The SFPL (San Francisco Public Library) is renowned for their innovative programs. They are Beta-Testing the latest version of their online catalog, which is a newer version of their new catalog. They also have had the good sense to retain their original online catalog, which is handy for less technologically minded people; it is also useful when the new catalog isn’t working. I’m mentioning this in reference to the Professor Stephens article from August 22, 2013 in which he asks, “Does your library engage with a group of constituents to map out possible ideas for programs and events?”
When the Beta-Test site appeared after I logged in last week, it gave me the choice to use the regular new catalog, which I did. I’d like to give feedback for the Beta, but haven’t yet been able to find an answer for how to return to that version.
Feedback is important – the SFPL recently asked patrons at different branches to provide anonymous feedback. At the Main Library, the goal they set was 60 surveys in 4 hours. People walking by were very focused on their missions, and no one appeared to hear that their opinion was requested. A banner/sign could possibly call attention to these types of opportunities to provide input.
The sociological insights of West (21st Century Digital Divide, 2014) and Boyd (What World Are We Building, 2016,) are interesting. While West writes from a local perspective and Boyd writes from a nation-wide one, they’ve both provided a snapshot of what is happening culturally in the U.S. What I found most interesting in the first article is that the issue of filtering policies, i.e. restrictive requirements that occur when using technology incorrectly, is gaining attention.
As an aside, when I first started using apps (and to this day) my question is, “Where are the manuals for these?”
Boyd’s article brings home that while racism still exists, there are pockets of change in the United States. I have seen groups of multi-racial teenagers on the San Francisco bus system, friends brought together by common interests and goals. This is very heartening to me, and I hope the rest of the country catches up soon.
His article was also helpful by explaining how clicks drive Google’s algorithms.
The part of Boyd’s article that most impressed me was how big data was/can be harnessed as a means of accomplishing Social Good in his example of providing teens with support. It is very encouraging to see a positive, non-commercial use for Big Data.
The Idea Box (Oak Park, Illinois), ribbons (Charlevoix, Michigan,) walls (New Orleans, Louisiana,) as well as the San Francisco Public Library’s Teen Library are a few of the innovative methods libraries use to draw in their public’s contributions. My vote among all of the ideas mentioned in Modules 4 and 5 for most inventive is Eli Neiburger (AskACPL. (2012.) The summer program with teenagers who learned about social media/how to be online wisely is noteworthy because it was entertaining as well as educational.