Information 2.0: New Models of Information Production, Distribution and Consumption by Martin De Saulles
This accessible, brief book summarizes the rapid developments in information technology over the last few decades as they relate to library and information science. De Saulles focuses on how technological developments in information dissemination and retrieval can guide librarians, publishers, and society in general. [End Page R5]
Over six chapters, De Saulles leads the reader through recent trajectories in information production, storage, distribution, and consumption to demonstrate the profound impact of technological change on information management. For example, he reviews the role that blogs and podcasts play in challenging traditional notions of publishing, the challenges and opportunities presented in the curation and preservation of digital information, the rise of automated intermediaries such as YouTube, and the growing ubiquity of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. The discussions are practical rather than conceptual or academic.
His points about the implications of these changes are compelling: Publishers must change their delivery platforms, society needs to live in tandem with an “everywhere” Internet, and information professionals should consider how to realign themselves within the new landscape. He suggests new library and information science roles, such as online information literacy instructor, data miner, programmer, and Big Data organizer. It is refreshing to see an argument regarding how information professionals can work within new contexts after hearing for years that librarians must compete with technological innovation to remain relevant.
The book’s only major weakness is its dated information, which is unavoidable for any traditionally published book about technology. He published it in 2012; therefore, citations are from 2011 and earlier. Online pop culture references such as Rebecca Black feel like throwbacks. He mentions that Khan Academy’s YouTube channel had over 200,000 subscribers in late 2011; it has over 1.9 million subscribers in late 2014. In a way, this limitation further supports his point about rapid changes in the information society.
According to the back cover, the book’s intended audiences are students as well as professionals who need to learn more about relevant advances in information technology. The use of this book in courses about the information society is suggested. This idea is compelling because it would necessarily integrate technology into the foundation of a library and information science curriculum rather than isolating it as a separate entity. Although this book is already dated, this outline of society’s technological evolution and the associated implications for practice can still serve an essential role in professional development. Hopefully, De Saulles will write updated editions in the future to help the field transform unavoidable changes in the information landscape into meaningful practice. [End Page R6]