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NLA Innovative Ideas Forum 2010 Resistance is futile: how libraries must serve society by embracing cloud culture, the end of the information age, and inevitable technological and social trends

kent fitch

on 17 April 2010

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Transcript of NLA-IIF-Resistance-is-futile

The book will be killed not directly by new technology but by the monkey mind it breeds.

The issue is concentration not royalties. Cloud Culture The End of the Information Age Problems facing Libraries How Libraries can serve and thrive Trends Resistance is futile How libraries must serve society
by embracing cloud culture,
the end of the information age,
and inevitable technological and
social trends Kent Fitch
National Library of Australia
and Project Computing Resistance is futile Paul Goodman
"New Reformation: Notes of a
Neolithic Conservative" ... embedded in every tool is an ideological bias, a predisposition
to construct the world as one thing
rather than another,
to value one thing over another,
to amplify one sense or skill or
attitude more loudly than another ... Neil Postman
"Technolpoly" The most important thing
about a technology is
how it changes people. Jaron Lanier
"You are not a gadget" Pop culture has entered into a nostalgic malaise. Online culture is dominated by trivial mashups of the culture that existed before the onset of mashups, and by fandom responding to the dwindling outposts of centralized mass media. We are rapidly putting the Information Age behind us. Of course we rely on information and the machines that process it more than ever, but information is no longer our culture's dominant metaphor.
David Weinberger
"Knowledge as a
Network" Now we have hyperlinks. Rather than trying to contain knowledge in a rectangular object we can hold in our lap, hyperlinks burst outwards, eager to connect to other ideas. The intelligence of our species continues its progress from our skulls to our books to our networks. Knowledge increasingly is found at the network level, and thus now has many of the properties of the network, just as it used to have the properties of books. Knowledge-as-network benefits from the many differences and disagreements it contains, rather than by settling matters.
It assembles itself around the interests of the seeker... Books are ... bulky and heavy.. too expensive.. circulate too slowly..

With respect to retievability they
are poor. And when it comes to
organizing the body of knowledge,
or even to indexing and
abstracting it, books by themselves
make no active contribution at all. J. C. R. Licklider
"Libraries of the future" 1965 Yet we continue to behave as if these forces are going to go away or stay static.
Stephen Rhind-Tutt
"Between Now and 2020,
Libraries Should…" They create multiple instantiations of the same catalog record. Some librarians prefer to disparage Blogs, Wikipedia, Google, Facebook, et al rather than work out how to build on them. Libraries continue to invest in physical media. Technology Capability Cost Digital
information Quantity Cost Quality Google, Apple,
Amazon, ... Capability Computation
Network Charles Leadbeater
"Cloud culture: the promise
and the threat" EDGE More cultural heritage stored in digital form
More accessible to more people
People better equipped with more tools to add creatively to the collection
Exponential growth in mass cultural expression
Cloud Culture Computation
Network commodified Fast network location deemphasized Economies of scale

Advantages of pooling Cloud Computing But... You are not a gadget... Whether or not it draws on new
scientific research, technology is
a branch of moral philosophy,
not of science. Marx Technology discloses man’s mode of dealing with Nature, the process of production by which he sustains his life, and thereby also lays bare the mode of formation of his social relations, and of the mental conceptions that flow from them. The medium is the message Marshall McLuhan We do not ride on the railroad;
it rides upon us But lo! men have become the
tools of their tools. Henry David Thoreau Technological Determinism? What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.

Orwell feared those who would deprive us information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism.

Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance.

Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture... Neil Postman
"Amusing Ourselves
To Death" Why does this matter? Who is making our tools? and why? The trouble with Books... The trouble with E-books The Competition Hard To Use Expensive Networks are. Vannevar Bush

"As we may think"

The Memex Doug Engelbart

human intellect" David Weinberger
"What matters now:
Difference" The hyperlinked world - the Web - is made
for this way of networked knowing.
A hyperlinked world includes all differences
and disagreements, and connects them
to one another. We are all smarter for having these differences only a click away. David Weinberger
"Knowledge as a
Network" David Weinberger
"Knowledge as a
Network" David Weinberger
"Knowledge as a
Network" Ted Nelson


