The Library provides more than just a books, media and computers. It provides a social space to gather, creating opportunities for people to network their skills and learn from each other. The library delivers opportunities to share in groups, learn from peers and connect with friends. The library is a place that allow for common activities and social connections in a physical environment.
In the future, work and study will be more electronic. Students will do most of their work in the “cloud;” most faculty will be teaching and testing 100% online. From a library technology point of view, mobile tools, multi-platform visualizations and 3D printing will be available for collaboration and high-speed communication.
Google Glasses are a good example of how the world will change 10 years in the future. In the future, we will be pulling up content from our glasses in new and different ways, reacting to our environment with library search technology. The OPAC or library catalog will be available on the go.
In the op-ed “the Man With the Google Glasses” by Ross Douthat, we realize that technology is not the only answer to a healthy learning environment. According to a Duke University study, Americans used to have more friends. In the 1980’s Americans reported having, on average, three people with whom they discussed important issues. In the mid-2000’s, Americans became more isolated with only two close friends to share important issues. Is this a result of our use of the internet?
Social Isolation is real. For example, Sociologist Eric Klinenberg, “Going Solo: the Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.” He states that more American’s are living alone today then ever before, begging the question: what about libraries? Is it the place for positive social interactions in a technological world?
The Library is critical to sharing information when connected virtually or not. It is a place for scholarly, social and cultural uses. It provides opportunities for the Man with the Google Glasses to interact with the community.
For a road map to begin research – go to: “Library start up” – physical and virtual space for social interaction, jobs communication and sharing. Physical or Virtual, it is a quiet and noisy space to grow ideas into a better future world.
Below is a link to a video from Google About their Glasses – note that the protagonists visit’s the Strand Bookstore. Google should have the person meet at the library. It is a better place to gather and share. See –Google Glasses