13 June 2006

Top Three Dangers for Libraries in the Digital Age

I have just picked up a good read from Doug Johnson, the Director of Media and Technology for the Mankato Public Schools since 1991. Doug recently spent 10 days in Australia touring with his son, but in between the fun he spoke at the Queensland Library Conference on June 5.

Doug is a visionary, and completely responsive to the challenges of the global digital agenda.

He says:

"I would suggest three factors that are creating a dangerous “perfect storm” of societal changes that will impact libraries. Only by actively addressing the challenges each of these dangers pose will libraries survive and thrive. Here are the winds of crisis that are buffeting us:

1. The growing digitization and portability of information.
2. Emerging fundamental changes in the nature and sources of information.
3. The critical need for new skills for workers in a global economy"

His paper takes a look at each "dangerous" trend in turn, and then looks at some strategies that may help libraries and librarians use these winds to propel us in new directions rather than capsize us.

A comprehensive 23 page read! If you weren't aware of, or thinking about, the changes and our need to respond to them "big time", then you will be by the end of this paper!

Doug has made available his supporting-notes for that presentation here.

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