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2007-11-08

The Librarian's Dilemma

The recent buzz about the Google Phone, which is scheduled for release in the middle of next year, suggests that the evolution has begun. More pertinent to that argument, however, are the advancements in interactive design introduced by the Blackberry Pearl and iPhone and—most important—how the public has reacted to them. We are rapidly moving past the stage of early adopters and into the first phase of mainstream adoption. Before long, the chains binding us to our desktops and laptops will be severed.

This presents a whole new set of questions for librarians, many of whom still don't quite know what to make of changing desktop technology.

  • Do we integrate our existing digital services to accommodate mobile technology?
  • Do we build or buy new digital services that are made specifically to maximize mobile technology?
  • How will mobile technology affect our contracts with data vendors?
  • Do we allow patrons free use of their mobiles—including the its phone—in the library, or do we separate and police our spaces by function rather than content? (That context v. content question keeps coming up.)
  • Do we choose to ignore mobile technology entirely and define ourselves in other ways?
The technology is here. We have to deal with it. The way to deal with it is to decide precisely who we are, what we do, and what our role is in society.

3 comments:

Stephen said...

I thought the only set of questions for librarians were:

- Where do i buy more blue hair dye?

- What should i feed the cats tonight?

- If truman hadn't of defeated dewey, would we have a better decimal system?

- Where are my glasses?

- Micro-fiche v microfilm... which do i prefer?

- I wonder of this throbbing in my brain is me getting smarter or a tumor? Probably the former

- how can i get this guy to stop leaving misspellings in my librarian posts, man, i have a masters in english and more than half way to my 2nd masters and this little f*cker won't stop using bad grammer and whatnot on my happy librarian blog...

librarian@play said...

The good news is you spelled "misspellings" correctly.

The.Effing.Librarian said...

I worry that our limited resources and these new technologies with cause us to ignore basic literacy and information literacy and all those others who truly need us just to satisfy the guy with the $600 phonejob.