We caught up with Computers in Libraries 2013 speaker Jason Griffey to get his thoughts on the future and evolution of libraries and we think you’ll be interested in what he had to say! Jason is an Associate Professor and Head of Library Information Technology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Check out some of the sessions Jason will be presenting, and attend our fun and learning event Innovative & Awesome Tech on Tuesday evening. This event can only be described as Cybertours meets Pecha Kucha meets Battledecks meets TED! Don’t miss it!
Our theme for CIL this year is Evolving in New Directions. How do you see our libraries evolving in the next few years?
The next few years are likely to be an extension of the last 2-3 years of change in libraries. That is, more emphasis on e-books, libraries working to be a more flexible and creative space for their communities, and an increased effort to make content discovery and access in libraries more like the rest of the web. I hope that the ebook arena evolves into something that is far more palatable for both libraries and their patrons, and that libraries move more and more into being the memory repositories for their towns and cities.
What innovative things have you seen libraries doing that others could learn from?
I’m fascinated by the whole uptake in libraries of the Maker Movement and bringing creatives into the library. At the same time, I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more examples of librarians making in the service of improving the library itself. Lots of patron-facing making going on, and not as much library-facing. So I suppose there are a few examples of librarians working to create hardware that solves a library problem, but I’d like to see more.
Are there new skills necessary to evolve libraries in the future?
While there has been some interesting pro/con arguments going around online about coding for librarians, I think that as time goes on while not everyone may need to code, it will become more and more useful to understand programming and how it affects what you can do with data. The other big skill is data manipulation in general…being able to deal with huge data sets, most importantly being able to derive meaning from them, will be a massive skill moving into the next 5-10 years of libraries.
Jason will be presenting the following sessions:
- Sunday, April 7 — W11: Planning & Managing for Gadgets
- Monday, April 8 — Making Libraries: Getting into the Hardware Biz
- Tuesday, April 9 — Innovative & Awesome Tech