An anti-futurist who want to get us to think robustly about the future.
We have no data about the future. The future is a process that we grapple with on a day to day basis.
Not the library of our parents. The competitive world for libraries has changed. Libraries compete with "half priced books." Libraries have community spaces.
Uncertainty 1: How will we access information?
How people watch TV, who have tablets, is different than those who do not have a tablet. Arguments are solved differently.
We don't know what the formats of tomorrow will be.
Uncertainty 2: How will we represent books?
From cuneiform to HTML5. Of course, there will be HTML6.
Open standards vs something else,
Uncertainty 3: How low, or how high, can we go?
How much can we place on an SD card? How much of a library can we place on a card that is smaller than your fingernail?
And what about cloud storage?
We will continue to have more capacity. Will it be personally owned or in the cloud?
54% claim to have never used cloud computing. Yet 95% of them actually do.
Uncertainty 4: How will we find stuff?
Will stuff find me?
Will search use:
How so services decide if they have delivered the correct information?
The top 10 trending searches in 2012 on Google had nothing really to do its books.
Uncertainty 5: What do we hire a library to do?
Outlet to piracy?
Source of data?
Digital help desk?
Community meeting place?
Internet service provider?
62% of rural libraries are the primary Internet provider for their communities.
Should libraries be selling the data that they have collected? What are the ethical issues around that?
U.S. eBook lending - 4350 books are available for lending.
Nov. 2012, 23% are reading ebooks. 67% are reading printed books.
7 out of 10 libraries report an increase in Internet use.
Uncertainty 6: How will we represent knowledge?
Does your ontology have an epistemology?
Just in time learning.
Uncertainty 7: What will we need to know?
What jobs will exist in the future that do not exist now?
When people talk about what we will need, what would those jobs really be?
There are hints in the literature. We don't know if they really will happen or when.
Uncertainty 8: What will be the role of place?
Will the library be virtual?
How many people visit the library virtually vs in person?
How are we driving those relationships?
Will stand need to have different roles?
Uncertainty 9: The measure of success
Productivity vs. Serendipity
Automatic self-checkout doesn't build relationships. It can't recommend additional books. It can't provide personal service.
The personal relationship may have a payoff that we can't yet know.
Uncertainty 10: Who will document the trust, who will censor?
In a virtual world, how do you know if something was censored? How do you know if the content has been changed?
How do you decide if the content is valid, if people are self-publishing?
Uncertainty 11: What rights management model will predominate?
Digital rights management vs. digital restriction management
What does getting it for free really mean?
Online piracy is alive and well.
Future of libraries - four scenarios
- Corporate lifeline - life to work, work to live
--- libraries help people get jobs and stay employed
- Falling skies
--- what happens it we end up with a triple dip recession?
--- what is we become more local? Could libraries be the trusted institution?
- Freelance planet
--- the world that the millennials are leading us into.
--- everyone is a freelance worker.
--- technological innovations are rampant.
--- libraries drive content and compete with other content producers.
- Trial separation
--- The world is not flat, it is a big lumpy mess. There are things pushing back against globalization. The world slowly dis-integrates.
The implications for libraries: what do people hire the library for?
- Do not think about the future in a linear way.
- Document the uncertainties that you face.
- Consider the "ultimate" use or utility of a consumer technology, am uncertainty until it becomes obsolete. Don't over-estimate where technology is going.
- Actively engage with the uncertainties when making strategic decisions. Think about a range of ways that they may play out.
- Use scenario planning to help think about possible ways the future may turn out, plan for contingencies and mitigate risks.
What this future? I don't know, but I have a robust way of thinking about that question.