Week 6: Technorati and Other Thoughts

As with Delicious, I had already created an account with Technorati over a year ago and “claimed” this Annot8tions blog, but I didn’t ever go back.  Tonight I was poking around and I found a new blog to follow: Across the Great Divide.  I read the Invisibility post and was hooked.  I claimed a couple more blogs just to complete the exercise, but I have no illusions about becoming a mover and shaker in the blog world.  My blogs are ranked way down there, and that’s ok with me.

As for the future of librarianship, I noticed that the suggested  OCLC article was published in 2006, generations ago in Internet Time.  However, there are timeless ideas embedded throughout, this being one of them:

No profession can survive if it throws its core principles and values overboard in response to every shift in the zeitgeist. However, it can be equally disastrous when a profession fails to acknowledge and adapt to radical, fundamental change in the marketplace it serves.

The key is to be keenly attuned to trends and to anticipate correctly which will work harmoniously with library core principles to make the library’s collections and expertise most accessible to its constituency.  Not easy.

I’ve believed for several years that the telephone (cell phones, to be more precise) will become the communication medium of choice between patrons and libraries.  Not just to renew items, get hours, or talk to someone, but also to use the catalog and databases, to place holds, to pay fines, and to share information with friends.  I believe what we should be doing is figuring out how to make our catalog and databases small-screen-friendly, and to offer services that work with cell phones.  This might be creating program feeds, providing text reference service, pushing bibliographies, texting call number info for individual titles or providing maps and driving directions. Cell phones are getting “smarter” every day; we should be looking for ways to exploit their capabilities.

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