by Marilyn Bromley, Washington DC Chapter
When Cindy Romaine announced Future Ready as the theme of her presidential year, I thought “what a great idea/slogan/catchphrase! What does it mean???” So I continued to ponder the question, confident that the fog would lift and the sun illuminate the way.
As it turned out, after thinking some more, I understood what Future Ready meant to me in a negative way – when I realized what I was NOT doing.
According to the Outsell report Information Management Trends and Benchmarks 2010 by Roger Strouse (November 15, 2010), information managers need to “get on the device train.” 37% of IM functions currently deliver content to handheld devices, but that means that 63% of us do not. Roger writes, “The device train has left the station and a majority of information managers are left milling about on the platform.”
More and more content is being created and delivered specifically for mobile devices, so we don’t have the excuse that there is nothing to offer. Since I work for a legal publisher, I know this to be true.
Further, our workplaces are full of employees whose lives live on a handheld device, and the idea that they think we’re irrelevant sends shivers down my spine. Outsell feels that we need to have “a stronger sense of urgency in catering to these platforms” and I agree.
So what am I doing to be Future Ready?
Here in the BNA Library, we’ve just bought an iPad, and some of us have Kindles and Nooks and many of us have iPhones and Androids. With all these devices, at our next Open House we plan to have a petting zoo. It may be that only the managers of Gens X & Y will be the ones who show up, but if we can help them speak the same language as their staff, and “live the future” too, then we’ve done a good thing. As an additional benefit, we can show what’s out there in the legal marketplace, and help managing editors imagine BNA’s next “killer app.”
It’s nice to see all of you here on the platform, but let’s get on that train!
Marilyn Bromley is Library Director at BNA and past-chair of the Social Science Division. Her work interests are competitive intelligence, ROI, and copyright issues.