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The Impact of Technology on Society & Libraries

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  1. The Impact of Technology on Society & Libraries LS 501: Introduction to Library & Information Studies Revised Summer 2006, 2010, 2011 C.2003, Deborah J. Grimes

  2. What Is Technology? • Webster’s New World Dictionary & Thesaurus • a method, process, etc. for handling a specific technical problem • the system by which a society provides its members with those things needed or desired • Not necessarily electronic --

  3. Impact of Technology on USA • 1600s -- Survival, subsistence, colonialization • Ship-building, small hand tools, farming and agricultural equipment, natural tools (potash, tallow), mills, charcoal and iron production • 1700s -- Community self-reliance, catalyst for revolution, emerging commerce, new wealth • Building materials, home furnishings, printing, arms and weapons, Conestoga wagons (East/West commerce), factories • 1800s -- National infrastructure, industrial age, nationalism, international markets, communication, individualism, women’s work, war as impetus for technological advancement • Bridge and road-building, steamboats and canals, machine manufacturing, local v. European technology, railroads, telegraphy, iron and steel, homemaking, food production • 1900s -- Systematizing, social solutions, individualism, education, city-building, leisure, medical science, war promotes technology • Electricity, telephones, radio, TV, building materials (concrete), skyscraper, photography, mining, bicycles and sports, automobiles, medicine and diagnostic equipment (MRI, CAT, etc.), food preparation (canning, freezing), airplanes

  4. 20th Century Information Technologies • Before the ‘60s • Communication and transportation improvements • “Punch cards” • Reprography (reproduction of print documents) into film (microforms) -- 1920s • Duplicating and photocopy machines

  5. Computer in Libraries (1960s) • Computers in the 1960s = “contemporary sense of technology” • “Library mechanization” or “library automation” • System Development Corp.(SDC), DIALOG (Lockheed, 1964) • MARC format (Machine Readable Cataloging) -- created by Library of Congress -- standardization of bibliographic records -- allowed electronic storage • Bibliographic utilities originated • National Library of Medicine -- changed to computer tapes and eventually a searchable database • ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) -- important first step toward the Internet

  6. Computer in Libraries (1970s) • Mainframes and minis -- made online interactive capabilities a reality • Most significant break from past practices: application of online computer access to information retrieval, replacing card catalogs and print indexes • Most online services originated in academic libraries because databases were primarily scientific and technical • Specially trained librarians • Separate facilities and resources • First inroad of fee-based services • Creation of search strategies (Boolean searching)

  7. Computer in Libraries (1980s) • Revolutionary development of the Compact Disk-Read Only Memory (CD-ROM) -- commercial vendors • Development of online computer access catalogs (OPACs) or Public Access Catalogs (PACs) • Turn-Key circulation systems -- commercial vendors • Self-initiated systems • Automated acquisitions • Integrated Library Systems (ILS) -- DRA, VTLS, Geac, Ameritech • Linked Systems Project/Linked Systems Protocol (LSP) established Z30.50 standard protocol (i.e., national standard for bibliographic information retrieval so that different systems can be linked electronically)

  8. OCLC • 1967 -- Ohio College Library Center -- most prominent bibliographic utility -- originally for academic libraries • 1972 -- OCLC opened services to non-academic libraries • 1981 -- Online Computing Library Center -- offered access to the MARC database, supplemented by cooperative cataloging of member libraries • Research Libraries Group (RLG), Research Libraries Information Network (RLIN) -- bibliographic databases and research records

  9. Is technology revolting? • Is the “age of information” really an “information revolution”? • Notable “revolutionary” technology • Transportation revolutionized by locomotion • Communication revolutionized by mass production, telecommunications, photography and other printing techniques, television, motion pictures • Is the “computer revolution” any more dramatic than other technological revolutions of the last 100 years? • Does the tool become greater than its purpose or service? • Used to reduce the impact of distance, time, location

  10. Information Revolution • First modern information revolution • Mid-19th through mid-20th centuries • Telegraph, telephone, radio • Little impact on government, international relations • Second modern information revolution • Following WWII • Television, early generation computers, satellites • Great impact on personal, business, international life • Third modern information revolution - -beginning of the Knowledge Revolution ?

