Thursday, November 05, 2009

Recap: Helene Blowers' Finding the Phoenix

Blowers Champions Localization.

Last month Helene spoke at OCLC about the future of libraries. Her talk was entitled, "Finding the Phoenix: Feathers, Flight & the Future of Libraries," and it focused on how we can move beyond current trends and create engaging learning spaces.

I was particularly impressed with her trends analysis. She highlighted trends that I'm pretty sure that most of us were already aware of (e.g. mobile web, e-readers, etc.). However, it was her analysis of these trends which lead to new insights and got the crowd thinking. The ability to formulate new thoughts around data/info that has been around for 3-5 years really blew me away. I realized that it's not necessarily about finding the latest trends but what insights you're able to create.

Blowers tapped into the idea of the creative community/economy to transform libraries into deeply-rooted, community spaces that empower and foster community members' creativity. Furthermore, libraries that "harvest community knowledge" will shift from a privider of intellectual outputs to one that includes both inputs & outputs.

This is a powerful idea. The intellectual input/output paradigm will implicitly demonstrate a library's ROI to the community. That is, if they come to us (online or off). Consequently, strategic outreach becomes a critical component for our libraries.

Overall, it was really good presentation. Thanks again Helene. And thanks to my employer, SC search consultants, for placing a high value on professional development (i.e. allowing me time to attend ;)

Below are the slides from the presentation.

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