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Stay tuned for the final reflection. For now, enjoy the virtual symposium!

Virtual Symposium

You made it this far. Thank you for reading. Now it is time for:

Final Reflection

This was a semester unlike any I have experienced thus far. Things I learned last semester connected so much with what I learned this semester, and I had more connections between classes this semester than last. We also are still in the midst of a pandemic that came to a head two or more months ago–and its full effects are still to be seen.

What I have found, though, in between of all this sheltering in place, information and misinformation, and social distancing , is that libraries are here to stay. Sure, many shut down, many remain shut, and some may stay shut for a long while, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. It seems that everything I learned in this class means all that much more now having seen how all of this has played out. The hyperlinked libraries out there are still making connections. Many libraries have evolved in a short time to become hyperlinked, to make those vital connections with the community. And many other libraries will reflect upon this moment in history and see that they too need to become Library 2.0.

This class has been more than relevant. It has been more than inspirational. It has been like a reawakening. I see libraries differently than before. I see my own library differently. I see potential everywhere, and it makes me excited. I am glad to be moving into this profession, and I am glad that I am doing so at such an interesting time.

The Richmond Public Library could benefit from an increase in participatory services, especially as a means to connect to parts of the community who underutilize the library. To this end, the creation and implementation of a hip hop recording station would grant access to new technologies that Richmond’s youth may not otherwise have the opportunity to interact with. This fun, interactive, and creative service will bring more teens into the library while promoting self-expression and empowerment.

To read more, follow the link below:

In a lecture on “Learning Everywhere,” Professor Stephens (n.d.) states that, “The heart of libraries is supporting learning and our users’ curiosity through every means possible.” This ties back into my context book from earlier this semester, Pinker’s Enlightenment Now (2018), where Pinker argued for the importance of an educated populace, with digital literacy becoming increasingly important. The world is becoming increasingly digitized, as Nygren (2014) discusses in his paper, and digital literacy is thus essential to gaining access to digital learning tools and information. To make “learning everywhere” possible like Professor Stephens (2016) discusses in his book, libraries must provide “opportunities to gain knowledge” about how to access digital “opportunities to gain knowledge” (p. 125).

                This arguably makes digital literacy one of the “life literacies” Professor Stephens (n.d.) mentions in his lecture. This is why I think Yuhyun Park (2016, June 14) argues for the importance of teaching children digital skills. If Horrigan’s report (2016, March 22) is correct that adults are more likely to be lifelong learners if they know how to use technology, then digital skills are also becoming essential for lifelong learning. Park is thus entirely correct that children must learn these skills, but there are many adults, even librarians, who could benefit from learning more about them too. If libraries want to be able to facilitate learning everywhere, they have an opportunity to teach people of all ages the skills needed to gain access.

Stephens, M. (n.d.). Learning everywhere . Retrieved from https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e38d4a22-9626-4b29-a038-aaef0124ee52
Stephens, M. (n.d.). Learning everywhere . Retrieved from https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e38d4a22-9626-4b29-a038-aaef0124ee52

                In the above picture, you see a very busy library’s schedule. This clearly shows a library who offers a diversity of programming and resources to its community. I don’t know what a “Tech Workshop” means exactly, but this is a library that knows the importance of digital literacy. The library can be a classroom both physically and digitally, and the two can work together to create an impressively hyperlinked library.

References

Horrigan, J. (2016, March 22). Adults with tech-access tools are more likely to be lifelong learners and rely on the internet to pursue knowledge. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2016/03/22/adults-with-tech-access-tools-are-more-likely-to-be-lifelong-learners-and-rely-on-the-internet-to-pursue-knowledge/

Nygren, Å. (2014). The public library as a community hub for connected learning [PDF file]. Retrieved from http://library.ifla.org/1014/1/167-nygren-en.pdf

Park, Y. (2016, June 14). 8 digital skills we must teach our children. Retrieved from https://medium.com/world-economic-forum/8-digital-skills-we-must-teach-our-children-f37853d7221e#.789qtaw64

Pinker, S. (2018). Enlightenment now: The case for reason, science, humanism, and progress. New York: Penguin Books.