  11. Top 10 CountriesComputers-in-Use, 2008 Rank Country Year-End 2008 2008 (millions) % total • USA 264.10 22.19% • China 98.67 8.29% • Japan 86.22 7.24% • Germany 61.96 5.21% • UK 47.04 3.95% • France 43.11 3.62% • Russia 36.42 3.06% • Italy 35.69 3.00% • South Korea 34.87 2.93% • Brazil 33.30 2.80% TOTAL WORLDWIDE 1,190.10 Source: Information Please Almanac (online) , 2009

  12. Percent US Adults Who Use Computers, December 2008 Category Per Cent Women 75% Men 73% Generation Gen Y (ages 18-29) 87% Gen X (ages 30-49) 82% Boomers (ages 50-64) 72% Matures (ages 65+) 41% Source: Information Please Almanac 2009 (online)

  13. Percent US Adults Who Use Computers, 2008 Category Per Cent Race and Ethnicity Whites 77% Blacks 64% Hispanic (English-speaking) 58% Household Income <$30,000 57% $30,000--$49,999 77% $50,000--$74,999 90% $75,000+ 94% Source: information Please Almanac 2009 (online)

  14. Computer Usage in U.S.(Per Cent Adults Who Use Computers -- 2008) Category Per Cent Education Less than high school 35% High school grads/GED 67% Some college 85% College graduate/graduate degree 95% Geographic Location Rural 63% Urban 71% Suburban 74% Source: Infoplease.com/ipa/A0908342.html

  15. The Emergence of The Internet (1990s) • What is the Internet? • Electronic network that permits access to thousands of computer networks; a network of networks using standardized practices • Department of Defense ARPANET + National Science Foundation (NSF) • 1984 NSF established supercomputing centers that required a highspeed telecommunications backbone • ARPANET funding beginning to decline • NSFNET backbone created for civilians (particularly universities) • National High Performance Computing Act of 1991 -- “information highway” and National Research and Education Network (NREN)

  16. Internet Timeline • 1969 -- ARPA goes online connecting 4 universities • 1972 -- E-mail introduced by Ray Tomlinson, using @ • 1973 -- TCP/IP designed (becomes standard 1983) • 1976 -- Jimmy Carter & Walter Mondale use email to plan campaign events; Queen Elizabeth first state leader to use email • 1982 -- Word “Internet” used for first time • 1984 -- Domain Name System (DNS) established with address extensions (.com, .org, .edu) • 1985 -- Quantum Computer Services becomes AOL • 1988 -- Internet Worm shuts down 10% world’s Internet servers • 1989 -- First dial-up IP, Archie (ITP Archive), WAIS, WWW • 1991 -- Gopher point-and-click navigation (Univ. of Minnesota)

  17. Internet Timeline • 1994 -- White House launches web site, e-commerce, spamming, Netscape introduces Navigator browser • 1995 -- CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL start dial-up Internet access, Sun Microsystems releases JAVA, www.Vatican.va launched • 1996 -- Approximately 45 million using Internet, with 30 million in North America • 1997 -- NASA broadcasts Pathfinder photos from Mars • 1999 -- College student Shawn Fanning introduces Napster; 150 million Internet users worldwide (50% from US) • 2000 -- “Love Bug,” “Stages,” and other computer viruses circulated; “dot.com’s” fall • 2001 -- 9.8 billion email messages daily • 2002 -- 164.14 million US uses the Internet with 544.2 worldwide users

  18. Features of The Internet: ABCs, Nicknames, and Abbreviations • TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol (standard communication protocol) • E-mail -- personal and professional benefits (remember the invisible college?) • Bulletin boards and listservs • Remote login • Telnet • IP addresses • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) • Navigation tools, browsers, Gopher

  19. Percent Households with Computers, 1998 and 2003 Location 1998 2003 All 42.1% 61.8% Alabama 34.3% 53.9% Source:http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0931441.html