Council on Library and Information Resources
study April 2010, Paul Courant & Matthew Nielsen $4.26 per year per book (maintenance, cleaning, electricity for temperature control, staffing, and circulation, amortized building & housing costs) Hathi Trust e-book $0.15 (B&W), $0.40 (colour) per year per book Offsite High Density, non-circulating, non-display storage:
$0.86 per year per book 10:22 Feb 10th via web
Alain de Botton
Pat Schroeder
former president & CEO
Association of American Publishers
We have a very serious
issue with librarians. John Sargent
CEO Macmillan You get the book, read it, return it and get another, all without paying a thing.

It's like Netflix, but you don't pay for it. How is that a good model for us?

If there's a model where the publisher gets a piece of the action every time the book is borrowed, that's an interesting model.
In the past, getting a book from libraries
has had a tremendous amount of friction.

You have to go to the library, maybe the
book has been checked out and you have
to come back another time.

If it's a popular book, maybe it gets lent
ten times, there's a lot of wear and tear,
and the library will then put in a reorder.

With ebooks, you sit on your couch in your living room and go to the library website, see if the library has it, maybe
you check libraries in three other states.
"First sale" is a nuisance EULA and licensing are "flexible" Tim Spalding
LibraryThing Ebook economics: Are libraries screwed? Pre web, information was produced by few large and powerful publishers
discovered by metadata hand-crafted by librarians
expensive and centralised Post web, information is produced by anyone
discovered by fulltext and hyper-linking
cheap and distributed Full text search Get it online Get it now Access from anywhere Context ...over 70 percent of researchers go to Google
routinely for scholarly content
... A candid comment made by one respondent in
the Scotinform study encapsulated this challenge: “I sit in one of the largest national libraries
in the world and if I want to know
something, I Google it.”
National Library of Scotland in 2030 Baby steps... (necessary but not sufficient) Big, plausible target
Simple to use
Starting to show context (but...)
Prefers electronic formats / instant access
Platform for engagement & collaboration Readers as collaborators tag, comment, correct, group editions, create lists/guides/trails Two-way links to wikipedia on time? resistance is futile CONTEXT! Keeping books -->
connecting to many things Control -->
responsiveness ILMSs -->
versatile, inter-operable systems Operating independently -->
operating collaboratively Passive recipients -->
co-creators Expert users -->
generic users/everyone Providing customer service -->
self service Traditional cataloguing -->
new forms of descriptive metadata Investment in reading rooms -->
investment in a range of channels Our vision for Kindle is
every book ever printed
in any language,
all available in less than
60 seconds. Jeff Bezos
Amazon “Google's mission is to organize the
world's information and make it
universally accessible and useful.”
remixtheory.net/remixImages/googleHand.jpg ptufts Flickr go-to-hellman.blogspot.com Apple claim 300K
ebooks were
downloaded on day 1 “The advancement and
diffusion of knowledge is the
only guardian of true liberty.” James Madison, 1825 Copyright davidsilver Flickr “The idea of having only one company
control the library of human knowledge
is a nightmare” Brewster Kahle Why is Google setting
the agenda via a class
action settlement? Extending the
Public Lending Right
to eBooks John Sargent
CEO Macmillan You get the book, read it, return it and get another, all without paying a thing.

It's like Netflix, but you don't pay for it. How is that a good model for us?

If there's a model where the publisher gets a piece of the action every time the book is borrowed, that's an interesting model.
go-to-hellman.blogspot.com A 2.5 year-old has a First Encounter with an iPad So... "first sale"
price discrimination
secondary market keeps prices down
licensing, not ownership
no "coasting" on past acquisitions
libraries just collateral damage Reading alone: How ebooks will kill
the smallest libraries JohnPastor Flickr Every 7 weeks, video uploaded
to YouTube = total broadcast
content of NBC+CBS+ABC since 1946 ...including reruns Promotion of cloud culture an open, public cloud? ...and test-patterns ...the hive mind ...multiple choice identities Stephen Schneider
Stanford University “Can democracy survive complexity?” The transistion to digital old focus: container rather than content rather than context + user generated descriptions
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