January 14, 2010

Living Digital Symposium (part 2)

ALCTS Symposium, ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 14, 2010

John Yemma – Going Web-first at The Christian Science Monitor

The CSM reports the news but also tries to help find solutions
“The Economist with heart”
like every news organization, they’re struggling
moving off the CS Church subsidy in five years and have to create a sustainable model
moved to only one day print
3 publications now – the daily news briefing (2000 subscribers), print, web
the newsroom now feeds all three of these products, but feeds the web first
have boosted their traffic 50% year over year
now that they’ve broken out of the print design paradigm, all of their efforts are decoupled from print and assets are put directly against the web (SEO, more timely news moment-to-moment)
new content management system facilitating all of this
when you move to web first, you have to democratize content creation (not just HTML so that non-technical people can publish on the web)
building a strong community strategy, particularly on Facebook
do a lot of online research, feedback research
they’re essentially on a weekly newsmagazine schedule (big shift for a formally print newspaper)
moving to a harder news approach
new marketing effort for the Daily News Briefing

the web is not just destination websites, replicas of print products
the digital generation we know isn’t living on destination websites
disaggregation is the world we’re dealing with now
we’re also at the end of the internet growth area, which means it will be a struggle since the barriers to entry are so low
very difficult to put general news behind a pay wall
everyone is a journalist; the glory days of journalism are gone (which is good in a way)
thinks rules should be relaxed to let newspapers own a cable channel
it’s an interactive publishing medium now and adaptation is the only way to go

Tom Corbett – Collection Development in an all Digital Age

when he shows kids you can increase the text size on the kindle, they look at him funny and don’t get it
they’re doing a lot of recreational reading on the kindles
started his job at cushing academy and then got on the rollercoaster of having his efforts labeled as “the end of reading”
the decision had already been made to make the library digital before he started (although he did agree with it)

Ann Wolpert – Is There an App for that? Digital Natives and the Information Commons

she’s looking forward to the day Tom’s students get to MIT and looks at the complex structure of services and asks “is there an app for this?”

no longer have clear answers about how we define “the library” anymore and what it is
now we’re faced with the challenge of creating new definitions

3 things that are profoundly different because of the internet than what we’re used to in the past
1. networks (the internet) moves content from the center to the edge
2. fundamental changes in the way people assess and value information; the perception that if it’s not on the internet, it doesn’t exist
3. lets libraries customize the services they provide to their constituencies; our model used to be we build it and you come to us; for the first time, the internet gives us the chance to ask who our patrons are, let them come to us over the internet, and lets us design services for this

every generation is different and the same
information seeking behavior is learned (MIT says that learning now comes from Amazon and Google & other commercial entities who have their own models and purposes)
remember the heated debate about using calculators in the classroom?

peter drucker said of not-for-profits that the primary purpose is to attract customers; you have no reason to exist if that’s not your goal

those aspects which are different deserve our creative attention
– digital natives will live in online communities
– experience with technology will be amazingly varied
– exposure to norms of scholarship likewise plagiarism, source evaluation, and rigor
– naive users equate applications facility with advanced expertise in all domains

what a good information commons will be mission-based:
– librarians are educators who partner with other educators in the process of instructing a community, both formally and informally, about information and how you use it well
– libraries are service-providers; technology is completely insufficient without context and support
– good polices are essential; have to also remain flexible and adaptable (now switching to a financial model)

(then I spoke about gaming in libraries)


10:14 am Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. I feel I need to add a public response to Ann Wolpert’s “is there an App for that” comment in her panel presentation. Clearly I didn’t provide enough information in my remarks (or the follow-up discussions that occurred within the symposium) to address this misrepresentation of what we are trying to achieve at Cushing Academy. I’m going to publish the “missing PowerPoint” to my remarks when I get back from traveling this weekend. Hopefully I can post this presentation through this blog as well as on the ALA website.

    In short, the primary goal for our library’s 21st century curriculum and service changes is to give our students the skills needed to avoid an “is there an App for that” mentality to research. Moreover, we feel that if secondary school libraries don’t step up to the plate and re-prioritize their service approaches and fully engage the student in using online resources effectively, then indeed the student will likely be left with this “is there an App for that” mentality on their own. Just as importantly, we also feel that we can’t take on this new responsibility without making a break from old habits and priorities. I also think it is incumbent on the those defending the status quo to show how maintaining a 20,000 volume print collection in a secondary school environment (and all the resources required to continue that focus) helps to avoid this “is there an App for that” mentality. I don’t ask that facetiously. I’d like to be shown how this is true. I believe this argument needs to be pretty strong one to justify the ongoing costs and tradeoffs required to continue providing access to rows of printed books in Dewey order.

    Comment by Tom Corbett — January 16, 2010 @ 11:15 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. |

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.