Reflective Practice

There were two articles that really felt meaningful to me this week, Corkindale’s ‘The Importance of Kindness at Work’ and Hoenke’s ‘Making Mistakes in our Daily Work.’

Life has been very hectic for me. I’ve had a big move, one precipitated suddenly by an illness in the family. The move has meant giving up a job I loved, leaving most of my family behind, and having to live in a new city and culture, job hunt, and still complete all my coursework.

It’s been difficult, and the kindness of those I’ve come in contact with, either through the course of my day, or in support groups, or with various coworkers in the temping jobs I’ve been doing while I job hunt has made a real difference. The city I’ve moved has a very different office culture than any place I’ve been too before and so the kindness has been unexpected. My various workplaces have given me time off to go to doctor’s appointments with short notice, and coworkers I have only known for a few days ask about how I’m doing. When things are tough, the kindness of others can really make all the difference.

Corkindale’s example of the manager who asked extremely personal and inappropriate questions of an employee in public is familiar too, unfortunately. While I did not go through the same experience, I did have a coworker ask me if I was okay in a very public area after inquiring why I wasn’t smiling. While I think he meant to be kind, it was just extremely awkward and discomfiting. A more strategic kindness would have been appreciated. A bit more than kindness, and Corkindale emphasizes this, is to realize everyone can have problems, be it illness or loss or other stress of some sort, and sometimes those things are too overwhelming to simply check at the door when we get to work. When others recognize that sometimes a little more understanding and kindness is needed, that our coworkers aren’t just busy bees but people with whole lives outside of work, it definitely has an impact.

Hoenke’s interview about making mistakes at work also hit a chord with me. I think part of our resistance to showing the kind of kindness in the workplace Corkindale talks about is the idea that our “work” selves must be our perfect selves – neatly dressed, nicely pressed, and we leave our home lives at home. In reality, it is hard to live up to that expectation sometimes. When we aren’t professional and let the personal get to us, it can feel like a mistake or even like failure. We resist making mistakes, resist admitting they exist because people find mistakes shameful a lot of the time, or they feel stupid. Hoenke says as a kid he thought “adults never made mistakes.” I think many kids would agree and also say not only that, but that making mistakes, appearing as though we are less than perfect, that we are human, is the absolute worst thing that can happen. It is why we do not like being called on in class – what if we get the answer wrong? And I think this attitude ties into why we have to write articles in the first place encouraging people to be kind in the work place. When someone’s professional facade cracks, is our first instinct to comfort them or to look away and pretend it didn’t happen?

Hoenke displays his mistakes in the library, and people learn and enjoy them. This kind of attitude towards mistakes is one of the reasons why I enjoy the maker movement so much. Mistakes are things you learn from, are fun, are things to be celebrated and picked apart, and put back together. Mistakes are what make creativity and invention happen.

Mistakes and kindness are important, and sometimes they are linked. When we recognize our mistakes as valuable, we recognize that we are only human. When we recognize our coworkers and ourselves as people deserving of kindness, we recognize the same. Just as we shouldn’t see mistakes as bad or shameful, we shouldn’t see our need for kindness as weak.  We should all practice kindness in the workplace, both in terms of giving kindness and in asking for it if we need it. And no one should feel embarrassed or afraid of making a mistake.

The Importance of Kindness at Work

Making Mistakes in our Daily Work


Reflective Practice and a Reflection on the Hyperlinked Library

This course is invaluable for any librarian hoping to go on to a successful career. Libraries are changing so much, and the materials we’ve studied I think help us get a grasp on current trends and developing trends so that we can move with the times. More than that, I think it allows all of us future and current library employees understand just how fast things can move, and how important it is to stay on top of new developments in technology, in programming, and in libraries.

Kindness is really key here in a different sense, because it takes a certain kindness to connect with patrons, to see them as individuals to try and parse out what they might want or need (or to just talk to them and ask them!). Without that feedback and communication, many of the programs and additions to library service we’ve discussed will not work.

I would also say mistakes are important to the Hyperlinked library as well. So much of what we discussed is new, or has not been widely implemented. There may not be clear guidelines, or the guidelines may be so new that no one has a good way of putting things into practice. Starting anything new requires a willingness to make and learn from mistakes.

Virtual Symposium – Infographic

An infographic about various aspects of the hyperlinked library, presented as tools.

Hyperlinked Toolbox

 

For my Virtual Symposium assignment I created an infographic that touches on some of the things we went over in this class, and some tips for using the new “tools” we have gained over the course of the semester. I created it using the website easel.ly.The site gives you backgrounds, images, and more, and lets you add text to create your own infographic. The site is free, but you get more features if you become a paid member. For the most part, I got what I needed from the site. You can also upload images, so if want a picture and don’t want to pay for it, you can create it or hunt it down on the internet.

I wanted to make an infographic that sort of neatly summed up some of the things we went over, a sort of at-a-glance graphic that would help those who have never heard of the Hyperlinked Library get a grasp on what they might learn as well as a quick intro to some of the newer trends in librarianship.

This is my first infographic and it was a challenge to make, but fun. Easel.ly makes a lot of the work easier, but the site can be a bit buggy, so save often and do not use the zoom once you get started!

All Aboard the STEAMbus!

Hello everyone!

I spent the last year and a half or so building out a makerspace for the school library I used to work at, so makerspaces are near and dear to my heart. The only thing better than going to the library and the library makerspace is all of it coming to you! For my Director’s brief I merged the idea of digital bookmobiles and mobile makerspaces to propose a hybrid model that I decided to call the STEAMbus. Here’s the link:

Director’s Brief

Not sure what this would look like? While my brief does include some pictures, I found this great video of the FryskLab, a mobile makerspace, on Youtube.

Reflection Post: Library as Classroom

The model of the library is changing even as we speak, different libraries trying to try different things to remain relevant and better serve our patrons in a world flooded with information and technology. When I think of the library as classroom and see all these changes, whether it be libraries as makerspace, the emphasis on going out into the community rather than staying in one building or institution, or libraries transitioning entirely from print to digital mediums, I don’t think of it as the library as a classroom. I think of it more as library taking cues from the rapidly changing classrooms of today.

In the past, libraries were repositories of knowledge not just because they held books, but because books were one of the best ways to get information (and entertainment). Libraries were revolutionary because they made this information available to more people than ever. Books used to way more expensive than they are now, and fewer people had the disposable income to buy them anyways. People had access to information and a form of entertainment they might not otherwise have. They could read for fun or read to educate themselves as they pleased.

Schools still regard books as major sources of knowledge. Up until recently all classes basically taught out of books. I even had a book for my physical education courses. But in the classroom there is a major shift going on, away from physical books, away from reading a text and reciting information into new modes of learning and new methods of getting information. And libraries are and should follow suit.

Classrooms have experiential learning, where students get hands on when their learning and apply it to things in their everyday world. I would say most teachers embrace multimedia where they have it available in the forms of video clips, movies, music and more to inject life into their classrooms and appeal to multiple styles of learning. Teachers are learning to meet students where their interests lay, to encourage them to explore topics at their own pace through flipped classrooms and e-learning. Students are creating knowledge for themselves and sharing it with others.

Libraries are mirroring this change. We offer programs that create to real world skills, reflect people’s hobbies and interests and more. Many libraries offer lecture series, movie nights, fan and pop culture events. They have e-learning modules and resources online via databases or apps like Mango. But where classrooms must and should have a goal, libraries are free form, driven mainly by librarian and patron ideas and interests.

So what happens next in the classroom? What happens next in the library? As centers of learning and education, I think the trends from one will likely overlap into the other. Perhaps while we librarians are searching for the next big thing in libraries, we should look to the next big thing in education.

New Models, New Horizons Reflection Post

New models of library service are more important than ever as we increasingly get the message that patrons find the older, perceived model of library service as a repository of books more and more irrelevant. I came across a post the other day between two freshmen at college who had never been to the library and didn’t know how it worked, saying “Can we just take books off the shelves?” and “This is so old school.”

A common thread in all the posts I read about the new models of library service seem to be pushing libraries to be almost to be part “town square” and part community center. A place where people can gather, to be together as a community, share knowledge, work together, and put on displays of culture.

Many of the articles referred to similar activities or the desire for a similar sense of community or “culture of engagement” (Lipsey, 2015) for the libraries of today and in the future. By culture of engagement, most libraries refer to people being able to access tools, materials, and classes that align with their interests, whether it be cooking, 3D printing, film making, audio recording, book groups, or more, and for libraries to be the thing they are engaging with, in a sense. But there is also a conversation about communities and the people in them being able to “engage” with one another in pursuit of those interests. People are also coming to libraries to exchange information and debate about current events, as seen in the Alameda Library, the Monroeville Library, and libraries in Norway and Denmark (Putnam, 2016). In a time when the dissemination of false or misleading information is a major issue, libraries are bringing people together and connecting them with credible information and encouraging discussion. This civic engagement is more important than ever.

The concept of Hygge (Stephens, 2016) is interesting, because it promotes the library as a cozy, comforting space, an informal space to gather and meet others. This concept of libraries as a new sort of community space, part town square also ties into the Danish idea of self-service libraries (Holmquist, 2016). What sounds merely convenient is more important than that. With libraries open earlier and later, some even 23 hours, and and with patrons having the “key” to get inside. As someone who loves books, the idea of having a key to a library sounds like the best idea ever, but it also puts a significant amount of ownership of the library back into patrons’ hands. There are security systems, of course, to keep bad behavior to a minimum, but the only other places people tend to have keys to are their homes or apartments. It really promotes the idea of the library as a secondary “space” where people can meet, feel safe, and have a free and comfortable place to work or study, a sort of home away from home office.

Libraries are not really so private or personal as that of course. But what they do provide is an avenue for people who do not have the space or resources in their own homes to pursue their interests, to engage in their community, to collaborate with others, and to simply meet with friends or have a readily available workspace that is generally free of charge and often accessible when other places aren’t. It opens doors for people who cannot afford the money or space to put green screens and camera equipment in their apartments, or simply need a quiet place. Place like the Toronto Tool Library and the Sharing Depot which offer checkouts of tools, kitchen appliances, board games, camping gear and more give people the opportunity to pursue their interests without expending a major part of their income to indulge in them, allowing these things to become “theirs” for a time, before they are returned. Granted, both the Sharing Depot and the Tool Library do require memberships and certain fees to borrow tools, with more and more expensive fees to access things like their workspaces and makerspaces, and I find that really unfortunate. But buying the various items they offer outright would quickly add up, and so for some it is definitely a more affordable and more accessible option.

All of these new models do an excellent job and are similar in that they are focused on enriching people’s day to day lives, by either providing an outlet or space for creativity, or by providing a place for the community to come together and engage. I look forward to these models hopefully becoming more widespread in the future.

 

Holmquist, J. (2016). Open libraries.

Hood, G. (2014). 5 ways Colorado libraries are going beyond books.

Lipsey, R.F. (2015). 100 Great ideas for the future of libraries.

Michaelson, E. (2013). Toronto’s kitchen library brings appliances to all.

Putnam, L. (2016). How libraries are curating current events, becoming community debate hubs.

Stephens, M. (2016). The Hygge state of mind.

Emerging Technologies Planning – Twitter Account for an Urban Public Library

Introduction

In today’s world libraries are becoming increasingly digital, both with our materials and with our services to our patrons. There are few libraries which do not offer some sort of technology programming, access to computers and more. However, libraries should not just rest on the idea of providing access, without going a step further to provide digital community engagement. To that end, many libraries now operate and maintain social media accounts across a variety of platforms. Patrons can follow these accounts to access information about the library as well as gain access to the online “community” this creates for the library, one in which things like photos, videos, information, and more can be shared. Most of these social media platforms allow for users to respond, communicate, and engage, making them even more valuable. Social media coupled with the 24/7 access to the internet via WIFI and smartphones creates an “information field (Roush, 2005)” where users can connect, communicate, and share. Libraries often tout themselves at being at the forefront of technology and technology accessibility. It cannot truly be so without providing a presence on social media platforms.

Twitter has over 320 million active users per month (Johnson, 2016), and is one of the most popular social media platforms on the web. This makes it an ideal service to “build communications online where users live (Stephens, 2006).” Twitter allows for the transmission of various different kinds of media while keeping the text content short and to the point: 140 characters or less. This makes it an ideal platform for librarians to learn and engage in. A multimedia approach to engagement is far more effective than simple text via blogs or other means. While training and setting up the Twitter account will involve an initially high level of time and effort, the short-form nature of the medium means that uploading content need not take a too significant amount of time in a librarian or library staff member’s already busy schedule. Twitter is not a difficult platform to use, and so training itself should not take repeated sessions, and requires no programming knowledge. Twitter allows for users to retweet or respond to the library’s tweet, allowing for a “conversation” between the library, its patrons, and its Twitter followers. A library Twitter account also shifts the library from being a featureless institution to one with a “human” sort of face. This can help with “public perception” issues, by changing how our patrons view the library one tweet at a time. It can allow users to participate in the library itself by giving them another avenue of communication about programs and services, or even allowing librarians to get feedback on weeding projects or planned changes to avoid unintentional missteps (Stephens, M. 2013). Increasing knowledge of library services will hopefully lad to more use of those services, and even tweets that may be no more than an interesting book, a funny moment at the library, or a librarian sharing those interests helps to put a friendly face at the forefront of the library.

