As I look back on this semester, I realize how much I have learned and how far I still need to go.  In my first post, I admitted that I am not all that into technology, but that I really wanted to learn and stretch myself.  I can definitely say that I have learned and stretched, but I am not satisfied.  I realize now that I need to get out of my comfort zone even more than I have over the past few years.  I need to stop being afraid of new technology and rolling my eyes at all the people (like my brother-in-law) who always want to have the latest technology as soon as it rolls out.  Technology is the wave of the future, not only mine but every one of our patrons, whether I like it or not.  I love that during the course of this class we were told to explore, play with, and become more comfortable with technology.  It is essential for us as librarians to be in the know and comfortable with new technology so that we are willing and able to teach and help our patrons.  It is also imperative for libraries to continue to provide access to technology in order to help bridge the digital divide which still exists today.  Michael Stephens writes a great article called “Always Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”  In it, he discusses why we need to disengage ourselves from using the expression “we’ve always done it this way.”  This way of thinking hinders growth and new possibilities.  It keeps people from trying out new concepts, new technology, and new ways of doing things.  Being a librarian today is about being creative, exploring new things, and thinking outside the box.  If we rely on “always” doing things the same way we are hurting out patrons and our community.

Jessamyn West talks about knowing our communities and being relevant to them.  This truly resonates with me because our community’s needs should be first and foremost in our minds.  If they need access to the newest technology, we should be doing our best to provide access.  However, if they still just need basic access to technology such as tablets, the internet, and basic digital devices we need to make sure that this area of service is solid for them before embarking on the newest and coolest devices.  Additionally, before jumping into purchasing new technology we need to make sure that there is a solid reason for providing access.  We should be asking what our community could learn from the device, how will it challenge them or enhance their skills, and whether the community is even interested in the device.  Additionally, though, Michael Stephens reminds us that we need to remember to be human.  Even though there is technology there for people to use, such as self-checkout, librarians should be visible at all times and ready to engage in conversation with the patrons.  This human touch is what will keep people coming back to our library.  The idea that someone in the library cares enough to help us, to listen to us, to recommend something to us will always be relevant and essential.

There is much to learn.  Technology is constantly changing.  In order to keep up, I definitely need to be doing more exploring, playing, and even messing up (and learning from my mistakes!)

 

West, J. (n.d.)  21st Century digital divide.  Retrieved from www.librarian.net

Images from www.badassjs.com and www.usatoday30.usatoday.com

Stephens, M. (2014).  Always doesn’t live here anymore/ Office Hours.  Retrieved from:  http://lj.libraryjournal.com

Stephens, M. (2014).  Reflective Practice/ Office Hours.  Retrieved from:  http://lj.libraryjournal.com

 

A semester in review

May 7, 2017

Here is a little cartoon presentation I created to summarize my blogs and what I have learned throughout the semester.

 

 

 

 

Resources:

Appleton, L. and Tattersall, A. (2015). How librarians can harness the power of social media for the benefit of their users.  Multimedia Information & Technology, 41(4), 23-26.

Boyd, D. (2014).  It’s Complicated.  New Haven:  Yale University Press

Buckland, Michael. Redesigning Library Services: A Manifesto

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0 : A Guide to Participatory Library Service.

David Lee King. Facebook for Libraries

Davidson, B., Lown, C., Casden, J., & Nutt, M. (2013).  My #huntlibrary: Using Instagram to crowdsource the story of a new library.  www.acrl.ala.org

Enis, M. (Feb. 12, 2013).  Mobile Evolution: How Apps Are Adapting to a New Device Ecosystem.   Retrieved from http://www.thedigitalshift.com

Enis, M. (Nov. 18, 2014).  “Beacon” Technology Deployed by Two Library App Makers.  Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com

Mathews, B. (2012, April). Think like a startup [White paper].

Prato, S. C. & Britton, L. (2015).  Digital fabrication technology in the library:  Where we are and where we are going.  Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 42(1), 12-15.  Retrieved from www.asist.org

Rainie, L. (Jan. 24, 2014).  10 Facts about Americans and public libraries.  Accessed via www.pewresearch.org

Ramsaran-Fowdar, R.R. and Fowdar, S. (2013). The implications of Facebook marketing for organizations. Contemporary Management Research, 9(1), 73-84.   doi:10.7903/cmr.9710

Ratto, M. & Ree, R. (2012).  Materializing information:  3D printing and social change.  First Monday.  Retrieved from www.firstmonday.org

The idea box at Oak Park Public Library.  www.oopl.org and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kltuaRTgjAE

Zickuhr, K. (March 18, 2014).  A new way of looking at public library engagement in America.  Accessed via www.libraries.pewinternet.org

Zickuhr, K. (July 9, 2014).  Public libraries and technology:  From “houses of knowledge” to “houses of access.”  Accessed via www.libraries.pewinternet.org

Brief on 3D Printer

April 28, 2017

 

Society as we know it is becoming extremely high-tech.  Everywhere we go there are different facets of technology at play, such as tablets, smart phones, digital billboards, computerized fountain drink dispensers, and more.  As our youth come of age, their technological skills will be of vast importance in obtaining a job, and more importantly a career.  Consequently, we librarians need to help them to build up their technological skills through STEM programming and opportunities to “play” with different technological devices.  One such device is a 3-dimensional printer.  The following is a Director’s Brief aimed at seeking permission to add a 3D printer to a teen center for their enrichment and enjoyment.