Stephens, M. (2016). The heart of librarianship: Attentive, positive, and purposeful change. Chicago: American Library Association. Stephens, M. (n.d.). Learning everywhere . Retrieved from https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e38d4a22-9626-4b29-a038-aaef0124ee52

The QR code is dead. Sean Cummings (2011) wrote nearly a decade ago about how QR codes might be salvaged, but it never revived despite still sporadically appearing here and there. Any time I have encountered a QR code, it was simply hyperlink in disguise, oftentimes a simple one at that. Instead of having a simple URL typed out, I searched my phone’s application store, found a QR code reader, downloaded the app, installed it, opened it, pointed it at the QR code until it registered, then had my phone’s browser bring up a boring website. What a waste!

The iTunes store is dead. It was essentially the only game in town for the better part of a decade, but streaming has taken over. Professor Stephens (n.d.) brought up in his lecture how he uses a music streaming service. I use one. Even Jan Holmquist (2013, August 24b) speaks of how he uses a music service while still occasionally buying CDs. Things have changed so much with how we listen to music.

I bring these two points up because libraries have to evolve too. We cannot let our mobile services be limited to QR code type technologies that will pass away and be forgotten. This also does not mean we need to employ only the most guaranteed of services. We need to take risks, yes, but adapt too. Apple did not let the innovative iTunes store gather Internet dust once its usefulness diminished—they pivoted to Apple Music. As Holmquist (2013, August 24c) points out, making use of mobile devices is meeting the community where they are.  It is not only about reaching the Long Tail that Casey and Savanstinuk (2007) talk about, but it is also about making the most of the connection with those who already use the library. It is important for librarians to have a curiosity about mobile technology as Holmquist (2013, August 24a) mentions because they need to explore and gain understanding with its use and implementation to better serve their communities.

It is great that many libraries have webpages and eBooks and eAudiobooks that can be used on mobile devices, but there is much, much more potential there. Like Professor Stephens (n.d.) mentions in his lecture, it is a great opportunity to share unique resources. Digital collections are only going to grow over time, and a wise librarian would see this as the perfect opportunity to cultivate and grow the library’s digital offerings, especially those that work on mobile devices. We all have seen how quickly everyone needed to adapt to online and mobile technology as a pandemic swept over the world. This is not just a suggestion but is instead a necessary evolutionary pathway for libraries. Laura Silver (2019, February 5) reports that 94% of Americans have mobile phones, and 81% of Americans have a smartphone. The time is definitely now to make the most of mobile devices.

References

Casey, M., & Savastinuk, L. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford: Information Today.

Cummings, S. (2011, October 16). Why the QR code is failing [web article]. Retrieved from http://www.imediaconnection.com/articles/ported-articles/red-dot-articles/2011/oct/why-the-qr-code-is-failing/

Holmquist, J. (2013, August 24a). Mooc: curiosity [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/DBOa3-e_aaw

Holmquist, J. (2013, August 24b). Mooc: keeping up with a world that is changing [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/2pISttmyWmE

Holmquist, J. (2013, August 24c). Mooc: why use mobile? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/LUVrPYrcNMA

Silver, L. (2019, February 5). Smarphone ownership is growing rapidly around the world, but not always equally. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2019/02/05/smartphone-ownership-is-growing-rapidly-around-the-world-but-not-always-equally/

Stephens, M. (n.d.). Mobile devices & connections [Video file]. Retrieved from https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=3b3faeae-3347-4f6f-8bba-aaec01569f55

Background

Libraries are in a period of adjustment, learning to make the most of emerging technology to both expand and enhance services. We currently find ourselves in a pandemic where many libraries are finding that closing their doors to the public is the best thing they can do for their community’s well-being. But closing physical doors does not have to mean cessation of public services. Personalized reference and reader advisory services are an offering that can continue to serve the public even when the library’s doors are closed.

