Tech Trends for Non-Techies

Today I listened to a webinar  on technology trends which discussed not gadgets but general technologies and what to watch for in the near future.

The archive of the program is available at Archived Webcasts & Webinars later today.

Here are some high points:

  • All library jobs are touched by technology so it’s important to stay current on what’s new.
  • You need to follow consumer technology not library technology.  What consumers are buying or using is what is going to impact your job. For a quick update follow Businessweek’s Technology and You column
  • Look at Google Goggles an app where you can take a picture with your cell phone and use it to do a search on Google to find information about it.  It translate the image into text and searches for the text.
  • Opinions are important to people as are facts.  Allow people to make comments on your website, catalog and social media.
  • Streaming is going to be big.  Soon DVDs and CDs will no longer be needed in libraries.  They are a dying format.  Look at – you can buy a boxee or create one with a computer to hook up to your TV to get streaming video.
  • Print will not die but may be used to obtain a digital copy.  Patrons will come into the library and browse the print version but instead of checking it out they will snap the QR tag and checkout online and download it to their device.   This is already being done in the Apple Store for apps. They provide a card with code to access it online.  You buy the card and go online to download.
  • OPAC is history.  There will be an App for it.
  • Subscription databases are on the way out.  Pay for what you use will be the new model.  Gale is testing the model in Wyoming.  They provide access to everything they offer and the State Library pays for what is accessed. Database use will be through search engines.  Patron finds information they want and prompted to buy or authenicate with their library card.
  • Focus on:
    • Social Media – not just have a site but join local groups and be ready to provide information as needed.
    • Podcasts are popular – create an iTune channel
    • Capture patrons cell phone numbers so you can text them
    • Staff needs to keep current with consumer products being used
    • Listen to what patrons are asking
    • Provide download stations in the library