  20. Internet2 • Est. 1997 -- university/research consortium to foster the development of advanced Internet capabilities (in partnership with government and industry) -- expanded to K-20 • Indiana University Abilene [KS] Network -- advanced backbone http://www.internet2.edu/

  21. The World Wide Web (WWW) • European Particle Physics Lab (CERN) -- Switzerland -- 1989 • The Web is not the same as the Internet but an interface and navigation tool that helps structure Internet documents. • Hypertext originated for transmitting scientific information among researchers • Expanded to business, industry, students, and general population • HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) -- What’s the difference?

  22. Technolust and Technojunkies • Assumes that the new is always better than the old and that what is in development must be better than what just hit the market • Tupperware mentality? • Technology to recreate the universe (an end in itself) v. technology to connect people? • Why does technolust matter? • Extreme projections of doom and gloom • Unwilling to consider alternative viewpoints • Real-world economics not considered • Sees a simple future • Can’t integrate technology smoothly into workplace • OTOH: technojunkies push us toward change

  23. Implications of Computers in Libraries: Services • Redesign of physical space -- equipment, facilities, service centers, wiring, ergonomics, costs • “Library without walls” concept -- does electronic technology change or replace the role of the library? • Online catalog -- more thorough information (not just what but where, if checked out, etc.) • Extended services -- word processing, statistical analysis, desktop publishing, local area networks (LAN) • Networks -- ability to reach beyond the library walls , reciprocity among libraries

  24. Implications of Computers in Libraries: Services • American Library Association (Fred Weingarten) ‘s five roles for libraries and librarians on the NII • On-ramp of first resort • On-ramp of last resort • Navigator/guide • Archivist/depository/authenticator • Organizer of public information space • Web 2.0 (O’Reilly & Dougherty ’04)  Library 2.0 • Trends & models that survived the .com crash (collaborative, interactive, dynamic, users created as much content as they consumed), multisensory rather than textual, matrix not a collection of dialogues, user-centered • ‘Biblioblogosphere’ – home of discourse on Library 2.0 • Library 2.0 examples: user-centered/created, blogs, multi-media, ‘socially rich, communally innovative, virtual community • See www.webology.ir/2006/v3n2/a25.html by Jack M. Maness • Read anything/everything by Marshall Breeding (Vandy)

  25. Implications of Computers in Libraries: Collections • Definition of “collection” has changed: access v. ownership • Financial costs challenge “free library ethic” blur lines between commercial and not-for-profit providers • Online vendor systems facilitate acquisitions -- Amazon.com model (catalogs, reviews, ordering -- all in one database) • Outsourcing • Knowledge of hardware, software, network necessary in addition to knowledge of collection development • Balancing open access to Internet and quality control

  26. Implications of Computers in Libraries: Electronic Publishing • What print publications should disappear? • Ready reference, almanacs, indexes, statistics, etc. • Downloadable formats for the mass market? (multimedia) • Library-of-the-Month Club? CD-ROM magazines? Textbooks, encyclopedia, art, other niche markets • Project Gutenberg (aka “Replicator Technology”) • Michael Hart -- 1971 -- $ 1M computer time -- transferring hundreds of print texts into electronic format with volunteers ! • E-Journals (not those in databases) • Vaguely defined, numerous formats, technology in transition, complement not replacement to print

  27. Electronic Books • Early 1990s -- publishers began to digitize books (Sony’s portable e-books, CD-ROM encyclopedia/multimedia, Adobe Acrobat, Portable Document Format [PDF]) • Download to PCs, hand-held PDAs, proprietary readers (Kindles and Ipads) – publishing on demand • “Digital paper” and “e-ink” in development by Xerox, MIT, IMB, Motorola • Format standards = none (but US Dept. Commerce convening groups to develop common standards) • Legal issues • Title is tied to device, making sharing difficult and resale impossible (unlike print books) • Buying v. licensing • Readers’ issues -- Pricing, portability, comfort, privacy • See “Electronic Books: To ‘E’ or not to ‘E’; That Is the Question” at http://www.infotoday.com/searcher/apr00/ardito.htm by Stephanie Ardito in Information Today

