Fascinating statistics in the report on the Internet Librarian Conferenceprovided by Lee Rainie from the Pew Internet Project. Looking forward to the results of the Gates grant he has received to study libraries and the new media.The speech is very interesting with lots of computer jokes but the statistics are staggering - information anytime, anywhere and any device is more than real.We have more cell phones (according to subscription) that we have people!59% of adults connect to the Internet via mobile devices. So where do libraries and librarians particularly fit?
He has five basic questions:
1) What is the future of knowledge?
2) What is the future of reference expertise?
3) What is the future of public technology?
4) What is the future of learning spaces?
5) What is the future of community anchor institutions?
Having recently reviewed those bogus websites with my library college students, I see the second question as one that calls the most to my ponderings.The librarian as the "knowledge concierge" who guides those wandering out into the city of Internet information. Google is the big thing for my students, understandably. Google is consumer oriented and society is oriented to consume (still). So you get the immediate response and the lack of filter. The old acronym of GOGI applies. Garbage, garbage everywhere and who is going to think?
So the filtering and evaluation of the mass quantities of information is a special place for librarians to stand. To view librarians, especially in higher academic environments, as the expert in information is more and more challenging.Students seem to need to evaluate and locate useful information and want to do it online. Many faculty want to do this physically in a building with physical items. How to provide for both! The concept of the "embedded librarian" is held up once again in this presentation.
So see the article on: Pew Internet.http://pewinternet.org/Presentations/2011/Oct/Internet-Librarian.aspx