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ICOLC Europe 2009 in Paris

Unconference on

The 21st century library: setting trends

Monday 26 October, 2009

Facilitators - Paola Gargiulo and Mary Joan Crowley


The goal of the Unconference is to bring together people who have a shared interest in defining the 21st century library and how it evolves. 



We as a community are living in an era of rapid change, where we have to experiment and reinvent. We don’t have any choice about that and collectively we face a challenge. Generally librarians lack a culture of technology, or culture of experimentation. However, as the world of content shifts and how it is delivered changes we, too, must evolve and we should do this in a framework moulded by what is our view of the future. In 1989 the web was just getting started. In 1999 our consortiums were beginning to grapple with the first online journals and how to deliver them to  our users’ pcs. In 2009, just twenty years later, content, only a fraction of which we handle, can be delivered literally into the palm of their hand.

Over time, the  library has come to  guarantee the organized collection of printed and/or other content,  provide a staff trained to support the learning, teaching and research  needs and output of the university and community, offer an agreed schedule in which services are available, and ensure  the physical facilities necessary to support this.

Today, new information tools, such as Blogs and vlogs, wikis, podcasts, vidcasts, webinars, RSS , share, Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube, social bookmarking, tagging and folksonomies, user-driven comment, rating, and recommender systems, Open Access, digitized content, multi-media devices,  the "wisdom of crowds" and/or "radical trust", new user habits, behaviors, and expectations, user-centered, socially-driven services,  have radically altered perceptions and expectations of the library as place. And there is an increasing amount of "free" content being made available and acessible to all.

We propose to begin a conversation about  this and begin to explore the potential offered by changes underway and to share with others our experiences in our institutions.



This session will take the form of an unconference, a facilitated participant-driven face-to-face conference around a theme or purpose.

A wiki will be set up next week to begin to explore questions to get the conversation going and so that people can get a sense of the topics that are of interest to the group before coming. This will eventually document the outcomes of sessions and will in effect be our “Book of Proceedings”.

Please post your suggestions for Topics to the Suggested Topics where we have already posted some suggestions.



By the end of this session, we hope to have:

- developed a better understanding of how the library is evolving

- identified a group of people interested in exploring these issues further

- produced a list of possible themes for a future ICOLC unconference

- pinpoint vendors' actions and avoid enhanced access becoming enhanced subscription models


The tag for this event

Please use this tag on Flickr, blog posts, slidehare, etc: unconfICOLC09


Comments (5)

tom@... said

at 1:47 pm on Oct 12, 2009

I think it looks very good. Nice job.

One area of discussion you might want to add to your suggested topics, since you bring it up in your About section, is how do we create a culture of experimentation? We seem to think our institutions and users will have heart attacks if we do, but they are assaulted by rapid changes in all aspects of their lives, especially the WWW and seem to respond quite quickly.


maryjoan.crowley@... said

at 4:20 pm on Oct 12, 2009

will do. thanks for your contribution.

maryjoan.crowley@... said

at 11:30 am on Oct 21, 2009

Found this on the web. A blog by dan pankraz. " ‘Experimentation is the new Engagement’ ...... is about creating social experiments with youth, letting them play with ideas, create their own story, help them connect with other members of the tribe. Just found this awesome idea out of VW Sweden called ‘The Fun Theory’. It’s basic psychology brought to life, if you make something mundane ‘fun’, more people will do it. This idea is about making something fun will get people to change their behaviours for the better. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw&feature=player_embedded

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