staff at three levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced (which correspond to types of positions within the library). I think this is a useful approach to identify specific skills that each library position should be able to complete. It can then be used to focus training, or to identify where individuals fit into a library organization based on their skill sets.