Disruptive Change and Everything

All professions are undergoing massive change due to the disruptive digital revolution. The librarians are not only studying the revolution in detail they are doing something positive about it and are not afraid of pulling their punches in telling us so. See Kathryn Greenhill’s post about the National and State Libraries Australasia discussion paper with the not-so-timid title ‘The Big Bang … Creating the New Library Universe’.

Kathryn puts forward the key points:

  • Access is our primary driver.
  • Digital is mainstream.
  • No job will be unchanged.
  • New web technologies and community digital content are shaping user expectations and behaviour.
  • Some things we have always done, we will no longer do.
  • Experimentation and risk are necessary.
  • People want services and spaces to be welcoming and easy

While librarians and libraries are targeted specifically, I suggest these comments apply to all professions and particularly my own of university teaching. Indeed these points will apply to life in general. All the above are pertinent and worth repeating but for me the standouts are ‘New web technologies and community digital content are shaping user expectations and behaviour’ and ‘Experimentation and risk are necessary’. As a web application researcher I like to think I contribute to the former and love to spend as much of my time as possible doing the latter.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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