 

Director’s Brief

 

Objective

This brief will explain why our teen center should have a 3D printer installed for our teens to use as they learn and explore new technology.

 

Executive Summary

We have recently renovated our teen center and updated our equipment there in order to give our teens a more diverse experience using technology.  As part of this upgrade, a 3D printer will give our teens the opportunity to design models and work together to create their own masterpieces.  This product will also allow them to see their imaginative ideas come to fruition as they first create the idea and then design a 3D model of the item.  The youth of our community are our future and together we can give them the motivation to learn, explore, create, and soar to new heights.

 

Introduction

Society as we know it is becoming extremely high-tech.  Everywhere we go there are different facets of technology at play, such as tablets, smart phones, digital billboards, computerized fountain drink dispensers, and more.  As our youth come of age, their technological skills will be of vast importance in obtaining a job, and more importantly a career.  Consequently, we librarians need to help them to build up their technological skills through STEM programming and opportunities to “play” with different technological devices.  One such device is a 3-dimensional printer.  By providing a 3D printer and appropriate software for its use, we will be providing the youth of today the opportunity to collaborate, design, and problem solve.  Though this can also be done in other ways, the 3D printer will give the teens a tangible object demonstrating how their work has come to completion.  This product is not just another play toy, but rather an opportunity to stretch their imaginations and work their brains.  The finished product may be used to enhance a project for school, such as a bird for an assignment about a specific type of bird, or the product may be something that creator is interested in.  For example, a teen in Kansas used a library’s 3D printer to make a prosthetic hand for a neighbor (Williams, 2014).  A library in Indiana taught a session on using 3D printers to make figures for stop-motion animation (Cherry, n.d.).  The possibilities are endless as long as we are providing the opportunity for our youth to experience this technology.

 

The Technology & Related Terms

Additive Manufacturing:  the process of manufacturing 3-dimensional products

G-code:  The program language used by the 3D printer

3D printing:  A printing technology which enables one to make a physical object out of a virtual 3-dimensional object

Filament:  the plastic used in a 3D printer to create the finished product

Rafts:  the “floor” which prints out as part of the 3D object, in order to help stabilize the object as it prints.  Rafts are removable

Supports:  temporary “scaffolds” which help stabilize “cantilevered” parts of the printed object

Slices:  the individual layers into which the printed object is originally split

Sintering:  the process of fusing a layer of powdered metal together to solidify a portion of the product.  It is repeated continuously throughout the process of 3D printing.

 

Understanding the Technology including Pros and Cons

In order to use a 3D printer, a person will need to become familiar with a computer design system such as CAD or Tinkercad.  Tinkercad is a free program which does not require installation of specific software and also allows individual users to create a free account in which they may save their designs, similar to creating their own portfolio.  CAD is a more professional system used by engineers in the field and my not be suitable for a library environment, due to cost and more complex use.  Once the participant has designed a virtual object to their satisfaction, library staff will need to convert the file to a g-code compatible with the slicing software used by the 3D printer.  They will then be able to print out a 3D model via the 3D printer.  Printing the model will require plastic filament to be sliced and layered one upon the other in order to create the object.  Some machines use a metal powder rather than plastic filament.  As slices are layered one upon another, sintering occurs and a solid object begins to form.  The printing process is slow and can take many hours depending on the size and complexity of the model being printed.  Consequently, large groups will not be able to print multiple objects in a single day and the participants must understand that they will need to be patient.  A library staff member will need to be present at all times in order to monitor use and answer questions.  Additionally, as with all technology, errors may occur.  When this happens, the participant will need to make corrections in the computer program and reprint the object.  This may be frustrating, but does provide the challenge of problem solving which is a quality skill sought by employers.  After an object has been printed, the rafts and supports may be carefully removed, if desired.  At this time, access to this technology will only be available to our teens as we are attempting to build their competency in technology and prepare them for the future.  Copyright laws may be an issue and it will be important for library staff to keep current on laws pertaining to objects being made with 3D printers.  Additionally, though the cost of setting up a 3D printer is a one-time price, the cost of replacing filament must be considered.

