Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Trends Continue

Today's title comes from the article ARL Statistics 2001-02: Research Library Trends. Maybe it's just me (Alane....by the way, where are my co-bloggers? George? Alice?) but I found that a very amusing heading...what are trends if not continuing? What would a dead trend be called? History?

OK...where were we before the blogless, unconnected weekend? (This consisted of much driving to my husband's cousin's wedding in upper state NY, home again to spend a day with one of my sisters and her family en route home to Ontario after a visit to Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park, entertain, and catch up on gardening which must include a trip to the garden store to buy even more stuff to put in the ground)

We were at ALA. Cathy De Rosa and I led a session on Sunday July 25th called "Thinking out Loud" that was a kind of follow-up to the big overview sessions we do. We wanted to hear from people not talk at them--although some attendees clearly were expecting the big overview. It was--for me and Cathy anyway--a great session. We asked people to work in small groups and discuss the top issues relating to libraries, framed by the trends in the Scan. Alice was there and took notes so I'll leave it to her to fill in interesting bits I can't because I am really bad at note-keeping when I'm participating. I get too caught up in the discussions.

Ideas that came to the top: the library as third place (both virtually and physically); incorporate elements of gaming into tools to teach users how to search, find and obtain good quality information; use handheld devices as as way of getting to users where they are. And hasn't Jenny the Shifted Librarian been saying this last point for years now?

I commented a few days ago about the up-beat nature of people attending ALA. This was mirrored by our session attendees. I really see a change in attitude from a few years ago. Much more interest and enthusiasm in doing things differently and much less doom and gloom over the future of [pick your favorite]. It's all good!

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