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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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)

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

Why STEM?
(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)