The Shifted Librarian - Shifting Libraries at the speed of byte

A Shifted Reading List

I don't get to read books very often anymore, so when I do they tend to be related to my favorite subject, information shifting. Here are a few titles that I've already read, along with a few whose siren song is calling to me. If you'd like to suggest additional titles, I'd love to hear them.


  • The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual by Christopher Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger

    Although this title is aimed squarely at businesses, librarians can learn a lot about communication and how patrons expect to talk to and with the library. We need to become pancake-shaped organizations permeated by knowledge, rather than pyramid-based hierarchies where only a little information trickles down from the top.

  • Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything by James Gleick

    We tend to think that life feels faster because of computers, but Gleick shows us that the pace has been picking up for quite some time now and in ways you probably haven't even noticed. It paints the backdrop for the world in which the Net Generation is growing up.

  • Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation by Donald Tapscott

    The book that started it all for me. Dead-on descriptions of how the Net Generation thinks, acts, and behaves differently from the rest of us, along with demonstrations of how they're already changing our world.

  • Information Anxiety 2 by Richard Saul Wurman

    An update to his original tome about information overload, Wurman explains changes in the information landscape, conversations, and interactions, and how all of this affects our understanding of information, as well as our ability to process it. Net Gens grow up as what Wurman calls "prosumers."

  • Next: The Future Just Happened by Michael Lewis

    Lewis writes about some specific cases of Net Gens that show Donald Tapscott's theories coming true. Maybe you can identify with my favorite line from this book, when Lewis says of the parents of a Net Gen kid, "Technology had made them immigrants."

  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

    Although this book is a little different than the others in this list, I still find it interesting for this type of discussion because it compares memes to viruses and discusses how they spread. I firmly believe that we need to find the right meme to jumpstart libraries with the Net Generation. After listening to this audiobook, I realized I'm an "information maven" in my organization, which is why I include this phrase in the description of my blog.

  • 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition

    "The 2003 OCLC Environmental Scan: Pattern Recognition report was produced for OCLC’s worldwide membership to examine the significant issues and trends impacting OCLC, libraries, museums, archives and other allied organizations, both now and in the future. The scan provides a high-level view of the information landscape, intended both to inform and stimulate discussion about future strategic directions." Lots of good shifted stuff within.

Waiting patiently in line: