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 élite 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

– 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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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
– naïve 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)

Living Digital Symposium (part 1)

ALCTS Sym­po­sium, ALA Mid­win­ter Meet­ing, Jan­u­ary 14, 2010

Mar­garet Ashida — Going Global in the Knowl­edge Economy

the global econ­omy is a knowl­edge econ­omy
agri­cul­ture –> goods –> ser­vices (shift­ing eco­nom­ices over time, now it’s services)

(one per­son raised her hand when asked if there were any dig­i­tal natives in the room — yay!)

today’s stu­dents are very dif­fer­ent and are not the ones our edu­ca­tion sys­tem is designed to teach
today’s social net­works and tools are impor­tant for recruit­ing and engag­ing with prospec­tive employ­ees now
there’s no expec­ta­tion any­more that you’ll stay at the same com­pany for 30 years
have to give employ­ees the feel­ing that their work mat­ters
IBM let all employ­ees chat online with the CEO

(there have been so many stud­ies about this stuff now that there are stud­ies say­ing, please — no more stud­ies
mas­tery of sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, math is vitally impor­tant for all of our kids
“the oppor­tu­nity equa­tion” — took a lot of these stud­ies to another level (Carnegie Cor­po­ra­tion)
– aligned the rec­om­men­da­tions by stake­holder groups
first STEM stu­dents will come out of the pro­gram in 2011 — 166,000 of them
momen­tum is build­ing around the coun­try around STEM
more than 150 schools now

teach­ing inno­va­tion is a major focus
more than 500 stake­hold­ers in the Rochester STEM pro­gram
“need to embed STEM learn­ing from twin­kle to wrinkle”

North Carolina’s design prin­ci­ples:
1. make STEM lit­er­acy & eco­nomic oppor­tu­nity attain­able for ALL NC stu­dents as soon as pos­si­ble
2. drive scal­able and sus­tain­able inno­va­tions for con­tin­u­ous improve­ment
3. focus on suc­cess at a higher level & empower com­mu­ni­ties along with their edu­ca­tors to inno­vate
4. empower & sup­port a cul­ture that nur­tures the cre­ation of inno­v­a­tive STEM pro­fes­sion­als
5. incu­bate sup­ports col­lab­o­ra­tion & net­work behav­ior for STEM excel­lence through knowl­edge capture

think glob­ally and act locally”

Kevin Guthrie — When Books are Bytes, What Adds Value?

Ithaka is a not-for-profit org ded­i­cated to help­ing the aca­d­e­mic com­mu­nity (JSTOR, PORTICO,Ithaka S+R)

uni­ver­si­ties become dra­mat­i­cally more acces­si­ble and will be drawn more into com­merce
com­merce is drawn into the world of the acad­emy; it’s never impacted the acad­emy in these ways before (espe­cially schol­arly com­mu­ni­ca­tion)
sys­tems were ori­ented towards serv­ing schol­ars, but now that the knowl­edge is dig­i­tal and uses a com­mon net­work, the scholar uses Ama­zon to search for a book, not the library — that’s new
schol­ars used tools designed for them — the lines are blur­ring now
the net­work is now ubiq­ui­tous
the pace of inno­va­tion is on inter­net time
today’s value added is tomorrow’s com­mod­ity — any­body can hire a ven­dor to do some­thing
con­tent is mov­ing to the wire

com­pared Block­buster (phys­i­cal infra­struc­ture) and Net­Flix (dis­tri­b­u­tion net­work, cus­tomer ser­vice focus)
anal­ogy to libraries

libraries can’t depend on the cen­tral­ity of their build­ing as a source of value in the pro­vi­sion of infor­ma­tion
it’s still very valu­able, but by itself it’s not value for dis­sem­i­nat­ing knowl­edge
it has to have ser­vice lay­ers on top of it & libraries have to com­pete to serve their nat­ural constituencies

jour­nals have made the tran­si­tion to the elec­tronic envi­ron­ment
evo­lu­tion­ary inno­va­tion, not trans­for­ma­tive inno­va­tion
libraries are doing this, too

what about books, though?
the tran­si­tion from the objects to the bits
the value in mov­ing phys­i­cal objects is going down
jour­nals are very spe­cial­ized; books are not spe­cial­ized to the acad­emy like jour­nals
the tools and capa­bil­i­ties pro­vided are likely to be opti­mized for a non-academic audience

in this envi­ron­ment, the advan­tage goes to scale
what needs to be a spe­cial­ized resource? we keep think­ing some things need to be spe­cial­ized, but then we watch Google come in and do it “good enough”

there is a ten­sion to be man­aged between serv­ing your insti­tu­tion or a broader audi­ence
how do you jus­tify the local bills when offer­ing dig­i­tal col­lec­tions glob­ally? how do you match the con­stituen­cies who pay with those you serve?
pres­sures on costs make this a more chal­leng­ing ques­tion
can the uni­ver­sity really say our mis­sion is to serve the world?

great evo­lu­tion­ary change, but haven’t seen trans­for­ma­tive change yet (will come with ubiq­ui­tous net­work, when users use the net­work to do schol­ar­ship in cre­ative ways — not just a bet­ter way of doing what we always did)

a race to pro­vid­ing many-to-many iner­ac­tions, shar­ing, and research sup­port tools that assist the knowl­edge cre­ation process (in con­trast to approaches focused pri­mar­ily on knowl­edge dissemination)

as more con­tent & knowl­edge go dig­i­tal, pres­sure on libraries & pub­lish­ers to add value through the spe­cial­ized ser­vices they pro­vide to researchers & stu­dents (as opposed to assis­tance in the use of phys­i­cal objects)

ques­tion from audi­ence: when will books really become dig­i­tal?
answer: there are likely to be two phases. google book search said, hey this is pos­si­ble. before that, most peo­ple said all of the con­tent would never be dig­i­tized. we don’t have to wait until it’s all there, so the pres­sure will come when the read­ers are good enough. that mar­ket is grow­ing, so the com­mer­cial pres­sures will wash over us at that point. that’s maybe 3 years away. the upper demo­graphic is using the read­ers, and the younger ones are using the iphone. but it won’t be because every book is avail­able dig­i­tally and freely

ques­tion: what about the role we play in con­tex­tu­al­iz­ing resources? do peo­ple value the JSTOR clas­si­fi­ca­tion scheme?
answer: there’s too much infor­ma­tion already, and there’s only going to be more. the que­si­ton kevin doesn’t know how to answer right now is tools — at some level, tools want to go to the cloud/network level; believes in the value of the face-to-face inter­ac­tion and under­stand­ing needs; con­tex­tu­al­iz­ing locally will have value, but you have to make invest­ments to under­stand the needs of that com­mu­nity. how do I under­stand what I can do for my local con­stituents because I’m here phys­i­cally in this area — that’s where nobody can com­pete with me.

See Also: Ithaka’s Case Stud­ies in Sustainability

9:03 am Comments (2)