Peter R. Young, Director of the national Agriccultural Library in the USA is the keynote speaker during our opening congress of the Wageningen UR Library.
He starts out to describe the current role of the National Agricultural Library, which services 110,000 employees of the USDA and also plays an important role in servicing the American Public. Most interesting is the way he sketches the developments in Agricultural research in the USA. Actually research in general. Research becoming more interdisciplinary, more team based, data intensive and multi-source channels. As a research library they need integrated services, and cyberinfrastructure and digital archival, preservation & curatorial services.
The challenges for agricultural research that need to be addressed are global climate change research, access to clean water and sanitation, Animal and human infectious diseases and at last Human nutrition of course. Subsequently he goes into detail in the the challenge of feed, fiber, feed and fuel where he presents some scary statistics with respect to predicted meat production in 2050.
Via the modelling approaches for researchers and their data intensive practices he arrives on the subject of resource discovery. It is an interesting way in which he presents some of the differences between the print and digital possibilities in saerch and discovery tools, content resources, knowledge services and lists the transformational opportunities in a very long list of adjectives of what a library should represent, such as visible, innovative, integrated, evolutionary, diverse, authorative, cooperative, etc.
Towards the end he borrows heavily on Lorcan Dempsey‘s personal learning landscape, and goes into the developments of Web 2.0. He highlight LibraryThing and Twine which ties all together. The latter is still in closed testing.
He posses some challenges of Web 2.0 for libraries:
- Why do libraries need to catalog and create metadata records?
- Why not use social networking tools to provide tags?
- Why worry about access and demand when Google Scholar and Books are so popular?
- Why should we be concerned about preservation and stewardship of archival digital content?
- Will research libraries be marginalized, or is a new paradigm emerging?
His main lesson from Web 2.0 is that we need to ocus on the library in the user environment rather than the ser in the library environment.