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:

Use Twitter to inform patrons and promote library services, materials, programs and more, as well as engage our community of users. In addition to short posts, librarians will be able to post images, gifs, and short videos, as well as link to parts of the library homepage. Library users will be kept informed about current events at the library as well as be able to maintain a line of communication with the library and library staff via Twitter, allowing for the library to hear from the community and for the community to be heard.

 

Description of Community you wish to engage:

Engage the broader community of library patrons for an urban public library. The use of Twitter will add to the library system’s online “presence” while making information on the library more accessible for those who use social media. In addition to informing library patrons, Twitter also allows the library to display to the public its services on a social and popular platform. Twitter is extremely popular amongst teens and younger adults and its use may help to draw those patron groups into the physical library.

 

Action Brief Statement:

Convince the library staff and directors that by using Twitter to promote and spread information about the library they will see an increase in community engagement and lead to more patron awareness of library programs and services, and hopefully more patrons because of increased visibility and advertisement of the library and its many roles.

 

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:

10 Golden Rules To Take Your Library’s Twitter Account to the Next Level – Describes  a few pointers for setting up an maintaining an active twitter account that will attract users and keep current users interested and up-to-date. Encourages the use of media, links and retweets.

How to Evaluate Your Social Media Plan – Evaluating social media plans for efficacy and how and if they are reaching your users, patrons or customers.

How to Use Twitter: Critical Tips for New Users – A short guide from Wired for new Twitter users, including various services to make using Twitter easier.

Examples of Library Twitter Accounts:

These various accounts are excellent examples of the types of content libraries are able to transmit via Twitter. Programming, book recommendations, author talks, literary comments on current events, as well as librarians sharing their passions, interests, or just the random books they came across during their day. This content informs and engages, and larger urban libraries like the New York Public Library have over a million twitter followers.

New York Public Library Twitter Account

Toronto Public Library System Twitter Account

Orkney Public Library Twitter Account:

Multnomah County Library (Oregon, US)

Ferguson Public Library Account

Maryland Public Library System: AskUsNow Twitter Account

Library of Congress Twitter Account

43 Great Literary and Library Twitter Accounts

Further resources on social media, hyperlinked libraries and library Twitter accounts can be found at the bottom of this document.

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

Mission: To increase awareness and community engagement about public library services, programs, and materials, as well as establish an ongoing semi-participatory online presence for the library.

Guidelines:

  1. All librarians are to be trained on Twitter and will be allowed to contribute relevant content. This is to ensure continuous facilitation of the account in the case of a librarian or librarians moving to a new position.
  2. Two to three librarians will act as the dedicated Twitter content providers, and update the site regularly. Other librarians can contact those in charge of the account to submit content, and may be called upon to moderate the account as needed.
  3. Tweet Content may include: Library programs and services, new book additions, books/programs related to current events, community and cultural events, book displays, current events related to the library and questions for Twitter followers to promote engagement. These questions can be in the line of asking for book suggestions for an event or history month (Women’s, Black, LGBT, Hispanic, and others), favorite characters, or more. Can also be used as informal surveys of library users on programs/events in the library.
  4. Librarians in charge of the Twitter account should check the account regularly to ensure they are not repeating content, and should assess the Twitter account using various tools to learn which posts get retweets or likes to know what direction to take the account in.

Policies:

  1. All tweets must be in accordance with broader library guidelines, ethics and mission statements
  2. When tweeting photos of library programs and services, librarians should take care not to include photos of children or those who otherwise not given consent to have their photos taken. Patron privacy must be respected. Instead of taking photos of patrons at programs, librarians can take photos of materials, set up before patrons arrive, include author/speaker photos, or if the program is of a creative nature, photos of products produced at the library.
  3. Librarians who maintain the twitter account should work up to daily posts. Twitter depends on a steady stream of contents.

 

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service:

Twitter is a free to use service, and therefore will require no monetary funding unless the library seeks to hire a part time or full time employee to handle library social media accounts. However, the hope is to have current library employees suggesting content or contributing to the account.

 

 

 

Action Steps & Timeline:

Action Steps:

  1. Agree to maintain a library Twitter account and devise name and logo for said account
  2. Recruit and train library faculty in the use of Twitter, through information sessions, video tutorials, and more. Poll library staff for those who wish to be on the “Twitter” but ensure all librarians are capable of using the service. Designate 2-3 librarians as Twitter account content contributors and moderators.
  3. The designated librarians will meet to discuss initial plans for things they may be able to tweet and librarians will prepare 10 – 20 tweets in advance of live service, so that content is already prepared and can be deployed consistently. Librarians will meet biweekly or monthly in order to further plan tweets and social media content for the library’s Twitter account. Library supervisors should ensure that the Twitter team has adequate time to meet, create content, and monitor the Twitter account as needed.
  4. Once a “bank” of content is drawn up, librarians in charge of account will begin with daily tweets, scaling up content as needed, and making sure to always tweet the following:
    1. Library programs
    2. Special Library events such as author visits daily, up to two weeks in advance
    3. Celebrations of special history months, events

All other content may be determined by the Twitter team of librarians/library staff.

  1. After the start of the Twitter account, librarians should confer on what problems they are encountering and revise as needed, whether it be the need for additional support, help with content, or other issues. Other evaluations in regards to the success of the account in terms of daily visits and followers will also need to be made
  2. If the library declines to use Twitter as a social media platform, there are other platforms such as Facebook or Instagram that can be explored for use.

Timeline:

From the initial announcement to the time the Twitter account goes live, the process of recruiting, training librarians, promoting the account, and giving the Twitter Team time to generate content in advance should take no more than three months, with at least two to four weeks’ time given in advance warning for training sessions. For example, if the library management team announces that they wish to plan for the Twitter account at the beginning of September, they should hold the initial information sessions for the library staff within that month, the training session for library staff in October, and set aside November and December for the Twitter Team to plan, generate content, and try to work out any unforeseen kinks ahead of time, with the site going live in December.

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service:

Staff for the Twitter Team will consist of 2-3 librarians/library staff who regular update the Twitter account and create content for it. However, any library staff member will be able to suggest content via e-mail or in person, subject to the Twitter Team’s approval. While one person might more efficiently be able to monitor the Twitter account, having a team ensures that there is not a “silo of knowledge (Stephens, 20XX) in which only one person knows how to or has any practice in maintaining the account. This approach will also ensure that with the new technology, no one person feels overwhelmed with content generation or maintenance. Christchurch City Libraries (2012), in reference to their social media accounts, also touts the value of having “many voices” as contributors. . The team will be able to assist one another, and if one member leaves, the others will be able to train a new team member.

The Twitter Team must be given the appropriate amount of time to meet, plan for content, and update the Twitter account. This time may need to be set aside from part of their “normal” duties, and may involve the need for more volunteers or support from other staff. This time should be scheduled as regularly as possible. The library should also give the Twitter Team the option, if desired, of updating the account from home. This is not to encourage library staff to take their work home, but as social media accounts are available anywhere, it allows staff more flexibility should inspiration strike. If there are library closures or events such as natural disasters, it also allows the Twitter Teams to keep patrons abreast of these instances, or even note if the library is offering services such as shelter or food.

Library and library staff should be encouraged to contribute to the Twitter account and bring their voices and viewpoints to bear. The library serves a diverse community with diverse interests, and limiting the Twitter “voice” of the library would not be advantageous.

Training for this Technology or Service:

All librarians and library staff will receive basic training on the Twitter platform. The training will be administered by those librarians who are on the Twitter Team so that they are known by library and library staff. Prior to larger staff training, the Twitter Team will set aside to learn about Twitter, how it functions, and study other library twitter accounts for ideas and examples of content. A one hour training session will be initially scheduled for staff, with at least two scheduled times available depending on the number of staff needed to be trained and availability. Staff will polled and scheduled ahead of time for their training time of choice. Training videos will also be put together by the Twitter team that the library staff will be able to access 24/7 if they need a refresher or if updates to Twitter’s service model are made. New staff will have one on one training sessions with a member of the Twitter Team as needed after the initial training session. If staff members are already fluent in the use of Twitter, they can demonstrate their knowledge and be excused from portions of the training. However, they will need to know the guidelines for Twitter content.

If library staff are unable to make training due to unforeseen circumstances, they will hopefully be able to attend one of the alternate training times. If library staff are unable to make any training times, a one on one or virtual session will be offered to them by a member of the Twitter Team.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service:

The Twitter service will be promoted amongst the library staff and team, initially as a way to see who might be interested in joining the Twitter Team. Information about the library’s twitter service, training sessions, and more will be shared along with links and information on other library Twitter accounts so that staff can get an idea of what content might be tweeted. Conversation, suggestions and input will be encouraged from the staff at all levels to ensure the service is a success, and any planning adjusted as needed. Any meetings held on the new Twitter service should be used in order to generate excitement, learn about who wants to contribute and what they might want to contribute. Library staff should have conversations about their interests and what they would like to see promoted about the library, as well as asked about what patron queries keep coming up that might be answered by a Twitter account.

To promote the service to the wider public, a multi-pronged approach will be taken in order to inform as many people about the service as possible. The new Twitter account handle and “live date” for the account will be available on any library fliers, program books, and posters the library puts out at least two weeks in advance. Library staff can promote the Twitter account on the library’s homepage and at the beginning or end of appropriate programs. Library staff serving teens and younger adult groups should take special care to promote the service as those groups are most likely to use it. The Twitter Team may come up with a special event that requires patrons to view/follow the account in order to participate, such as giving clues to a library “treasure hunt” or similar event. The library can also offer classes or programming in the use of social media such as Twitter around the time the account goes live. Social media classes may appeal to a broad range of users, such as teens, younger adults who may be expected to know how to use social media for work related purposes, or older adults.

Evaluation:

Twitter itself has several metrics at the top of its user homepage that allow for basic metrics such as number of tweets, followers, number of people the account is following, and likes. There are other services which allow for further metric data should be collected. These should be evaluated and used accordingly. Looking at visitor data will let the library know if patrons are using the site, and if not, further planning can take place to decide what content needs to be showcased or what marketing needs to be done to attract more followers. Possible metrics, in addition to the standards twitter provides may be number of visits per day, number of unique visits, and more. Evaluation on the stresses, time input, and amount of content the Twitter Team also needs to be put in place to measure the sustainability of the program, whether or not the team needs to be expanded, or if more time needs to be given to coordinating or creating tweets. The team can self-evaluate and report to a designated supervisor on a monthly basis in the first six months of the program, and then decide on the frequency of self-evaluations after the six-month mark.

If all goes well, and the Twitter Team feels confident, the content on the library’s Twitter account can easily translate to another social media platform such as Instagram or Facebook(if not already used). Whether or not the Twitter Team expands its responsibilities or if other librarians are brought on to post to the accounts is something that will take planning and deliberation. The more social media platforms the library is on the more widely the library can disseminate information and promote its services, and reach a broader audience of patrons.

 

 

References

Christchurch City Libraries (Donna). (September 25, 2012). This is how we do it: Social media at Christchurch city libraries. Christchurch City Libraries Bibliofile. Retrieved from https://cclbibliofile.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/this-is-how-we-do-it-social-media-at-christchurch-city-libraries/

Edelstein, Megan. (June 25, 2010). How to evaluate your social media plan. Mashable. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2010/06/25/evaluate-social-media-plan/#BJdIWMpdN5q3

Glaser, April. (May 5, 2016). How to Use Twitter: Critical Tips for New Users. Wired. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2016/05/twitter-onboarding-tips-for-new-users/

Johnson, Lauren. (April 3, 2016). Here’s how many people are on facebook, Instagram, twitter, and other big social networks. Adweek. Retrieved from http://www.adweek.com/digital/heres-how-many-people-are-on-facebook-instagram-twitter-other-big-social-networks/

Mollet, A., and McDonnell, A. Five ways libraries are using Instagram to share collections and draw public interest. The London School of Economics and Political Science LSE Impact Blog. Retrieved from http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/04/16/five-ways-libraries-are-using-instagram/

Potter, N. (August 27, 2013). 10 golden rules to take your library’s twitter account to the next level. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/08/marketing/10-golden-rules-to-take-your-librarys-twitter-account-to-the-next-level/

Roush, W. (August 1, 2005). Social machines. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/404501/social-machines/

Stearns, J. (November 4, 2015). 43 Great Literary and Library Accounts. Medium. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@jcstearns/43-great-literary-and-library-twitter-accounts-f2f8fe619969#.9b4qlpoy3

Stephens, M. (August 22, 2013). Collection bashing &trashing | Office hours. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/08/opinion/michael-stephens/collection-bashing-trashing-office-hours/

Stephens, M. (2006). Into a new world of librarianship. Next Space, 2, 8. Retrieved from http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/oclc/publications/newsletters/nextspace/nextspace_002.pdf

Stephens, M. (2011). The hyperlinked library. Retrieved from http://mooc.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/StephensHyperlinkedLibrary2011.pdf

White, A. (December 1, 2014).  Here’s the story behind the orkney library’s hilarious twitter account. BuzzFeed. Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/alanwhite/real-talk-who-doesnt-dress-as-whitesnake-once-a-week?utm_term=.gukZLpLM7#.mqB0lPl5b

 

Hyperlinked Environments – Privacy

After poking around in all of the modules, and reading a lot of articles, I chose to focus on Hyperlinked Environments and Privacy as my topic for this week’s reflection blog. I chose this issue mostly because I had recently read a post on Tumblr. On this post, people were talking about how little privacy they had as children and teens, and the negative impacts of that. They talked about parents who demanded the passwords to their cellphones and e-mail accounts. Who forbade them from social media sites, or joined those sites to monitor their use. And then the parents, seeing something they didn’t like, would force their children off those sites. A lot of this behavior came with other invasions of privacy or controlling behavior, like following their children around or removing doors off of their rooms.

I was heartened to see that the Pew Research article on parents, teens, and digital monitoring starts off how important it is to go about “striking a balance between allowing independent exploration and providing an appropriate level of parental oversight.”
But the stats on what most parents do are a little worrying in terms of teens’ privacy, such as checking websites and social media profiles, or looking through a teen’s phone calls or messages (48% of parents). Think about the kinds of conversations you had with your friends when you were a teenager, and all the silly, embarrassing, and frankly private things you said. The article goes on to say that “nearly half (48%) of parents know the password to their teen’s email account, while 43% know the password to their teen’s cellphone and 35% know the password to their teen’s social media accounts. Think about the “real-world” analog for scrolling through your children’s text messages – eavesdropping on their phone conversations, or worse, following them to their hangouts to casually listen in as they talk with their friends and peers.
More encouragingly is the fact the vast majority of parents have reported that they try to have talks with their teens about appropriate behavior online, and what they should and shouldn’t share.
There is definitely a need for parents to be aware of what their children are doing online, just as they would like to know what they do offline – that they are safe, responsible, that no one is mistreating them. But aside from that one line at the beginning, where do parents find the balance between keeping their children safe and respecting their privacy?

Teachers and parents talk a lot about the younger generation learning to use the internet responsibly, and about the instances of bullying and other dangers. But is there a large conversation about teaching parents and teachers how to respect privacy while having those conversations with students and children?
In the next Pew Research article on privacy, one of the big bold headlines is “Most Americans hold strong views about the importance of privacy in their everyday lives.” Understandably parents must keep an eye on their children. But what privacy rights do children have? The research in the Pew report shows that Americans “do not wish to be observed without their approval” and that “it is important that they not have someone watch or listen to them without their permission.”
This is not a simple issue. Children have less privacy then adults naturally. Adults are responsible for their children health, welfare, and safety and that naturally means children and teens do not have as much privacy as they might want. But many would say that children do have certain rights. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states:

Article 16

1. No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.

2. The child has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child)

So where do libraries stand on the issue of privacy for students and minors?
From the Library Privacy Guidelines for students in K-12 Schools, the American Library Association states that “Students’ and minors’ First Amendment rights to free inquiry and privacy must be balanced against both the educational needs of the school and the rights of the parents.” The right to privacy for students and minors is not just about privacy itself, but also their freedom to learn more about the world, to have questions and be able to get answers. It goes on to refer to the Student Privacy Pledge (https://studentprivacypledge.org/) that libraries and digital service providers can sign on to.
For Public and Academic Library services, the ALA states in their Privacy ToolKit that “In all instances, best practice is to extend to minors the maximum allowable confidentiality and privacy protections.” They go on to say that librarians should not give out any information that invades the privacy of children, and that while their may be circumstances that require giving certain information, that those circumstances should be limited. I would say that it is probably best that libraries make sure those circumstances are clearly defined in ways that conform to state/federal law and the ALA Code of Ethics. However it is likely that like cases with cyberbullying, the law has often not caught up yet to technology. Most people would not call parents snooping on their kids’ internet use “abuse.” There are probably kids who would take it in stride, and not be that affected by it either. But back to that tumblr post – I’ve copy and pasted some of what other users shared. I didn’t like to it to protect their privacy and mine, and I’ve changed all the names. Please excuse the language

K

okay okay, you ready for a fucking story? because reading through this brought back memories that showcase just how shitty invading your kid’s privacy is!

okay so back when I was 12 (? i think. 7th grade for sure) I started experiencing symptoms of depression. So of course, because I thought it would help, I told my mom. She told me I was just “a hormonal teenager” and that I just needed to get over it. At this point I was suicidal and had expressed that, even at that age I knew that it wasn’t normal. not at all.

So I started isolating myself from my family. I’d only text my friends. That’s when they started going through my ipod because they believed I was “doing bad things”. So I set up a passcode because they were just unlocking and going through it every time I left the room. It stayed in my pocket until I got home, then under the bed. I wasn’t allowed to unlock it myself, they had to know the passcode. I’d go through 20 different passcodes a month because I didn’t want them looking through it. I didn’t even have anything to hide! They made me feel guilty, like I was doing something wrong for texting my friends. The most prominent memory of this is sitting in the chair next to the couch, crying from the anxiety they were forcing me through as they looked through everything. I had no privacy. I wasn’t allowed to have privacy. I no longer texted my friends. The little social interaction I got was from tumblr messages every so often.

My parents created instagram, tumblr etc. accounts so they could watch what i posted and when I posted it. I blocked them. This was he only place I had left to express myself and they were trying to take that away too. They found some app (no idea why this even exists) that allows you to fucking track what your kids do online. I changed the email on all of my social media. I stopped using it if they were in the room. I did everything I possibly could because I just wanted to have 1 fucking place I could express myself without them.

They’ve (as far as I know) stopped forcing their way into my shit. They still go through my texts if I leave it unlocked. They hover over me whenever I use the computer. They still threaten to take away my door.

And I just don’t care anymore. About anything. I skip class, I send nudes, I smoke etc. They’re gonna assume I’m doing it anyway, why shouldn’t I?

I spend my time telling my brother not to do anything I’ve done. Telling him to tell me if he feels bad, not our parents. Telling him not to do the stuff I still do. I tell him all this because I’m in ruins and I don’t want him to end up the same way.

C

my mom let my sisters and i do whatever we wanted [obvs within reason] and punished us when we did bad shit and we came out just fine. we’re honest people and nothing fucked us up. my friend with overprotective and invasive parents? she sneaks out for a social life. she can’t let people touch her things without almost crying because her dad would confiscate her things as she was using them to make sure she wasn’t selling drugs or sexting. sometimes she compulsively lies about small things and admits to lying later because she knows it’s was stupid to do it in the first place and she developed OCD from her father reprimanding her for not being clean enough [even though she’s a spotless person] she will have anxiety attacks over being in a messy environment because of the panic her dad put into her while growing up. she’s almost twenty and you know what she did? she asked me to cover for her so she could go on a date. SHE IS TWENTY NEXT MONTH AND ASKED ME TO LIE TO HER PARENTS IF THEY ASKED ME WHERE SHE WAS. she was on a date!! dating! because she was afraid her dad would fucking ground her. the sad part is, he probably would have if he found out! they created an environment of distrust and she has to fight it to be able to hang out with people who weren’t even gonna get her in trouble.

yall wanna be like “privacy doesn’t exist for children and teens. no teens can be trusted.” but fact is, you’re gonna force your kid into being untrustworthy because you think it’s healthy to be controlling.