            I currently work at a public library that has been cautious about entering the world of the hyperlinked library. It has recently updated its online public access catalog to allow for reader ratings and reviews, but it otherwise has shied away from using the Internet as a means of engaging more fully with the public. Now is the perfect opportunity to roll out personalized reading lists for patrons seeking material for research purposes or plain old fun and entertainment. If a patron cannot physically come to the library, the reading list can be derived from the digital collection. Once the public health fears subside, the list can make full use of the library’s physical collection of books, audiobooks, and DVDs.

            I did not come up with this idea but instead found it while looking at neighboring libraries’ offerings on their websites. I found that Berkeley Public Library offers personalized reading lists, and all a patron has to do is fill out an online form found on the website. I performed a little more research and found that Berkeley is not alone in offering this service.

Benefits

            Offering personalized reading (and movie) lists is a fantastic opportunity for the public library to engage more directly with patrons. It shows patrons that librarians care about their interests and needs, and it can help patrons explore more of what the library has to offer. Looking through the online catalog is useful, but it can be daunting, and, like Buckland (1992) states in Redesigning Library Services, a patron may not know exactly the best way to find relevant materials. As Bhaskar (2016, September 30) relates, technology, with all its algorithms, does not always provide the kind of curation people really want. By having the patron fill out a form online, it allows librarians more time to better research a patron’s needs and formulate a more appropriate and nuanced list of desired materials than an algorithm would be able to do. This added research time also takes pressure off librarian staff while providing even higher quality reference and reader advisory services to patrons. Having the form online also allows the patron an opportunity to explore the library’s website, increasing their odds of learning about even more services offered by the library.

            Another benefit is that it allows librarian staff to split the reference work more equitably, and it also allows librarians to play to their strengths. For example, one librarian may be the movie buff who is best equipped to create a personalized film list for a patron. Another librarian may be better versed in the latest and greatest fiction reading trends and will thus be able to provide the best fiction reading lists for patrons. As online forms are received by staff, they can appropriately share the workload while providing a unique and personalized service to the public. Staff buy-in is important to the success of the new service, and as Casey and Savastinuk (2007) say, collaborative participation will help fully realize the project and bolster its success.

The act of making personalized lists catering to individual needs also creates data from which the library can further curate services to the public. In other words, the introduction of this service could be the first stepping stone to myriad other services. Collection development, programming, guest lectures, author presentations, film screenings, and other services could be better informed by knowing the specific kinds of things the community are interested in.

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:

  • Create online reading list request form embedded into library website
    • Allow choices for non-fiction, fiction, audiobooks, and movies
    • Allow for choice of physical or digital materials
    • Allow for choice of reading age (e.g., early reader, young adult, etc.)
  • Have choices for genre and/or subject
    • Have fields for patron’s likes and dislikes to aid in curating list
    • Have field for “recently read” to avoid redundant suggestions
    • Train librarian staff on how to access form results
  • Train staff in collecting form data for other library usage
  • Provide patrons with customized lists for reading, listening, and watching library materials
  • Reach new users who may otherwise be hesitant to use library services
  • Increase web site visibility and usage
  • Increase public knowledge of library services

Description of Community you wish to engage:

This service is designed with the general public in mind. It also has special interest in members of the public who are interested in using the library but are hesitant to do so.

 Action Brief Statement:

Patrons

Convince the public that by filling out an online form to request a personalized materials list they will connect with the library and its website and receive a personalized list of materials within a week which will provide them personalized service that meets their information needs, teach them about the library website, and introduce them to more library services.

Staff

Convince library staff and administrators that by offering this service they will reach more library patrons, increase circulations, and increase public awareness of the library, its website, and its services, which will increase public support, library usage, and general knowledge because people will love the personalized service, explore the website, and make use of more of what the library has to offer.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:

Evidence

Bass, H. (2014). Teens and Personalized Reading Lists: A Perfect Match. Young Adult Library Services, 12(3), 21–23.

