Wednesday, July 28, 2010

ALA 2010: Emerging Technolgies (LITA)

With a nod to the old saw "time flies," I am a bit chagrined that I did not post information, thoughts, theories, and possible personal blathering, regarding sessions I attended at ALA Annual last month. The time lag is no reflection on the quality of presentations, but homage to how quickly library day in the life things take precedence; even during lunchtime blogging. LibGuides, blogs, chat, and the library and IRC web sites translate to spending an increasing amount of time with technology in the library. Using a new or emerging technology simply for the sake of using a new or emerging technology does not interest me; successfully incorporating it into the fabric of the library does, hence the LITA session focusing upon emerging technologies and the new role of emerging technology librarians caught my interest.

To say the room was full would be a drastic understatement. I arrived early and was lucky to find a seat (belated apologies to the kind people I had to maneuver around). Though somewhat concerned by the sheer number of librarians involved in the panel presentation, I congratulate session moderator Bohyun Kim, who ruthlessly followed the timetable set providing opportunity for each panelist to be heard and still have time for questions and brief audience participation.

My interest was immediately caught during the discussion of context and emerging technology. What is an emerging technology to a librarian may not be to the user, or even another librarian. Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Chat, texting, and other social networking resources are no longer emergent, they are generally accepted and often expected. It could be argued some of these things are now thought of as passé by our users (only old people use email) and consideration should be given regarding our need to be in these communities. As one of the panelists noted, do our users want us to be on Facebook and Twitter? How are the technologies emerging beyond their traditional functions and how appropriate are they to the library or even instruction.

Beyond the library, one of the assignments in Introduction to the Principles of Instructional Technology is the creation of a wiki and subsequent review and discussion of an emergent technology. Each term I debate what technologies should be removed and/or added to the list for consideration. While I no longer consider using Wordle, or Jing in the classroom to be new or emergent technology trend, students this spring and summer felt differently. It all circles back to users and context.

The embedded slide share presentation provides session highlights. For more information, including other panel questions and discussion topics, here are a few links to consider:

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