Omar Wasow – Libraries in the Age of GoogleOctober 27th, 2007 by infomancy
Omar Wasow is closing the AASL 2007 conference with a discussion of what we must do to thrive in the age of Google/Amazon/Whatever. We cannot beat these companies, but we can succeed by remaining focused on our core values. School libraries are about critical thinking and information fluency – these are the critical tools for success. Libraries also provide a space, a place for reflection and a slower pace.
Omar did his homework preparing for this talk, and was able to take us through a quick tour of some of the turmoil and challenges libraries are facing. From the Wyoming Mudflap flap to questions about what libraries do for users, he acknowledged that this is a pivotal time for libraries.
What can libraries do? Become a transformation. Be a transformed place (a place to connect or disconnect) and also be a transformed information experience. Libraries can help. Book: The Experience Economy – B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore.
There are five stages of economy, shown here in terms of coffee:
Commodity – a sack of coffee beans
Product – a can of Folgers
Service – a cup of coffee at a diner
Experience – a custom brewed cup at a local shop
Transformation – a coffee tasting class
So Wasow suggests that libraries can transcend to become a transformational experience for information. [I have been pushing the past two years to create Fish4Info as an experience, now I have a new goal to work towards!!!]
In closing, libraries can be a “public park for your brain.”