The video, Did you know? created back in 2009 posits a number of clear trends. Some have proved to be astute, while the others merit some debate about their longevity. Here are five that have withstood the test of time.
- An increased reliance on visual media to access information.
- Mobile devices as the primary source of accessing the Internet
- The issue of piracy
- Increased use of Social Media Networks in workplaces
- Increased content creation
As more young people turning to video material for their information and entertainment (xplanevisualthinking, 2009), there is a genuine need from libraries to respond accordingly. Instead of creating help documents full of text, libraries need to take advantage of visual images that can impart the same assistance in a more appealing way. When trying to attract a higher participation rate of users, social networks, such as YouTube and Instagram, need to be leveraged rather than more text-based ways of communicating such as emails or blogs. By engaging with them on a platform they are familiar with and enjoy, libraries will have a better chance of capturing their attention.
Mobile devices as the primary browsing platform is forcing developers to re-envisage the way websites are built. Many of the templates that work well on standalone computers are being replaced by more mobile-friendly ones. They are graphically bolder, with less finesse, as such intricate extras are unnecessary when viewing on a phone. It’s also important to contain file sizes. People constantly using their phones might be partly responsible for the rise of microblogging sites like twitter, and visual sites like Instagram. These are easily accessible, and don’t take much time to update or download. Libraries who are connecting with patrons through their phones are realising the potential outreach.
Piracy continues to be an issue (xplanevisualthinking, 2009), and will increase unless governments put more thought into developing more sustainable policies. Currently legislature is so far behind the digital environment, it’s going to take a lot to stop people from taking whatever they want. It’s a primary role of school libraries to make young people aware of the ethical and legal issues surrounding, not only downloading content without permission, but also creating a positive online presence and being considerate and thoughtful towards others at all times.
Social media is becoming an acceptable, valid and effective way to market (xplanevisualthinking, 2009). As these previously ‘play’ sites become more oriented towards business and advertising, young people need to adjust the way they view them, and use them. Libraries can also leverage social networks to their own advantage, to market their services, and to promote themselves as a useful community resource.
The final trend is content creation (xplanevisualthinking, 2009). People are confidently uploading a range of different media styles and formats to the Internet, and sharing their artwork, their stories, and their ideas with a global audience. The immediacy, the cost-effectiveness, and the feedback means that anyone can post, and anyone can comment. Young people are learning very quickly how to monitor and assess their online presence. There is a lot ‘out there’ for libraries to also share, post and participate in.
These trends are not unexpected. Libraries need to ensure they can advantage of social networking tools to connect with patrons, as well as acknowledging their obligation to educate young people about the importance of creating a positive digital tattoo (McTaggart, 2015)
etsmagazine. (2015, March 2). The Digital Tattoo: Think Before You Ink. Retrieved 09 May 2015, from http://educationtechnologysolutions.com.au/2015/03/02/the-digital-tattoo-think-before-you-ink/