17 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 296 2018 generations. Right now, distributed digital practice is emerging that reflects advances in computer processing speeds, capacity, and storage. As a result, there is a lot of effort on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and related fields—areas that take advantage of those advances. We are always dealing with hybrid collections that are the results of multiple generations of digital practice. It is not that previous generations of practice are bad, only that the there is an increasing dissatisfaction with existing practice because it was not built to do what the new technologies require. Generations of practice follow generations of technology a shift to distributed technology naturally leads to distributed practice. Figure 5. Generations of Digital Practice The emergence of a new generation of digital practice is often full of tension and strife as people experience the emerging generation in different ways and at different paces based on interest, timing, and need, and as the need continues to engage in current practice. This can be frustrating and unproductive or it can be an ideal moment and opportunity to engage in radical collaboration, to become a learning community together. If we revisit the working definition of digital practice—”to continually work [using digital technology] to bring content and lessons from the past for the benefit of the present on behalf of the future”—we can extend it to become a working definition of distributed digital practice. The definition would continue: “achieved through radical collaboration across all domains that are
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