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Christina's LIS Rant
Friday, March 18, 2005
  CIL2005: Keynote: Trends/The Past/Personas/The Future
Keynote: Stephen Abram (Sirsi) and Mary Lee Kennedy (Harvard University Libraries), Trends/The Past/Personas/The Future

Information Engagement levels – we have to understand our users at a totally new level.

Millenials
Computers (smart phones, games, etc.) and connectivity are a given and essential
Internet is better than tv
Learning occurs through trial and error rather than rules
Zero tolerance for delays

Only 20% of learners are text-based learners yet all of our library materials are based that way – no wonder our market penetration is so low…

The Past
Mixed, unpredictable experiences with searching, reference (virtual and physical), ebooks, elearning, video games, chatrooms and other collaborative softwares. Some reports of great success some failures with the same technology in different locations

Organizations and individuals have varying degrees of tolerance for change and risk so changing workflow, developing skills… impacted

Personas
Started at Microsoft during the boom to answer the question – how do we retain top employees? How do we understand our employees based on their demographics, position, time in position...
Hypothetical but based on natural groupings of users, defined by goals…
A personal definition document contains goals, usage scenarios, info-seeking behavior
A key publication: Cooper, The inmates are running the asylum, computer programmers designing tools based on their own usage.
Information seeking behavior still needs more study (good for me in my return to grad school)
How do we understand – gathering data to identify possible “anchors”, observing behavior, pattern emergence in narrative
Ask the questions not just what do you want to read but what do you want to get from what you read, how do you want to feel… is it about the journey/process (the finding of ancestors in geneology) or is it about the goal (who is my great-great-grandfather).

The Future
Do you know what the next information products and services are?

Public library pilot project
Libraries in rural, urban, and suburban northeastern us
April – May 2005
Leveraging proven techniques for understanding complex markets (Cynefin Center) (my questions: ethnographic? Not longitudinal, not critical incident, hmmm what methodology is this? Definitely qualitative – how is the coding going to be done
Huge database of transactions in libraries (1 billion transactions for each of the past two years, GIS of library locations and populations, national center for educational statistics – try to get the numbers closer to real time)
Possible follow ups include academic
Understanding users in terms of their
Needs preferences and desires
Goals and aspirations
Expectations and assumptions
Values and their beliefs
Tolerance for risk and change
Goals –increase customer satisfaction, get everyone in the organization to work to achieve the same goals, set a clear direction (good luck buddy! How many public librarians do evidence based practice or tolerant enough of change to be willing to change direction to implement these findings?)

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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina's LIS Rant by Christina K. Pikas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Christina Kirk Pikas

Laurel , Maryland , 20707 USA
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