From LIDA to LAIU: Libraries in an Age of Information Ubiquity
The founding of the LIDA conference series was a bold and exciting move to consider seriously the impact and implications of the digitization of multiple forms of information, in all aspects of society, on the roles and functions of libraries, as well as the practice of librarianship, and information work in general. The proceedings of the LIDA meetings, and concurrent developments in society at large, provide ample evidence of the necessity of addressing this phenomenon, and of the success of the LIDA endeavor. However, in the 20 years since LIDA was founded, information and communication technologies have moved far beyond the initial stage of availability of what we might call traditional information in digital form, to a situation in which people’s very environment is both source of, and access to, varieties of information never before available in any form. We claim that this new information milieu, which we call the Age of Information Ubiquity, sets entirely new challenges to the basis of library and information services, which may well require radical changes in how we think of the very concepts of internal knowledge and external information. In this paper, we describe some salient aspects of the ubiquitous information milieu and their effects on the conduct of everyday life, and discuss some possible implications of these factors on the nature and role of services and structures, such as libraries, which aim to support people’s interactions with information.
Nicholas J. Belkin is Distinguished Professor of Information Science in the Department of Library & Information Science, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University. Professor Belkin is known as one of the founders of the cognitive viewpoint in information science, and as a leader in integrating information behavior research with information retrieval research. His most recent research has focused on personalization of interaction with information, especially with respect to the nature of the task which leads people to engage in information seeking, and on methods for evaluation of whole-session search.
Professor Belkin has served as the Chair of the ACM SIGIR, and President of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T). He is the recipient of the ASIST’s Outstanding Teacher award, its Research Award, and its Award of Merit. In 2015, he received the ACM SIGIR Gerard Salton Award, for significant, sustained and continuing contributions to research in information retrieval.
Encountering the Anthropocene, algorithms and the practice of information literacy in the new normal
As we enter a new decade, the emerging narrative of the Anthropocene and the impact of algorithmic culture represent two themes that will challenge and change societal thinking. This challenge will lead to new dialogues about knowledge and ways of knowing, the establishment of new discursive formats, and a greater need for interdisciplinary thinking to address the ‘new normal’ being created by changed environmental and technological conditions.
Library and Information Science researchers, educators and practitioners are not immune from this changing dialogue and the challenges this new age will have on knowledge and information practices that will shape and transform identity, culture, communication, agency, activism and social justice in the digital age.
From a social perspective the concepts of the Anthropocene and the impact of algorithmic culture provides us with the conceptual imagination necessary to enter the discussion and consider the impact of the ‘new normal’ on our information environments and landscapes. Specifically, this presentation will draw from previous research which has focused on information literacy practice with workplace and refugee populations that can contribute to the Library and Information Science field’s response to changing environmental and technological conditions.
This presentation responds to the questions:
What lessons can be learnt from current research that encourages new research agendas for information literacy practice? and
How do we encourage a narrative of information resilience to address the impact of the Anthropocene and algorithmic culture?
Annemaree Lloyd is a Professor at the Department of Information Studies, University College London. She is a social science researcher with an interest in socio-cultural and practice theoretical perspectives; in landscape and visual methodology; and in qualitative techniques. Her research explores information literacies and contemporary information practices in formal and informal learning connected to workplaces, community settings and in higher education. Her current research program focuses on the intersection between information, learning, and the performance of practice. She is also interested in the connection between information literacies, social inclusion, and collaborative learning.
Professor Lloyd is also engaged with theoretical work associated with the development of information practice, information literacy theory and landscape methodology.
Adapting to the life in technosphere: human-technology coexistence and the changing nature of life and work in a high-tech culture
Technosphere is defined as a novel ecosystem in which nature and technology are intertwined in a more symbiotic way. Though the term itself can create methodological and theoretical confusion and some scientists find it misleading, in this presentation it is used to describe the impact cutting-edge technology and high-tech innovations have on human society and the biosphere; impact that leads to a more sophisticated and interdependent, as well as faster and more extreme technological, economic, social and environmental changes. The question is how do we navigate this uncharted technological landscape of increasing automation, algorithmization, uberization and other phenomena that change our individual and collective lives, economic and social systems, life conditions and work circumstances, thus eventually determining our life chances.
Based on social and critical theory, philosophical anthropology and philosophical posthumanism, extensive review of literature and current research, and analysis of WEF reports focused on new disruptive technologies, the changing nature of work, upcoming social change, and the ever growing human-technology interaction, this presentation will focus on how to approach these challenges in a more nuanced manner, with more awareness, more calm and more balance, all the while recognizing how can we, as LIS professionals, contribute to fruitful coexistence of organisms and algorithms, to successful public debate and good decision making, and to unlocking the technology for good and for positive social change.
Some of the issues this presentation will reflect upon are:
Milijana Mičunović is an assistant professor at the Department of Information Sciences, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Osijek. Her principal research interests include human-technology interaction, cyberanthropology and communication theory. She teaches and co-teaches several courses, some being Technological changes and human-technology interaction, Information theory, Information society, Business communication, Communication culture and communication theory, and other. She's an open source enthusiast and she participated in different open source projects like OpenStreetMap, MeshPoint – open wifi router for humanitarian crisis, and Open WiFi Network Osijek. She's inspired by the truth that „All existence is dukkha.” (Buddha), and a simple business/life wisdom known as „Somehow I manage.” (Michael G. Scott). To her, they represent two important things – philosophy and humor, i.e. ability to question and explore the nature of reality, and to laught at it from time to time.