Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Robots to replace european librarians

Forget about web2 and social media, Google scholar and Google books!
The real threat to traditional libraries is a small robot in the shape of a rabbit named after a Children's fairytale - Kalle Kanin. So we saw at the European Association for Development Institutes Information Management Working Groups meeting hosted by NIAS in Copenhagen last week. Whilst primarily discussing key issues on communicating and managing information on development issues we took time out to hear from Kalle.

This wolf in rabbit's clothing can glance at a book, look up it's ISBN numbers, give you a summary and provide a review. As the latest member to join the EADI Information Management Working Group, the initial reception was welcoming. After all this skilled character, who works at NIAS, can speak over 20 languages,know instinctively when his websites are visited and is more popular on Facebook than most librarians could dream to be in a lifetime.

He was however not a big contributor to the open space sessions which discussed everything from Multiple Knowledge, Open Source, Storytelling, Bias in communication, reaching audiences , Information Managers vs Communication specialists, the use of podcasting to reach politicians and other Open Space discussions. See all the blog entries which summarise some of these discussions.

He missed the Euforic session hearing from members on how they are communicating climate change issues, the key note speech of Lea Santana from NEIM, and the peer assist session.
Neither did he see all the tweets, videos and presentations brought together at

I hear that Kalle Kanin is staring in a remake of Fritz Lang's Metropolis .... Metropolib.

For the Information Management Working Group we're just planning a meeting next year in Brussels.

The results of the open space sessions helped us identifying the issues that we'll be discussing between now and then:

  • Improving research communication;
  • Making information managers and communicators work together;
  • Information management versus creativity;
  • Building innovation in our work;
  • The importance of low bandwidth;
  • Linking up with researchers?
by Chris Addison

See also Euforic newsfeeds on information, knowledge, communication, and from the IMWG 2009 workshop.