Libraries at the Crossroads: Tracking Digital Footprints. APAC Regional Council Conference 2016

Tracking Digital Footprints: Recognizing and Predicting User Behavior

Young people are 'always on'. Whether in the classroom, exercising in the gym, studying in the library, or at home, they are constantly connected. The trend of owning and using more devices continues, as does the consumption, creation and co-creation of greater amounts of 'born digital' content. 'Multi-screeners' have short attention spans with more 'stuff' competing for their time, the Meeting will explore how we keep them engaged with 'us'.

We will look at how the role of 'library as place' is changing with this 'always connected' audience. Large amounts of knowledge have shifted online but the physical library space remains dedicated to traditional as well as new forms of study and entertainment. Physical collections must make way for increased demand from students for study space and a desire from the public to see their community libraries become more interactive. We will look at how institutions in the region are rising to this challenge and we will hear about the work being done in libraries today to integrate the library experience into the lives of users, particularly those, who view the world through the screens of tablets and smartphones.

Networks must be able to handle a growing volume of digital content, as well as monitor the flow of data with network analytics. Wearable technology increases the capacity of networks to track and monitor activity of all kinds. We will investigate how the latest tech trends could impact libraries. And, with this drive to collect and aggregate data on behavior, comes the question, how will libraries contribute to that effort? In particular, what library data could be mined to help inform management decisions on space, services and collections?

In universities, we see more institutions warehousing data from their systems, including the library system to form intelligence on individual student behavior. The aspiration is that predictive analytics will help reduce student attrition and increase student graduation rates. We will explore the benefits and pitfalls of such work. As knowledge professionals, we understand the power of sharing information, but are respectful of the privacy concerns that go with it. We are standing at a crossroads, where our ability to track the digital footprint enables new opportunities. The Meeting gives us much-needed time to consider whether these are paths we should be taking.

Long recognized as a cultural, social, political and economic crossroads, it is highly fitting that this Meeting will be held in Hong Kong.


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Registration for the OCLC Asia Pacific Regional Council Meeting is now closed


Thursday 1 December 2016

  • Conference Day One
  • Conference Dinner

Friday 2 December 2016

  • Conference Day Two