The Information Professional
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The Information Professional
Librarians and Archivists in a fast-changing digital lanscape
Curated by Karen du Toit
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Beating Siri at Her Own Game: What's Next for Virtual Reference ... - Library Journal

Beating Siri at Her Own Game: What's Next for Virtual Reference ... - Library Journal | The Information Professional |


'Library Journal "Beating Siri at Her Own Game: What's Next for Virtual Reference"

The librarians who attended Saturday's “What's Next for Virtual Reference” discussion group at ALA left with a lot to ponder."


Courtney Young's, a 2011 Library Journal Mover and Shaker [...],
first prediction: Cloud computing will become more ubiquitous in virtual reference. Using the cloud, she explained, means taking advantage of storage and other functions that are offered by Internet companies instead of being limited to the functions that are available on your own computer. Young used a show of hands to demonstrate that while many librarians are using services such as DropBox to store their work or personal documents, they aren’t using them with patrons, a change she urged the librarians in the room to make. They could, she suggested, create a “My Library Cloud” area into which materials could be deposited for patron use. Young recognized that the exact mechanisms of how this should work aren’t certain, acknowledging, for example that “ebooks are still shaking out,” but maintained that patrons “are used to using these services personally, and why wouldn’t they use them at the library?”
Next was a call to arms: “Siri is what we do,” she said, noting that what Apple calls iPhone’s “intelligent personal assistant” is “virtual reference embedded into a device that people are very attached to.” While it isn’t very effective right now, Young asserted, it can only improve, and librarians need to position themselves as the alternatives to the service before they find themselves replaced."

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Curating Information & Making Sense of Data Is a Key Skill for the Future [Research]

Curating Information & Making Sense of Data Is a Key Skill for the Future [Research] | The Information Professional |

Extremely valuable skills for Infrmation Professionals of the future:


Robin Good: The Institute for the Future and the University of Phoenix have teamed up to produce, this past spring, an interesting report entitled Future Work Skills 2020.


By looking at the set of emerging skills that this research identifies as vital for future workers, I can't avoid but recognize the very skillset needed by any professional curator or newsmaster.


It should only come as a limited surprise to realize that in an information economy, the most valuable skills are those that can harness that primary resource, "information", in new, and immediately useful ways.


And being the nature of information like water, which can adapt and flow depending on context, the task of the curator is one of seeing beyond the water,

to the unique rare fish swimming through it.


The curator's key talent being the one of recognizing that depending on who you are fishing for, the kind of fish you and other curators could see within the same water pool, may be very different. 



Here the skills that information-fishermen of the future will need the most:


1) Sense-making:

ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed


2) Social intelligence:

ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions


3) Novel and adaptive thinking:

proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based


4) Cross-cultural competency:

ability to operate in different cultural settings


5) Computational thinking:

ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning


6) New media literacy:

ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication


7) Transdisciplinarity:

literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines


8) Design mindset:

ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes


9) Cognitive load management:

ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques


10) Virtual collaboration:

ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team



Critical to understand the future ahead. 9/10


Curated by Robin Good


Executive Summary of the Report: 


Download a PDF copy of Future Work Skills 2020:  

Via Robin Good, janlgordon
Beth Kanter's comment, December 20, 2011 7:34 PM
Thanks for sharing this from Robin's stream. These skills sets could form the basis of a self-assessment for would-be curators, although they're more conceptual - than practical/tactical. Thanks for sharing and must go rescoop it with a credit you and Robin of course
janlgordon's comment, December 20, 2011 7:56 PM
Beth Kanter
Agreed. It's also one of the articles I told you about....good info to build on:-)
Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, September 4, 2014 2:34 AM

Curating Information and Data Sense-Making Is The Key Skill for the Future [Research]