John Seely Brown, Chief of Confusion; Visiting Scholar at USC; Independent Co-Chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge & Author, The New Culture of Learning
Our distinguished thought leader, author, and practitioner looks at how the forces of change, and emerging waves of interest associated with these forces, inspire and invite us to imagine a future of learning that is as powerful as it is optimistic. By exploring play, innovation, and the cultivation of the imagination as cornerstones of learning, Brown shares his vision of learning for the future that is achievable, scalable, and one that grows along with the technology that fosters it and the people who engage with it. A new form of culture in which knowledge is seen as fluid and evolving is one in which Internet Librarians can excel and support learning with content, connections and conversations.
OPENING KEYNOTE — Information & Learning for the Future
Day 2 of the E-book track looked at the role of publishers and distributors.
(L-R) Clare Appavoo , Michael Porter, Sarah Houghton, Andromeda Yelton, Brian Gurewitz
Serving the evolving library community
Clare Appavoo, Director, Sales and Strategic Support, North America, Ingram
The evolution of the e-book world requires flexibility with electronic and print platforms. Libraries wanted to mimic e-book acquisition with print, which is not very successful. Sophisticated user communities demanded better search interfaces and the ability to download books to e-readers. Not all publishers have been willing to launch into a downloading world, but it is increasing on a weekly basis.
Purchasing models are shifting; user selected acquisitionis now available. The model mimics the traditional purchasing model–users choose books from a pre-selected pool. Consortial environment patron-driven acquisition is becoming increasingly popular.
Here are some future trends.
libraryrenewal.org: Libraries at a crossroads
libraryrenewal is a new type of nonprofit by and for libraries to help them find new e-content solutions. It is focusing on public libraries and e-books, starting with popular materials. We will have to rebuild our collections as e-books become more widespread. The market is clouded, and lack of competition raises prices. Closed infrastructures make pricing cloudy. The only way we can get around this is to create something ourselves and not just accept what is handed to us. We have not figured out how to act like a business and speak with a single voice. That is what libraryrenewal is here to do–provide a place to rally behind electronic content.
Sarah Houghton San Rafael Public Library
The goal is to get people thinking. We can all agree that we have many choices in the way that digital content is available. Making it fit the print paradigm does not necessarily work. Lots of content has an arbitrary usage limit–1 user, 1 copy. We should dispense with the idea of a “copy”. Why should an electronic file expire at all? The reason is money! There is no ownership of this content; we license it. How does this affect the cultural record in our communities? DRM can lead to the keys to content being lost. Will it be readable in 50 years? We are trying so hard to look cool that we will take anything. If you want to get upset, get upset at those publishers who will not sell us digital content.
All stakeholders realize that the future of e-books is moving to an open mktplace. Everything is intermediated, and we cannot buy direct. Free is becoming dominant in our society. We are moving away from intermediaries. Within the next 5 years, DRM will start to fade away. In 10 years, we will see a free and open marketplace.
Authors make a lot less from e-books, and they have very little control over them. The publisher controls the DRM and can lock it down forever. Authors get 39% less royalties on e-book. Why? They are getting a bad deal. Libraries should band together with content creators.
Things to think about:
How will library access work with different media types?
Do locked down systems have a future?
What happens when content is only produced digitally?
How is privacy protected, especially for kids? If a kid checks out an e-book, is his reading history being tracked?
Do publishers have a long term role in digital content creation?
We can work together to get to the future we want to see.
Andromeda Yelton GlueJar
We are looking for a model that puts more e-books out for the public good. The challenge is that there are lots of devices to read them on and lots of formats. It is hard to get content on to devices. GlueJar’s unnglue.it product makes e-book creation easier. There should be a price at which an author/publisher will create a Copyright Commons (CC) license. Gluejar will crowdsource money to make it worthwhile, and the book will become unglued and available under CC’s BY-NC-ND license, whihc means that you can do anything as long as you obey the terms of this license–attribute, no commercial use, no derivative works. You can make copies and change the format. This removes fear for publishers and users.
Brian Gurewitz Director, Content Sales, OverDrive
OverDrive is a leader in making e-books popular in libraries. It is developing technology and solutions beneficial to all and distributes content to channels. Its challenge is to serve the demand for e-books.
Titles now have Kindle compatability. A new patron-driven acquisition model allows users to recommend books to the library, which makes purchase decision. Or the user can purchase the book from an affiliate of their choice. This keeps libraries important in the marketplace.
Q&A: In the question period, several controversial topics were discussed. We must have legal clarity to proceed. Legal challenges are harder to solve than technical. We will have DRM for a while until this gets solved. There is no interest in Congress now in copyright issues, so now is not the time to pursue this. There may be more hope on the international side (IFLA is working on this).
Sarah said that libraries pay more for electronic content than consumers do, which is the reverse of print. We have to stand up and say we are not happy with this. Libraries and schools have always been partners with publishers. Now with e-media, publishers are questioning this. OverDrive is working with publishers to help them see the value of library space. But they don’t get involved in pricing; they just show the value of the market. The libraryrenewal model is different: publishers say what pricing they need and what DRM is necessary.
How will e-book models work with special libraries? Clare said that academic library models work well with special libraries as well.
Sarah said that Amazon is ignoring the libraries completely. OverDrive has made a deal and there is no access to data on our users. Michael Porter agreed: The basic tenet of librarianship is privacy. The only place to go to understand this is the libraryrenewal business plan.
Publishers must make money to keep publishing. They expect us to manage the licenses we have and are going to tighten up the ways to keep aggregators complying with the licenses.
The Wednesday keynote session was a panel moderated by Roy Tennant of OCLC, with the panelists shown here.