 

Use by the population

The teens in our area will be able to experiment with design systems such as CAD and Tinkercad in order to design virtual 3 dimensional objects.  They may opt to use one of many free designs already created or create their own.  Once the virtual object is designed, the participant will be able to print out a 3D model through the use of the 3D printer.  By placing a 3D printer in the teen area, our youth will be able to collaborate and with other youth to design their own 3-dimensional products.  These products may be used to enhance a homework assignment, provide a customized gift for a special person, or may just be the product of fun, creative discovery.  This printer will provide a learning opportunity for teens to experiment with technology in new ways and gain knowledge in problem solving and creative design, consequently building the skills needed to enter the workforce as adults.

 

Supportive Research

Though libraries are often thought of as book depositories, they are also community hubs where the people of the community may gather to socialize, learn, and collaborate.  These are places of vast amounts of information, run by information professionals whose job, in today’s world, often involves providing technical assistance (Doctorow, 2013).  This technical assistance may be something as simple as teaching a patron how to create an email account, or it may be collaborating with a teenager on how to make a 3-dimensional bonsai tree for a report on Japanese culture.

Originally known as Stereo Lithography, 3D printing has been around since 1984 when it was first invented by Charles Hull (Ishengoma & Mtaho, 2014).  Today it is often known as additive manufacturing or 3D printing.  Additive manufacturing is being used around the world to make airplane parts, prosthetic limbs, product prototypes, and even pieces for jewelry (Ishengoma & Mtaho, 2014).  In the library setting, they are being used for class projects (Moorefield-Land, 2014), making prosthetic limbs (Williams, 2014), designing figures for an animation program (Cherry, n.d.), and more.  Fontichiaro (2016) suggests having a library program in which youth can become young entrepreneurs and create designs which they can later sell.  Prato & Britton (2015) suggest using 3D printers to fix problems, such as an i-Pad mount.  They also encourage letting youth “tinker and play” with 3D printers, encouraging them to be creative and try to come up with an object that is completely unique. During this process of tinkering, youth are required to use not only creativity, but also critical thinking and analysis (Prato & Britton, 2015), three important skills in the job market today.  In an environmental scan of their own community, Ratto and Ree (2012) found that using a 3D printer can empower people in several distinct ways.  According to Ratto and Ree, 3D printing empowers people to express their “aesthetic taste” or “brand,” visualize problems, design “custom tools” which can be used “to accomplish specific tasks,” extend or connect structures or forms, and have fun creating toys.  These printers provide our youth with the stimulus to be creative, to learn, and to share, consequently promoting community development (Prato & Britton, 2015).  This in turn will lead to better careers for our youth and a more technologically advanced community.

 

Implementation

In order to successfully integrate a 3D printer into our library’s teen center, we must first have some basic rules, policies and agreements in place (Moorefield-Land, 2014).  Additionally important will be to have training take place (Prato & Britton, 2005; Moorefield-Land, 2014).  Library staff will definitely need to be trained in the proper maintenance of the 3D printer, loading of filament, troubleshooting, and the software and programs being used, such as CAD and Tinkercad.  It would also be a good idea for staff to be familiar with Thingiverse (www.thingiverse.com) which is a “user-generated online database of free, ready to print models” (Ratto & Ree, 2012).  Once the 3D printer is set up, patrons in the teen center will need to be made aware of all rules and policies.  Those seeking to use the printer will also need to undergo basic training of the software or program being used.  This can be done in a group program type setting, or on a case by case basis.  During the training, copyright laws should also be discussed.  One fully trained library staff member should be available at all times to assist in the use of the 3D printer.  Extra filament will need to be ordered at the beginning, as we are unsure how quickly the printer will run out of filament.

 

Conclusion

In our tech savvy world, it is imperative that we enhance digital literacy and modern technological skills in our youth, for they are our future.  We have currently renovated our teen area to provide more STEM opportunities and programming, but a 3D printer will add yet another element of empowerment to our youth.  Providing a 3D printer for our youth to experiment and design with will build their technological skills and empower them to become better prepared for their future.  Using the design software and programming necessary for creating a 3D product will enhance our youth’s creative abilities as well as build up their problem solving and critical thinking skills.  These are key skills which all youth will need as they enter the workforce.  Though there may be some difficulties, such as training and printer malfunction, the benefits far outweigh the difficulties.  We, as librarians, have the potential to help our youth become leaders in the technological field and in our community.  Adding a 3D printer is just one way for us to do so.   As one librarian stated about her school library, “Our library is now more like the workspace of the future.  Kids who graduate from here will be more productive in those environments” (Vangelova, 2014).  Let’s make our teen center “the workspace of the future” and add a 3D printer.

 

Here is a pdf of the proposal.

