Library of the Future Blog

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This week’s headline comes from a speech from German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressing her concern for the big internet platforms’ algorithms and their ability to limit the information provided to users and the resulting public discourse. We're continuing with a slightly new format for the articles below. Thanks for your patience and understanding as we test things out.

Read more | 10/31/2016 - 21:37

Our headline is from an article about future co-location of Chicago Public Library branches in three new Chicago Housing Authority residences for senior and mixed-income residents. It’s an exciting vision for how libraries will be an important part of the future of cities by integrating themselves into a host of new directions. Please note, I’m trying a slightly new format with the articles below – see, I’m reading that survey feedback – to help improve this newsletter over the next few weeks. Thanks for your patience and understanding as we test things out.

Read more | 10/24/2016 - 18:30

This week’s subject line comes from an article in GQ announcing the new male model for makeup brand Covergirl. GQ was alluding to some of the push-back the brand has received, but it’s an interesting turn of phrase for thinking about the future. For some the future seems obvious or even overdue, while for others it’s a proposition that is less than welcome. Finding that connecting signal that helps make the future more apparent and necessary can help all of us work toward what's next. 

Read more | 10/17/2016 - 23:06

This week's opening line comes from an interesting article in LA Weekly about the rise in millennial’s nostalgia for music that came out just 10 years ago. For a brand that can sometimes be steeped in nostalgia, this seemed like a reminder that the windows for building lasting memories might be getting shorter.

Read more | 10/11/2016 - 03:53

This week’s headline comes from Amita Kelly, a digital editor and producer on NPR's Washington desk, referring to their recent project fact-checking and annotating a transcript from the recent presidential debate. From a project that involved lines of code, speech to text transcription, and a group editing platform, it was the collective intelligence of diverse journalists that created real value in the final product. That’s a line of thinking I hear again and again – the real value and future of libraries resides in the collective intelligence of library professionals.  

Read more | 10/03/2016 - 16:25

I’m quoting an insightful young woman in this week’s subject line who sent a proposal to the Unicode Consortium for the inclusion of a headscarf emoji that would be reflective of her group of friends. That drive for acknowledgement and recognition can be seen in several trends this week, including the introduction of Snapchat’s new Spectacles product, or the broadening of election information via streaming platforms, or even the growing niche segments in ride hailing services.   Three reminders:

Read more | 09/26/2016 - 17:54

That opening line is taken from a proposal submitted by the Sydney Opera House to make its spaces available for slumber parties for a limited number of guests several times a year. It was one of several reminders this week – including news of a new civic commons initiative supported by four major foundations – that physical spaces are still important to our futures.

Read more | 09/12/2016 - 14:59

This week’s subject line is excerpted from Steven Pearlstein’s article “Meet the parents who won’t let their children study literature” in The Washington Post.

Read more | 09/06/2016 - 10:03

This week’s subject line is excerpted from a letter sent to University of Chicago students by Dean of Students Jay Ellison, a letter whose blunt assertion of existing university policies refocused attention on the debate over trigger warnings, safe spaces, and campus speech. Libraries matter in that debate and a host of other news items featured this week, from subscription service exclusives like Frank Ocean’s much anticipated album Blond to the blurring line between brick and mortar and online services exemplified by Walmart, Home Depot, and YouTube’s new Creator Store.

Read more | 08/29/2016 - 16:29

I’m a day late this week – I'm blaming it on some travel yesterday – but I hope that this week's scan will still prove useful. This week’s post leads with a quote from an article in The Verge detailing an experience many of us have had: searching for something online with only the smallest details of what we are looking for. This week also sees articles about autonomous cars, crime at big box stores, and continuing concern for harassment in online spaces.   

Read more | 08/23/2016 - 18:54

The title of this week’s post comes from a quote by a New York Times editor, featured in a CNN article included below, explaining their decision to use text messaging as a reporting option from the Olympic Games. It’s a sentiment that will likely resonate with many library professionals who have adapted and innovated services to stay relevant with user needs and interests.

Read more | 08/15/2016 - 15:23

The title of this week’s post comes from a fascinating article from The Guardian that considers the role of fact-checking websites (e.g. in what is increasingly considered a post-truth era. "Everything is pouring through" could also serve as a reminder of the many streams that can influence our future - trends in content, demographics, education, spaces, the list goes on.

Read more | 08/08/2016 - 17:43

This week brought out some of my favorite topics. An interesting piece on interactive and web-connected toys. A string of articles on hotels (Marriott), retailers (Sephora), and grocery stores that shows how relationships with customers are changing. A look at how our traditional notions of masculinity might be upended – in this case, by the growing popularity of K-pop bands. A shout-out to Phoenix, where new efforts to increase tree shade likely won’t have materialized by the time I head there in a few weeks.

Read more | 08/01/2016 - 15:38

No shortage of news this week. Leslie Jones’ experience on Twitter illustrated the truly awful harassment that can be experienced on social media – an incident that will hopefully lead to greater support for those who experience harassment and more careful consideration for how the community constructs itself. There was quite a bit about publishing this week, including some interesting stories about romance writers, indie presses, and one hour book delivery.

Read more | 07/25/2016 - 18:47

We only teased Pokémon Go last week, but with more time behind us we take a closer look at some of the popular game’s implications for augmented reality, physical spaces, and the demographic categories it may exclude. Additionally, national and international politics provide opportunities to consider the implications of social media and live streaming for sharing news and content. Along the way, some news about the sharing economy, internet filtering, and what the popularity of headphones might say about us.   

Read more | 07/18/2016 - 18:05