Wright, D., & Bass, A. (2010). No Reader is an Island: New Strategies for Readers’ Advisory. Alki, 26(3), 9–10.

Examples

https://www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org/content/forms/personalized-reading-list

https://www.denverlibrary.org/reads

http://www.millvalleylibrary.org/explore/services/perls_personalized_reading_lists.htm

Support resources

https://www.jotform.com/

https://www.google.com/forms/about/

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

Mission

The mission of this new service is to provide library materials lists electronically to patrons in a personalized manner in alignment with the vision and mission of the public library.

Guidelines

Reference staff will provide reference materials and reader advisory materials in accordance with patron list request selections.

Reference staff will respond to patron list requests collaboratively.

Responses will be sent within seven (7) days of request receipt.

Additional guidelines will need to be developed for content of reference staff responses (e.g., form response, number of items chosen, etc.)

These guidelines will be further developed and finalized by administration in conjunction with reference staff.

Policy

Reference staff will uphold all library and public (city, county, or state) policies and ethical standards while providing this new service. Any additional policies regarding this service will be set by the library’s administration.

 Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service:

The only upfront cost to implementing this new service is staff time and promotional materials. Staff time will be needed to create the web form and integrate it into the library website. If no library staff member is able to so, coordination with the public entity’s IT department will be needed. Additional staff time will be needed to train reference staff on accessing received forms and replying to patrons. Promotional materials will likely be minimal in cost. Because of the nature of these costs, they are likely to be covered by existing budget constraints. Additional funding may be needed if additional staffing hours are needed to cover added duty of new service.

Action Steps & Timeline:

Administrative staff must first sign off on the project. Reference and other library staff will decide on the general design of the list request form and its elements. Reference staff (possibly working with an IT department) will need to make a working web form. Once up and running, the form should be tested, evaluated, and have any needed adjustments made. Reference and administrative staff must then determine where in the existing library website to place the new list request form. It then needs to be added to the website. Reference staff need to be trained on how to access form submissions and respond. Promotional materials will also need to be made: designing, printing, and placing flyers and advertising the service on the library’s website.

Designing the form should take one week. An additional week is needed to create and test the web form, though needing to coordinate with an external IT department might slow this step. Both of these steps must be complete before staff can be trained and made familiar with the system, which should take no more than one more week. Promotional materials can be designed, printed, and placed in parallel with the web form’s design, testing, and implementation. Thus it should take approximately three to four weeks to implement this new service. Additional time may be spent for if more promoting is desired. Periodic evaluations should also occur to determine service’s success (as measured by requests received) and staff’s need for retraining.

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service:

This service will require time from reference staff, which means less time for other duties. Because the new service is handled collaboratively, and because of the amount of time provided to respond, existing staff should be able to integrate the new service into their existing duties. Administration should stay in frequent communication with staff to determine if more time should be given between patron request and staff response or if additional staffing hours are needed to implement the new service.

 Training for this Technology or Service:

Reference staff need to be trained on accessing list requests and on how to respond electronically. They must also be trained in what to include in responses. Training should be designed by the project leader, whether that is an administrative or reference staff member. The training is likely accomplished in a single one or two hour meeting and followed up with individual instruction as needed.

 Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service:

Within the library, encourage reference staff about the new service. It is a way for them to provide reference and reader advisory services electronically, and every person that sends in a request is someone who trusts the library for information more than some other online source. It is empowering to provide this service, and it is an electronic revival of the work so many librarians love to do.

To promote the idea publically, flyers should be designed to be placed around the library and other public places where the library typically promotes its services. Additional promotional material should be added to the library’s home page to draw attention to the new service. Any public marquee could be utilized to display a message about the new service. Emphasis should be placed on the service being personalized for each individual.

 Evaluation:

Because this new service can be implemented at any public library, success will be proportional to the community served. Libraries should rely on initial measurements of other program rollouts and compare those values with this new service’s number of requests. Because a secondary goal is increasing general knowledge of library services, all programs and services should be measured after implementing the personalized list request service to see if they increase. These numbers can be checked regularly to determine if the service is a success in its own right, in promoting other library services, or if it is failing to reach the desired number of patrons.

