Finding time to learn about emerging technologies


Here are the links to the sites I mentioned in the presentation prepared for the “Library2.0 on the loose” unconference, “Finding time to learn about emerging technologies”.

You can click through the slides at, Finding time to learn about emerging technologies (slides) .

I had great fun playing with image generators to produce the slides. They are pretty. If you google “image generator” and add the type of image (eg. postit), you find sites like this image generation site .

I’ve also made a wiki page that lets you click through the embedded slides, and read these notes, Finding time to learn about emerging technologies? (wiki) .

Here are my notes and links.


What are emerging technologies ?

Start with why.

In an organization:

1. My top 5 reasons for librarians to learn emerging technologies

  1. Core business. Our core business is linking information and people. There are new and better ways to do this and we need to know how.
  2. Understanding all formats. Users will ask us about these information sources. Are we serving them well if we say “sorry I only know about information in some formats?”
  3. Our users are required to keep up. In academic and special libraries, our users are required by our organization to keep up to date with technology in their fields. To support them, we need to know what that is.
  4. Dealing with vendors and IT departments. If we know what tools are out there and how to use them, we can set some things up for ourselves and know how to specify what we need to others.
  5. Can’t predict the future, so need to experiment. Without crystal balls, we don’t know for sure what will be widely used. We need to try and assess many services to find what works for our users.

More at: 20 reasons why learning emerging techologies is part of every librarian’s job

2. Make sure that your management are committed and play hands on.


1. You want to be able to serve your clients in 5 years time.

2. Understand the changes to what we do:

  • Mobile devices
  • Gaming
  • New forms of scholarship/infromation/reference sources
  • Better opportunity to link to our communities
  • New definitions of copyright / plagiarism / authority / privacy / recreation

3. Personal benefits

  • Remain employable
  • Fun
  • Less free floating anxiety
  • More choice of powerful tools
  • Able to cope with staff who bring new skills with them
  • Networking with other folk

It’s taking responsibility for your own professional development

Work out when – 15 minutes per day

  • “there was enormous teamwork involved to ensure that everyone made the time to learn. That in itself is a major accomplishment in cultural change in creating a value system around progress, innovation and learning and having all staff, including management, visibly demonstrate support.” 15 minutes per day – Stephen Abram

Not good swap:

  • Sleep
  • Housework
  • Exercise
  • Real life relationships

Some ideas

1. Easy ways to learn:

2. Just choose 2 tools that suit your interests and use those. You don’t have to know it all

3. Get a support network to share discoveries

4. Subscribe to these Library blogs

5. Subscribe to these non-library blogs:

6. Listen

3 thoughts on “Finding time to learn about emerging technologies

  1. Another resource you might look into is

    The instructionwiki grew out of the Oregon Library Association’s Library instruction Round Table. The “Library 2.0 in 15 Minutes A Day” portion is something I’ve been putting together for the past six months or so as a free resource to other libraries that don’t have the time or resources to research all the different topics they might want to explore in their program.

  2. Hi Karen
    You blog banner is lovely, such an inviting bookshelf. We started our 23 things project in my library this week. I had already dipped my toe into the Web 2.0 technology through some studying I am doing. The web site in my address is one I am doing for a teaching subject.

What do you think? Let us know.