Emerging Technologies

Evidence and Resources

Social media platforms have exploded over that last decade and are evolving everyday. Libraries that are smart are upping their game by being present on popular social media platforms. But it takes more than presence and promotion to get “followers” and more importantly participation. Orkney Library had over 10000 Twitter followers in 2014, today they have over 33K followers and it’s because most of their “Tweets”  are hilarious and snarky,  and not always the stereotypical library promotional post. Changing the current attitude of the library from just books and stuffy librarians to fun, interactive, community centers is what social media can provide if done correctly. Adding an emotional connection to the post is another way to get patrons in the community and all over talking and reposting. Try to think of posts from the point-of-view of the patron/follower, what is it that they want to hear, rather than what the library wants to tell them.

Goals and Objectives

Most libraries have social media sites already, and many promote programs and books in a plain and simple format that doesn’t really catch followers attention. The goal is to

  1. Increase followers
  2. Increase participation through the libraries social media platforms
  3. Create a “WOW” factor. What is the “WOW” factor?
    1. It’s posting something bold, audacious, with a smidge of sass that promotes the library!

 

Audience

Libraries tend to focus on children, families, and let’s face it, a lot of library users are Baby Boomers and the Traditionalist who believe that libraries are for books and quiet time. Libraries are missing out on Millennials and teens and young adults of the iGeneration and I believe this project needs to be focused on them. If we are to change the concept and perception of the library, it should start with the up and coming generation. This is also the generation that is heavily involved with social media platforms.

  1. Millennials
  2. iGeneration- teens and young adults

 

Action Brief Statement

Convince igeneration and Millennials that by following the Public Library on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Tumblr they will be following one of the most dangerous places that exist which will make them question, think, and challenge with an open mind because great libraries build communities.

Ideas

 

Social media sites and suggested ideas to increase followers and participation with the “WOW” factor.

    1. Social Media sites- focusing on young adults and teens
      1. Twitter:
        1. Posts need to be 140 characters or less
          1. Posts need to be smart, amusing, WOW factor, sassy
            1. Example: Book Burning Party– Troy Public Library
            2. These posts can run continually
        2. Promote eMedia club (similar to book club but only online social media presence.)
          1. Could be book, movie, music
          2. Through Hoopla since there are no holds lists on this digital platform and everyone can join in.
          3. Could post on first Monday of the month and run through the end of the month or each week to keep interest up.
  1. Tumblr:
      1. Promote people/patrons around the city reading. Capture the reader and connect the title to current ILS system so patrons can check-out the item.
      2. New York Public Library Underground
      3. Note that this can also link to other social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
      4. These posts can run continually.
      5. Not all cities have distinguished landmarks, perhaps finding readers throughout the city would create more buzz.
    1. Instagram:
      1. Promote randomness of the library
        1. Keep the attention of the teens and young adults
        2. Behind the scenes pics
          1. Librarian fandom-what does your cubicle/office look like?
      2. Promote monthly book challenges and hashtags
        1. #bookchallenge

Mission

Community connections, infinite possibilities.

Policy

  1. Respect
  2. Use good judgement
  3. Be accurate
  4. Think before you post
    1. Emotional connection
    2. WOW factor
  5. Sample Policy

Funding

There should be no extra need for funding as all social media is free. Staff time should not be a factor as 2 staff members per branch are in charge of a few posts per week. There should be 1 monthly meeting to continue to improve service and implement new ideas. The project is meant to build a connection with the youth and young adults in the community.

Timeline

I would say that it should take about 6 months to get off the ground. Some factors may include referring to the legal department, getting the go-ahead from the director or possibly the library board. If the answer is no due to the “WOW” factor, a less audacious approach will be taken.

  1. 2 months-social media task force
    1. Create the team
    2. Develop goals
    3. Create training manual
  2. 2 months- training assigned project staff
  3. 2 months-develope post calendar
    1. Brainstorm meetings- at least 2
    2. Everyone on team send in ideas
    3. Meet to collaborate and come up with posts/ideas
  4. At the 7 month mark posts should be ready to go LIVE.
  5. During the previous 6 months, IT should be working on developing the connection from Tumblr to ILS system.

Staffing

To start, there should be at least 2 staff members at each branch in charge of these 3 platforms. If the platforms should see an increase in participation, an additional staff member can be added at a later date.

  1. Start with 1 social media platform
  2. Start with 2 staff per branch
    1. These do not need to be librarians
    2. Each branch could be responsible for one post per week per staff member
  3. Continue to add platforms and staff as needed

Training

Staff should already be well acquainted and comfortable with social media platforms. Trying out a new format (WOW factor) could create backlash. Older patrons may not like it, parents may not understand it, which is why this type of presence is focused on teens, young adults, and millennials.

