Director’s Brief: Digital Storytelling and the Sacramento Public Library

We often think about storytelling as the act of someone reading a book or a family member telling a story from their childhood or ancestors. However, storytelling has many different formats. Stories can be told through illustrations, a diary, a book, or simply through video. Stories have gone from pages in a book to short videos or mini-documentaries of individuals describing their moments of happiness and struggles through social media platforms. As the formats in which stories are told evolve, the Sacramento Public Library (SPL) can tell the stories of the individuals in their communities in a modern way. Libraries, after all, hold stories in books, audiobooks, and films of individuals of all backgrounds. Now, SPL can shine a light on those whose voices are often not heard within their communities.

Read my Director’s Brief clicking here.

Reflection Blog: Learning Anytime


For this reflection, I decided to explore the readings on professional learning experiences. As library employees, I think we often look at enhancing our library users’ knowledge. Still, we fail to see that as employees, we can also continue to learn. After reading the sections in The Heart of Librarianship and Wholehearted Librarianship, I could not help but think about my professional development. I even started to ask myself questions as I was reading. Some of the questions that kept going through my mind were: 

  • Have I done enough professional development? 
  • How can I continue to learn? 
  • How can administration help me further my knowledge on topics that will help me at work? 

I do not have concrete answers to some of these questions, but the readings gave me ideas on developing professionally. I especially liked Jennifer Cottrill’s (2019) 3-2-1 plan for conference reports:

  • 3 best sessions I attended
  • 2 new concepts I learned
  • 1 idea I will apply immediately (p.57)

I have not gotten the opportunity to attend conferences. Still, I can apply this three-step plan to staff training/development days in libraries. At my library, we have three staff training throughout the year, and I hope to apply the three-step concept in the future. I often learn a lot during these training sessions, but I cannot always use it, or the topics are never discussed again. I am left wanting more.

One of the major themes that resonated with me about the readings was that learning should continue year-round. It should not stop at a staff meeting, graduate studies, or conferences. As new technology tools become available, staff should learn about these tools, which will help them help library users. New program and service ideas are erupting at libraries worldwide, and library staff should learn from them. The more learning opportunities library staff of all levels have, the more skills they will develop. Libraries cannot promote “learning” at the library without allowing their team to do the same. There are plenty of learning opportunities, but it is up to library administrators to enable library staff to do so. 

References

Stephens, M. (2019). “PLEs & ALA” in Wholehearted Librarianship, p. 55

Stephens, M. (2019). “Personal, Actionable, Accessible” in Wholehearted Librarianship, p. 44

Stephens, M. (2016). “Learning to Learn” in The Heart of Librarianship, p. 140Stephens, M. (2016). “Lessons from Learning 2.0” in The Heart of Librarianship, p. 134

Reflection Blog: The Power of Stories

We often think of books or the internet as the only way to learn about the communities that surround us. However, getting to know our community is closer than we think. Libraries across the world have started to host Human Libraries. This event/program seeks for library users and non-users “to [go] beyond assumptions and stereotypes, to “unjudge someone,” and it allows people to engage in conversation about personal stories (Ray, 2019). 

The idea of “checking out” a human book is innovative and forward-thinking for library programs. I think it is a modern-day book club program where having a book is optional. Because this program means having tough conversations face to face about topics that are shunned, taboo or people are just afraid to talk about. The human library allows readers and storytellers to get to know each other and connect. Plus, readers can ask questions after “reading” the human book, furthering their insight into the topic at hand. Additionally, Human libraries mean stories do not have to be written in a book, a journal, or a social media post. Stories can be told in person and reach more ears. 

I believe this program positively impacts libraries. By attending this program, library users can see themselves reflected on another individual without opening a book. Library users can continue to learn and explore the library. Non-users can feel intrigued by the program and the library. With this program, libraries expand the knowledge of the communities they serve and help promote the idea that stories can be told in different formats.

Reference 


Ray, M. (2019, April 12). Courageous conversations at the human library. Next Avenue. https://www.nextavenue.org/courageous-conversations-human-library/.

Participatory Service & Emerging Technology: Food Literacy Blog

Background and Purpose

In California, Sacramento is known to many as a “Farm-to-Fork” city. It is a city where weekends and weekdays are filled with farmers’ markets. It is a city where local restaurants use fresh local ingredients in the most mouth-watering meals. While the city of Sacramento continues to embrace the farm-to-fork brand, the Sacramento Public Library (SPL) system is not far behind. In the past, SPL has hosted cooking classes with the help of local health organizations and distributed lunches for children under 18 years old during the summer months. This library system also has seed libraries, which allow the public to take seeds home for free and grow their garden. Additionally, one library has a demonstration kitchen which has been used to host in-person cooking classes. 

Considering all of the services SPL currently offers, the ever-changing ways of seeking and consuming information, a blog (“Cooking with My Library”) will be created to help promote food literacy for individuals of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. The blog ensures that SPL continues to “reach all users, not just those who come through [the library’s] doors” (Stephens, 2016, pg.1). Plus, SPL will embrace a new way to engage with different communities, especially during the digital era where individuals search and gather information using different handheld devices (Stephens, 2016). Additionally, food can bring communities together, help communities understand each other, and allow libraries to teach literacy (Taylor, 2018). The hope for SPL’s food literacy blog is to bring communities together to understand one another through food literacy. 

The idea of creating a blog came from the multitude of culinary literacy services already pioneered at different libraries across the U.S. Libraries like the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center, the Madison Public Library, and the Charleston County Public Library have created pages within their websites with information about food or culinary literacy. The information on the websites ranges from recipes to cooking video tutorials. Further inspiration came from The Kitchen Library website, which shares healthy recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. SPL has not ventured into blogging, but it is never too late to try something new, mainly if it engages with its audience and further its food literacy skills. 

Goals/Objectives for the Service

The objectives for this service include: 

-Connect gardeners, food enthusiasts, library users, and non-users of different ethnic backgrounds to food literacy.

– Create a participatory environment by allowing the public to participate in the blogging process by sharing their unique recipes and engaging through live cooking classes via Zoom.

– Promote the existing SPL services, including the Seed Library and the demonstration kitchen.

– Teach individuals about gardening and its direct connection to food and healthy eating. 

– Utilize STEM concepts while preparing meals and engage participants in why the measurements of each food are essential. 

-Engage and develop relationships with the underserved and multilingual communities by connecting them to food literacy and other library services. 

– Promote healthy eating for all age groups.

Description of Community You Wish to Engage

I hope to engage individuals of all ages and ethnic backgrounds that may or may not use the library in Sacramento from this service. In particular, I would like to grab the attention of multilingual individuals whose primary language might not be English. The blog will be a great tool to connect individuals who speak multiple languages and learn English. Additionally, I wish to engage with the community immediately surrounding the libraries which host the seed libraries. The libraries might serve gardeners who are looking for recipes to prepare their harvest. Finally, I hope this site will bring food enthusiasts—individuals who might not be professional chefs but are chefs in the eyes of their families.

Action Brief Statement

 For patrons: 

Convince users and non-library users that by engaging with the Food Literacy blog, they will learn ways to prepare food which will help them develop healthy eating habits and engage with other community members because the library is a place that welcomes participation among community members, encourages them to continue to develop essential skills and learn something new. 

For staff:

Convince library staff and administrators that by creating a blog dedicated to food literacy for library users and non-users, they will further the library’s mission to provide spaces of growth and learning which will allow the public to see the library as a space that does more than loan books because the program will engage the public in a service that goes beyond the “normal” business hours of the library.

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to the service 

Mission and Policies 

The mission for this service will align with SPL’s overarching goal of providing a space to inspire communities to discover, learn and grow (Sacramento Public Library, 2021). Like the mission, the policies for the blog will align with the social media policies created by the Communications and Virtual Services (COM) department of SPL. One slight difference from the established policies is that the COM department will have little say on the content created for the blog. The newly hired library associates will be responsible for the content posted on the blog. 

Guidelines

Since this will be the first time SPL will create a blog, the library system will refer to the tool kit provided by the Free Library in Philadelphia or by contacting the library itself for guidelines guidance. However, considering that community members can participate in making the blog posts by sharing their recipes, further guidelines will be implemented and shared with the public. The guidelines for participating community members will include post length, word choice, and participation limits. When hiring the library associates, the proper hiring process will occur, including an interview with the outreach manager and administrators for SPL. Likewise, when calling for volunteers to help film the cooking videos, they will go through the volunteer placement and interview process. Ideally, the volunteers will be college and university film students. 

Staffing Considerations for this Service 

Since this is a new service, two library associates will be hired to help maintain the blog. Ideally, the library associates will be bilingual in one of the top three languages spoken in Sacramento. Currently, the most common languages in the Sacramento area are Spanish, Chinese and Russian. The associates will also have a background in health literacy, blogging, using WordPress, and using Zoom. Additionally, partnerships with local organizations promoting healthy eating/cooking will be hired for short-term commitments, ideally six-month commitments. Finally, film and photography college and university students will be called to volunteer and help film/edit the videos created for the blog. Student volunteers will be selected based on their experience of editing video and knowledge of video editing software. 

