Wednesday, October 31, 2007

IL2007: Joe Janes

WOW! Joe is an Associate Dean in the iSchool at University of Washington. He is dynamic, funny, informative, provocative, and thought-provoking. And he has a great, infectious laugh!

On Tuesday morning, Joe gave the keynote. He did not use any PowerPoint. He talked to us about "Reference 2.0: Ain't what it used to be...and it never will again." Joe used a variety of quotes from literature (including old literature from previous centuries) and talked about how reference evolved over the years.

The way we think about reference has got to change. Why?
  1. Ever more digital world.
  2. Horizontal searching (searching across subjects).
  3. Federated search.
  4. People need to find wholes and parts (e.g., whole articles as well as specific paragraphs).
  5. Need to develop different levels of service for those who use many digital/electronic "things" and those who do not. (The split is nearly 50/50.)
  6. We need to be where our users are. That means we need to be both digital and analogue. We need to be somewhere and everywhere.
Our younger colleagues may be frustrated because we're not as digital as we should be. Joe encouraged those people to "hang in there" and to teach the rest of us about being more digital and to help us think about reference in a digital world. Then he told the mature members of the audience to teach our younger colleagues about print resources (our secret weapons), and to remind them that what we know is still relevant. (In the 1980s, we weren't just running around in loincloth, we developed systems and techniques that are still relevant.)

Joe also implored us to explore our strengths are librarians. Yes, we have strengths and he talked about them.

While Joe didn't leave us PowerPoint or notes for us, so we all know have the same info from his talk. However, his talk was audio recorded and is available from Information Today. I suspect that others have blogged his session, so we can all learn from ALL of the notes that were taken (like this one).

BTW I did take more notes, but this (above) is what -- a day later -- makes sense.

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