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Technology Trends: Waxing and Waning

In Iowa I’m giving a talk which feels almost too up-close and personal to me: “perspectives on present and future library trends.” Care to chime in? I’m feeling a little blurry, between packing and trying to finish my slides before I hit the road.

I thought rather than simply labeling something a trend, I’d talk about what’s waxing and what’s waning. There’s a nifty angle to this where I provide “their potential impact on libraries and library services.”

I’m trying to stay big picture… so that when I talk about “potential impact,” I can discuss broader themes.

Here’s what I have so far:

Waxing:

Centralized mass storage (paper and digital)

Ubiquitous computing

Cloud-based applications

User experience (focus on, thereof)

Large-scale cloud catalogs

Open software/standards/access

Social engagement

Service integration (such as discovery layers that tie together different formats; FRBR; federated search)

Waning:

Paper production (literally)

The locally-installed standalone catalog

Waxing and waning:

Print circulation (depending on the type library)

….

I think I know where I’m headed with my suggestions… the “experience library,” flexible and user-focused, with loads of examples of what this library looks like/feels like, what we need to be/do to provide these services. Still mulling over the big issues. I have 90 minutes.

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