My Notes from LITA Top Tech Trends at ALA MidWinter

Top Tech Trends PanelThe panel consisted of David Walker, Amanda Etches-Johnson, Joe Murphy, Lauren Pressley, Jason Griffey and was moderated by Greg Silvis

David Watson discovery systems

  • to get the rss for a specific journal you need to visit the specific site or vendor,
  • different silos for information, need to wait for vendors to create mobile system
  • bring data together in aggregated system have one local for info
  • if everything is all together in one place, books article etc does that really help students?
  • are libraries giving up too much control to the cloud?

Panel response

  • Griffey – expected to see collapse of these databases and vendors fighting each other
  • Etches – federated searching was a disaster, is discovery system better?
  • David – system helps level playing field

Amanda – user experience buzz word for 2009

  • People can’t agree on what it means, user experience design is about designing everything buildings etc, but interest for her (us) is web
  • Visual design coupled with interactive design, how does that make our users feel?
  • We aren’t ready to make our users feel we need to keep talking about user interface and usability
  • Mobile interfaces are necessarily stripped down because they have to be
  • Mobile browsing –  if site doesn’t have a mobile version a user will not spend much time on it, she either finds what she needs right away or moves on,
  • people are starting to seek out the mobile interface on a regular screen because they know that it will get them the info they need faster
  • What we do for mobile is really going to affect what we do for web design in general, mobile design with force user experience designers to re-evaluate and reverse design
  • Usability will continue to be separate from user experience design
  • Online automated usability testing, pay them & install on server
  • Analytics – how do you measure your users experience on your website? We aren’t selling anything so we can’t measure sales

Panel response

  • Greg – who is responsible for development of user experience? We each place reinvent the wheel or will we have standards
  • Lauren – think about users we serve, public is different from undergrad or even grad
  • Amanda – need to talk more to usability community
  • Jason – building a new lib at TN , thinking a lot about physical user experience – how do digital & brick & mortar usability interact?
  • Amanda – literature talks about providing a more holistic experience, step back and figure out how it actually fits in with what users experience when they come into the building, be really cognizant that what you design online mirrors what you’re designing physically, signage and headers match, taxonomy

Joe – mobile tech

  • some of the mobile tech we’re going to focus on we’ve already heard of, we’ve reached saturation and now are driven by user demand
  • sms – oldest of mobile tech, strongest, most universal, most flexible, more than communication tool, also a research tool, it has just been introduced to reference but has really blown up
  • We need to transfer our skills into new environments, translate from reference desk to 140 characters
  • Print collections are only relevant when content isn’t available digitally, also tactical appeal
  • Libraries need Basic things like enough outlets, or stronger cell reception
  • Location based gaming, like 4sq, something that bring competition into location, allure to things are that are location based
  • Twitter emerged in 2007, blew up in 2008, standard in 2009
  • Mobile techs are going to come & go, we need to be flexible and be able to adapt, everyday struggle to keep up with mobile tech
  • There should not be tension between those who are ready to adapt & those who are not?
  • Skills – although nothing major is changing, our role is the same, but everything else is different, should allow change to happen but should not allow compromise of soul of libraries
  • Let’s learn together, let’s play and let’s go through it

Panel response

  • David – for smaller libraries, ones without staff with time to play, what should they be focusing on in terms of mobile tech?
  • Joe – every library has this problem, not enough staff, not enough time, strategize services, have to make decisions on what is greater value, how do we balance servicing all patron groups, we can’t do everything for everyone, how do we decide priority?