INFO 287_Martinez_DirectorBrief

References

Amazon.  Used to retrieve images of printers.  Retrieved from www.amazon.com

A third industrial revolution.  The Economist, (2012).  Retrieved from www.economist.com

Cherry, M. T. (n.d.).  Design, print, animate.  Indiana Libraries, 35(1), 13-17.  Retrieved from www.indianalibrariesjournal.org

Create It Real.  3D printing process (Basic principles).  Retrieved from www.createitreal.com

Cummins, K. (2010).  The rise of additive manufacturing.  The Engineer, May 24, 2010.  Retrieved from www.theengineer.co.uk

Doctorow, C. (2013).  Libraries and makerspaces:  A match made in heaven.  BoingBoing.  Retrieved from www.boingboing.net

Fontichiaro, K. (2016).  Should you buy a 3D printer?  Teacher Librarian, 43(4), 58-59.  Retrieved from www.teacherlibrarian.com

Freedman, D. H. (2012).  Layer by layer.  Technology Review, Jan./Feb., 50-53.  Retrieved from www.technologyreview.com

Ishengoma, F. R. & Mtaho, A. B. (2014).  3D printing:  Developing countries perspectives.  International Journal of Computer Applications, 104(11), 30-34.  Retrieved from www.ijcaonline.org

Moorefield-Land, H. M. (2014).  Makers in the library:  Case studies of 3D printers and makerspaces in library settings.  Library Hi Tech, 32(4), 583-593.  doi: 10.1108/LHT-06-2014-0056

Prato, S. C. & Britton, L. (2015).  Digital fabrication technology in the library:  Where we are and where we are going.  Bulletin of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 42(1), 12-15.  Retrieved from www.asist.org

Ratto, M. & Ree, R. (2012).  Materializing information:  3D printing and social change.  First Monday.  Retrieved from www.firstmonday.org

Techopedia Website.  Used for definitions.  Retrieved from www.techopedia.com

Uzwyshyn, R. (2015).  One size may not fit all:  Pragmatic reflections on 3D printers for academic learning environments.  Information Today.  Retrieved from www.infotoday.com

Vangelova, L. (2014).  What does the next-generation school library look like?  Retrieved from https://ww2.kqed.org

Williams, M. R. (2014).  Kansas teen uses 3D printer to make hand for boy.  Retrieved from www.kansascity.com

YouTube.  Used for video segments.  Retrieved from www.youtube.com

 

Learning at the Library

April 21, 2017

Last week, while talking with a friend, she casually made the comment that libraries make her want to take a nap.  I thought she was joking, but she wasn’t.  My friend still has an antiquated view of libraries as quiet and boring.  Boy, is she wrong!  After reading many of the articles about libraries as a classroom, one article in particular really grabbed at me more than the others, Bookey’s 8 Awesome Ways Libraries are Making Learning Fun.  As I read it, I became more and more excited for libraries, children, and the path I am on.  I also kept thinking about my friend’s comment and how I would love for her to experience some of the programs mentioned in this article.

www.allennance.com

No longer are libraries just a room full of books where one goes to read and gets hushed for making noise.  This article shows how truly amazing, fun, creative, and exploratory libraries are becoming.  For example, Bookey highlights Kent District Libraries and how it is bringing new technology into the libraries for patrons to experiment with and enjoy, such as robots and solar-powered light bulbs.  How amazing the conversations must be in houses where families have checked out a robot in order to learn coding and how awesome must that learning experience be.  Another example which impressed me was the Saint Paul Public Library.

At this library, they literally take kids on a storywalk, where oversized pages of a storybook are places along the walkway of a park, and families can stroll along and read the story to their children while simultaneously enjoying the wonderful outdoors.  Two of my favorite activities, being outdoors and reading.  By engaging in this simple activity, we would be encouraging a love of reading while also getting our children into the fresh air of the outdoors.  Also, at the Saint Paul Public Library, they have a great program for introducing family friendly apps to the community.  Once a month, families are encouraged to bring dinner to the library and while eating, they learn about some of the newest and best apps for their children from the librarian.  This takes the guess work out of finding suitable apps for children and also brings families together in an informal atmosphere to socialize.  This library is definitely a community hub.

One final example, and one of my favorites, was the “LIT room” at Richland County Library in South Carolina.  As a preschool teacher, I LOVE storytime and really engaging the children in the stories I am reading.  According to Bookey, the LIT room basically comes alive during storytime.  I cannot even imagine a room which “mirrors the actions and emotions within the book,” yet this is what happens.  There are lights, movement like shelves shaking, and sounds which all together create a fun, engaging storytime for children.  How Awesome!  I seriously need to plan a trip to South Carolina, just to experience this.  In fact, I should take my friend and see if libraries still make her want to take a nap.  Actually, though, I don’t need to take her all the way to South Carolina to show her how amazing and interactive libraries are now.  There are tons of library programs in our area which could easily change her mind.  The challenge is in convincing her to get out there and explore.

