The other day, I was at a First Nations restaurant and had the pleasure of trying bannock for the very first time! For those who aren’t familiar with bannock, it’s a type of traditional First nations flatbread that is quite dense and very delicious! After lunch, while I was at a coffee shop, I started to think about Canada’s upcoming 150th anniversary and made a mental note to myself to incorporate more First Nations stories into my Family Time and BabyTime programs. So I connected to the coffeeshop’s Wifi and I was able to look up quick facts about bannock, and then looked on the library’s catalogue for books I could be using for my programs and found one called My Heart Sings with Happiness by Monique Gray. It’s a lovely children’s book about the sweet pleasures in life, one of them being the smell of bannock rising from a child’s family kitchen.
I learned about bannock, and found a neat book to use in my storytime all with my smartphone! This is an example of how digitally connected our societies have become and libraries must step up their game and adapt their services to meet the diverse needs of our patrons.
There is a lot of discussion in the school boards these days about more and more school boards banning the use of cell phones in school, because it is seen as disruptive. Imagine what could possible if the school system could engage their students using their smartphones, ie a trivia game testing their knowledge of a concept that was just taught. Libraries can be shining examples of what kind of creative learning and collaboration is possible with mobile devices. For example, hyperlinked libraries could offer programs on Digital Literacy for children and also review internet safety, what it means to put yourself “ out there” in terms of the digital world, and what is considered ethical behaviour in online environments. We want our children and youth to become digital creators, not just consumers! No one became good at making video games by simply watching others!
I really enjoyed reading the article on Beacon Technology. It’s nice to know that library systems out there have already welcomed mobile technology into their branches by deploying beacons that allows libraries to send timely and relevant messages to certain types of smartphones.
It got me thinking about all the kinds of notifications that could be sent out to our patrons, such as welcoming everyone who walks into our new teen zone and letting them know that it is reserved for youth during after school hours, or to let parents know to register for upcoming STEM programming ( yes, that I will be running thanks to this class!) and let people know about our upcoming User Education courses, etc.
I am a strong believer in the concept that learning happens anywhere and mobile devices have the potential to find answers to one’s questions. I also feel that not all learning takes place in a classroom setting. Learning can take place anywhere, such as on the bus or a restaurant, or even while walking around the library through beacon technology! What a great time to be working in libraries!
Stephens, M. (2015). Serving users when and where they are: Hyperlinked libraries.
Enis, M. (2014). “Beacon” Technology Deployed by Two Library App Makers.