Lauren – augmented reality –

  • blending virtual data with real world, been thought about for years, but is becoming more mainstream
  • combo of real & virtual in real time, starting to see on smart phones, with aps, hold up phone & have data overlaid with what device “sees” very new & still buggy
  • trail on the hockey puck if you’re watching on tv, same for 1st down line on football field, people who are there in person don’t see these things they are virtual
  • real estate app will know where you are what houses are for sale in the neighborhood you’re in, prices houses have sold for etc
  • AAA app that lets you find discount places
  • Library application – how to use call number system, how to select appropriate article if in serial section

From panel

  • David – library application is cool, but example of coliseum sounds even neater, do you see libraries to take ownership of these, of cities?
  • Lauren – see some place with resources to create input that other places can use to input to help standard,
  • Jason – overlap between libraries & AR is the unique stuff in our archives, if we can get to standard for display if libraries can then really dive into archive & use as teaching training tools for community, what did main street look like in 1890 & 1990 etc
  • Joe – how libraries leverage it for collections?
  • David – as we move towards more electronic collections, so if browsing physical stacks can now see there is an eBook on same subject

Jason – Mobile applications

  • 2009 was the year of the iphone app store, app store opening in mid 2008 July, in Jan 2009 apeoplee announced 500 million apps downloaded, 4 months after billion, 5 mos later 2 billion
  • 134000 iphone apps , how many are library specific? 4? 5? DC public, OCLC and Librarything just launched one called Local Books,
  • weird things now have apps, like printers from HP, Ford announced software development kit at CES, everyone is jumping on this bandwagon
  • 2010 will be a bigger year for apps
  • when iphone launched there was no app store, Steve jobs said no need for apps because if you can write for web will work on the iphone,
  • Steve Jobs was right, 2010 will be the death of apps CSS3 & html 5 brings new things with it, allows drag & drop from browser to desktop, best supported in mobile browsers right now, FF, chrome, Safari, ‘
  • If you write it once in html 5 it will work anywhere desktop tablet iphone, don’t need to recreate and support multiple platform

Response from panel

  • David – glad to see app die because background in programming & one of things is don’t repeat yourself, if you have apps across multiple platforms you do have to repeat yourself, mobile sites are completely separate from regular site, have to make changes 2 places
  • IE does not support HTML 5
  • Twitter question – is it the year all apps die or just mobile apps?
  • Griffey – probably not desktop, about 95 % of work is on a browser, we will see less of things like everyone using Microsoft office
  • Has apps been a worthwhile investment?

Part 2 topic introduced each person gets 3 min to respond

Reinvention of the book – Rocket eBook reader, bulky heavy, shows kindle, these 2 devices are remarkably similar, in terms of great advances in tech, not so sure we’re there.
Griffey – 2 things he saw at CES, he things eBook hardware is dying,

  • Copia – software platform that reinvents electronic reading as a social experience, similar to LT & GR but actual interaction with text, can take notes & share notes with friends, can sync comments & sections, can highlight section & send to people, relies on text its self to drive sociality of it, copia will be selling hardware, but is platform so will be pushing to tablets, desktops etch
  • In 10 days our minds with be blown by apeoplee tablet, may be doing something with copia
  • Blio – attempt by Ray Kurzweil & others content by B& T, non ereader format for reading of books, full visual representations of book to take place, can imbed interactive media, example anatomy textbook, instructor has access to website to create the quiz within the book (read more on Wired)

Lauren –

  • issue of ownership with eBooks
  • for a lot of people reading is still a solitary experience that you share with author of book
  • Issue of ownership has kept her from getting a device, when you buy a paper book you can share with anyone, but eBooks are tied to device
  • Now seeing that we’re seeing that you are not actually buying eBooks but rather leasing it with license that publisher puts on it, seeing some movement in loaning from Nook, some allow eBooks from library to be loaded

Joe –

  • doesn’t see the ereader device having a place in libraries, should be focusing on the contents, eBooks,
  • can’t get library books on iphone, so using kindle app to pay for book to put on iphone, because of convenience,
  • Could replace everything we do with print books with eBooks, different venues might have to have different technologies

Amanda –

  • eBooks are being read on PC, device agnostic platforms for eBooks, embedding multimedia

David –

  • electronic content is allows students to diving into very specific articles or text, may used more complex info that they need especially undergrad, if eBooks makes access to this type of content as easy as electronic, will allow undergrads to get the material they actually need
  • If we are licensing journals and books do we become collection less libraries?

The twitter hashtag was alamwttt and you can read about it on The Inside Scoop from American Libraries and watch the video on the LITA blog.

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