May 2014 Seminar: Information on the Move


The first speaker, David, spoke about ‘The second digital transition’ which means that there will be no librarians (as we know them) by 2022. ‘The first digital revolution’ took place in the office or in the library. The device – the PC – was desk bound, office bound. ‘The second digital revolution’ is taking place in the street. Mobile is now the main platform for accessing the web. They are not computational devices but access devices. Mobiles are social, personal, cool and popular. The horizontal has replaced the vertical, reading is ‘out’ fast ‘media’ is in. As a result, abstracts have never been so popular and we can now all online to avoid reading and there is an emphasis on shorter articles, which have a much bigger chance of being used.

Max, followed on from David, by talking about his company that specialises in creating apps which are interactive and provide information or assist in education. The ideas illustrated the power of the new mobile technologies.

We could not have come further from the initial concept of libraries : no walls, no queuing, no intermediaries! Ask any young person about a library and they will point to their mobile. It is ironic that mobiles were once banned from libraries – now it is the library. The mobile, borderless information environment really challenges libraries and publishers. It constitutes another massive round of disintermediation and migration. The changed platform and environment transforms information consumption. For a final reflection, David asked us: Is the web and the mobile device making us stupid ? Where are we going with information, learning and mobile devices ? This led to a lively conversation for our table discussion groups!


David Nicholas runs CIBER a pan-European research outfit.
David Nicholas is one of the original CIBER founders. His interests include use and seeking behaviour in virtual spaces, the digital consumer, the virtual scholar, mobile information (information on-the-go), e-books, e-journal usage; the evaluation of digital platforms and scholarly communication and reputation.
Professor Nicholas was Director of the Department of Information Studies at University College London (2004–2011) and prior to that Head of the Department of Information Science at City University 1997–2003. David has been principal investigator on 60 research projects worth more than £6M and published around 500 peer evaluated papers, report and books

Max Whitby comes from Touch Press, an app development organisation.
Touchpress is an acclaimed app developer and publisher based in Central London. The company specialises in creating in-depth premium apps on educational subjects including the Periodic Table, Beethoven, the Solar System, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, and others. Their app “Barefoot World Atlas” was named one of the top 10 apps of all time by Apple. Of Touchpress’ “Disney Animated,” which was named the best iPad app of 2013 worldwide by Apple, iTunes’ App Editor noted, “We’re absolutely spellbound.”

Time and Venue

2pm on 16 May 2014, The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS


No slides available for this presentation




Val Skelton, Editor of ‘Information Today, Europe’ has written a very good blog post on this seminar.

See our blog report: Second digital revolution

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You can visit the CIBER website for more information: CIBER website