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SLA 2011: SPOTLIGHT SESSION – Stephen Abram Looks to the Future: Getting Out In Front of the Curve

The SLA Division of Government Information was the lead division for the Monday, June 13, 2011 SLA spotlight program: Stephen Abram Looks to the Future: Getting Out In Front of the Curve.

SLA 2011 - Stephen Abram - Future Ready

Here are a few takeaways from the program:

  • 20th Century versus 21st Century solutions:
    • Inventory and collections vs. content access
    • Buildings vs. bricks & clicks & tricks
    • Search vs. research impact
    • Reading is fundamental vs. information literacy programs
    • Outreach vs. social alignment
  • Are your priorities correct?
  • What are librarians really for? Learning? Discovery? Research? Cultural and knowledge custody? Community? Progress?
  • It’s not about books and database. It’s about how we make sense of it all.
  • If you believe you suddenly have know-how because you suddenly have virtual access to something, you don’t understand what librarians do – we make sense of that morass of information.
  • What is the role for librarians in the real future (that is not an extension of the past)?
  • On books: Why would we reinvent the textbook and embed all the compromises of the 1800s in it? Are you looking at books the wrong way? We are in the article level universe. What about the chapter and paragraph universe?
  • What could new books integrate:
    • video and visuals like graphs and charts
    • sound and speech
    • social media
    • Interaction and not just interactivity
  • Strategy is a choice. Don’t be a victim. Emboldened librarians hold the key. Don’t seek permission.

Here are the slides from Stephen Abram’s presentation: Future Ready: Getting Out in Front of the Curve. Visit Stephen’s blog: Stephen’s Lighthouse.

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