  1. Staff may volunteer for project
    1. Must be comfortable and already understand social media
  2. 1 Librarian from each branch will be on the project task force to identify goals, design training, and train when necessary.
  3. Training can begin once procedures, policy, and goals are confirmed.

Promotion

  1. Through widely known library Facebook page to start
  2. Word of mouth
    1. Community websites/apps
    2. High school and college social media- become their followers
    1. At programs
    2. Throughout the community
  3. Began using the new platform and format
    1. WOW factor- reposts, shares, likes, retweets etc

Evaluation

Each year the goal would be to increase followers by 5% and participation by 5%. If there is an increase, the platforms can either increase the amount of posts, promote more content that is online, or add an additional platform to reach other social media users.

Hyperlinked Environments- Public Libraries

 Is it safe to assume that community center libraries are the new public libraries of the future? Is that the direction the information field should be headed toward? Those of us who have worked in public libraries have seen the budget cuts and felt first hand how thinly stretched the staff and resources are. On the other hand it’s amazing to see a lot of libraries are becoming interactive and innovative spaces within their communities. So what exactly should public libraries focus on to create hyperlinked environments? What are the obstacles and how can we as future librarians tackle the problem?

Space

The recent trend is the four spaces of the library- experience, involvement, empowerment, and innovation. As Jakob Laerkes explains, it’s more of an active space for patrons with overlapping spaces that allow for a much more interactive and creative experience in the library than people are used to. Dokk1 in Denmark is probably the most advanced library to date, they have the usual library materials with an emphasis on digital content, but what makes Dokk1 stand out is their focus on needs of the community, the library provides a space for performances, meetings, activities, art and general gatherings. It’s a very interactive experience, a long way from the shushing librarians of yesterday. Obviously we all can’t imitate Dokk1 nor can most of us do a total rehaul of our library space, but we can create small spaces with these ideas in mind! For example, at my library we had a “computer lab” that was never ever used because the City shut down the Library’s idea for free computer classes because it conflicted with the Parks & Rec departments computer classes that were offered for a fee. So after years of being empty, we created a group study room which gets a lot of use everyday. Was it what we originally wanted, no, but the patrons are happy with the extra space that they can collaborate in. Are we still working to get computer classes approved in the future, yes, because there is a demand for it!

Needs vs. Wants

Research has found that one of the most important tools provided by the public library are free computer and internet access. Although more prominent in urban areas, this shows that the library has been moving forward in keeping up with technology trends by providing this resource to patrons in the community. Of course nothing is perfect and budget constraints make it impossible to replace computers with the most current and advanced systems. This leads me to the idea of Makerspaces, should it be something huge, over-the-top, and expensive? It’s programming that should fit your communities needs. Library systems could apply for grant funded programs that focus on different makerspace concepts. If there is a high response to the program(s) for a set amount of time then perhaps a makerspace is right for your library. Unfortunately budget and staffing concerns are what limit a lot of libraries to what types of innovative experiences they can bring to their communities. How can this problem be solved? It seems that every fiscal year another position gets cut and more work is put on the staff. What can be done to alleviate stress and concern? Believe it or not, when I first started at the public library as a page assistant 5 years ago, it was the first job I ever had where my co-workers were excited to be at work?!?!?! Was I naive or just new, or were my co-workers actually passionate about what they did?

Training

Library systems put an emphasis on the community and the patrons, however, I think the top focus should be the staff. When you get on an airplane, you always hear the speech about putting on your oxygen mask first before your kiddos or loved ones, why, well because you wouldn’t be much help to them if you’re passed out because you took care of them first, right? This is what libraries need to do, take care of their staff first and the rest will follow. Of course this sounds easy, but as I mentioned before, it’s nice to work with people who love their job, the environment is light, staff have ideas and are open to change and progress. The transformation of the Edmonton Library allowed their staff to team up with different departments, levels, and backgrounds to come up with innovative ideas for the library community. They also provide leadership training to all staff which led to empowerment. Libraries that empower staff are really leading the way because ideas come from those who have a good support system, and that folks, is why public library staff should be treated with respect and dignity from their own library system.
From new space configurations, to the demand of computers and internet access, to makerspaces, to staff empowerment, these are just a few concepts needed to create Library 2.0. Innovative thinking from supported staff, spaces created for “doing” and “interaction”, and listening to the needs of the community will happen through consistent and dedicated team effort from the library, the staff, and the community. 

