At first I want to say that emtacl12, the conference on emerging technologies in academic libraries, that took place in Trondheim, was really great. We heard and saw interesting talks and presentations, had lively discussions, got a lot of new ideas for new services and how to do things better in future. But when I let these talks pass I notice that nobody presented really new technologies. There were for example presentations about how linked open data could be used for new approaches and services. So, when Richard Wallis showed the scheme of the LOD cloud on the last day, he wondered to be the first one to do this during the congress. But people who attended emtacl10 mentioned that it was already shown two years ago. LOD is for this community a well known technology, not emerging, but already here to stay.
So, did we hear nothing new at emtacl12? Of course, not! But it was not the technologies themselves, it was the way how libraries can use them for creating new services for researchers and students that predominated the presentations. There was for example Guus van den Brekel who showed how he creates with well known tools (WordPress, RSS) absolutely great new services for researchers. And in the last keynote by Brian Kelly I learned that exactly these WordPress blogs help you to ship a lot of traffic to your webpages. With this simple tools the academic output of researchers is better visible in the web.
I wanted to use this only as an example to illustrate a more general trend: the technologies are already here, libraries have now the task to use them in order to create new academic services and products. This is their main task today – and I don’t want to say that this is easier than to explore new technologies. The lively discussion of my presentation about introducing the method of innovation management in libraries showed me that this is one possible solution for the great task, the adaption of technology and the creation of new services by libraries.