Idaho Commission for LibrariesAddress: 325 W State St., Boise, ID 83702
Phone: (208) 334-2150 | In-State Toll Free: (800) 458-3271
Printed from the Idaho Commission for Libraries website: http://libraries.idaho.gov
“I’ll add it to my queue.” This was the statement from a friend of mine when a group was discussing a particular movie that needed to be watched or, as it happened, re-watched. He was referring to his queue of movies with Netflix. As I read his words (because many of our conversations take place online by email, IM, or within a weblog) I found myself thinking ‘Netflix generation.’
A Netflix user gets movies shipped directly to their home. They watch them and return them to Netflix when they are done. No due dates. No late fees. No postage. After returning the movies, Netflix will send the next videos in the user’s queue.
While cleaning out our back room here in Post Falls, I came across photocopies of a series of articles on the future of libraries written by Raymond Kurzweil in the Jan, Feb, and Mar 1992 issues of Library Journal.
I thought it would be interesting to look back 13 years to see what people were saying about the future, as we are supposed to be looking 15 years out in creating our vision.
Stewart Brand makes some excellent points in his article about environmentalists and the points of view that predetermine people’s thoughts. By standing in one place and not moving from that spot when viewing the world, the scenery is always the same. If we can collectively move from that comfortable area to a different spot, a couple of things automatically happen. First, we aren’t comfortable so we are more aware of what things look like. We take the time to really notice relationships. Then, just by virtue of this changed perspective, we are seeing different things.
Suspending assumptions. Getting a new view. Being prepared to really look once you find your new location.
There is a story in my family that my sisters love to tell. Apparently I never spoke–until I went to school. I came home from my first day in Kindergarten, told everyone about my day, and haven’t stopped talking since. That’s their story. Years later, I can now explain to them that I simply process things verbally. It’s a wonderful way to make sense of new ideas, inspirations, and experiences. Maybe this is why I like the idea of blogging so much; it’s a great way to process. And, more importantly, to process as a community.
Earlier this week, I was provided the opportunity to listen in on the 2020 Vision Think Tank. This event included over 40 participants from the library community, plus a panel of sci-fi authors and specialists who helped the group to expand their perceptions of the future and, then, take the first steps toward thinking about the future of libraries in Idaho.
Our Futures reading list is growing (Links and Recommended Reading), but as is often the case, reading "Tomorrow Now" has to compete with today’s deadlines. However, what I have read is permeating my thinking. Suddenly a lot of my normal work/newspaper/magazine reading seems related to our futures discussion.
We've very recently revised both the Mission and Vision Statements for the Marshall Public Library. For whatever it's worth, here's our vision statement - and much thanks to Kay Flowers, too!
By merging the best of tradition and technology, the Marshall Public Library aspires to provide
The Vision 2020 Think Tank is taking shape. See the agenda at the website. We have attracted terrific resource people, with one to go. Science Fiction writers Bruce Sterling, Brenda Cooper and Louise Marley. Thinkers and writers Dr. Greg Raymond and David Kusek. I expect them to challenge us. Are you ready to be challenged?
I tried to post yesterday. I finally managed to find a spot where the wireless signal was strong enough to connect. But the wireless service provider evidently doesn’t support blogging, because each time I tried to "publish" (or even save), the message disappeared.
It's been a full day. There have been so many thoughts and ideas that I hardly know where to begin. I hope that some of you have been able to see the video of the main speakers.
The SLC Library (The City Library) is remarkable - an impressive entrance with shops (Urban Room), an atrium, wireless and ethernet connections, self-checkout, a 3-tiered fireplace, meeting rooms and auditorium. Very welcoming. Truly a community space.