Library Summmit Day Two — closing in on a vision?

Gathering this morning to hear DaVinci Institute’s Thomas Frey and  excited to be sitting at a table with some icons in the field and Maureen Sullivan, former President of ALA this morning.

Questions in the innovation area this morning:

–Give  a new library story that would capture the library of the future?

–How will library of future assess itself?

–In the future, what will our constituents NEED that they don’t even know they need now?

–As a result of the summit, what are you inspired to do differently?    What would you like the Center for the Future of Libraries to Do?

photo(3)Thomas Frey — from the Internet of Things to the Library of things

“All information we come into contact with is always history.  We are walking backwards into the future.
Future will happen with or without us participating;  the future is in control.

If your next project is not aligned with the problems, needs, and desires of the future, the future will kill it. ”

What systems do we use today that are the equivalent of Roman Numerals (which wasn’t a good system, due to lack of decimal capabilities?)

People base their understanding today based on what they think the future holds.  But really, “the future creates the present.”   So we have to change how people think about the future to change the present. (yes!)

What are the big things that still need to be accomplished in the world?

What is future of library?

Catalytic Innovation creates entirely new industries…. like electricity, cars, airplanes…

Bell curve —
for example peak industry demand–like steel–now we are developing new products
Peak employment decline will predict peak industry decline; comes before the industry decline

Have we reached peak employment for libraries?  and When will we reach peak demand for libraries?

Wake up call quotes:

Clayton Christiansen — by 2019 half of all k12 classes will be taught online
Chris Anderson — 3D printing will be bigger than the internet
Over 2 billion jobs will disappear by 2030–Thomas Frey

We don’t have systems in place for rebooting jobs as fast as we need to.

All stemming from the “level problem” — now that you have the level app, you don’t need to buy a level, which means you don’t need the manufacturer, etc.    Every time we download an app, we are eliminating thousands of jobs.  But we are freeing up lots of human capitol.   Just because we’ve run out of jobs, doesn’t mean we’ve run out of work to do as a human race.

“A library is just a library until it isn’t.” (not sure that is the best wording–does he mean libraries are evolving into diff services/roles?)

What forces are driving change for libraries?

Andreson — Software is eating the world.  Projection by 202 we will have 50 billion things connected to the internet.  So what are the things?    Estimate we will reach 1 trillion sensors by 2037.

Innovation is being parsed in smaller ways.  Convergence of digital and physical.  (smart homes, smart cars, smart clothing, smart shoes)

Smart homes, smart door locks, smart chairs, DoorBot, Smart Pet doors (recognize your pet), Biometric coffee maker knows how much caffeine you should have (LOL); smart plant wall that tells you when they need water; future restaurant electronic menu  tailored to what you like to eat; Google testing out contacts that monitor diabetics

17 forms of information competing with books



Maybe it’s not about books, maybe it is about IDEAS.  Ideas can be stored in many formats?
Are we archiving ideas?  How do we help the most significant ones rise to the top?
Does it make sense to have robots archiving our communities?  

We are all in search of the ultimate interface.

We struggle to find information since it can be stored in so many formats.   Frey proposes every library create an Iron Man Room (pulls stuff out of air)

Trend #2  — What is role for libraries is the sharing economy — the just in time economy?

Libraries were the original sharing economy     We are transitioning from “just in case” economy to “just in time.”  YES  (borrowing Smart cars, homes, etc.)

Trend #3:  Transition from Consumers to producers

Chris Anderson — when tools of production are available, everyone becomes a producer

3d printing — we can print in all sorts of materials, liquids, plastics, cement, etc.   NIO Robotics – Zeus is a 3d printer, scanner, fax machine–they can print it out at other end.   3D printed cars, bicycles already, clothing, casts, concrete, ceramics…(concrete pumper pushing the concrete into the machine

Can already print houses in China for $4800,  in future print exoskeletons, print pharma, (Belgium already does that); printing organs, printing heartvalves (in Colo)., food printers; 3D sugar printers

Trend # 4:  Education is about to be redefined

Micro colleges — more people having to reboot their careers (DaVinci Institute  — has a micro college)
Immersive forms of secondary education done in short periods of time

Colleges in present form are ill fit for retraining quickly.

Our need for teacherless education –have huge global shortage of teachers–places teachers don’t want to go.  How are we going to deliver education without teachers/professors to places that need it?

Trend #5: Quantified self

Can we monitor our thoughts …creating a hyper individualized marketplace

Walk into a library; a device does an assessment of our needs–and then gives personalized recommendations…

internet drone race– solar powered drones Ascenta bought by Google and Titan bought by Amazon; way to offer broad internet coverage

in the next 20 years, infrared signals will be developed enough to track particular individuals.  This idea of staying anonymous…do we need a place for people to go for anonymous information?

Trend #6

Business colonies–groups of talents, hire from freelance pool
premium services
Libraries have a “search command center” — photo of someone at command desk

Seed library
haunted history tour
Tailgate party
Borrowing an expert, a pet, a stage, a musician, a park
Mini theaters or planetariums in libraries
check out a gym or walkstations
Recommendation–an Expert Series– people feel uncertain what about the future they should be paying attention to.

Have we reached peak employment?  Future libraries are waiting for us to reinvent them?

(One of my takeaways–if we change the future, what can libraries do?  Can we harness the power of our communities to solve big problems?  Could a library take the lead in that?  Exciting thought.)

photo(2)Table discussion of Thomas Frey presentation:

Pushback at our table about the Future “talk”

What things fit needs, and what are pie in the sky future things that we won’t develop.  Change is incremental …. and some changes we discard because they don’t work (librarian sharing example early microwave promises — baking cakes in microwave, tasted awful…but they serve our needs in other ways)…

What do we do to help the 99%  instead of the privileged?

Future of the autodidact in library…same as before?

Important need for paradigm shift in libraries as creation spaces versus warehouses


How will libraries integrate the use of future technologies?

How do we know what will “stick”?  –tools that will make it into every kitchen versus tools that only make it into 1%  kitchens

the technologies that solve the problems of THEIR patrons;   but patrons may not know what they need next…

Eli N.  experimentation…Experimentation is hard for libraries.

Maureen–we need to have more capacity in our field in our libraries to monitor trends and engaging with the community;  we can transcend the building ;  what role does library have in capturing experimentation… We need more libraries that have created a culture of innovation.

School libraries may be able to be more experimental–less bureacracy and management, can be more agile

me:  Could the “library” in the largest sense of the word become the nation’s researcher–gatherer of trends…informing the country.  The ALA list of TRENDS for example….  not directed towards librarians, but for the nation.

Will the avid readers take care of themselves?  Who do we need to take care of?  Eli

Should libraries seek settings that are more integrated rather than separate buildings? (my example–public library I first worked in was located in a shopping center, rather than a separate destination–more integrated in a community?)   Or build spaces that have a sense of place…like Library of Congress–can we build libraries that have a sense of place that people want to be in?

We have so many summits on future of library…how can Center for Future of Libraries coordinate that better and capture that?

To end the summit, we are going to hear from Consultant Joan Frye Williams, who has monitored all the table talk throughout the conference and pulled all of the themes she’s heard together.  My next blog post will summarize her remarks and my own impressions of the Libraries from Now On Summit…..  stay tuned…

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