The 11th biennial SAOIM meeting started off with a well-attended workshop presented by Dr Michael Stephens, Assistant Professor in the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. Michael’s presentation explores emerging trends and technologies from within the framework of participatory library service.
An informal yet inviting tone to the presentation was set by the opening question from Michael: “what keeps you up at night?” Answers from the audience ranged from slow web connectivity, to making right decisions, to buying the correct resources. It was evident from this feedback that problematic library technology is an omnipresent feature and a relevant topic in the day to day working lives of most librarians and information specialists.
An explanation of current “it” terms in the library technology world was informative and thoroughly amusing! Technolust: the desire to have the coolest, sexiest technology and gadgets, technodivorce: letting go….., technohestitation: the tendency to rather wait for a newer upgrade to arrive before investing, and technobanality: the obscene possession of dunce and obsolete gadgets!
Foursquare as well as other geospatial/geosocial platforms and examples of its innovative use by many public and academic formed another interesting part of the workshop. It can be used to make libraries more interesting, entice users to the library, provide a value-added service, and be part of an wider information service encompassing more than traditional library use and library resources.
Michael Stephens’ workshop provided a much-needed kickstart to librarians desperately seeking motivation and guidance on making sense of the abundance of must-get gadgets flooding the market. By letting go of restrictive rules and prohibitive notices still found in many libraries, to rewarding users making use of a trending application: somewhere between technolust and technofear is an optimal middle way waiting to be implemented.
You can also follow the Twitter story line for this workshop on Storify.