- Get Smart
- My Wallet, My Way
- Fight for Your Rights
- Gender Watch
If you subscribe to Mintel, you can see some of this content on their recorded webinars page. I would definitely encourage checking it out. It does seem that some of the content on the webinar is different than the content from the presentation we saw. However, as a British company, it is likely that the webinar is focusing on British and European trends, while we saw a presentation on US trends. On their site, Mintel includes Get Smart, E@sy Street, Fight for Your Rights, and Toxic Avengers as the major 2015 trends.
- Reporting & Integration: with an emphasis in user privacy, libraries do not offer reporting features or cross-platform integration. Some users might want to add everything they've checked out from the library straight to GoodReads, RefWorks, or another 3rd party database. Most of our current systems do not allow this type of direct data export. We're actually in the middle of a system upgrade now, and I'll be interested to see if there is any integration with a library supported system like RefWorks. Either way - we typically operate on systems that are independent and cannot be directly integrated with other products. We also don't offer any "progress tracking" reporting, that is a fun component associated with many aspects of the Internet of Things. It would be fun to see a library that was able to integrate percentage of class readings completed, money saved through using the library resources, or a report on average pages read vs. individual pages read for a particular major.
- Social features: one of the most fun parts of owning a FitBit (I've been told) is competing with your friends. I can update everyone on how far I've run using RunKeeper, I can share with my friends when I've completed my tax return through TaxAct, and I can invite all of my Facebook friends to view my GoodReads list. I can earn points by shopping at the same store for a long time, and redeem them for a free product or service making me a loyal customer that will share my experience with my friends. Other than sharing a direct link to a catalog entry, there are few digitally-social ways for patrons to engage with library services. Interacting with library social media sites doesn't count; someone commenting on a Coca-Cola Facebook post is not the same as someone sharing their Coke Rewards on Facebook. We want the organic interaction that encourages people to return to the product or service, and in return recruit new patrons.
- Reminders, Alerts, and Comments: I am traveling to South America later this year, so I've downloaded DuoLingo onto my cellphone. Every day when I haven't completed my daily Spanish lesson I get a little alert that reminds me to complete the task. It's not an email I have to read, or buried in an app or calendar that has to be opened to receive notifications. To be honest, it's the only thing that keeps me on track with completing the lessons. More and more frequently downloadable content comes with a notification system. Libraries can't really compete with this type of direct integration. Many library systems will alert patrons with emails if they have books that are due, or are being recalled - but these days students do not read emails in the same way professional people use/read emails. A smartphone alert with options to automatically renew, ILL, file a purchase request, schedule a meeting or connect with a librarian should increase accessibility.
- Connected Classroom Services: Let's face it, libraries have some competition to keep people in our platform for a significant amount of time. Students may use our site to find information, but that's not the platform used for assignment submission, forum discussions, or group work. The constant back-and-forth between systems can be frustrating and confusing. For this reason (among others) many professors choose to upload content directly to the course portal, rather than encouraging library site use. This elimination of our service is convenient for students, but changes their behavior and attitudes towards access of information. Not only is the technological system problematic - the user behavior of both faculty and students increase the challenge in this particular circumstance.
These are only four possible roadblocks in a series of challenges we will face. The important takeaway is that the library lives in an isolated system of operations, and forces users to make a choice. Should I learn how to use a new system or service, or find a service on my existing ecosystem that is fully integrated? For many students that are unaware of the depth of library services and resources, this may seem like an easy decision. I'm going to use the native integrated system and assume if there isn't a suitable service on my smartphone, a suitable service must simply not exist. I think there may be many ways we can combat this isolation, but that will be another (much longer) conversation for another day.