I had to leave LITA’s Top Technology Trends talk so I could scoot over to the ALA Council informational session, so I’d love to hear what happened after I left (I presented at 8:30, followed by Andrew Pace, and when I left Tom Wilson was speaking).
This is my first time as an “expert” and I had never attended the TTT sessions, since they are usually in conflict with other events on my calendar. That made my debut scary but fun. To prepare for this session, last week I decided to go NextGen and open the conversation to the library community. You can visit my blog to read and if you like comment on the post, which has over 30 comments and 5 trackbacks. The lively response to my request for input on top technology trends in libraries led me to conclude that the most significant meta-trend is that information is a conversation. Both Andrew and Tom echoed this observation; I’d be curious to know if this was picked up by others on the panel–if you were at TTT, could you share?
Now what follows is not really a complaint, just Food for Thought (and everyone in ALA governance has heard this from me before). I would have been able to stay at the TTT session if ALA would do this one little thing: webcast the near-live-text transcriptions of the Council sessions, which are provided by ALA to help hearing-challenged ALA members follow the proceedings, which are professionally transcribed and broadcast with foot-high letters on two humongous 10-foot-tall screens. I don’t have a participatory role at the Council information sessions; my role is essentially to sit there and listen. Well, heck, with any number of online-enabled devices, I can “listen”–where listening is also reading–just about anywhere! For years I have been asking ALA to go the last mile and webcast these transcripts so ALA members could follow these broadcasts from anywhere. Believe me when I tell you I’ve spoken with the vendor for this transcription service, and webcasting the Council sessions would be technically trivial and very inexpensive. Wouldn’t that be nifty? For that matter, it would be nice to see screens with the Council proceedings broadcast in the exhibit halls and in the Internet rooms–places where the membership congregates. (Which raises other trends I discussed this morning at TTT: convergence, ubiquitous computing, nomadicity, and what one poster to my blog called “the intermingling of the various pieces of your online life.”)
(As an aside, I have found that many technologies we implement on behalf of those of us with physical challenges end up benefiting far more of us than the targeted cohort group. Think about curb cuts, which are good for wheelchair users but also for anyone who has ever dragged a wheeled suitcase down several city streets.)
Speaking of my online life, I’m at ALA Council hearing Keith Fiels give his Executive Director’s report. Did Keith always have a mustache? It’s cute!