Raising Awareness

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What Next for Libraries? Making Sense of the Future


Brian Kelly gave an invited 45 minute talk on What Next for Libraries? Making Sense of the Future at the Emerging Technologies in Academic Libraries 2012 Conference. The conference was held on 1-3rd October 2012 at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology University Library, Trondheim.

The talk took place from 12.30-13.15 on Wednesday 3rd October 2012.


How should organisations go about predicting and planning for technological developments? This talk describes approaches which have been taken by JISC Observatory which is provided by JISC in conjunction with UKOLN and CETIS, the JISC Innovation Support Centres.

The talk will describe ways in which 'weak signals' - which may indicate possible significant changes - can be detected.

However there are dangers that predicting the future can simply provide an echo chamber which seek to reinforce established expectations of what the future may hold. Such prediction activities can therefore be of little value unless they are accompanied by interpretation and analysis which leads to appropriate actions. The talk will describes ways in which the implications of evidence-based emerging patterns of usage can be interpretted and analysed and appropriate plans formulated.



What Next for Libraries? Making Sense of the Future
[MS PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

Note that the slides are available on Slideshare and embedded below.

What Next for Libraries? Making Sense of the Future from Brian Kelly

Accompanying Video

A video recording of the talk is available on Vimeo.

Accompanying Paper

The paper is available from the University of Bath institutional repository:

[About] - [MS Word] - [PDF]

Biographical Details

Image of Brian KellyBrian Kelly is a member of the Executive group of the Innovation Support Centre which is part of UKOLN, a well-established applied research organisation based at the University of Bath.

Brian is an experienced speaker on topics such as Web accessibility, Web 2.0 and the Social Web. In recent years Brian has been an invited plenary speaker at international conferences held in Stockholm, Taiwan, Singapore and Melbourne. He has also written peer-reviewed papers on topics including Web accessibility, Web standards and Web 2.0. Brian also established the Institutional Web Management Workshop (IWMW) in 1997 - this year sees the 16th in the series taking place at the University of Edinburgh.

Brian's areas of interest include ways in which Web 2.0 and the Social Web can be used to support professional, scholarly and research activities, Web standards, Web accessibility and Web metrics. In addition his interests in open content has led in recent years to taking a pro-active role in the provision of 'amplified events' in order to maximise discussions at an event and to enhance the outreach by encouraging participation with a remote audience.

Brian is a prolific blogger, primarily on the UK Web Focus blog, but also contributes to several other blogs. The UK Web Focus blog provides a forum for 'thinking out loud' about the implications of Web 2.0 and the Social Web, engaging in discussions and debate as well as disseminating his work activities.

In December 2007 Brian received the Information World Review award for the Information Professional of the Year. In December 2011 he was the runner-up in the Computer Weekly's IT Professional Blogger of the year section of their annual Social Media awards.


The following photographs were taken during the talk: