The library has transformed a lot over the last 50 years. What started as a warehouse for books, a place for people to find the information directly from books and learn or enjoy reading privately, is now a bustling hub for learning and using different technologies. With the invention of the internet, people are able to pull information and learn from anywhere, so how do libraries keep up and create learning opportunities that are not only focused on books?
Many different libraries has come up with different ways to create hyperlinks between their patrons and bring people in to learn new technologies or enjoy access to expensive technologies they would not have access to elsewhere. Libraries have made a shift to focusing on the importance of accessibility in tech for those members of the communities who can not afford private access or learning opportunities. This shift is leading to increase in technological literacy which can in tern create long time learners.
There are a few programs and learning opportunities around the world that I have found extremely interesting and have appealed to my own personal goals for my career. I find that these particular learning opportunities or programs listed below are the most interesting to me and I wish to learn more about them.
Studio 300 created by the Fountaindale Public Library District
This is actually similar to an idea I had for my emerging technology report. I wanted to create a studio space which had rooms for sound studios (both for music and audio creating), video studios and photography spaces, and computers with audio and visual editing software for patrons to come in and create new media such as videos, podcasts, record music, or explore photography. I was also hoping it would have a painting studio space where artists could come in and create art to decorate the shared collaborative space. Patrons with experience could run workshops for other patrons in order to share creativity and collaborate. With the exception of the art studio space, Studio 300 has these things. It is a space that houses private and collaborative studios and editing equipment to encourage patrons to create something. This is such a cool concept and I think it would help struggling artists create samples of their work and get real experience in recording and editing their work. It would also help children who love art or music, film or photography dabble in their free time and realize that if they put in the work, they can create something extraordinary.
Sensory Space at the Marsden Library
I have spent many years working with special needs children and children on the Autism spectrum. I have noticed that without the proper funds, there is little to no help for children who have any kind of sensory issue. Schools have overcrowded Special Education Classes, companies who work one on one with students are expensive and there aren’t many group play areas that are sensitive to the needs of a child with sensory issues. Having spaces that focus on sensory input and has calming areas and equipment and staff for parents to play and work with their children is an incredible gift for parents who are struggling. I especially love the idea of having a bubble tube in an area of the space where children can calm and destress from sensory overload. Having monthly activities such as sensory storytime is a great way for children to interact with each other and new people. This type of os space should be available in all libraries.
Sacramento Public Library | I Street Publishing
Micro-publishing and machines like the Espresso book machine are a godsend to self-publishing authors. The idea that a library can help you publish your own book is amazing. It gives authors the chance to see how their books are created and learn something new. This machine also creates connections between the library and local authors which can lead to many different types of workshops and agreements. The library may be more likely to stock your book if they had a had in creating it. The authors could run writing workshops or editing workshops for other patrons and encourage the growth of micro-publishing in the library. In-house publishing could give the library the chance to host writing contests that result in published books. This is a great opportunity to create connections and teach people how to create published work.