AALL Annual Meeting: Opening Session

An opening session at a convention should inspire the attendee and carry over into the remaining days. I think that this opening session definitely accomplished that goal and more.

As we arrived, a short video presentation was repeating on the large screens. The video, an introduction to the ideas presented in We-Think by Charles Leadbeater, was amazing and I encourage you to watch it.

Up next, the keynote speaker Jonathan Zittrain author of The Future of the Internet–And How to Stop It. Jonathan started his remarks with the confession that his knowledge of libraries is somewhat limited, so he wanted solidify a definition and identify challenges.  Some of his thoughts:

  • Library (n.) – A fortress; protecting the books
    • Collections have become archives (e.g. fallout shelters; just in case)
    • 80/20 Rule applies – only about 20% of the collection is used
    • Library has become a place to get online; reading rooms look like computer clusters
  • Library (v.) – No more in person reference; “self help”
  • Library (adj.) – This is the real challenge we are facing; what is the “core purpose”?
    • Look at AALL’s mission and break it down into the important components:
      • Central to society
      • Fair and Equitable
      • Authentic
      • Educate

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