LITA Top Technology Trends

At the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference, the Library and Information Technology Association is again hosting its “Top Technology Trends” panel. In the last few years, the panelists have begun posting their trends on their blogs before the session. This is wonderful for two reasons:

  1. If you’re attending the meeting, you can think about the trends and be ready to discuss them or ask additional questions.
  2. LITA has started recording this panel discussion, posting it to their blog. While this is nice, they seem to have stopped posting the written trends with an explanation of each. These blog posts from each of the panelists help fill this need.

Here are the trends I’ve seen so far — I’ll update them as I see more:

  • Eric Lease Morgan
    • Use of Linux as a server platform as well as a desktop platform will increase
    • Open access will grow, I hope
    • Social networking spaces will mature a bit more
    • Blogging will continue to effect the way we communicate
  • Sarah Houghton-Jan
    • Library budgets may be cut or, at best, stay level
    • Inattention the “have-nots” of the digital divide
    • Allowing users to guide library design and become part of the website.
    • Reference service going beyond instant messaging by using non-library software, e.g., Skype, LivePerson, cell phone text messaging
    • Librarians are starting to assume that patrons understand how to act acceptably on the Web, thereby working with online users in the same way we work with print users — collaboration, sharing, and working together.
    • Open source software and its benefits of customization and flexibility
  • Karen Coombs
    • Ultralight and small PCs
    • New uses of wireless, e.g., pushing content to devices from library computers
    • Blogging becoming less about blogging and more about creating content; blogging can happen within blogs, within social networking sites, within Twitter
    • Applications and data are expected to be available from any device; this is starting to be expected by our library users, as well
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