Looking forward - what's on the technology horizon?

What technology innovations should information professionals be aware of - and preparing for?

Looking forward to Internet Librarian International

Internet Librarian International (ILI) is my favourite conference (with the understandable exception of UKOLN's Institutional Web Management Workshop series which UKOLN launched in 1997 and has been held annually ever since!). I have spoken at all ILI conferences with the exception of ILI 2008 when I was an invited speaker at a conference held at the National Library of Singapore. ILI combines a great mixture of a friendly environment, an audience of enthusiastic information professionals who are looking to exploit the potential of online services and an opportunity to re-establish links with people with shared interests and develop new contacts.

I can also say that the ILI conference was responsible for a significant transformation in my working practices. Back in 2006 I took part in a Web 2.0 panel session and my fellow panelists (Phil Bradley, Paul Miller and Michael Stephens) teased me for being the only panelist who didn't have a blog. A few weeks later the UK Web Focus blog was launched. Since then I have published over 970 posts and the blog has had over 360,000+ views. The blog played a significant role in raising my visibility and that of UKOLN across the international Library community and was, I suspect, instrumental in my being presented with the Information Professional of the Year Award in 2007.

Technology innovations

At this year's event I'll be talking about 'What's On the Technology Horizon'. My talk is based on a JISC Observatory report which has been commissioned by UKOLN and CETIS, the JISC Innovation Support Centres. A Technology Outlook report has been published recently which provides a summary of innovations which an international panel of experts feel will have significant impact in the next year or sooner, in 2-3 years and in 4-5 years time.

The report focused on innovations which are expected to have an impact on the higher education sector. In my talk I will describe the innovations which will be of particular relevance to the library community and provide suggestions on ways in which attendees may prepare themselves for the implications of the changing environment we may experience if and when the predictions materialise.

Share your experiences

For those who are unable to attend ILI this year I will, of course, be blogging a summary of my talk on the UK Web Focus blog. I've also written a blog post in advance of my talk inviting librarians who may have examples of relevant innovative approaches to provide me with details which I could mention in my talk. If, in particular, you have examples of uses of uses of Augmented Reality, Collective Intelligence, Telepresence or Smart Objects in a library context I'd like to hear about it!

Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus, UKOLN) will be speaking at Internet Librarian International 2011.

Picture by Gerlos via Flickr.