  28. Implications of Computers in Libraries: Instruction • Library skills, library instruction, bibliographic instruction • One-on-one computer training • Online training (tutorials) • Group/class computer training • Train-the-trainer • Information literacy, computer literacy

  29. Technology & Preservation • Preserving legacy of the past while ensuring long-term accessibility of digital records in a rapidly evolving technical world • Print resources of past 150 = significant portion of US cultural heritage • All post-1850 books pubns at risk due to acidic paper used in manufacturing with unbleached wood pulp (LC estimates that 77,000 books become brittle annually.) • Electronic resources, esp. magnetic media, subject to both physical deterioration and hardware obsolescence • Exacerbating circumstances: multiplicity of formats, age and scope of collections, variation in life expectancy, no warning signs of deterioration in electronic formats

  30. Three Arenas for Advancing Preservation • National Efforts • ARL and CLIR, ALA, LC, NEH; National strategy to address brittle books (microfilming) ; NEH US Newspaper Program (microfilming); proactive solutions to change formats (elimination of acidic paper production) • Collaborative Programs • Cooperative agreements for preserving specific collections -- Am. Theological Lib. Assoc. filming deteriorating theology serials, monographs; ARL dividing up task for microfilming publications from 1870-1920 among member libraries • Institutional Programs • Local, individual efforts of research libraries to deal with their own collections (esp. properly controlled temperature and humidity, deacidification, reformatting)

  31. Preservation • “Keepers of the Crumbling Culture”

  32. Special Issues in Digitized Collections • “Mediated” materials (i.e., anything that uses equipment for access, such as microfilm, CD-ROM, etc.) -- more complex problems of preservation • “Ephemeral-ness” of online resources (not “fixed” in place like traditional print ) -- issues of authenticity and accuracy-- hard to catalog but they’re doing it! • Costs are considerable, particularly for retrospective conversion • Scanning v. bitmapping (to improve search capabilities for scholars/ researchers) • Current digitization projects are really pilot projects for future consideration

  33. Implications of Computers in Libraries: Human Resources • New positions -- require different skills, training (esp. older staff), systems staff (culture clash?), “accidental” positions? • Organizational changes -- outsourcing, patron-initiated service, blurring between public and technical services • Human beings -- ergonomics and physical concerns, “technostress” • Compulsive use of technology • Tension caused by degree of individual and organizational adaptability to new technologies • Adaptability of human mind to increased pace and lack of repose (exaggerated by technology)

  34. “Graying of the Profession” • US librarians older than their counterparts in most comparable professions • 1990 -- 50% age 45 and over; 1994 -- 58% age 45 and over • Rapid increases in technology over past 20 years > OJT training, workshops, conferences, classes • Other impacts of age of librarians and technology?

  35. Implications of Computers in Libraries: New Jobs? • Technology Consultant • Information Specialist • Technology Training Coordinator • Head of the Digital information Literacy Program • Head of Computer Services • Systems Librarian • Web Page Librarian • Cybrarian • Internet Services Librarian

  36. Are Libraries to Become Museums of Failed Technology? • 8 track tapes, audiotapes, videodisks, Betamax video, CD-ROM, etc. • Maintaining hardware (equipment) for software storage devices -- what is the “shelf life” of information technology? • How do libraries decide which technologies to adopt? • How do libraries decide what to do when one medium gives way to the next? • Paper v. digital • Long-term benefits • Long-term problems • Ultimately > the new improves or sustains the old

  37. Implications of Computers in Libraries: Mission • Is technology value-neutral? • Is technology in libraries the means or the end? • Are we developing electronic warehouses? • Is the purpose of technology to benefit the user or those who provide the service?

  38. Technology’s Challenge to Librarians: • Bringing the best of new technologies to bear on the best of library traditions and values Coming up: Using the best of library traditions and values for social advocacy