January 14, 2010

Living Digital Symposium (part 3)

ALCTS Symposium, ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 14, 2010

John Palfrey – Born Digital

noticed during the round robin discussions how many hats librarians are having to wear
the idea that there’s no one discipline that can answer a problem

busting myths about digital natives
not all kids relate to information and technology in the same way – there is no one digital generation
there are elite kids who go to schools like Harvard who are technical, they use the tools, they can teach us lots of stuff, and do awesome things
that’s who we think of as the digital natives generation
these are only a subset of the population, though
but it’s about what Henry Jenkins talks about – the participation gap

and of course, it’s not just the kids
lots of us use technology in advanced ways
the current terms aren’t adequate – many of us are “digital settlers”

the social life of kids today is changing very quickly – how kids create digital identity
kids don’t distinguish between their online and offline identities
and they’re creating all the time in this converged environment

most kids are looking down at their laptops
multitasking is part of their culture
is there a difference between multitasking and switchtasking?

the way they relate to information is a presumption that the nature of media is digital
-pictures, YouTube, and increasingly print
presumption that they’re full text searchable, too

they also expect that they can do something social with that media
these technologies were developed by young people for young people
the creativity is not just in how the tools are used but in creating the tools, too

issues:
– intellectual property
a large group of the techie kids are getting their music free online & they know it’s wrong
the power of social norms trumps the law
we can give them all these great services, lock things down, etc., but these kids are showing us that they’re going to do what they want to anyway
– credibility
asked kids where they go for information; if it’s for a course, they check the course books; otherwise, they open a web browser, searched google, and scanned the results for the wikipedia entry
the most sophisticated kids knew not to trust the wikipedia entry and would triangulate with other information and links
on the other hand, other kids just copied and pasted it verbatim into the paper
– information overload
they’re getting their information through osmosis online

the Google Book Settlement is a crucial piece of the future for libraries
libraries as publishers – we’re not just creating a space or information
emphasize ways to collaborate as publishers in these information zones for young people
they don’t start with our resources that we’re building as publishers – they get there through search engines
Google Scholar is a way through this zone
is that a good idea? should we think about our own forms of search engines and interfaces? should we partner with one huge player? have to think about our role

there is enormous growth in print on demand
a lot of it is self-publishing and in the academic space (course books), but there’s also a reason to believe machines (like Espresso) will be supplanted by the kindle and ebook readers
in five years, these machines will have an enormous impact on libraries
it’s not just the young people who are born digital – it’s the information, too
they may still prefer a physical object as a book

have to think not just like social scientists or librarians but also like architects
one of the things we have not yet done is describe the digital library in the same way we do the physical one
you’d hire an architect for a physical building and describe it in a visionary way
we don’t do that for the digital library, even though half of users may come not come through the front door of the building
need to come up with a design that’s inspiring and isn’t digital only
we can be wildly successful at bringing people into libraries and providing services if we do this

question from audience: tension between libraries and privacy with this generation
answer: john was blown away by how strong the ethos of privacy is in the library community; in young people, privacy expectations are changing very quickly; they do care about privacy, but it’s highly contextual; they care about it in certain ways (keep info from their mom but fine with a million people seeing it); because there’s such a strong ethos, this is a great teaching area for librarians

question: when social norms trump law, how do we define when that’s okay?
answer: just because everybody does it doesn’t make it okay; analogically, is file sharing like underage drinking? we don’t have a good answer for this. we’ve come up with a lot of different scenarios, but we’re at a moment where copyright gets more stringent while the social norms swing the other way

John Wilkin – Thinking and Acting Globally to Better Serve Local Needs: the Michigan Digital Library

digital libraries have just completed an unremarkable decade
are we getting our resources into the right place to reach users?
70% of OAIster content was missing from Google
our stubborn refusal to deny a discovery resource

What Is Hathi Trust?

Jenny: sorry – this is where I had to deal with something outside of the symposium, so I don’t have notes after this point


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