Growing Knowledge is the current exhibition at the British Library, “showcasing innovative research tools…[which] will inform and inspire today’s researchers, and spark a debate on the future of research”. As part of the exhibition a number of themed reader’s events were organised. I managed to get a place for the ‘Science and Technology’ event which was held on the 27th of October.
The exhibition consists of a number of tools which might possibly be the research tools of the future. These included a 3D image projector you can manipulate and a tablet for group work (though they will change over time). There are also a number of computer set-ups with research-related tools installed on them which are showcasing what could be the computer set-up at the library in the future.
At the event we were greeted by people from the Science and Technology department at the library and the curator of the exhibition, Matt Shaw. They first explained to us where the exhibition is at the moment; the exhibition is an evolving one, changing as new input is gathered from visitors and researchers. Then we had some time to experience the different computer set-ups and the applications installed on them.
I spent more time talking to people and asking questions rather than using the computer set-ups myself. I do think though that the highlighting of research tools which might be useful and facilitating their access in the library would be a great way of moving forward. In the ever-connected world we are living in it would be great to have even the resources in the library inter-connected and pulled together. This will not mean that research using the physical items will be abolished, but that you might be led down a path you didn’t think of previously.
I hope to have a better look at the applications on show some other time. In the meantime though, do go and have a look yourself! What are you expectations from an international library such as the British Library when it comes to resources offered? Is them having the physical books enough? Or would you appreciate the facility to use technology-based resources too to facilitate the process? I certainly would appreciate having the option!