Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Do You Know 4.0" Trends and Information Policy

Information policy addresses "positive issues that arise out of technology changes and the perceived development of an information society" (Dearnley & Feather, 2001, p.85).The video Do you know 4.0 outlines some of these changes and developments  to do with how people behave as digital citizens. I have chosen 5 of these trends to discuss how they can be used for the development of information policy at the library I work at.

“Mobile Users will be the worlds primary connection tool to the internet in 2020”
Because of this trend library information policy must define a course of action that will see the library invest into applications that allow library information, such as website and catalogue, to be accessed on mobile devises. At present the library I work at has given little attention to this, but in order to prepare for the future this needs to be actively working towards mobile apps.

“The amount of text messages the average American teen sends each month is 2,272”
Text messaging is definitely being seen as the preferred method of communication. At present the the library I work at uses post and email the means of communicating with patrons, although most patrons give the library a mobile phone number as a contact. Social information policy should acknowledge a preference for text messages as a primary means of contacting members regarding overdue books and reservation.

“95% of all songs downloaded last year weren't paid for”
Library information policy should address intellectual property rights and copyright especially if patrons are illegally downloading music in the library The essence of copyright is that that authors or creators 'have complete control over their reproducible or performable creations”(Dearnley & Feather, 2001, p.69). The information policy should be clear about what is allowed and not allowed while using the internet at the library. Blocking these sites is not an option as it impinges on an individuals right to have unrestricted assess to information.

“Newspaper circulation is down 7 million over the last 25 years, but in the last 5 years unique readers of online newspapers are up 30 million”
Our library gets physical copies of the newspapers: The Herald Sun, The Age, The Australian, and Financial Review. All these newspapers are available online and require payment or subscription for anything but the briefest news (Lowe, 2012). As yet the library does not subscribe to any of these newspapers online. Considering the trend of reading newspapers online and taking into account libraries are important institutions for efficient and and easy access to online information (Dearnley & Feather, 2001, p.83) then information policy should address the need of access to online newspapers as a main source of news.

“Wikipedia launched in 2001. It now features over 13 million articles in more than 200 languages”
Wikipedia is very successful and much easier to access than traditional encyclopedias, even if its reliability and authority has been questioned. The rapid growth and popularity of Wikipedia should influence information policy at my library in making the promotion of informational literacy skills a priority which would see Wikipeda used as a guide to other sources.

Dearnley, J., & Feather, J. (2001). Information policy. The wired world: An introduction to the theory and practice of the information society (pp. 60-93). London: Library Association.

Lowe, A. (2012, June 19) Fairfax joins the shift to charging for online news. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/national/fairfax-joins-the-shift-to-charging-for-online-news-20120618-20kcj.html

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