If the service is a success, it will also provide invaluable data about patrons’ information needs. This data can be used to guide purchasing and collection development, form new programs, and help generate ideas for other services. Frequent suggestions could serve as the basis for a library book club, for lecture topics, for author events, or film viewings. This service could also serve as a stepping stone to social media reference services or utilization of other emerging technologies. Personalized service will lead to a truly community focused library.

References

Bhaskar, N, (2016, September 30). In the age of the algorithm, the human gatekeeper is back. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/30/age-of-algorithm-human-gatekeeper

Buckland, M. (1992). Redesigning library services: A manifesto. Chicago: American Library Association.

Casey, M., & Savastinuk, L. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford: Information Today.

I have a strong interest in public libraries, and I am apparently not alone. According to Pew Research Center (2014, March 18), only 4% of the U.S. population openly dislikes libraries. Another 14% can’t or don’t use them, but most of them still see libraries as a positive entity. But although other research from the Pew Research Center (2015, September 15) shows that books are still the main draw for libraries, there is a growing percentage of people who want to use the library as, well, space.

Evie Hemphill (2019, February 5) reports on a library that listened to their patrons’ desire for a space to use and unleashed the power of the hyperlinked library. The Scenic Regional Library District in Missouri employed programming of local interest, interactive spaces like escape rooms, and classes with practical application. This district’s libraries serve as an example of the “four spaces” model of public librarianship that Jakob Laerkes (2016, March 29) speaks of in a blog post from IFLA. According to the model, the need for experience, innovation, empowerment, and involvement can be met through four distinct spaces within a library. Spaces for inspiration, learning, meeting, and performance allow library patrons to view and use the library as a community hub. As Laerkes points out, this kind of modeling will meet future community needs, and the Scenic Regional Library District demonstrates how it can be achieved with a tight budget.

https://blogs.ifla.org/public-libraries/files/2016/03/fourspacemodel.png
Retrieved from: https://blogs.ifla.org/public-libraries/files/2016/03/fourspacemodel.png

Professor Michael Stephens’ blogpost (2020, March 6) also shows a perfect example of community engagement with a simple, relatively affordable interactive setpiece: a sticker dispenser. The coin-operated machine dispenses stickers made by local artists, enabling the creation of information, the sharing of that information, and the empowerment and encouragement to make more future information—all generated and powered by the community. Thinking outside the box like this demonstrates how more than one of the “four spaces” can be achieved through a single, thoughtful (and inexpensive!) idea.

On the other hand, the Dokk1 library shows the marvelous things that can happen with a sizable budget and a completely fresh building customized to its community’s needs. In a video posted by Public Libraries 2030 (2015, April 27), Marie Østergård speaks of how the design of Dokk1 involved an ongoing process of community engagement to integrate the specific needs of the community into the spaces within the new library. That is powerful stuff, and I think also shows how important project management is to the future of libraries.

The hyperlinked public library is inevitable, and the evidence is the growing number of institutions that are successfully living it. They are doing it. It is happening now. It’s happening in Denmark, it’s happening in Missouri, in Salt Lake City, and elsewhere. And Americans want it. They want a community space that allows for enlightenment, engagement, and empowerment. This post explored just a few examples of how this is already happening, and we, as future librarians, get to be a part of the big and important task of bringing the hyperlinked library to even more places.

