Thursday, September 28, 2006

Prensky Again

Yep, the Beyond Boundaries conference opened with a keynote by Marc Prensky. Yep, I'm still stalking him, apparently. I believe this is now the sixth time I've seen him deliver a keynote in the past two years. One thing he said today resonated with me (particularly so, but not the only one) so I did a little search to find out more info about futurist Charles Handy. The quote below relates to a couple of thoughts that I've been struggling with lately: 1) the way we use the term virtual when referring to the LSC Virtual Campus (I'm leaning toward getting rid of that name), and 2) what we want to do about library services for online students and faculty as we go forward.

"The new library created in Dubrovnik, Croatia, to replace the one destroyed in the fighting a few years ago, is tiny, but it is computer-linked to all the libraries in the world. It has few books or journals of its own and needs no large acres of shelves to satisfy its readers, who, in fact,do not need to go near the place at all if they have the necessary technology in their own homes. It is not so very different, in fact, from the Open University in Great Britain, which is, for its students, only a conceptual space, not a physical one.

Such organizations are increasingly "virtual"; you can describe what they do but cannot see them. What, then, is this thing called an organization? The word seems to be more of a verb these days than a noun, a means of organizing instead of a thing or a body. And how do we manage something we cannot see or people whom we never meet? For many a manager, these new organizations are something to be kept as far away as possible for as long as possible. Most of us prefer to walk backward into the future, a posture which may be uncomfortable but which at least allows us to keep on looking at familiar things as long as we can."

Quoted from Charles Handy (1997). "Unimagined Futures." In Frances Hesselbein, Marshall Goldsmith, & Richard Beckhard (Editors). The Organization of the Future. San Francisco,CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.ISBN 0-7879-0303-5. pp. 378-379.

Technorati Tags:

No comments: