2011 PLA Virtual Spring Symposium

2011 PLA Virtual Spring Symposium logo

Can Your Library Provide the Electronic Content That People Want and Need?

Technology Track: Program 2

  • 12:30–1:30 PM EDT
  • 11:30 AM–12:30 PM CDT
  • 10:30–11:30 AM MDT
  • 9:30–10:30 AM PDT

When it comes to content and libraries, people want what they want; when they want it; in the format they want. But services like Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon offer electronic content much more effectively than libraires. As larger consumption patterns shift more and more away from physical formats (print, CD, DVD), to electronic formats, and as libraries struggle financially, how can we possibly offer access in competitive ways? In this session we'll look at the electronic content access environment we inhabit and the directions we are headed. We'll then look to our competition, our history, and our institutional missions for ways libraries can take solid, practical action to remain relevant in the rapidly impending world where electronic content accounts for the most of library's "circulation".  


Michael Porter is a librarian, presenter, author, practical technology fan, and PEZ collector. He has 20 years of experience working in Libraryland and has presented hundreds of times to library staff around the world. His writings regularly appear in major library journals around the world. In 2009 he was selected as a Library Journal “Mover & Shaker,” in 2010 was elected to ALA’s governing Council, and in 2011 was also elected to the ALA Executive Board. He currently works at WebJunction.org in Seattle, Washington as their communications manager and also serves as the president for Library Renewal, an organization dedicated to research, partnerships, and grassroots support for libraries as they struggle to offer electronic content to their users in competitive ways.