 

Bookey, J.L. (2015).  8 Awesome ways libraries are making learning fun.  The Huffington Post.  Retrieved from www.huffingtonpost.com

This week I have read a plethora of information about how our society has changed from a fairly stagnant society to a very mobile society.  Most of this is change has come about due to mobile technology, such as laptop computers, tablets, and cell phones.  According to a survey by PEW internet (2017), approximately 95 percent of the American population now own some type of cell phone and 77 percent of these own a smartphone.  This consequently allows the majority of Americans to be digitally connected “on the go” at any time they choose (PEW, 2017).  So, the question for libraries and librarians is now how to adapt library services to make the most out of this digitally connected society.

image from wwwthesceneisdead.com

One way some libraries are taking advantage of the constant digital connection of users is by installing “Beacon” technology in the library.  Beacon technology involves installing “small, coin cell battery-powered transmitters” in various places in and around the library (Enis, 2014).  These beacons connect to Bluetooth devices nearby and notify users of location specific information.  For example, when an adult walks into the children’s area of the library, they may receive a notification on their phone of an upcoming children’s program.  This is a way for libraries to tap into their patrons’ specific interests, without specific face-to-face interaction.  Placing these beacons just outside of the library allows us to reach out to those community members who do not normally come into the library, but may become interested in a program due to a beacon’s notification and consequently come inside.  The possibilities are endless.

image from www.krify.com

 

Another area in which libraries are reaching out to our digitally connected patrons is through the use of Apps.  Due to the vast amount of Apps available for smartphones and tablets, it may be difficult or overwhelming for some patrons to know which App is the best for them and their needs.  Librarians are beginning to take on the role of App recommendation, similar to their role of book recommendation.  According to Enis (2013), there are more than 700,000 unique apps for Android and iOS devices each.  That is an astounding number and quite a lot for patrons to choose from.  By experimenting with various apps, doing research, and speaking with colleagues, librarians would be able to have a good idea of which apps are best for certain situations.  Consequently, if a patron comes into the library with questions about apps, this knowledgeable librarian would be able to give some tips and recommendations based on the research they have already conducted.

image from www.mashable.com

These are just two areas in which some libraries are becoming more in tune with their patrons through the use of technology.  Many more are rolling out and becoming not just a thing of the future, but of the present.  As Professor Michael Stephens of San Jose State University says, “the library that builds values and thrives will be fluid enough to anticipate and quickly respond to new technologies and user expectations.”  Libraries already using Beacon technology and/or providing App service are clearly on this path.  It is up to us to implement such changes in our own library and embrace the digital wave which is washing over us.

 

Enis, M. (Nov. 18, 2014).  “Beacon” Technology Deployed by Two Library App Makers.  Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com

Enis, M. (Feb. 12, 2013).  Mobile Evolution: How Apps Are Adapting to a New Device Ecosystem.   Retrieved from http://www.thedigitalshift.com

Pew Internet (Jan. 12, 2017).  Mobile Fact Sheet.  Retrieved from www.pewinternet.org

Stephens, M. (n.d.).  Serving the User When and Where They Are:  Hyperlinked Libraries

Planning for Facebook

March 18, 2017

Plan

 

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:

  • To create a Facebook page for students to become more actively engaged in the library.
  • To create discussions around new books and programs.
  • To advertise upcoming events.
  • To post pictures of recent events and newly released material.

 

 

Description of Community you wish to engage:

  • This is for a public high school library. The students range in age from 14-18.  Faculty and staff will also be invited to engage in the Facebook page.  The community consists of students from all socio-economic status, but the majority are from middle to lower class.  Many students have smartphones or access to the internet via home or the local library.

 

Action Brief Statement:

  • Convince the school board that by creating a Facebook page they will give students the opportunity to engage with the school library which will enhance their education because they will have more access to information and may become interested in new books and programs featured at the library.

 

 

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:

