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Information Overload

EDES455 Discussion #4
by

Michael Cruickshank

on 6 October 2013

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Transcript of Information Overload

Information Overload
and Librarianship

Information Overload:
The Job of Librarian:
Consider this:
If we are now asked to process more information in any given day than ever before, and that information becomes convoluted and blurred in our minds, then we need ways to pull out the very best, and most worthy information, and leave the rest behind.
Strategies To Preventing Information Overload:
1) Machine filtering. Use communication platforms that get to know you and serve you relevant data automatically - you will never even seen the stuff your aren't interested in.

2) Manual filtering: No automated filter will ever know you 100%; you should be proactively managing which platforms you participate in, which feeds you read and send aggregate, and which people and events you follow.

3) Filter for Others: When you post something online, make sure it will be relevant to the community that “lives” in that place. It will help other community members manage their noise, and they will thank you for it.

Based on:
https://about.yammer.com/yammer-blog/information-overload-strategy/
Information Overload:
the situation when someone has so much information that they are unable to deal with it

-http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/information-overload
Public librarians acquire, organize, promote and disseminate a wide range of resources to meet the diverse needs of the community. They support independent learning and provide a wide range of information on business, the community, careers, learning and recreation.

http://www.prospects.ac.uk/public_librarian_job_description.htm
In the new age of Information Overload, the position of Librarian will be all the more important as people look not just for information, but GOOD information.
John Nosta, Science and Technology columnist for Forbes says it best:

"...the volume of information, data, statistics... and so much else is clogging the intellectual system."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnnosta/2013/06/13/information-overload-the-big-challenge-for-digital-health/
So.... now what?
Our first reaction seems to be to Multitask. But people just aren't good at multitasking, and it usually ends up meaning we are LESS productive. Not more.
To see WHY humans aren't good multitaskers, consider the links below.

http://news.sciencemag.org/2010/04/multitasking-splits-brain
http://www.livescience.com/37420-multitasking-brain-psychology.html
The information age is only just arriving - and already we feel deluged with all the information we are asked to consume.
It will only become more important as we move further into the technology age of social-media and online connectedness to become more skilled at information management. I believe this will be a benefit to future librarians, as people who become lost in the masses of information will start to seek out ways not to find 100 000 answers, but rather, the right answer. This means librarians must be ultra-skilled in dealing with information overload, in order to best help our patrons.
Song Credit:
McDaniel, Lenny. (2005). Information Overload. Two Sides. [AAC Audio File] Cafe Au Laite: Location Unknown

To better enjoy video components of this Prezi, please find the MUTE button for the background track at the bottom right of the screen when going through the presentation. Just remember to un-mute after the video!

Other than just shutting down and unplugging... what can we do to help prevent Information Overload in our daily lives? There are lots of lists of strategies out there. But what it comes down to can be summed up in 3 simple ideas:
Here is a video that does an excellent job describing,
analyzing, and offering some solutions to Information Overload:
"There is a unique relationship between librarians and the concept of information overload. Processing information appropriately is key to the success of our profession and key to the success of each of us as professionals. People look to us to help them process information, to pick what information on which to concentrate, and to discard irrelevant information. Librarians are trained to evaluate information, and to choose the best of the best. One would think, therefore, that we would be more adept in dealing with the problem of information overload. We have the skills necessary for evaluating, organising, and collecting information in ways that allow for efficient processing and retrieval. Those skills are central to the success of many of our colleagues, librarians or not."
Sarah Houghton-Jan
Digital Futures Manager
San José Public Library
http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue56/houghton-jan
So, as librarians....
...we can use the same strategies as any other professional wading their way through information overload....
We just have to be REALLY good at it.
Full transcript