i in the sky: Visions of the Information Future

Susan Cleyle (Systems Librarian, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 August 2000




Cleyle, S. (2000), "i in the sky: Visions of the Information Future", The Electronic Library, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 285-304. https://doi.org/10.1108/el.2000.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The contributors of this title were asked to write about their personal predictions of the future of information. The 41 authors of the subsequent articles come from a variety of backgrounds including information professionals, academics, entrepreneurs, journalists, and management writers (p. ix). The result is a diverse and exciting collection of ideas, wishes, predictions and warnings.

This collection of essays includes brief biographies of the authors and a short introduction from the editor. The articles do not appear in any specific order. They are not divided into chapters or sections. There is no index or union bibliography but authors have provided their references at the end of each essay.

There are too many titles to mention, but some treats included: “Darwin among the Books” (R. Wakeford); “Marketing the Digital Economy” (D. Tapscott); “Why the Knowledge Revolution Needs a Cultural Revolution” (P. Enriquez Harris); “Experiential Documents and the Technologies of Remembrance” (C.Lynch); “Information, Communication, and the E‐Generation” (J. Klobas); and “The Revolution Will Be Customized” (J. Schofield). The last essay, a piece of fiction called “Human Error” by Lise Leroux was truly thought‐provoking and enjoyable.

Individuals approaching this title in search of answers about the future of information will be disappointed. This book does not give one answer but offers many insights and observations. The approach to the topic is as varied as the number of contributors. The editor notes that the authors were allowed to define the time span of the “future” for themselves. Although the scope is uneven, there are some consistent themes. They include: the integration of information technology into our daily lives will be complete; the e‐world will be everywhere; we will all be expert technology users; and in the end no one can really truly define how this explosive influence will evolve.

Information technology is evolving almost too quickly to predict what it will look like tomorrow let alone down the road. Yet these authors have offered some interesting scenarios using their expertise and talents. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It brought a refreshing and insightful twist to a heavily discussed arena.

For the information professional, this book is a “must read”.

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