“Technology plays a central role — more and more — in every sector, every community, every interaction” (Boyd, 2016). In the school library community, we need to actively engage our students through the use of technology.  One way to do this is through the use of social media platforms.  Social media allows people to form web-based communities which essentially bring people together (Ramsaran-Fowdar & Fowdar, 2013).  Facebook is a popular social media app used by adults and teens alike.  The advantages of using Facebook in businesses, and consequently, in libraries are many.  According to Scott Ayres, Facebook will allow the library to reach its targeted audience, increase exposure of the library, is fairly mobile ready, and costs absolutely nothing to set up.  Additionally, by using Facebook Insights, the library can track how many “likes” it has, how far its reach is, and more.  When using Facebook, a user’s actions are displayed in Facebook’s “news-feed” and every friend can view them (Ramsaran-Fowdar & Fowdar, 2013).  Students using Facebook can also share messages and blogs (Appleton & Tattersall, 2015) and by doing so create advocacy for the library (King, 2011).  The homepage of a library’s Facebook page allows the library to create its own profile and clearly state their vision and mission statement (Ramsaran-Fowdar & Fowdar, 2013).  In doing so, the intent of the library is clear.  The library can then post messages, advertisements for upcoming events, videos, fun or interesting facts, and more (Dowd, 2013).  Dowd also suggests mixing in a little fun because this is what usually draws people in. Through the use of this technology, our library will be able to reach more users and interact with them.  As Havens (2013) states, “libraries have been-and still are-centers of knowledge.”  Creating a web based presence on Facebook will not change the fact that our number one priority is to empower the students through knowledge and information.  It will simply enhance the experience and allow us to reach a larger audience.

Sources:

 

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service:

  • The mission of adding a Facebook page is to interact with students from our school and enhance their education through the use of information acquisition. The page will be used for enticing students to read, learn quick trivia facts, discover upcoming programs, and access provide easy access to our catalog and website.

 

  • Guidelines:
    • Only certain designated staff will be allowed to post, but all will be asked for continuous input and suggestions.
    • The Facebook page should…
      • Be updated at least 3 times a week, if not more
      • Be interactive and fun
      • Be informative
      • Be eye-catching
      • Have an ever-present link to the library’s website and or catalog
      • Have an easy to remember name
    • Possibly ask certain students about recommending books or choosing trivia topics which their classmates might be interested in

 

  • The director, the staff managing the site, and the IT staff might be involved in setting up a policy.

 

  • Example policies and advice may be possible from other libraries who already have an active Facebook profile. San Rafael Public Library, Wake County Library, Chicago Public Library, and Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library all have active Facebook pages with a huge following.

 

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service:

  • Facebook is free to set up. Some training may be required of the people who have been chosen to maintain the site.  We might look at asking for help from the local public library who has their own Facebook page.  Also, we might ask students who are avid Facebook users for help in designing our page.  If an outside company or person is needed to help with training, we will look into doing a library fund-raiser.

 

Action Steps & Timeline:

  • Setting up the page itself should take no more than a week and training could probably be done in a day. Before beginning, the staff should have an outline for exactly what they would like the page to look like and what will be consistently on the homepage.  Additionally, they should have brainstormed ideas for topics, books, trivia facts, etc. which will be discussed/presented throughout the month.  Each month, a brainstorming meeting should occur to plan for the following month’s postings.

 

  • A “yes” would be required from the school board, the library director, and the IT staff.

 

 

  • If a “no” occurs, maybe we could make a billboard just outside of the library which could act as a pseudo Facebook page. We could change the information regularly and try to be as creative as possible.  The drawback would be that it would not be as widely accessible, as some students may not even pass by the library.  Also, it would require more time to maintain and cost more due to the constant use of paper and art supplies.

 

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service:

  • Select staff will be responsible for maintaining the Facebook page.

 

  • Student aides might be able to take over some of the duties of these staff members, such as shelving books, decorating bulletin boards, and possibly even helping at the checkout desk.

 

 

  • Parent or community volunteers might also be willing to come in a few days a week and help out with simple duties while the staff member works on the page for an hour or so.

 

  • The library may be able to schedule a time to work on the page when most students are in class and will not be using the library. For example, maybe it’s always quiet during first period or right after lunch.

 

Training for this Technology or Service:

  • All staff will be trained, however only select individuals will be allowed to work or post on the site.

 

  • Training, if needed, might be done by a local community member, parent, or local library staff member who has extensive knowledge of how to set up and utilize Facebook and its many aspects.

 

 

  • Another alternative would be to look at local marketing agencies who could come out and do the training for a nominal fee.

 

  • Training would probably be scheduled during teacher-in-service hours, when the library is not generally in use. If this is not possible, we might be able to do it one evening after the library has closed for the day.

 

 

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service:

  • Posters throughout the library and the school
  • On the school’s website
  • On the library’s website
  • An announcement could be made once a week via the school announcement period.
  • Put a post on the school’s billboard
  • Engage the faculty to promote the new page (maybe the Literature teachers could offer extra credit to anyone who “likes” the page)

 

Evaluation:

  • To Evaluate:
    • Facebook Insights will be used to track page “likes,” engagement, and the “reach” of posts.
    • We will keep track of patron comments and suggestions.
    • We will ask students to fill out a short survey after two months of the initial unveiling of the page.

 

  • I envision being able to relate stories of how popular our site has become and how many students have requested material which has been posted about on our site. I also envision the staff coming up with great, fun, interesting topics and discussions for the page which will entice the students to engage.

