May 212009

Simple message in this blog post.

Go and read  Stephen Collins‘ keynote Public Engagement. Public Empowerment.

Many of the issues he raises are at the heart of what libraries that want to survive should engage with – Open Data; helping the citizenry to be informed and powerful; understanding hyperconnectivity; engaging in real conversation and connections with our users. Just a small excerpt:

In a hyperconnected world, our ability to readopt these denser forms of association, made sustainable by tools such as social networks, become reality. We become the true global village, as much the neighbor to the bloke next door as some geographically remote but by association, close, neighbor with whom we share an interest.

Our families and governing structures no longer inhabit a nearby, day or two’s ride from our wattle and daub huts. Rather, we live in a 24x7x365, always-on world where our village truly is global. In a world where we can be and are increasingly, we face the very real risk of political, social and cultural hyperisolation if we fail to participate as individuals and as part of society.

Already, we see this happening in our own lives as we increasingly turn to trusted sources for information, turning our back in growing numbers on the formal media which has yet to catch up with this engaged super-community. We empower ourselves to make better, more informed decisions and to take action on those decisions.

It is from this morning’s  GOVIS 2009 – User Centred Government: More than meets the eye – a conference in New Zealand about Government and Web2.0.

If you are in Canberra, you can hear him speak on 26 May 2009 at the National Library Technicians Day event at Functions at Reid CIT (I think that is the right event- his acidlabs site says that he is speaking in Canberra for NLTD, and this is the only similar event I can find on the ALIA site).

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