This service will not require staff members as the library associates will help to monitor and update the blog. The associates will also make the proper arrangements/connections with health organizations to schedule live Zoom cooking classes. Each associate will work full-time, while the film student volunteers will only work when filming takes place. 

Training for this Service 

Since two experienced library associates will be hired to monitor the blog and help schedule program presenters, there will be a short training. The training will cover the background of the service, the do’s and don’ts of the blog, and potential ways to create informative and engaging posts. The COM department will do this training. Additionally, the COM Department will present a short “walk-through” training of the established WordPress. The COM department will also be responsible for training the film student volunteers. In addition to the COM department training, general SPL onboarding training will be given to the associates. The Human Resources (HR) department presents and designs this general training to orient the new hires to SPL policies. On the other hand, the film student volunteers will receive a similar volunteering onboarding training designed and presented by the Volunteer Coordinator at SPL. 

The scheduling for this training will depend on when the associates and volunteers get hired. Ideally, the onboarding training with Human Resources will take place a week after receiving the position acceptance letter. Immediately after the training with HR, the associates will receive their training with the COM department. Similarly, the student volunteers will receive their training with the volunteer coordinator a week after receiving their position acceptance letter. Following the orientation with the coordinator, they will have their training with the COM department. 

Funding and Space

Although SPL is a large system, current library staff will not participate in making the blog. Instead, with grants, sponsorships, and funding from the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library, two library associates will be hired to establish and run the blog using WordPress. After four years, funding will continue to be gathered with the help of local health organizations, local politicians, and fundraisers. Also, funding will be allocated to three college/university students who will volunteer and help the library associates in filming and editing cooking tutorials. A stipend of $500 will be given to the volunteers for every three-month term. 

Funding will not be necessary for the software used to edit the cooking tutorials nor filming equipment as volunteers will use the software and equipment already in use by the COM department. However, funding will be designated for the business version of WordPress. As for space, volunteers and library associates will be assigned to work at the Central and Colonial Heights branches during filming and editing days of both the video and blog. Additionally, the demonstration kitchen owned by SPL will be used to film the cooking tutorials. Finally, partnerships with health community organizations will begin as unpaid partnerships, but they will develop into paid partnerships with time. 

Action Steps & Timeline

Since the new service will be a blog that will include community participation, it can become a prototype for other libraries. However, it will not be replicated within other library locations in the SPL system. The Library Board, Administration, and COM department have to give the green light for this service to be implemented. If grant funding is not secured for hiring new staff, the library board should approve using alternative library funding to hire the associates. After the board approves the service, the administration should then approve the workspace for volunteers and library associates and communicate with the library that houses the demonstration kitchen. Finally, the COM department has to approve the purchase of the business version of WordPress. 

If the service gets rejected by the Library Board, library administration, and COM department, the alternative plan will be to host cooking classes in person using the demonstration kitchen for a set length of time. The cooking programs will partner with local restaurant chefs and be held at different libraries in the SPL system. 

Timeline

  1. The project is pitched to the Library Board, SPL administration, and COM department. [1 week]
  2. Approval of the services from Library Board, SPL administration, and COM department [2 weeks]
  3. Initial gathering of funding through grants, sponsorships, and the Friends of the Public library [3 weeks]
  4. Interview process and SPL new hire training of two library associates [1 month]
  5. Interview process and SPL new volunteer training of college/university film student volunteers [3 weeks]
  6. Purchasing of WordPress [1 day]
  7. Library associates gather information of potential community health organizations to partner with for cooking video tutorials [1 month]
  8. Library associates contacting and establishing schedules with health organizations [3 weeks]
  9. Establish initial blog posts by library associates [3 weeks]
  10. COM creates a landing page for the service on SPL’s website [2 weeks]
  11. The service is launched with the help from the SPL COM department [3 weeks]
  12. Evaluation of the service using various tools [every six months]

Promotion & Marketing for this Service 

Promotions for the new service will start through SPL’s various social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The COM department will create Interactive Instagram stories by asking questions about cooking styles and favorite foods. Additionally, the student volunteers will create a short video for SPL’s Youtube channel, highlighting what the blog is all about. At the same time, it will be necessary for library staff to use word of mouth to promote the blog. Library staff will be encouraged to talk about the blog when interacting with library patrons at the desk or answering a reference, especially about cookbooks. The COM department will also create a flyer to help library staff help promote the service. Library supervisors will be encouraged to place the flyer next to the cookbooks, create a cookbook display, or post the flyer on the upcoming events board at their branch. Once the blog is live, prerecorded cooking tutorials will continue to promote other aspects of the blog. Additionally, during the live Zoom cooking classes, the chef will help promote the blog.  