References

Hemphill, E. (2019, February 5). A look at the evolving role – and shifting spaces – of today’s public libraries. St. Louis Public Radio. https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/look-evolving-role-and-shifting-spaces-todays-public-libraries#stream/0

Laerkes, J. G. (2016, March 29). The four spaces of the public library. IFLA public libraries  section blog. https://blogs.ifla.org/public-libraries/2016/03/29/the-four-spaces-of-the-public-library/

Pew Research Center. (2014, March 18). A new way of looking at public library engagement in America. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2014/03/18/a-new-way-of-looking-at-public-library-engagement-in-america/

Pew Research Center. (2015, September 15). Chapter 1: Who uses libraries and what they do at their libraries. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2015/09/15/who-uses-libraries-and-what-they-do-at-their-libraries/

Public Libraries 2030. (2015, April 27). PL2020 Tour – Denmark: A knowledge hub for the community [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvFfbjs8aZo&feature=emb_logo

Stephens, M. (2020, March 6). Local artist sticker machine. INFO 287: The hyperlinked library. https://287.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/blog/local-artist-sticker-machine/

It is time for libraries to think like a start up. Brian Matthews (2012, April) provides ten major points to begin thinking like a start up, and many of the suggestions line up well with the concept of the Hyperlinked Library. In Matthews’ third point, he describes startups as being ready for constant change, ready to put things to the test, and to act as a platform to meet various kinds of information needs of the library’s community.

Hayes and Storey (2013, May) give various examples of how the Hyperlinked Library meets its community’s needs in various ways. The Columbus Metropolitan Library, for example, saw a need for early literacy development in its community, and it responded by sending an Early Reader van to areas in need and provided free books and learning toys to help their community be kindergarten ready. That is thinking like a startup, as per Matthews’ (2012, April) methodology. The Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives at Bowling Green State University thought like a startup too and managed to connect with their local community and a broader audience through their usage of the Internet and social media. Using Pinterest, the staff shared the visual side of their audio archives and created a social media trend known as “sleevefacing,” an artistic pose making clever use of album covers.

Connecting through sleevefacing
Havens, A., & Storey, T. (2013, May). “From community to technology…and back again: The networked library.” NextSpace: the OCLC newsletter, 21. 4-10. Retrieved from https://library.oclc.org/digital/collection/p15003coll11/id/20

Amy Stolls (n.d.) writes about “The Healing Power of Libraries” in a so-named article, and brings back the idea of simply being surrounded by books. She talks of libraries being places of refuge, and that the books themselves have so much to offer a community. This too is part of the Hyperlinked Library because the stacks themselves are reaching patrons every day. A library can’t abandon its current patrons for those yet to be reached—the library is a place for all, and physical books will continue to be an important part of meeting a community’s information needs.

Being a successful library today takes creative thinking and a willingness to take risks. It involves thinking like a startup while also maintaining the services that currently work. It’s a special balance, like Matthews (2012, April) says, of learning from past endeavors while looking to new opportunities to be able to reach as much of the community as possible.

References

Havens, A., & Storey, T. (2013, May). “From community to technology…and back again: The networked library.” NextSpace: the OCLC newsletter, 21. 4-10. Retrieved from https://library.oclc.org/digital/collection/p15003coll11/id/20

Matthews, B. (2012, April). Think like a startup. Ubiquitous Librarian. Chronical of Higher Education. Retrieved from https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/18649/Think%20like%20a%20STARTUP.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

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

Well, I am late on my first reflection post. I misread due dates and conflated participation posts with reflection posts. Oh well. Now that that is out of the way, I have some major takeaways from our foundational texts, and I will be focusing here on Michael Casey and Laura Savastinuk’s Library 2.0.

For some background, I currently work in a library, one that would probably be described as medium-sized. It has one main branch that is open 6 days out of the week, and two smaller branches open for limited hours 4 days per week. It serves a diverse community, and it previously had major budget cuts that it has never fully recovered from. But we keep on keeping on!

The idea behind Library 2.0 is exciting to me because it focuses so much on the things that I have found lacking in my library experience, namely embracing current rends and increasing services in a mindful and focused way. One of the most important parts of Library 2.0 is communication, and I fully believe in its power as discussed in Casey and Savastinuk’s text. Libraries need to communicate with the patrons served in order to know what services they want and need. Beyond that, libraries need to communicate with the patrons that aren’t being served because the library undoubtedly has things to offer them. The idea of using a blog as a means to communicate with the public appeals greatly to me, and embracing a social media presence is an alternative or parallel means of accomplishing the same.

