The Monday Muse: Top Tech Trends

Posted July 20th 2009 @ 9:00 am by

ALA Conference 2009 has just finished and one of the highlights to come out of it was the Top Tech Trends. The panelists attending were John Blyberg, Geert van den Boogaard, Clifford Lynch, Eric Lease Morgan, Roy Tennant and Joan Fryne Williams. Karen A. Coombs was a planned panelist unable to attend due to illness.  Joining the panel, virtually and in the back channel were Marshall Breeding, Sarah Houghton-Jan and Karen Schneider.

Technology - Future Vision

Technology - "Future Vision"

The trends they came up with?  As follows:

  • mobile computing
  • more functionality in the cloud
  • open everything

Individual trends that the panelists came up with in their lightning talks included:

  • environmental recycling of computer power
  • “people used to go online, now they are online”
  • bandwith issues
  • experience design and citizen journalism
  • peer-to-peer downloading and cultural heritage digitization
  • linked data not so much the semantic web
  • many more consortial catalogues
  • SaaS
  • QR Codes

You can read more about these at Library Journal, David Lee King, Marshall Breeding LITABlog, Mobile Libraries and Free Range Librarian.  You can also watch/listen to the live feed or check out the twitter posts. (don’t you just love the options!)

Compare this to the LITA Top Tech Trends from ALA Midwinter 2009.

How many of these apply to Australia?

For me, I would think that most of the them, with the exception being the urgency of mobile computing.  As our phone plans are nowhere near as generous as those in the US, I think it will take a bit longer to get to the same place they are.  Not that it’s not already beginning here, as it is and its something libraries need to seriously consider in the near future.

In general, I believe these are all issues that Australian Libraries also need to address, some sooner, some later.  The ones to consider most urgently would be bandwith, cloud computing, peer-to-peer downloading and cultural heritage digitization and many more consortial catalogues.

That’s just my perspective, from one corner of the continent and from one sector of the library world.  What do you think should be included in Australia’s Top Tech Trends for libraries?


  1. snail
    July 20, 2009 at 12:28

    There’s still a strong sense locally of “needing to go online” – techie though I am, I’m still mostly offline unless I’m at home or at the office. Admittedly, with those alone, I’m still more online than many. However I’m suffering serious gadget envy with the rise of always on devices such as iPhones and Blackberries.

    QR codes just don’t do it for me though.

  2. Peta
    July 20, 2009 at 14:50

    Take your point Michelle about phone plans. I think the demand for mobile technologies in academic libraries is greater than perhaps for public libraries. Anywhere that a wifi network is provided for the community to use – that mobile phones can connect to – there’s an opportunity.
    Between wifi at work and home, I hardly use any data over the cellular network.

  3. Roy Tennant
    July 21, 2009 at 01:27

    So what am I? Chopped liver? I guess my trends were really memorable…

  4. tango
    July 21, 2009 at 06:28

    Many sincere apologies Roy. That terrible oversight has been corrected. Thanks for dropping by.

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