Wednesday, February 2, 2011

new media = change = libraries

At the end of January there were candidates on-campus interviewing for an assistant professor of communications position. I was able to attend two of the candidate's teaching demos. I wanted to show my support since I've been on that side of the hiring process recently and learn something new. I believe I managed both.

The presentation where I took the most notes and made me think was the candidate whose session focused around an introduction to new media. The goals for the session were to define "new media" and discuss it in conjunction with business communication studies. New media was defined as traditional media + interactive power of technology.

The candidate asked us as the class for examples of new media. We mentioned the internet, mobile phones, digital music, digital photos, and digital film. Then the candidate noted basic characteristics of new media included instant access anytime, the notion of a "global village", two way communication, and Democratization. He then added that new media adds user generated content and media mash-up.

New media = change

One other idea mentioned is that with new media, there is a "wildfire nature of passing information from ordinary people to ordinary people."

This got me thinking about how this applies to libraries. I have many colleagues who are more on the forefront of electronic content access for e-readers and e-books in libraries than me. However, I had an epiphany sitting in that candidate presentation: traditional media + interactive power of technology = 21st century libraries. Oh, and since we're already in the 21st century, that means today's libraries. Since new media = change, Library Renewal is completely on target.

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