R

Okay. This is completely agreeable. My parents would constantly go and steal my electronics when I had to leave the house. And they wouldn’t even say anything to me about it. I’ve had panic attacks because I forgot to delete something because I was afraid my parents would see it and think it was something bad. They always ask me for my passwords, and if I change it, they actually get mad at me. I constantly had to make sure everything was secure before I left, and I always felt on edge.

Those are just a few stories – the post has 240K+ reblogs.

A lot of the reblogs talk about how they used the internet to be able to express themselves when they felt they couldn’t at home or in school. Some of them were LGBTQIA kids living with parents who disapproved of their sexuality.

Libraries, especially school and public libraries, should take care to think about the conversation we are having with teens and their digital behavior and safety. The conversation needs to grow larger, to include parents and adults.  Look back at the Pew research. Knowing your child’s passwords doesn’t necessarily mean you are going through their online history or text messages. It may just mean you know they love Justin Bieber, and that’s probably their password. But that 48% number is alarming high, and could mean that nearly half of parents believe there is nothing wrong with going through their children’s cellphones and laptops. That they talk to other parents and look at the wider society and do not see a problem with it. We often think about the current generation as the digital natives, and older generation as less skilled, less fluent. If that is so, wouldn’t the older generation need to learn about how to conduct themselves online too, and how to respect the digital privacy of others? Libraries and schools could better equip parents and teachers with this knowledge, and how to have better and more meaningful conversations with children and students about being digital citizens. Digital citizenship shouldn’t just be for the younger generations. I’ve said it before – this isn’t a simple issue. Parents understandably want to keep their children safe. Children and teens of different ages may need more guidance than others. But we have to balance the privacy rights of parents and their children. We would be appalled if our parents read our diaries. Why are our texts any different?

Links:

Library Privacy Guidelines for Public Access Computers and Networks.

Parents, Teens and Digital Monitoring. Pew Research

Canadian Coalition on the Rights of Children – Child Friendly Poster

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – Child Friendly Poster (Basically the Same, but with bullet points/headings.

Library Privacy Guidelines for students in K-12 Schools

Student Privacy Pledge

Hyperlinked Communities Post

The idea of the Hyperlinked community is one where libraries are more easily able to reach people, for whatever reason, where they are through digital means. That may mean providing services, or ding programming like the IdeaBox and sharing it with the world over social media platforms, cultivating a sort of living museum of their community in real time.

Stoll’s (2015) article on the Healing Power of Libraries is of course, inspiring. Libraries often have plans for serving communities in times of crisis when it comes to natural disasters, but societal disasters are a bit different and the kind of help they could offer is also different. Rather than becoming merely a place that may be still standing after a tornado or flood, with food and water, in the case of Ferguson the library tried to fill the role the rest of the social institutions in the town were not. It became a place of safety, education, and comfort.

Schmidt (2016) talks about how the idea of “user-centered” libraries is beyond mainstream. Libraries know and like to ask the user what they want. The issue with the question, he finds, is that it’s too broad, especially for a layperson who may not realize what libraries are capable of doing beyond the realm of books and book-related programming. He suggests instead to craft questionnaires to find out about them as people. Sandlian (2013) quoted the first public librarian in the United States as saying the libraries’ priority should be first patrons’ happiness, and second patrons’ education.

Other articles discuss digital divides – an important thing to figure in when trying to create a hyperlinked community and hyperlinked library. Within the internet, Boyd (2016) states there are places that are “racialized” so to speak, where more wealthy and more white users go, whereas black and lower-income users use other services. If this is more than perception, libraries need to expand the amount of social media sites they use, even if they are already using the most popular services that will reach more users. Even digitally, it is still important to reach all users. Then there is the traditional digital divide where people have less access or no access to the internet or computers, perhaps because they cannot afford it, or due to some disability. An issue contributing to that is, according to the author, a lack of “national infrastructure” to ensure people are online and to ensure they have the skills and confidence they need to use the digital services they might wish to.

Once you empower people to use digital services the changes can be immense. Bautre (2013) writes about how providing digital “medicine” and support to pregnant women in rural Ghana vastly changed the  outcomes in an area where maternal mortality is high.  By giving the women in rural Ghana tools to access information, ask questions, and making sure the program was adapted to the native culture, a modern library and technology hub was able to affect change beyond that of traditional library programming.

This goes back to Schmidt’s point of needing to not just ask open ended questions, but to try and “anticipate” user needs. Libraries need to find out how to help improve their community’s happiness and education by figuring out where they are unhappy, and where society is failing them or letting them fall through the cracks. Once they figure out that, they need to empower them to use the services the library can offer, and make it accessible for all people regardless of socioeconomic status and race. Libraries are perhaps one of the most egalitarian institutions in society, but what libraries must do is leverage that to make the rest of society more egalitarian, a mission it has already taken on but perhaps not been as successful at as it might in today’s increasingly divided world.  That libraries provide a space where people can be safe, can find an outlet for their creativity and connect with others is definitely important, but what other “holes” in society can it fill? It is likely that that will vary from community to community, and once we figure out what our community is missing and position our libraries to take that on, we then become indispensable.

Baute, N. (2013). How a modern library keeps mothers healthy in rural Ghana. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation/Inpatient Optimists. Retrieved from http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2013/11/How-a-Modern-Library-Keeps-Mothers-Healthy-in-Rural-Ghana

Boyd, D. (2016). What world are we building? Medium, Data & Society: Points. Retrieved from https://points.datasociety.net/what-world-are-we-building-9978495dd9ad#.1v2mv5kuf

Sandlian Smith, P. (2013). What to expect from libraries in the 21st Century. TEDxTalks. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa6ERdxyYdo

Schmidt, A. (2016). Asking the right questions. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2016/05/opinion/aaron-schmidt/asking-the-right-questions-the-user-experience/

Stolls, A. (2015). The Healing power of libraries. National Endowment for the Arts. Retrieved from https://www.arts.gov/article/healing-power-libraries

West, J. (2014). 21st century digital divide. Librarian.net  Retrieved from http://www.librarian.net/talks/rlc14/

 

Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal

Cover of Jane McGonigal's book, Reality is Broken

Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal

Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal has a simple and fun premise, that the way we can improve our lives, our habits, our society, even our hardships can be improved through games. Throughout the book she goes over different concepts and the “hacks” they represent in order to present a new way of looking at the word.