 

I Live In the Future – Context Book Assignment

In this day and age of fast paced, ever changing technology, libraries seem like they are on the extinct end and losing the battle. The Hyperlinked Library is not just  about new and emerging technologies, but it’s a way for students moving into the world of librarianship to introduce innovation into a world that is sometimes very slow to adapt and react. In his book “I Live in the Future and Here’s How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted”, Nick Bilton explains how the fear of the unknown can stunt innovation and why everyone should be ready to evolve with technology by creating the perfect user experience.

So trust me on this one, the public library can learn a lot from the porn industry. Let me explain, the industry keeps one step ahead of technology in order to retain their audience. Rather than asking themselves how can they continue to get people to use their old stuff (magazines, DVD’s, peep shows), they are ready for what’s next (digital technology). The porn industry has recognized the importance of developing a connection with the community, if you exchange library for porn industry, it still makes sense. Librarians have figured out that outreach is important as well as programming, but it only works if it’s relevant to your community. When was the last time your library asked you what you wanted as a patron? Or as librarians, how can we engage the community and change the perception that a library is only about books and quiet time?

Bilton explains the term “technology hypochondria” which is the divide between those who rush towards new experiences, fearful that they might miss something, and those whose fright leaves them feeling disoriented and left behind. New technology creates anxiety and this goes back to the days when the telephone, railways, and phonograph were introduced, it’s not a new phenomena. Way back when, people claimed that comic books would create juvenile delinquents, the phonograph would replace reading, and the railway would make you suffocate, those claims seem ridiculous now but currently, people assume that the internet, video games, and social media will turn your mind to mush. Again, it’s the fear of the unknown that is creating the barrier. Unfortunately many of us work with the librarian who has done the same program/outreach/task for the last 30 years and doesn’t feel the need to change anything because it’s worked for 30 years, or so they believe, but times are changing. It’s important to be prepared for backlash, but it’s more important to always have a voice for innovation, even if it’s blocked, one day it will be accepted! 

Social media platforms have grown exponentially over the last decade, and Bilton points out that our “online friends” are influential, with recommendations to restaurants, books, movies, news and more. Since there is a common interest there is more trust and our online friends actually help us sift through online content that is important to us, and this is what Bilton calls anchor communities. It should be noted that each individual does not receive the same level of trust which can grow or change at any given time. Why are most libraries not using social media? Or maybe the question is how can we engage the community when we do post to social media? Chandler Public Library has Library Face Friday which involves the community and staff. Basically it’s a picture of the face of the cover of the book and the body of the person. It’s actually really cool and there are a lot of unique and creative book covers that people have used. If the community is involved with the social media posting, more patrons are likely to listen if another patron raves about a book they read or a program they attended. 

Another point that Bilton brings up is how users will pay for the experience if it’s a quality product, they can have it immediately, and if the price matches the experience. Most big companies in 2010 were not evolving as fast as technology was changing. The users stated “you make it easy to own, or we’ll make it easy to own”, hence the dawn of the illegal downloads. The Disney Vault is the old way of thinking, people will just illegally download the movies that are in “The Vault”. Apple has evolved because they’ve added devices and content and even though everything needs to be purchased, people will buy because the experience is cool, immediate, consistent, and simple. What type of experience can we provide for our library community? The library is free, consistent and simple to use, sometimes we have to wait for materials or programs, but that is the “price” we pay for the experience. We can do more such as get to know the community, talk with them and ask them what they want. One of the branches in my library system is around a large population of retirees with no senior center in the area, so they have three Bridge days (they take that game seriously!!), a grant program gets seniors involved with different technologies like coding and robotics which they love, and an art program presented by a Phoenix Art Museum docent about a different artist once a month. Bilton says “you’re selling to a new audience, you need to talk to them differently”, just as these programs “speak” to the seniors, the shared-use facility which connects the public library to a public high school should speak to the teens. Programming should involve and be relevant to the community that surrounds the library because the experience is what will bring them back. 

So what does the future look like for libraries? Societies are changing and change is the only constant but everyone wants immediate gratification. The lessons to take away from both Bilton and The Hyperlinked Library is like consumers, patrons have the ability to sway the discussion. Libraries are more than books, they are community centers, they are spaces to do things, to learn, to create, to be a part of something. Note to future librarians- listen, communicate, ask, innovate, think ahead, and creating the experience will continue to be the fun part.

 

Bilton, N. (2010). I live in the future & here’s how it works: why your world, work, and brain are being creatively disrupted. New York: Crown Business.

 

Hyperlinked communities-Why libraries and change go hand in hand.

