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The Future: Frankenbooks, Social Collaboration and Learning on Steroids Stephen Abram, MLS Emerging Technology Forum @ Geelong May 17, 2011

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The Future: Frankenbooks, SocialCollaboration and Learning on Steroids

Stephen Abram, MLSEmerging Technology Forum @ Geelong

May 17, 2011

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These slides are available at Stephen’s Lighthouse blog


and Challenges

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We Only Get So Many Once-in-a-Lifetime

Chances To Do Great Things

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Questions for Today:

1. Is this the end of libraries as we know them?2. Whither learning, community, support?3. What is actually changing?4. Do people still value the book? 5. Where is all this change taking us?6. What is the role for librarians and all types of

libraries in our info-future?

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What Colour is the Sky?

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So, what exactly is changing?


In a word:Everything connected to your world!

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What has changed?

Libraries at the heart of the campus Students are focused at the lesson and event

(essay, test, exam) level Libraries at the heart of the community is no

longer just physical Libraries as whole school partners Physical access and basic reading evolves to

intellectual access with new competencies

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Skip to the End: Why listen to me?

School libraries raise standardized test scores 15-25%!

School library / Public library partnerships increase scores 5% plus!

Libraries and information content and technology leadership are critical to Higher Ed

Communities with libraries as an investment receive very high ROI – average 650%!

There are more libraries than McDonalds & Starbucks combined with better distribution and staffing models for government services

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Grocery Stores

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Grocery Stores

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Grocery Stores

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Cookbooks, Chefs . . .

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Cookbooks, Chefs . . .

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Chefs, counsellors, teachers, magicians

Librarians play a vital role in building the critical connections between

information , knowledge and learning.

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The Elephant in the Room

Very Big Secret

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Change can happen very fast

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5 Things have Changed . . A LOT!

1. Cardholders, Users, Members, Patrons, Clients, Customers, Learners, Students, Scholars, Researchers, Teachers, Professors

2. Books & Media & Collections3. Mobility4. Learning & Research5. Government

The History of Unintended

Consequences & Unpredictability

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“Strategy is a Choice . . .

To be a victim and feel these changes are fated and blamestormOR

Create the future we need and take collective responsibility for the conversation and development of the future.”

Find Reasons not Excuses.

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As technology advances

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Emboldened Librarians hold the key

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The nasty facts about Google &

Bing and consumer search:

SEOContent Farms

Advertiser drivenGeotagging

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News Flash “The Internet and technology have now

progressed to their infancy”

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News Flash

News Flash

Tech Shift Happens

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People are Changing

Demographic– Millennials, Boomers, Seniors Overall IQ Increases Increased educational attainment & engagement eBooks outsell hard cover books & paperbacks Reading is UP, way up. Some libraries are crediting most cardholder

growth to e-book accessibility Personal device proliferation Some sectors are very tech-dominated (oil,

farming, cattle, trucking, mining, forestry, …)

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NextGen Differences

Increase in IQ - 15-20 Points Brain & Developmental Changes Eye Movement Changes Massive Behavioural Changes Major Decline in Crime Rates – down 65% But still a 70% behavior overlap with

Boomers (see my book chapter)

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People Have Changed

Twitter & Facebook are dominated by the middle-aged

Gaming too. . . Mothers in their 30’s Social networks fastest growing populations

are seniors and will be more international and less urban and English.

eBook reader usage is largely middle-aged. Mobile data usage is growing beyond youth

very quickly, workplace use is huge

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What We Never Really Knew Before (US/Canada)

27% of our users are under 18. 59% are female.

29% are college students. 5% are professors and 6% are teachers.

On any given day, 35% of our users are there for the very first time!

Only 29% found the databases via the library website. 59% found what they were looking for on their first search.

72% trusted our content more than Google. But, 81% still use Google.

We often believe a lot

that isn’t true.

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2010 Eduventures Research on Investments

58% of instructors believe that technology in courses positively impacts student engagement. 71% of instructors that rated student engagement levels as “high” as a result of using technology in

courses. 71% of students who are employed full-time and 77% of students who are employed part-time

prefer more technology-based tools in the classroom. 79% of instructors and 86 percent of students have seen the average level of engagement improve

over the last year as they have increased their use of digital educational tools. 87% of students believe online libraries and databases have had the most significant impact on

their overall learning. 62% identify blogs, wikis, and other online authoring tools while 59% identify YouTube and

recorded lectures. E-books and e-textbooks impact overall learning among 50% of students surveyed, while 42% of

students identify online portals. 44% of instructors believe that online libraries and databases will have the greatest impact on

student engagement. 32% of instructors identify e-textbooks and 30% identify interactive homework solutions as having

the potential to improve engagement and learning outcomes. (e-readers was 11%) 49% of students believe that online libraries and databases will have the greatest impact on

student engagement. Students are more optimistic about the potential for technology.

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Have Students Changed


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YES (duh!)

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So how must library and educator strategies change?

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Discovery & Ideas

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Has the future changed?Has our future changed?

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COWS, etc.

