IL 2011 Day 2 Keynote: Lee Rainie

Happy Tuesday! Time for Day Two of Internet Librarian blogging coverage and the morning keynote. I heard Lee Rainie, of the Pew Internet Project, speak not too long ago in San Francisco so I’m looking forward to hearing what new information he has to share this morning. Let’s get to the good stuff.

Pew Internet is in the business of primary research. No agenda. However, Rainie advocates for OED to include “Tweckle” as a word to include in the dictionary. (Definition: To abuse a speaker on Twitter during a lecture or a talk.)

Rainie went over 3 revolutions in technology and then talked about how do these revolutions affect librarians and educators. Let’s get to the revolutions:

3 Revolutions

Digital broadband
62% of Americans have broadband at home. Lots of stuff is happening, lots of information overload. 65% of internet users are social networking site users, 55% share photos, 14% are bloggers, 13% use Twitter, and 6% use location services.

Bloggers are few and far between, but are “special” according to Rainie. [Yay! And way to make the bloggers at Internet Librarian feel awesome]

Twitter is “upscale” and the users are omnivores. Not everyone is doing this–only people who love to swim in information.

Mobile Technology
84% use mobile phones. It’s huge. There are more mobiles in the United States than people. 327.6 million versus 315.5 million. 59% of adults connect to the Internet via mobiles (Pew Internet counts connection both via mobiles and laptops.)

35% own smartphones now. Mobile use includes lots of social networking. 56% of adults own laptops. 12% of adults own e-book readers, 9% of adults own tablets. It’s still an elite audience who have e-book readers and tablets. We need to remember that not everyone has these gadgets.

The divide in technology use and ownership= lots of challenges for librarians providing technology and content. Now people want “right now” service and answers. [Patience has gone the way of the landline.]

Social Networking
50% of all adults use social networking. Over 65 years old is a fast growing user group of social networking sites. Pew Internet now studying the tensions in family when parents want to friend their children. Pew Internet releasing the data in November.

Social networking is very important to people. “Social networks are more influential and are differently segmented and layered.” Now first line of information for people is their social network instead of news reporting. People using social networks for evaluation of news and information. Using social networks instead of experts for evaluation and reviews.

Social networks serve as audiences for people. We are content creators, so we are all performers. We are very conscious of the fact that there is an audience. People do this for different reasons: status, networking, etc.

5 Questions for Librarians as they ponder learning communities

Future of Knowledge?
From: Shana Ratner (1997) Emerging Issues in Learning Communities
“Learning is a process.” “Knowledge is subjective and provisional.” [Very postmodern.] Learning is social and personal. Thinking about learning as “organic.” “Learners create knowledge.” Active, problem-based learning is good. [This is what all the educators are talking about in the literature.] Learning is the individual’s responsible.

Future of Reference Expertise?
“New” models: Embedded librarianship (point-of-need help, scout for information, synthesizing and organizing information, and becoming important nodes in the network of connecting people.) [Yay, for cross-disciplinary work and knowledge!]

Knowledge concierge/valet: teacher of social media, “fact checker, transparency assessor, relevance arbiter”

Future of Public Technology?
Even experts don’t know what will be hot in the future. Forecasting what technology will catch on is difficult. Basic trends are evident now: mobile connectivity and location-based services will grow, bigger and thinner screens will emerge, and all-purpose gadgets will be more important.

Analytics are needed and must be updated to determine what will work to actual determine what is catching on and what is working.

Future of Learning Spaces?
Must be constructed for new kinds of learners. Creating knowledge in new ways. Looking at “self-starters”: learning happens outside the classroom (life-long learners). Learning is a social experience. [Collaboration is the hot “new” term for learning.] “Value of amateur experts is widen.” [This is kind of a scary thought as a librarian and a professor.] See this a lot in peer-to-peer communities that are created in health communities. [We heard about this at the Personal Digital Archiving Conference during the health session.]

Future of Community Anchor Institutions?
Have to decide how much work is aimed at helping individuals versus community. Lots of challenges ahead as people want different things out of the library. Creation space versus collections. Solitary space versus space for collaboration. Pathway to information versus an archive (oh, people, let’s talk with archivists so we actually use the term archive(s) correctly.)

Libraries have already been changing in ways to serve the new normal in the community due to all the changes in uses of technology and in learning and teaching. Pew Internet will be doing a 3 year study on how people use libraries and what they want. Yay for getting “market data” for libraries!

Great, funny, and informative talk. Great speaker to start Day Two of the conference.

For more information on this, you can view the slides on the Pew Internet website. You can also read my post from Rainie’s talk in May of this year. It’s interesting to see some of the changes in percentages.