“We have a great opportunity to harness emerging technologies and create engaging and useful services, deeply connected to the core mission and values of librarianship”–Michael Stephens, Taming Technolust: Ten Steps for Planning in a 2.0 World (Full Text), para. 22
Over the past thirty years or so, the “image” of libraries being just quiet places where people can read and checkout books has effectively been shattered and remade several times over.
In this week’s module, titled New Models, Professor Stephens introduces us to several “new models of service” and “ideas outside the box of traditional library land thinking” (Stephens, 2023). I found several of these new ideas and models very interesting:
- One of the ideas that I thought was interesting was the Get to Know Your Neighbor Program. Basically, the library, or an organization affiliated with the library, set up a block party. “These gatherings are low key ways to have a snack or a cup of coffee, listen to some music and have a chat with one of your neighbors” (Get to know yourneighbors, 2016). On the table there is a little container–a bowl or bucket–that contains slips of paper with simple questions. People can sit down in the chairs and ask each other questions that they pull out of the container, forming connections with each other.
- Another fine idea was the Easy Access Card. At the Berkley Public Library, the staff have created a card that people who do not have a fixed home address can use to “check out three books or other library materials at a time, put holds on three items, use library computers and check out laptops for in-library use” (Rees, 2018). This card would be a great way for people who are either transitioning, do not have certain documentation, in foster care, or homeless to still be able to access the library and its materials. Although, Rees (2018) does point out that there are issues with getting the card, particularly that people are required to provide a photo ID before they can receive the card. This creates a bit of a barrier for homeless patrons who wish to use the library, for while the library accepts several forms of picture IDs (high school or college pictures, Costco card picture, transit cards, etc.), “many individuals don’t have the ‘capacity’ to obtain them or they may ‘refuse’ to for various ‘privacy’ reasons” (Rees, 2018).
- Then there are also the creative or innovative uses that libraries have been doing with various technologies. In the article, “Feature #01: Innovative use of Technology in Libraries”, the author introduces readers with ideas that several libraries are already have in place, such as the Library Live And On Tour program. This program outfits book mobiles with Internet access, laptops, e-readers, and other types of technology and have them visit areas like food banks and soup kitchens, granting people access to information and “thus changing the emphasis of what a mobile service could provide” (Feature #01: Innovative use of technology in libraries, 2012). Another creative way that libraries use technology is by creating video games that are in some way related to the library. There is already plenty of evidence of this, as libraries have created mobile games that users can play that would reward them points that they can use to clear any fines that might have, and libraries have used online video game programs like Second Life to create online libraries that “provides free library resources and services to the residents of Second Life’…and is maintained by volunteers” (Webber & Nahl, p. 6).
All of these new models that libraries are implementing are great ways to help both the libraries and potential and current library users. With the Get to Know Your Neighbor program, members of the community will be able to forge and maintain bonds with each other. Easy Access Cards will allow potential users who might be homeless to checkout materials from the library and use library services, thus enriching their lives and possibly changing theirs as well. And with the various forms of new and emerging technologies, libraries are able to connect with their patrons is ways that years ago would’ve seemed unlikely or impossible. Of course, while all these technologies are good, it is important to remember that we shouldn’t let our “technolust” (Stephens, 2012) for new and shiny technology take control of our actions and expect it to be the solution for all of our problems.
Feature #01: Innovative use of technology in libraries. (2012, November 30). #uklibchat. https://uklibchat.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/feature-01-innovative-use-of-technology-in-libraries/
Get to know your neighbors. (2016, September 8). Anythink Libraries. https://www.anythinklibraries.org/blog/get-know-your-neighbors
Rees, M. (2018, December 3). No permanent address? No problem. Berkeley library makes it easier for those without homes to get library cards. Berkeleyside. https://www.berkeleyside.org/2018/12/03/no-permanent-address-no-problem-berkeley-library-makes-it-easier-for-those-without-homes-to-get-library-cards
Stephens, M. (2012, May 30). Taming technolust: Ten steps for planning in a 2.0 world (full text). Tame the Web. https://tametheweb.com/2012/05/30/taming-technolust-ten-steps-for-planning-in-a-2-0-world-full-text/
Stephens, M. (2022). New Models [Video]. Panopto. https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=a33699b1-6c88-48f5-b684-af1001336869
Stephens, M. (2023). Module 8: New Models. INFO 287-The Hyperlinked Library. https://287.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/module-8-new-models/
Webber, S., & Nahl, D. (2011). Sustaining learning for LIS through use of a virtual world. IFLA Journal, 37(1), 5–15. https://doi.org/10.1177/0340035210397137
One thought on “Reflection #3: New Models”
@ajrodgers Sports cool to read about the new models of service that resonated with you. All of your highlights come down to serving people! Yay!