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The Future Discovered

• Stem Cells• fMRI and The Brain• Cloning• Trucking and GPS• Wind and other energy• Nanotechnology• Robotics• Massive Book Digitization• Music• Translation• Streaming Media• Seed Bank

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A 1965 iPhone

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Can libraries keep up with change?

Can you recall buying a 45? Can you recall dials on TVs? Can you recall dialling?

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Formats have died before.

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We have a shallow understanding of the Codex – the book format(s)

Transition from scrolls – illumination – codex – and beyond

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How would you enhance the book without the compromises of the 1500’s?

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What does all this mean?

The Article level universe The Chapter and Paragraph Universe Integrated with Visuals – graphics and charts Integrated with ‘video’ Integrated with Sound and Speech Integrated with social web Integrated with interaction and not just

interactivity How would you enhance a book?

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Borders Kobo, B&N Nook, Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad, Sony, etc. . . .

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You must clearly understand the latest US FCC Whitespace Broadband Decision – THIS IS TRANSFORMATIONAL and going global

Net neutrality, kill switches . . . Local wired, mobile access ‘everywhere’ to the

home and workplace on a personal basis Geo-awareness: GIS, GPS, GEO-IP, etc. Wireless as a business strategy (Starbucks) Mobile dominates the largest generation

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What changes with personal devices?

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Device Issues

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The Physical Act of Reading

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The new bibliography and

collection development




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Emerging Tech that Drives Users to the Library

Content Farms, Mills (Demand Media, AOL, etc.) HighBeam & Questia WorldCat AccessMyLibrary iPhone App for

public, school and higher ed – iPhone, iPad, iTouch and Droid!

Geo-IP features and measures Watch for more . . .

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Trans-Literacy: Move beyond reading & PC skills Reading literacy Numeracy Critical literacy Social literacy Computer literacy Web literacy Content literacy Written literacy

News literacy Technology literacy Information literacy Media literacy Adaptive literacy Research literacy Academic literacy Reputation, Etc.

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Can we frame the e-book issue so that it can be addressed rationally?

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MindMap: What is a book?

1. Reading2. Learning3. Pedagogy4. Research5. Exploration6. Reference7. Engagement8. Enjoyment9. Evaluation


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MindMap: What is a book?

1. Reading2. Learning3. Pedagogy4. Research5. Exploration6. Reference7. Engagement8. Enjoyment9. Evaluation

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Steal This Idea

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What are thegood and badthings about


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Library Goals

Be the BeeOr Be the Hive.


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Strategic Thinking for Libraries

1. Choosing a Future2. Setting Phased Priorities3. Making Choices4. Taking Action5. Doing the Next Step6. Adjusting Tactics with Experience7. Seeking Feedback and Adjusting8. Measuring Progress

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Choosing Top Priorities Suppose that in three years: Majority of library use will be virtual – yes even rural!

And especially academic courses. Majority of Non-fiction Book circulation will be e-

books and Fiction will split 50/50 – digital/print All learning will be blended and continuous DVD is circulation is dead and most other physical

formats in decline. Majority of questions will be virtual Use will be 20 / 40 / 40 (in house, virtual, mobile) Every user will be socially networked, connected and


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What do we need to know?

What are we going

to do next?

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What do we need to know?

How do library databases and virtual services compare with other web experiences?

Who are our core virtual users? Are there gaps? Does learning happen? How about discovery? What are user expectations for true satisfaction? How does library search compare to consumer

search like Google and retail or government? How do people find and connect with library virtual

services? Are end users being successful in their POV? Are they happy? Will they come back? Tell a friend?

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7171 42 42 25







26 915

30 30











18 18 17 14 1822 14



21 16


Top-Level BenchmarksGale-Cengage Browse Survey

August 01, 2010 - August 31, 2010

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Don’t Rest on Your Laurels.

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Stand Out!

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Trust Yourself to Make Difference and Have an Impact

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You have the tools.

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Stop Making it so Hard!

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Save the User!

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Serve Everyone!

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Unlocking the Library Value Conversation

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What Would You Attempt If You Knew You Would Not


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What Are Libraries Really For?

• Community• Learning• Discovery• Progress• Research (Applied and Theoretical)• Cultural & Knowledge Custody • Economic Impact

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20th Century Strategies

Inventory and CollectionsBuildingsSearchReading is FundamentalPatronsOutreachCirculationPrivacy

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21st Century Strategies

Content AccessBricks and Clicks and TricksCommunities of Knowledge and

PracticeResearch ImpactPartnerships Information Literacy ProgramsSocial links and Student Life

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Bricks, Clicks and Tricks Gambling

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Social Glue and Libraries

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A Third Path

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Observe Your Users

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Context is King,Contact trumps Culture Content is a Foundation

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Community Networks

The Social Life of Information

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The power of libraries

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Starlings on Otmoor

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Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLAVP strategic partnerships and markets

Cengage Learning (Gale)Cel: 416-669-4855

[email protected]’s Lighthouse Blog

http://stephenslighthouse.comFacebook: Stephen Abram

LinkedIn / Plaxo: Stephen AbramTwitter: sabram

SlideShare: StephenAbram1