But communication with staff is just as if not more important. Casey and Savastinuk state over and over about the importance of gaining feedback from staff, of including staff in decision-making, and in keeping staff in-the-know about coming changes–both information about the changes themselves as well as the rationale behind changes. One of the most important parts of this communication to me is tying all decision-making back to the library’s mission statement. I never thought of just how important the mission statement or statement of purpose is to a library until I finished this book. It really should be the guiding light that influences setting goals, implementing goals, and the need to always be finding the next important set of goals.

Related to determining, setting, and implementing goals is the method to do so. Project management is something of a field of study unto itself, but Casey and Savastinuk provide a great methodology with their concept of the I-, P-, and R-team strategy of vertical teams. Everyone gets included, everyone participates, everyone gets a voice, and everyone is thus part of the buy-in. Brainstorming, planning, and evaluating are all repeatedly visited throughout the text, and the vertical team strategy is such a great way to actually getting things done–or so I hope! I say hope because I have not seen it in action. But reading about it has made me very excited to see it play out, to participate in it, and to be able to evaluate its effectiveness.

One thing I had heard while working for the literacy department of my library was that everything is a prototype. Everything is open to change, and a whole project can be discarded if, in evaluating it, it is found to not accomplish the thing it was meant to do. This is exactly the mindset Casey and Savastinuk employ with Library 2.0, and it is a mindset I carry myself. I fully believe in the power of prototype, and if a library is going to change with purpose, there is really nothing (except budgets, staff, and the other inescapable limits–but even these limits have limits!) that can stop it from doing so.

Phil Gilbert, master designer, talks of how everything is a prototype.

Now I am going to run to my administrators and ask them to start a director’s blog, get us on facebook, start a podcast, get our staff communicating via IM, set up a staff wiki, and revamp our website! Well, maybe I should listen to Casey and Savastinuk and pick one or two ideas as suggestions and see where it leads. I guess I am volunteering for the Investigative Team already.

References

Casey, M., & Savastinuk, L. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford: Information Today.

SAP TV. (2016, April 26). Today is a prototype for tomorrow: Phil Gilbert, IBM [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OQLpO_IJzw

The world is more connected than ever before. The world is also better than it ever was before in many varied and important ways. In Enlightenment Now, Steven Pinker (2018) shows how things have drastically improved for humans in myriad ways. The whole world is living longer, with 2015 bringing a global average life expectancy of 71.4 years (p. 53), 83 percent of the world is literate (p. 236), and people living in the United States have more leisure time than ever (p. 255) despite how we might feel otherwise. One of the more revolutionary outcomes of our modern age, though, is the advent and rapid growth of the Internet. According to Pinker, nearly half of the world has Internet access (p. 257). If one considers the combined facts of Internet access, leisure time, and literacy, we must be living in the greatest era of librarianship.

Steven Pinker gives a brief overview of the enlightenment ideals he thinks important to humanity’s future.

                Pinker (2018) makes the case that technological advancements have historically been linked to increases in global knowledge, and he points to studies that show the more knowledge a person has, the “less racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, and authoritarian” (p. 235) they are. Pinker specifically mentions the democratization of knowledge, claiming that “most of the world’s knowledge is now online rather than locked in libraries” (p. 238), but I think he is too quick to dismiss libraries and the role they play in helping people gain access to online knowledge. In his book Redefining Library Services, Michael Buckland (1992) lays out the important role libraries play in making online resources accessible, not just by having digital objects stored on the web, but by contributing to the work that makes those objects locatable. He states that “there is much greater opportunity to bring service to wherever potential users of library service happen to be” (p. 65), and, given the interconnectedness brought about by the Internet, those users are everywhere—and they are ready to access those services.

