Department of Studies and Research in Library and Information Science, Tumkur University reverberated with the word ‘innovation‘ on Saturday, 30th January 2016. “Saturday Mirror”, the special lecture series was inaugurated by Mr. Ananda T. Byrappa, Global Leader, John F Welch Technology Centre, GE, Bengaluru.
The Department has organized a series of special lectures by eminent LIS professionals to help students keep abreast with the trends and developments in Library and Information Science. The lectures will be held on Saturdays and each lecture is intended to reflect the trends and happenings in the field of Library and Information Science. Hence the name “Saturday Mirror”.
Delivering the inaugural lecture on “Innovation in Information World: Insights for LIS Professionals”, Mr. Ananda said “Innovation is the driving force for changing the society. But, Passion is the driving force behind innovation. Whatever you do, do it passionately!” Citing the examples of two technologies – Cellphone and Google, he delineated the role of innovation in bringing changes in the society.
Mr. Ananda, in his very captivating style, narrated the story of Cellphone and Google.
The first cellular phone, introduced in 1973, was too costly and unaffordable to most people. The only functionality it had was making a phone call. In a span of 30 years, the cell phone industry has taken the world by storm. However, this change was not easy. A great deal of innovation has gone in. Cellphones have constantly been the subject of innovation. Modern cellphones are not just for making phone calls. They have messaging, radio, camera, GPS and a plethora of applications! Today, life without cellphones is unimaginable. The innovation in cellphone industry was so powerful and dominating that it pushed several ‘dedicated technology producers’ such as camera manufacturers into the days of penury. That’s the power of innovation!
While it took three decades for cellphone to change the way we communicate, there’s another ‘technology’ which has done pretty much the same in half the time as much. In 1998, Sergey Brin and Larry Page published a research paper titled “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine”. Nobody, at that time, had even imagined that this technology would become the most dominating technology in a span of 15 years! Google did it! With constant innovation, an umbrella of user-friendly services, it has gobbled up whatsoever little competition it faced.
Take-a-seat and Drone
Innovation is not just confined to information and communication technology. People are innovating anything and everything with their creativity and for their convenience. He cited “take-a-seat” and book-delivering drone as the instances of innovation.
“Take-a-seat” is a smart chair technology developed by Jelte Van Geest. The smart chair, upon swiping the library membership card, follows the user wherever she/he goes. These self-chargeable chairs also arrange themselves in a group to create a ‘lecture hall’ appearance when a lecture organizer needs them. True to its name, this is “take-a-seat” technology, meaning that the user takes the seat wherever she/he goes. A video of the same is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dgaz6NIUFk.
Speaking of the role of ‘start-ups’ in innovation, Mr. Ananda said Start-ups have more scope for innovation. A video of an Australian start-up which has designed a drone which delivers books to designated locations using GPS technology enthralled the audience. Deliberating on the affordability of technology, ‘Raspberri Pi’, the low-cost, tiny computer, developed for the purpose of learning, got a special mention.
Taking lessons from innovations happening around, information professionals may emulate the same in their arena. The fact that the information services revolve around the three aspects – Content, Community, and Services, is indisputable. But, it does matter how we innovate in them. Mr. Ananda drew up a model innovation path for information professionals:
– Visualizing library as a platform to innovate
– Monetization of services
– Mobility of content
– Being futuristic
The lecture was followed by an interaction by the audience. Dr. B T Sampath Kumar, Chairman of the Department introduced the speaker and welcomed him. Rupesh Kumar, Assistant Professor, apprised the audience on the objectives of the special lecture series. Dr. Keshava, Associate Professor, proposed the vote of thanks and honoured the speaker.
The lecture was attended by the students, research scholars, teachers and library staff of the University and constituent colleges.