Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Books. Technology. And, Design Thinking!

Since my summer began in early June, I have been to several round table discussions and meet-ups with friends in the education sector and in the book industry. Our topics of conversation range from reading, to books, the creation of information and knowledge, ways to communicate these resources to them and the behavior we apply as we consume them. I discovered and validated three things.

One, technology unceasingly advances in an unbridled manner. Information is continuously exploding. Flooding us in and out of our thinking process. We find ourselves swimming against the current. Well, except for the generation Z, who seem to adapt perfectly well in the ebb and flow of the tides of information. Then again, it seems that they could not go deeper into the heart of the ocean, where more nutritious information and amazing knowledge rest. The digital divide widens between generations, as well as the tech haves and have nots. You have the technology to fish, then you get them. Hook, line and sinker.

Already, there are talks of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But, there I was talking to publisher friends at how diverse today's readers and users are and this diversity affect the choices of reading materials created and produced. Long ago, their model for book and knowledge distribution follows a linear path. Books go to bookstores, schools and libraries. With the web, wifi and the cloud, everything is out there like an eat-all-you can buffet.

That's number two. Librarians and publishers need to work together to offer reading materials that are programmed to help, assist, aid and inspire readers make informed choices. We also share the same sentiments in the creation and provision of access of books to our readers. A publisher friend is looking at strengthening their research and development unit to channel production and marketing to realistic gains. I am considering demand driven acquisition and one of the concerns I have is whether to subscribe to an ebook lending system. Like my publisher friend, I will turn to research to find answers.

So it never ends - thinking, and finding out solutions to problems. I need to go back and review the Design Thinking principles I learned from my Head of School back in 2014. Because, in Design Thinking, compassion, creativity and critical thinking all come into play when finding out solutions to problems.

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