     This class is a good reminder about why I wanted to work in public libraries and why I decided to get my MLIS. As a kid, I grew up in libraries and really enjoyed the idea that I could check out anything and participate in the summer reading program that the library offered because it was free. Back then, libraries were still places where patrons had to whisper and the librarian would shoosh anyone who dared to speak in an audible voice. We used card catalogs and got our books stamped with the due date and it was mostly a place to study and read, not play. A few decades later when I started taking my boys to the library, there were computers and play areas. Children’s programs were offered every week along with different activities which were still, thankfully, free. I started working in libraries close to 5 years ago, because prior to that I had worked in a bookstore for a season and realized my love for books and reading could become a part of my career, but I wanted for everyone to be able to participate and get as many materials as they wanted, hence the public library became a path towards a new career.

    What I have found after 5 years, 3 of those in a supervisor role, is that change is the only constant in the library, and not everyone is on board with that. Technology is constantly changing, but so are the communities around the library and that has to be the focus of library if the goal is to remain relevant. The library system I work for includes 5 branches, one of which is a shared-use facility connected to a high school while another one is across the street from a middle school. I believe adults tend to forget what it’s like to be a kid, especially after school. So while we tell our patrons that we are more like community centers, sometimes the staff acts as though the teens are bothersome and would rather not have them in the building at all. Taking a page from the “Unquiet Library” , at Creekville High School in Georgia, and the librarians/media specialist Buffy Hamilton and Roxanne Johnson who are involved with the students, I felt that offering the inviting teen atmosphere and not only involving the teens with the coffee shop and trivia contests, but communicating and actually talking with the teens was the way to do it. So many times have I seen librarians automatically be in the defensive when the teens make their way in at 2:30pm, and I think their passion is actually coming up with new rules. No wonder the teens don’t want to listen to adults, it’s like being in school after school. The “Unquiet Library” has good starting points, teens are the future so treat them with respect as you would an adult, communication and listening is key, and keeping up with relevant technology that teens use such as social media to research makes the library fun and practical for young adults. I would love to see my library create a “coffee shop” and after school trivia games or some activity that would involve the kids. How about a theme everyday, Movie Monday, Trivia Tuesday, Weasley WEdnesday (Harry Potter or any fandom) etc. I’m excited just thinking about this!

On the same wavelength as community centers and the “Unquiet Library” is the DOK Delft library in Amsterdam, the new modern library which is more like a place of discovery. AS Jasper Visser explains in his article DOK Delft,Inspirational Library Concepts the library is a place of inspiration, participation, and interaction. There is an art library, multi-media stations that include video games, and virtual archival information relevant to each patron. Like DOK, many US libraries offer free wi-fi and maker-spaces which are great for entrepreneurs and small start-ups. My library system offers this type of maker-space at the main branch in conjunction with the  local university which has been a great way to get people from the community into the library for services other than books.

     Changing the way that we as a society think about the library is hard, but it needs to be done. Books cannot sustain us, so other services need to be brought into the environment. While bringing in showers and connecting gyms to library spaces may sound outrageous to some, Aaron Schmit explains in Exploring Content that it’s the perfect idea to get the surrounding community talking about and into the library, “When evaluating new initiatives, we should consider the library less and our communities more.” Basically, if you are going to work in a library you need to be open for change, consistently, and listen to the community in order to be innovative and remain that awesome place that people like to frequent for fun!  

 

Hi all!

Just a bit about me before we dive into this semester! First though, can you believe we are already at the end of January? Where does the time go?

I’m originally from El Paso, Texas but have lived in Gilbert, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, for the last 15 years. I’m a weirdo and love the heat! Right now it’s 58 degrees and sunny and I’m FREEZING!!! Yes, I’m wrapped in a heating blanket right now, I wore my wool pea coat this week and I call 80 degrees sweater weather, really! In the summer, the Valley hits upwards of 115 degrees, ahhh the heat, the sun, the sweat! I really don’t mind, that’s what air conditioning is for!

I chose this class for 2 reasons. First, the only constant in libraries is change. So this course seems perfect, adapting is what we do in libraries, and the more informed I can be, the better. I also heard great things about our professor, so that was reason number 2. And I don’t just mean from other students. I was on a flight and happened to sit next to a library director of a small system and he mentioned Professor Stephens when I said I attended SJSU.

I’ve worked in a public library setting for almost 5 years now and love it. So becoming a reference librarian would seem the logical next step. However, I would love to become a film librarian and work in a special collections library such as Lucasfilm, Jim Henson Company, or the Margaret Herrick Library just to name a few!

Each semester seems to become easier, not because the assignments are simple or effortless, but because my attitude for learning has changed and I’m loving everything that is presented in each of the courses that I’ve taken. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond thrilled to graduate in December!! Yay for binge-watching Netflix and free time and no more nervous twitches and gut-wrenching feelings that something is due but you have no idea what?!?!

Cheers to a great semester ahead!

This awesome library is in Mexico City, Biblioteca Vasconcelos. If you are ever in the area, check it out, it’s amazing!

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