 

  • In the future, I hope to be able to work with the local library and possibly provide resources from them which are lacking in our library due to our limited budget. In return, we might use our Facebook page to highlight events at the public library.  I’d also like to see students submit photos from our library events and post them to our page so that we might create a gallery for users to peruse.  Finally, I’d like to create a community book club group through the Facebook page, which past alumni might also be engaged in.

www.ifla.org

 

To me, public libraries are a staple in every community.  When I walk inside, I instantly feel a calming in my spirit, whether I am walking in to attend a program, find a book to read, or do research.  This has not changed over the many years I have been visiting local libraries.  However, what has changed is the amount of technology found in libraries today and my awareness of the many various services the library has to offer.  Over the past week or so, I have been reading articles about public libraries and how they are changing to meet the demands and needs of their community.

 

www.techsoupforlibraries.org

According to the PEW research center, Americans who have “extensive economic, social, technological, and cultural resources” tend to use and value the public library more than those who are less apt to use technology, are less social, and are less involved in cultural activities.  For example, one study showed a high amount of public library use among “big technology users.”  This makes sense because many libraries are adding newer technology in order to stay connected to their community.  Those interested in newer technology are going to visit the library to experience and use this technology, especially if it something they do not have access to in their home or school.  One study showed that “75% of adults living in households earning less than $30,000 per year use the internet, but only about 52% have a broadband connection at home.”  Consequently, free internet access at the library is highly important to those households, as is access to other types of technology.  Another study found that 80% of Americans consider the most important library service available is free access to media and books.  This could include DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and access to technological devices.  The key point here is free access, which public libraries are known for.  Technology is expensive and there are huge portions of communities which are unable to afford access to technology on their own.  When the library offers access free of charge, it allows these patrons to stay connected with society and possibly change their life for the better.  Public libraries are a huge asset to every community and it is my hope that their main goal is to reach every member of the community in order to enrich every life, whether that be through technology, books, or special programming.

Resources

Zickuhr, K. (March 18, 2014).  A new way of looking at public library engagement in America.  Accessed via www.libraries.pewinternet.org

Zickuhr, K. (July 9, 2014).  Public libraries and technology:  From “houses of knowledge” to “houses of access.”  Accessed via www.libraries.pewinternet.org

Rainie, L. (Jan. 24, 2014).  10 Facts about Americans and public libraries.  Accessed via www.pewresearch.org

This is fascinating!

February 26, 2017

This past week, I read multiple articles about hyperlinked communities and watched a variety of videos as well.  All of the information was fascinating!  My favorite was the article, pictures, and video about “the idea box.”  The idea box is a small room at Oak Park Public Library, which has a new theme every month.  One month, it was a photo shoot area where patrons could get their picture taken.  Another month patrons stacked books in order to see how tall the stack needed to be in order to be the same height as the patron.  Yet another month there was an opportunity to play with remote control cars in the room.  The pictures and the list go on.  It was incredible.  I love the community involvement, the originality, and most of all the fun which the pictures show everyone is having.  My first thought was “What a great idea!”

www.oopl.org

                Another favorite of mine this week was a video of Seth Godin speaking about Tribes.  Seth was mesmerizing, humorous, and inspiring.  I love the concept of changing our world by simply connecting with the people around us.  He makes it all look so very easy.  Seth’s basic argument is that by connecting with people who have similar interests puts us into a tribe.  We can belong to multiple tribes based on our various interests.  Change begins to happen when these tribes begin connecting with one another and uniting in a common area.  According to Seth, anyone can bring about change simply by taking action and connecting.

www.wikipedia.org

                My third favorite was an article about the Hunt Library.  The Hunt Library has cutting edge technology, huge digital display walls, and even an automated book collector which delivers selected books to the patrons rather than having the patron find the book on the shelf.  I have honestly never heard of such a thing and would love to take a trip to North Carolina just to visit this library.  There are areas to study, areas to relax, areas to invent, areas to play with technology, and more.  It all sounds fascinating.

www.acrl.ala.org

Through all of the information I processed this week, I have come to realize how very important the community is in shaping and forming the library.  Every aspect of the library needs to be based on what the community needs and should strive to be a hub for all community members to feel welcome and appreciated.  I cannot wait to see what the future brings and to be a part of this fascinating new world!

