Mar 302010

The last exercise for the day today was a “Futures Dreaming” , where the group came up with some ideas about the library of 2020.

We used the same questions as we used at Library Camp Perth 2009 in September – and it is interesting to compare the ideas from both groups. It is very clear that librarians need to be able to market, self-promote and get better with IT. As in September, the conversation leading up to each point going on the board was more interesting than the points that ended up there…

The questions were:

  1. What would you do in your library if you had all the time, money and skills you needed?
  2. What will the library of 2020 look like?
  3. What skills will librarians need for the library of 2020?
  4. What will we need to drop as we move to 2020?

Here are the answers. Feel free to click through to the images to leave a note on Flickr about points you agree or disagree with.

What would you do in your library if you had all the time, money and skills you needed?


*Storytime every day
*More social space/seating space
* Electronic resources with remote access – all of them, no need to make a choice.
* All archives digitised and mashable
* Time/resources to build projects
* Avatar to do things for us
* Be embedded in users’ space, but not in their face
* Be proactive not reactive
* A federated search that intelligently refined the search before retrieving results
* Maps and guides to the collection automatically downloaded to users’ mobile devices when they walked in
* More personalisation for users – the automated system knows about them and serves them better using this
* One library card for all libraries
* More 24/7 services
* Better translation and translation tools for searching
* Staff to do marketing and budgeting and an IT developer
*More IT people who live in the real world.
* Intelligent robot/virtual assistant to do boring scut work

What will the library of 2020 look like?


* In public libraries – more social spaces
* Fewer libraries being built
* Academic libraries becoming a “licensing centre”
* Libraries with a bigger role for literacy for the nation
* Need to form partnerships with other agencies
* Need to argue harder for print budgets
* Library and knowledge managers to merge
* More IT skills needed for library staff

What skills will librarians need for the library of 2020?


* Web design and development

* Communicating skills (eg. writing for the web)

* IT troubleshooting for ourselves and our users

* Political savviness

* Marketing skills

* User Experience skills – online and in physical spaces

* Links to other professions

* Critical thinking

* People skills

* Searching methodology

* Understanding metadata – formation, standardization, repurposing

* Business acumen

* Project Management

* Like being with people

* Ability to self promote, regardless of who to

* More young men in the profession

* An image change

* An understanding of learning styles

What will we need to drop as we move to 2020?

* Duplicate cataloguing – if we keep as many cataloguers get them to work together across organisations

* Bulk circulation

* Static collections

* Books

* Forms and other paperwork

* Perfectionism

* Fear of failure

* Committees

* Reinventing the wheel

* Emphasis on text

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  One Response to “Futures Dreaming at Ark Libraries 2.0 Masterclass”

  1. It was an inspirational and exciting event and left me with a surfeit of ideas to try! My challenge will be to get many of them through, not only the firewall of my corporation’s intranet but also the considerable approval process associated with any new technologcal initiative to be introduced. But the zeal with which Kathryn and Michelle presented their material throughout the two day masterclass has influence me greatly and prepared me, I hope for the challenges ahead. Thanks guys!

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