It’s difficult to know what to write this week since I find myself agreeing with so much of what Cody Hanson has to say about mobile libraries. If you look at the most interesting, cutting edge trends happpening within libraries (especially public and academic), the one thing they have in common is being mobile. Even things happening within libraries, such as NY Public’s “Find the Future” revolve around iphones and Tablets. His issue of Library Technology Reports was filled with great information for libraries interested going more mobile, plus I found his historical recap and technological overview exteremly interesting.
So I agree, going mobile is what’s happening next, and this has profoud implications in the kinds of services libraries should be developing. It does make me wonder though, what will happen to the role of librarians and libraries. Right now we seem to be in a transistion period, in that you can still go into libraries and find storytime for children, many many books, probably a Reference desk, familiar library services. This won’t last.
I started this program madly in love with books. Actual books filled with paper and smells that you can hold. I still am. But it’s becoming clear to me that books won’t be the dominant form of information sharing forever. Print will migrate digitally to the cloud. Books will probably always exist (I hope), although probably more as artifacts and keepsakes. (For instance, children’s publishing will continue successfully).
But if Cody Hanson is right, than what does that mean for libraries? Big libraries with all that space? Will their even be a need for tiny community libraries? Will the librarians role shift from one of information seeker to one of technological guru? Meg Knodl mentioned this in her talk; Hennepin County with all that space on their top floors. What are tehy going to do? What are we as librarians going to do?
I am excited to hear Cody Hanson talk tomorrow. Much of where my own current interests lie fall under the realm of mobile librarianship (QR codes, augmented reailty apps, libraries hyperlocal, crowdsorucing, etc.) I am excited to be entering the field at such a transitory, exciting time. But sometimes I wonder…what have we all gotten ourselves into?