(L-R) Liz Lawley, Director, RIT Lab for Social Computing; Steve Abram, VP, Cengage Learning; James Werle, Director, Internet2 K20 Iniative; Roy Tennant, OCLC (moderator)
The panel looked at the internet in 2020 and held a “TrendWatch Smackdown”. James Werle began with a look beyond Web 2.0, noting that the changes of the last few years are just a blink of the eye in the history of librarianship. In 1996, only 28% of public libraries offered Internet access, and the average web usage by Americans was 1/2 hour a month! Global Internet traffic is predicted to quadruple by 2015, and the IT revolution will continue to produce untold innovation. Internet traffic is forecast to quadruple by 2015, with more devices, more people conneccted, better connectivity, and more video. Video will be the fastest application driving traffic in the next 5 years. All applications will require high performance broadband. Many libraries are falling behind the bandwidth curve; over half of US libraries report that they do not have enough workstations to meet demand at certain times during a busy day. Access to high performance broadband networks is essential for libraries to evolve in the future.
A national fabric of networks connected by Internet2 has been built to meet high performance broadband needs of educational institutions. A Gates Foundation study is worth reading to understand these issues.
In the Smackdown portion of the panel, Roy Tennant asked panelists what keeps them awake at night and what might be one of the most transformative trends for libraries. Steve Abram said that he worries about people who made our reading devices assuming they have the right to decide what we can and cannot read. He also said that advertising is coming to books. Does anybody see this? You are not Google’s user; you are their product. We need to look at content spam. At some point, we will be served up to an ad-based community. We need to say, “I don’t want to be the product”.
Liz Lawley said that nobody can argue that bandwidth doesn’t matter. More bandwidth is coming. Are we going to have a piece of that? Who will pay for it? What is worth sending across that bandwidth? What do we need to maintain collections of? She has fears about cloud-based content–it keeps going down! What are we layering on top of the bandwidth? We need to think about what we pay for and why. We pay for flexibility, convenience, and device independence. People are willing to pay for experiences that makes them feel good. The way you present something really matters. We get too caught up in the collections and forget about the experience of delivering them. We want to make people come out of an experience feeling successful–it is about interface, experience, and interaction on an in-depth level. We are focused on the content not the context.
Steve said that premium services are about segmenting users and power users who can pay more. We have served up our customers to Amazon, a retail commercial entity, which is appalling. We cannot let commercial voices dominate. Do I want ads in books? When does it change what gets read or published?
Roy asked what will be the most disruptive change in the next few years? Liz said that we will see more tools for adding games and play to underlying concepts. There will also be a return to a love of tangible things and their quality. Paper is not going away. 3D printer technology is getting more common, and its cost and accessibility have plummeted recently. What does it mean when you can print a replica of something?
She also noted that QR codes are not as interesting as what is going on in RFID. We want things to feel magical. Frictionless technology starts to be invisible and feel like magic. Things just happen the way they should. You can enable objects–the internet of things.
Steve said that we are changing the dynamics of the choosing environment. Music changed with the 99 cent song–it became no more a financial choice. Frictionless information services are core. How do we make sure that information is of good quality and not biased?
Liz thinks that there is real value in being in the same room with other people. Technology can’t give you that. For example, we are in an innersive environment right now. When you can see the audience, you can tell when you are reaching them and when you have lost them.
Final thoughts: James: Video conferencing in libraries is a way to extend the world. Steve: 1. Be more radical, find our voice, and be comfortable with that. 2. Understand the point of view of other participants in the info space. Liz: Remember what it is like to be a kid. Find ways to make technologies to blend into the background. Learn what it is like to hang out and drop in–interesting things happen when they are unexpected. Think about magic, delight, with the technologies in the background.
One very common question is, “How can I convince my admin / staff / colleagues to change the way they work to incorporate new strategies?” So I couldn’t resist attending the session entitled Building Support for Change & Customer Relationships.
The presenter who addressed this aspect most directly was Christina de Castell, manager of online information & news at Vancouver Public Library in Canada. Budget cuts forced her to implement major changes in staffing, workflow, and the physical setup of her floor of VPL. Without going into all the changes she made, I’d like to share how she convinced staffers to work with her and to support the changes, many of which would affect them greatly.
Tell staff that it’s OK to try new things and fail.
Assign all staffers to be on one of the project’s “action teams.”
Set goals together; be open and transparent.
Have brainstorming sessions.
Invite and listen to feedback.
Have weekly progress meetings that were informative, but not mandatory.
During this project, de Castell encouraged collaboration and made the planning part of the fabric of people’s jobs. When they brainstormed, writing ideas on giant sticky notes that hung on the walls, she left those sticky notes up so everyone could see and ruminate on the ideas. The bottom line was this: Bring everyone along for the ride. Let them give opinions and work together to shape the change.
[Call For Speakers] Start planning your schedule at this year's #InternetLibrarian and submit a proposal by the 10th of April, to speak in our online event on October 17-19, 2023! http://ow.ly/vvX830suyvk
[Call For Speakers] Start planning your schedule at this year's #InternetLibrarian and submit a proposal to speak on October 17-19, 2023 at our online event! Deadline for submissions is April 10th! http://ow.ly/WzqB30suyvj
@INNOV8game #CILDC keynote on #Library #Communities, #AI & Possible Futures was terrific! Excited to hear a new book, parenting guide to AI, coming soon! #Internetlibrarian @ALALibrary @culc_cbuc @ARLnews @IFLACPDWL
Look for our director @cmairn at #CILandILConnect next month. He will be highlighting the educational possibilities using @spatialxr and other #VR technologies. More info at https://pheedloop.com/IL2021/site/home/.