 

Davidson, B., Lown, C., Casden, J., & Nutt, M. (2013).  My #huntlibrary: Using Instagram to crowdsource the story of a new library.  www.acrl.ala.org

 

The idea box at Oak Park Public Library.  www.oopl.org and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kltuaRTgjAE

 

Seth Godin on Tribes.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQGYr9bnktw

Technology and Teens

February 19, 2017

Recently I read the book It’s Complicated by Danah Boyd and consequently began to see teens and their seemingly constant use of social media differently.  Previous to reading this book, I often felt that teenagers spent too much time texting or posting items on social media.  Additionally, I found it extremely rude of them to be doing such things in the presence of company.  Boyd, however, helped me to view their actions differently.

gettyimages.co.uk

 

For years, Danah Boyd spent countless hours traveling the United States and interviewing teenagers of various ages, race, culture, and socioeconomic class.  During the interviews, Boyd asked the teens about their use of technology and social media, as well as about their social life in general.  It’s Complicated reveals the results of Boyd’s research and interviews, shedding new light on the social lives of teenagers today.

In the course of her research, Boyd discovered that teens today are actually not very different from teens twenty or thirty years ago.  Being social, staying in touch with friends, and “hanging out” are still the top priorities of teens.  The difference is in how today’s teens are able to do these things.  Due to parental concerns and the wide-spread media coverage of crimes, many teens are not allowed to “hang out” at local venues, such as malls or burger joints, like they used to do in the past.  Consequently, in order to stay in touch with friends, stay “in the know” about social happenings, and “hang out” with friends, teens today spend much of their time on social media or their cell phones.  By posting on Instagram, Twitter, SnapChat, or Facebook teens are able to see what each other is up to whenever they want.  This allows them to keep up to date on the social happenings at school, as well as let their friends know what they are up to.  When they do not want information broadcast widely to the public, teens turn to texting or chatting on the phone in order to have more personal conversations with their close friends.  In essence, these teens are not intentionally being rude when they are texting or posting while in the presence of others, they are just simply only focused on staying current with friends.  Seeing so many teens constantly using media items, one may think that these teens are savvy with all types of technology and media.  However, this is not the case.  The question then, is how we, as adults, can help these teens be media savvy in ways not associated with keeping in touch with their friends.

fosi.org

According to Boyd, adults need to help youth “navigate networked publics and information-rich environments that the internet supports.”  Though teens seem tech savvy, oftentimes it is just in ways to stay in touch with friends.  In today’s tech-savvy world, teens will need to know how to access reliable information and judge whether the information is reliable, how to “control how personal information flows,” how computers actually work, and more.  As Boyd says, “both adults and youth need to develop media literacy and technological skills to be active participants in our information society.”  Libraries are in a prime position to help with this transition.  Many libraries are creating teen centers where teens can “hang out” with their friends in addition to accessing some of the latest technology.  Through these centers, library’s will be able to reach out to teens and offer them learning opportunities which will enhance their future.  For example, they could have experts in different areas of technology come into the library and show teens how things work.  Additionally, they might have sessions on proper research strategies using databases, how to fill out online job applications, or how to use their social media account to enhance their image for future prospects such as college recruiters or job recruiters.  These are areas which teens may need to be more proficient and libraries are a prime location for this enrichment to take place.

Boyd, D. (2014).  It’s Complicated.  New Haven:  Yale University Press

Positive Change

February 9, 2017

I spent a good amount of time over the past week reading some “foundational readings” which pertain to changing the library to better serve and represent today’s patrons.  Though this literature is a tad bit dated, I found it extremely relevant to society today.  In an article by B. Mathews, librarians are encouraged to change their thinking when planning for change.  Mathews encourages librarians to visualize the library as a start-up company which must envision the future and its place in that future.  In this concept, the planners should come up with a plan/idea/concept and then begin developing it, meanwhile constantly evolving and evaluating the plan/idea/concept to make it work better and better.  A manifesto labeled “Redesigning Library Services,” encourages this same concept.

The manifesto stresses the importance of “creative planning” which will allow the library to expand and recreate itself in the future.  To some, this is a daunting task.  As with most professions, there are always some employees who hate to break with tradition and try something new.  In some ways, I am one of those people.  However, I also like to try new things and imagine the possibilities.  These readings helped me to see how important change is.  They encourage me to get out of my comfort zone and create, plan, and explore new possibilities.

Library 2.0, a book about bringing change to the library, further expands these ideas and lays out specific ways in which libraries can help employees become more comfortable with these changes.  I love the fact that the authors encourage all departments to work together and managers to fully listen to what “frontline” personnel tell them about the customers.  To me, every single person at the library needs to work together and be on the same page in order to make the library run smoothly and for change to be a positive experience.  Additionally, I like that Library 2.0 accepts the idea that change does not necessarily mean implementing every new technology which emerges into the library.  We need to work within our budgets, as well as consider what is truly best for our community and our library.  Only through reasonable decisions and teamwork will we be able to plan for the future and bring about positive change.

 

  • Buckland, Michael. Redesigning Library Services: A Manifesto
  • Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0 : A Guide to Participatory Library Service.
  • Mathews, B. (2012, April). Think like a startup [White paper].
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