There are a couple of important things she points out in her book. First, the concept that work, meaningful work, is more fun than actual fun. In other words, human beings like meaningless distractions and busywork, even in the context of a game. We would rather be doing some kind of “work.” However, games stimulate us by providing increasingly hard, progressive challenge and positive feedback for our accomplishments – which instills in us a range of good feelings. Games are also increasingly social, requiring or encouraging us to play with others, perhaps even strangers. These three concepts, challenge, feedback, and social-ness, underpin the rest of the book when talking about how games can change the way we live our lives.

Some of the examples McGonigal uses when she talks about “gamifying” are:

  • The Quest School: An experimental public charter school where assignments, tests, projects are all arranged in a game like format. Students can level up skills or “classes” (like storyteller), they take on “bosses” when they do tests, and they can undertake side quests hidden around the school. It sounds like a great idea. This book was written in 2011, and as of now they have expanded into a middle and high school. Reviews of the school are mixed, ranging from praise for its innovation to criticism for a confusing system and lack of support for students with any kind of disability.
  • Another example is the use of games to impact real world issues – crowd-sourcing problems by using the computing software in a PS3 for a resource heavy program to figure out how proteins fold, or releasing hundreds of thousands worth of pages for the people to conduct their own investigation in British MP spending, with the investigatory website set up as an easy to access, easy to play “game” of identification and organization that resulted in actual convictions.
  • The author gamified her own long-term recovery from a concussion that left her unable to do many of the things she loved, by setting goals for herself, and having a support network both look after her and help her reach those goals.

If you boil down all of the examples, concepts hacks and more, I believe it comes out to about four real key ideas. People like to have a real world impact, cooperative/social elements, instant (or near-instant) feedback, and they like a challenge. Combine these things into a game, or any participatory experience and you will likely have something human beings will enjoy.

The question is why is this important for Library 2.0? I think that librarians can use the concepts outlined by McGonigal to help enhance the experience of library patrons. Rather than just trying to integrate community members into programming, why not crowd-source our programming out to the community. Have a huge weeding project? Turn what might be a boring volunteer program into a cooperative treasure hunt or puzzle challenge. Kenney (2014), revisiting Schneider’s essay about the user, reminds of the importance of this. Centering library service on our patrons or users isn’t possible without the participation of those users. He mentions how now teen librarians are advocating for “users to help determine teen programs and services.” Many advocates for this approach suggest allowing the teens to develop and run the programs themselves. Costanza writes about the San Francisco Library collaborating with teens to design their teen space, with “50 or so” teens contributing.  Mack (2013), writing about the Los Angeles Public Library’s outreach to patrons for their redesign cites their desire to “create a collaborative vision of y/our library of the future.” Collaboration, participation and buy-in are all inter-related and will see to it that patrons are invested in library services. Don’t create programming that has little connection to the real world, but that allows patrons to have an impact, whether you are displaying their arts and crafts creations in a portion of the library, allows them to create displays or show of skills.

One reason why I think the idea of the Quest School may catch on is because it promotes a “growth” model of learning, something many educators are already familiar with. Games emphasize a “growth” model as well, where players master skills and fight progressively harder battles, or overcome more difficult challenges. Libraries could create programming that is progressively challenging and progressively rewarding. I have seen that many libraries offer plenty of classes that stop at a basic level due to lack of interest/funding/time. But much of our programming is missing that feedback element that McGonigal says is so crucial to investing ourselves in challenges. Create badges that patrons can see on their online library accounts or give patrons’ privileges or access to websites or blogs. Offer certification of some sort that patrons can tout on their resumes. Pretty much the only incentivized library program I can think of off the top of my head are summer reading programs. I think the ideas of gamification can have a lot of impact on libraries and the way we proceed in the future. One issue I did have with many of her examples was that with the exception a few, I had never heard of the games she discussed. This may be down to me – I am not a big mobile games player and a lot of the games have a high social element, and I am very much an introvert. But this problem is a problem libraries also have, so the problem remains that even if you have wonderful, engaging, social, challenging programming, librarians must make sure to get the word out.

One issue I take with this book is that there is a core of deep depression about the world that you can see even in the title “Reality is Broken.” McGonigal does not really discuss this at length, but she does discuss it, and does say basically that the world is a harsh, cruel, unwelcoming place. And part of the theory of the book is that the world can be so painful and difficult to live in that we use games to distance ourselves from it or to alter our perception or the way we frame things just in order to cope.

On the other hand, there is a sort of unrealistic optimism to this book that leads to the other issue I had with the book – she assumes people have the time and money, not to mention the social support network to use games in the ways she suggests.

Mary Poppins snapping her fingers

Make it a game!

At times it comes off as a bit “Mary Poppins,” and using games to change things will fix things in a snap, so to speak.

However, the hope of these various “fixes” is that we can have some sort of affect on the real world. Early in the book, McGonigal touts that part of the appeal of games is the idea of improvement inherent in them. We can improve our avatar, accomplish the mission, save the world from certain destruction. In the game world these things are possible, and the fact that games are designed to be won is part of their allure – we know if we try hard enough we can most certainly succeed. I would say that this is in fact not just putting us in a mindset of “growth” or “improvement.” It is at its most fundamental, imbuing us with an agency we might not always feel in every day life. Seeing we can make real change in our environment or lives is analogous to seeing ourselves level up in a game or defeat a boss. We can see that change, and receive that feedback. Participatory programming in the libraries, allowing the user to affect change seems even more important in that light.

Lastly, I would like to mention one more point brought up in Reality is Broken, because two recent real world instances have popped up. McGonigal discusses the potential of using games to tackle real world problems to big for an individual or even a large group. There is hope in the idea of crowd sourcing our problems to the rest of the world, especially at a point in history where there are more people with more information that are more connected in any time in history.

Screenshot of the Planetfinders tutorial web page

Screenshot of the Planetfinders tutorial.

Recent examples of this are NASA asking the internet to invent something to deal with astronaut waste and even more recently, astronomers have asked for help in trying to find “Planet 9.” You can log into a website with hundreds and thousands of images of the night sky and mark them if you think you see a moving object there.

Costanza, K. (2015). In San Francisco, teens design a living room for high-tech learning at the public library. YouMedia. Retrieved from http://youmedia.org/news/in-san-francisco-teens-design-a-living-room-for-high-tech-learning-at-the-public-library/

Kenney, B. (2014). The User is (still) not broken. Publishers Weekly. Retrieved from http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/60780-the-user-is-still-not-broken.html

McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is broken. New York, New York: Penguin Random House LLC.

