From a school library perspective, many of these trends or shifts in technology use outlined back in 2009 have a huge impact on what an information policy for the school might need to include.
1. 1 000 000 books published worldwide every year/ 1000 pages digitised every hour through Google Book search scanner
There is a real shift for connecting with the written word through digital avenues. It is immediate, timely and relevant, especially using Google Books search tool. Books can be accessed 24/7 and not just when the library or book store is open. What if the text needs to be shipped from overseas? This takes a long time. Digital access provides immediate connection, just when you are inspired and when your interest is piqued. School libraries need to seriously consider a shift towards digital access. This way texts can be ‘borrowed out’ to multiple readers simultaneously, not one at a time.
2. Newspapers- printed circulation down 7 million over last 25 years; Online circulation is up 30 million in last 5 years
Clearly, what we have known for some time about the importance of immediate connection when dealing with news influences this trend. News happens and social media platforms alert the world. When people want to find out more, traditional printing of newspapers isn’t fast enough in this social media world. School libraries should connect users to digital online news rather than continue to subscribe to dated hard copies of newspapers.
3. Traditional advertising declining; Digital advertising is growing rapidly
Because traditional publications are declining, it would seem logical that advertising in those arenas would also decline. As school libraries try to brand their image, consideration needs to be made to a digital approach to inform users of programs and news. Social media is the most immediate connector, whereas once newsletters , emails and telephone calls were the norm.
4. 10 million unique visitors to 3 large tv networks every month/ 250 million unique visitors to 3 large social networking platforms every month, which didn’t exist 6 years before.
This trend highlights the senselessness in holding on to more traditional methods of communication and connection. School libraries need to embrace digital trends. The fact that such companies that didn’t exist 6 years previously could pull such a high impact speaks volumes regarding the fluidity of social media. What is popular now may not be in a few short years. That is why school librarians need to stay informed about changes and trends in social media. Tools such as current social media infographics are important for continuing professional understanding for all teacher librarians.
5. The mobile device will be the world’s primary connection tool to the internet in 2020.
Progressively technology is becoming more powerful and smaller in size. Of particular interest was the point made that the most powerful computer in 1965, which was housed in a building, is nothing compared to what we now carry around in our pockets. This amazing trend highlights how much we have the world at our fingertips. How much the world needs to catch up in terms of providing access to what this technology can do. School libraries need to include in their policies clear guidance regarding mobile technology and ‘bring your own devices’. Clear policy about how these devices are used, access provided by the school and security of information should be included in such policy writing.