                By utilizing the Internet to bring far greater amounts of resources to far greater amounts of people, libraries play a unique and crucial role in helping with Pinker’s (2018) wish of bringing enlightenment ideals to a world that often feels rudderless despite such important improvements to general well-being. Casey and Savastinuk (2007) are right when they describe the problem of the “long tail” and how it relates to an outmoded way of thinking: libraries cannot constrain themselves, their collection, and their services to what can be physically held inside their physical walls. More importantly, Casey and Savastinuk are right to suggest harnessing the power of the Internet “as a tool that you can use to reach your users” (p. 34). Part of reaching users, though, is not simply having them use a library to access resources but to feel like they are participating in the exchange.

                Michael Stephens (2016) tells of a library in Colombia that helps its community store local history in the form of documents and photographs by digitizing them. This is the democratization of knowledge that Pinker (2018) says encapsulates “our ceaseless creativity and our fantastically cumulative cultural memory” (p. 261). But it is the exchange of knowledge that is most important. Pinker talks of how modern technology allows for a complete transformation of global education, and Stephens echoes this when he states that “understanding and empathy among cross-cultural partners in a technological environment is the key . . . to making change and promoting progress” (p. 81).

                Pinker (2018) states that “there is no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing” (p. 453), and there should be no better role for libraries to play than in helping people gain access to that ever important knowledge. Pinker hopes for a return to enlightenment ideals, of reason, science, and humanism, and he argues well for the benefits they have gifted humanity. Casey and Savastinuk (2007) show how libraries can better harness the Internet via blogs, social media, and other Web 2.0 inventions, and Stephens sums it up nicely by pointing out the need “to imagine these service models based on community enrichment and building connections” (p. 56). And I am excited to be here, now, in this MLIS program because I too want to change people’s lives.

Stephen Fry and Steven Pinker discuss the progress made, the challenges to come, and the importance of enlightenment ideals as we move deeper into the 21st century.

References

Agatan Foundation. (2018, September 21). Enlightenment explained by Stephen Pinker [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sMtw9mKHX0

Buckland, M. (1992). Redesigning library services: A manifesto. Chicago: American Library Association.

Casey, M., & Savastinuk, L. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford: Information Today.

How to Academy. (2018, February 24). Stephen Fry & Steven Pinker on the enlightenment today [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aT61w3Q6vI

Pinker, S. (2018). Enlightenment now: The case for reason, science, humanism, and progress. New York: Penguin Books.

Stephens, M. (2016). The heart of librarianship: Attentive, positive, and purposeful change. Chicago: American Library Association.

The Beginning of 287

Hello everyone!

My name is Christopher Eaton, and this is my second semester at SJSU. I chose this course because I am very much so interested in new and emerging trends in librarianship and because Michael’s lectures from a course I took last semester made me feel like he really has his fingers on the pulse of this topic. I am taking a lot of really cool classes this semester, but I am definitely excited to learn about this concept of the “Hyperlinked Library.” From what I have come across about the future of the Internet in general (notably, the semantic web) and the little I have learned about BIBFRAME (the future of library metadata standards), it seems that an interconnected world of information is exactly the thing for libraries to both be excited about and to be highly involved in. I hope to learn a lot in this class, and I hope it will be a blast!

I have had the good luck to work in a library for the past several years. I was first involved in an adult literacy program, but for the past two years I have worked as a Library Assistant II, the last year of which I have been working a lot with copy cataloging, metadata, and classification. Seeing the work I do, with MARC records serving as a means to connect people to the information they want, and seeing the future with the incoming BIBFRAME standards, I have come to greatly appreciate and enjoy working with metadata. Because of this, it makes absolute sense to me that the concept of the Hyperlinked Library is exactly the sort of thing I can learn a lot from and apply directly to my future career in librarianship. I love the idea of making information as accessible and easy to find as possible, and I love being involved in that process. I feel lucky to be here at this point in time and learning from such a gifted and knowledgeable group of professors.

So let the semester begin! I look forward to reading everyone’s blogs, getting to know you all, and sharing and learning together.

Cheers,
Christopher

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