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Christina's LIS Rant
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
  eVisioning Maryland Libraries: Zolli
eVisioning Maryland Libraries
January 10, 2007

The Road Ahead : Forces Shaping the Coming Decades
Andrew Zolli

Futurist in residence at Popular Science and National Public Radio, consultant, curator of PopTech

Libraries are valued by citizens.
Librarians are sexy.
Complicated drivers of change
- demographic transformation
- disruptive technologies
- citizens’ evolving needs

Tremendous population growth globally, primarily in the East and the South (Africa to have 120% population growth despite epidemics, warfare, etc). 30 Largest cities – western cities such as London dropping off the list, cities not even built yet will be on the list in 2030.

Aging population in the West, very young population in the Middle East.

We’re becoming an hour glass population with larger percentages in oldest and youngest
- markets for health care and longevity enhancing technologies
- voting population will change – older adults vote more frequently and more conservatively in general
- X-ers will be catapulted up the management chain as boomers retire and leave a vacuum… but new “boomer ass glass ceiling” as Dad won’t retire or comes back. Leads to intergenerational complexity in the labor force. Retirees returning to labor force due to poor savings rate will need new training. They will also be competing for management jobs.
- Retirees are running out of money and returning home from Florida. If you were born after 1972 you are statistically more likely to take care of your mother longer than she took care of you. We’ll go back to a 3 generation family like we were early last century. Wealth will skip a generation from boomers to millenials and will skip X-ers (bummer!)
- Won’t have enough 18 year olds, so will encourage immigration

Population centers are moving south and west within in the US
White non-Hispanics will be the largest minority in a society with no majority. 25% Hispanic population in about 2050.
Women are leading in educational attainment. (women are now 56% of undergrad populations and are increasing). Single women are buying more homes.
Income is becoming concentrated at the top – libraries are even more necessary for providing equal access to information in the knowledge economy.
Interesting cob web graphic comparing boomers, Xers, and millennials, in terms of optimism, trust, participation, socialization, diversity.

Boomers like music, have disposable money, and don’t know how to share music on the internet -- very attractive market.
“Longevity risk” insurance ?!?

Maryland in Context
2000-2004 43% growth in minorities, substantial growth in African American populations. Foreign born are now about 11% of the population. (Latin America, Asia, then Africa…)

People who join libraries become citizens 3 times more than non-library users.

Choice in Media Consumption
Kjell Norstrom
“The surplus society has a surplus of similar organizations, employing similar people, …

Tyranny of choice – huge growth of consumer items available. Grocery stores stock 40K items, people can pay attention to about 160. (the law of crap… instead of Moore’s law)

Helping people understand and deal with choices is a librarian strength. “hedonic satisfaction curve” – people don’t like too many choices. Librarians remove information to give people what they want (very interesting statement… see my talk about weeding earlier in my blog).

Moving up the chain of meaning
Commodities ($0.10) > products ($0.25) > services ($1.00) > experiences ($4.50)
Use of design, social aspects, technology together humanize experiences…The whole economy is moving to the right so services are just commodities. Libraries are still in the services area but economically, we’ll need to move.

There are 11,659 types of MP3 players, but most Americans can only name one, the iPod. (they have 85% of the market because of the experiential bit – finding sharing and building communities around music – stuff that libraries know how to do).

Zolli’s law
“People would rather fly a burning flaming plane, than coach on United” (wrt Jet Blue’s increased sales after landing gear incident that passengers were able to view real time on televisions on all the seats).

Choice, Control, Authorship revolutions

Huge information information economy.
We used to have 3 of everything in each dimensions (3 tv stations, 3 newspapers, etc) Now we have the long tail. Top of the long tail, broadcast, high-end, global, ad-driven. Bottom of the curve: community, conversation, pr-am, local, search driven.

This is where we were centuries ago, but last century glorified the other end. Now we’re heading back. But we each pay attention to both the big spike and the long tail.

Askaninja.com

Photoshopping of romance paperback covers.
Blurb book publishing on demand – how do libraries select these resources? No isbn, no barcode, but great content.

Demographics, creating meaningful experiences, authorship

Future: climate change, control over our biology – how do we deal with them socially.

Update: Title had Zolli spelled wrong

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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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