Mack, C. (2013). Crowd-sourced design: Why Los Angeles is asking the public to create the library of the future. Good. Retrieved from https://www.good.is/articles/crowdsourced-design-why-los-angeles-is-asking-the-public-to-create-the-library-of-the-future

McKirdy, Euan. (2017). At ease, future astronauts: NASA solving space poop problem. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/tech/nasa-space-poop-challenge-winner-announced-trnd/

Palca, J. (February 18, 2017). Have spare time? Try to discover a planet. NPR. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/18/515810147/have-spare-time-try-to-discover-a-planet

Talbot, M. (2015). A Quest for a different learning model. Huffington Post. Retrieved from

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/12/quest-to-learn-games_n_6456914.html

Reflection Blog 1 – Library 2.0

Reflection Blog on Foundational/Hyperlinked Library Readings –

 

A few points of the Library 2.0 text jumped out of me mostly to do with offering services, working with our communities, and building programs that are relevant, current and well-advertised.  I read the e-book via the Kindle app, so the LOC refers to the location number in the book.

The book makes several good points about the library services and their delivery, many that I have seen in other readings and in other courses. The importance of user center service (Loc 378) is of course, paramount, and that user centered service begins with the user. We need to pull members of our community into being a part of our libraries, even to the point of getting user-organized and user-run programs set up, or making sure our patrons can recommend books, materials and more. I think librarians also need to look at trends in information needs, and seek out gaps that they can fill, or create programs that people might want to attend. A good one for today might be a fake news versus real news short program or web module, but libraries – if they are going to create programs that concern current events – need an immediate way outside of people entering the library to promote those events.

Digital services are already extremely important in libraries, and I do not think that any library could survive today without offering some form of these services. Expanding into digital services (Loc 504) is something libraries should and need to do. But we need to make sure libraries do not neglect the needs of the users who need us the most, those who cannot afford e-readers or tablets, or those who cannot afford the data needed to download or stream on their cellphones, or afford internet. Changing to meet tech needs is important, but libraries need to be sure they are not leaving a portion of their patrons behind. It means making sure to advertise the fact that patrons can use computers in the library, or offering programs to lend tablets to the community at large, or even for use in the library itself.

Digital services can be a lot of things, but Web 2.0 and social media tools are becoming very popular among employers and even in some schools. Libraries should train and position themselves to offer classes on Web 2.0 tools that allow collaboration, like the various Google Apps (Loc 1344). They are starting to see more widespread use in companies and schools, especially with the advent of Chromebooks. Yet I see more libraries offering classes and programs on more traditional software like Microsoft Office. While it is still the industry standard, libraries should position themselves at the forefront of trends, not behind them. Even if a library offers a class that’s a bit too ahead of its time, that means at least one librarian is trained in a new technology and can offer the class again once a technology, program, or app becomes more mainstream.

Knowing the demographics of your community is important (Loc 679), because the library won’t get use if they feel it isn’t relevant to them. Even more important is, as said in the book, getting members of the community participating in and helping to shape library services. It also helps to have someone who is a member of that community, especially if you are not. Trying to choose books in a different language or for a specific culture or ethnicity can be difficult, and mistakes can be made easily without proper feedback from someone more knowledgeable or extensive research.

That brings me to the question of how to cultivate ties in one’s community (Loc 1176). It is an excellent idea to cultivate ties to your community, to make sure they are actively involved in the library and the services it provides. They may be in the best position to know what kind of information services, programs, or classes the community really needs that the library can provide. But it always comes down to how for me. Which community organizations and businesses? Is it better to approach them with a plan in place, or ask them to collaborate on one? What are some examples of libraries who have done this, and what are best practices to keep these community ties strong?

Creating wikis and knowledge management is of the utmost importance (Loc 1504), as I learned just this year. I had to leave a position suddenly without warning in the middle of trying to build a makerspace program for the school, leaving my colleagues and coworkers behind to carry on as best they can. I am lucky in that my coworkers were all excited about the program and were working on getting more involved, but I wish I had taken the time to create documentation as I went along.

Library 2.0 advocates that libraries should change, but that we cannot put those changes to place in a bubble – they must be changes that result from the fast changing world around us, from the input of our patrons and community, and in a way that keeps up with changing trends and technology. I think calling things Library 2.0 puts the reader more in mind of Web 2.0, and changing technology. But rather than just be prepared for the changes happening in technology, we need to look at the wider field of information and try to see what gaps we can fill, what programs we can offer, and what help we can provide our patrons in accessing an increasingly wide world of information. What do job-seekers need, what are students learning, what trends are coming up again and again in the job market. Where do we see information deficits or difficulties? I think advertising for those services is also of paramount importance. Its lovely to have all these things, but if no one knows about them, they won’t be used. Living in DC I would never hear about programs in the library unless I already went looking for them – because I knew to look for them, and frequented the library often. In Toronto, the library advertises – not super broadly, but on the metro, and they put out a quarterly booklet about what kind of classes they are offering. Now, I think the library in DC has better audio/visual/makerspace programs, but the Toronto programs seem to be more regular and more consistent – possibly due to that advertising and forethought.

Since I previously worked in a school library, and hope to work with YA services in the future, the Unquiet Library(Matthews, B.) and DOK Delft (Visser, 2011) struck a chord with me. While I was there I was struggling to find a way to manage our after school library hours in a way that would satisfy me and everyone else. The biggest issue was a lack of guidance and rules, as well as a specific program in place for after school. Without any clear guidelines for library use, some students ended up using the space as a second playground. Because our library was two floors, with the first floor open to the high school floor, the high school students who were getting homework help would complain about the noise from the middle and lower school students on the first floor. The idea of the library as community place was something that really drew me, and I wanted to find a middle way that would bring our middle school students in without annoying the high school students. I would have also loved to put an information literacy program into place, but in the end the after school hours for the library simply ended up being cut. I found it to be a real missed opportunity, because in the articles you can see the value and satisfaction patrons place on their libraries. The use of cellphones and technology in the Matthews'(2010) article is clever not because teens love cellphones, but because it lets the library meet the users/patrons where they are, rather than trying to force them into a certain mode of engaging.

Casey, M.E. and Savastinuk, L.C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, New Jersey: Information Today.

Matthews, B. (2010). The unquiet library has high-schoolers geeked. American Libraries Magazine. Retrieved from http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2010/06/21/unquiet-library-has-high-schoolers-geeked/

Visser, J. (2011) Dok delft, inspirational library concepts. The Museum of the Future. Retrieved from http://themuseumofthefuture.com/2011/01/22/dok-delft-inspirational-library-concepts/