petermr's blog

A Scientist and the Web


library of the future – what do I say?

It’s now 9 days since I started thinking about what I was going to say at the JISC LOTF09 meeting at Oxford next week. I’ve sent out 15 posts ion this blog. I’ve used the LOTF09 tag. I use twitter and FriendFeed where two ULibrarians (scilib and D0r0th34) have given me lots of useful comments. But I expected those two…

Otherwise essentially nothing.

OK, I only regenerated this blog 2 weeks ago and so not everyone may have picked it up, but enough of the old regulars have. And bloglinks don’t shut down , they just don’r report anything. I got immediate comment on my Microsoft activities, for example.

But it’s not just me – there is nothing on the web for LOTF09 except the announcement and my blog. This is a meeting at a prestigious university, a fun place to be in the spring, with a wide-ranging panel talking about the “Future of the Library”. Why no discussion elsewhere? When I go to ICT/Informatics meetings there is often huge amounts of discussion before the event. People trying ideas out, making contacts, etc.

I don’t blame the organizers (and I’m grateful to Dicky for sending the Ithaka report).  I’m left with the overwhelming impression that the community is now past caring about the future of the library. That’s essentially what Ithaka said 2-3 years ago – that ULibraries had to be visible and rebrand themselves.  They’re not and they aren’t.

I thought I was going to have a useful debate where ULibrarians criticized and critiqued what I had written. Nothing. If ULibraries wish to survive (at least more than  book museums – which is important) they have to shout about it.

Without strong cogent input from ULibrarians on an innovative future, they have little. And that’s some of what I shall say in Oxford.

If, indeed, anyone turns up.


Leave a Reply