Further promotion will take place outside of the library system. Whenever possible, library staff will promote the service during outreach events in the community. These events can be either community festivals/celebrations or when conducting school visits. After all, this blog is meant for all age groups. Information flyers will be distributed to local businesses like restaurants and grocery stores to help promote the service. 

Evaluation

Every six months, the service will be evaluated using various methods. One evaluation tool used will be surveys. Participants who attend the Zoom cooking classes will be asked to give feedback through a survey. In the survey, the participants will be asked to rate the class, the information learned, and their overall experience attending a virtual cooking class. The use of surveys will also be linked to each of the prerecorded cooking tutorial videos. Additionally, an in-person survey will be given to library users over the age of 18 to know if they are using the service and if they find it helpful. Finally, the surveys will be translated into multiple languages. 

A second method will be checklists. During the live Zoom cooking classes, one of the library associates will be present and use a checklist to note attendance, behaviors, and interactions. A third method will be analyzing the analytics of the blog and prerecorded cooking videos. Which blog posts are more popular among users? How long are the videos viewed? A final method will be a message box. Blog users will be welcome to give feedback at any time using the “how are we doing?” message box affix to the top of the blog. 

Stories

The hope for this blog is that the library gets to see the positive effects the information in the blog is having on families across Sacramento. It is to hear stories in person and through the surveys of how a recipe helped them lower their sugar intake or how their children started to love broccoli. I want to tell stories about individuals who felt connected with a recipe shared by a community member because it reminded them of home. I would also like to see the interest they have in other library services like the seed libraries. Finally, I hope that users find the blog interactive and innovative. 

Expansion of the service 

Although the world is slowly adapting to new technology and individuals gather information from online platforms, “they can never replace the value of physical spaces where [people] come together and “live life in public” (Lipsey, 2015). In the interest of expanding the blog and going beyond an online platform, funding will be secured to purchase a mobile kitchen just like the Books and Cook’s mobile kitchen from the Camden County Library System. The mobile kitchen will stop throughout Sacramento, but it will focus on serving areas with food scarcity needs or in underserved communities. However, the purpose of the mobile kitchen will be the same as the blog. It will encourage users to learn ways to eat healthily. 

Resources to support the Service

Ewen, L. (2018, September 4). A movable feast: Libraries use mobile kitchens to teach food literacy. American Libraries Magazine. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2018/09/04/movable-feast-library-mobile-kitchens/. 

Llewellyn, T. (2021, May 25). How public libraries are part of the solution to food insecurity. Shareable. https://www.shareable.net/how-public-libraries-are-part-of-the-solution-to-food-insecurity/. 

Oyuela, A. (2019, October). The Mobile Kitchen Changing Food Education Across the U.S. Food Tank. https://foodtank.com/news/2019/10/the-mobile-kitchen-changing-food-education-across-the-u-s/. 

Taylor, K. R. (2018, September 28). Food literacy programs teach more than cooking and nutrition. School Library Journal. https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=food-Literacy-food-for-thought. 

Libraries with similar Service 

Antill, R. (n.d.). Supporting Food Literacy when you can’t gather: Read eat grow gets creative. Let’s Move in Libraries. Retrieved October 11, 2021, from https://letsmovelibraries.org/supporting-food-literacy-when-you-cant-gather-read-eat-grow-gets-creative/.

Culinary Literacy Center – Free Library. (n.d.). Support the Culinary Literacy Center. https://libwww.freelibrary.org/programs/culinary/.  

Madison Public Library. (2019, April 15). Food literacy at the library.  https://www.madisonpubliclibrary.org/impact/community/food-literacy-library. 

The Kitchen Library. (n.d.). Healthy Food Network. http://thekitchenlibrary.ca/. 

References 

Bowers, J., Fitzgerald, L., & Urminska, S. (n.d.). Free Library Culinary Literacy Toolkit. Free library of Philadelphia . Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://libwww.freelibrary.org/assets/pdf/programs/culinary/free-library-culinary-literacy-toolkit.pdf. 

Escalante, E. (2019, September 24). How Sacramento became the ‘farm-to-fork-capital’. abc10.com. Retrieved from https://www.abc10.com/article/news/local/sacramento/what-is-farm-to-fork/103-6b905007-69f3-40cc-bd1d-c079d07002af. 

Lipsey, R. F. (2017, December 6). 100 great ideas for the future of Libraries — a new paradigm for Civic Engagement. HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/100-great-ideas-for-the-for-the-future-of-libraries_b_6551440. 

Saclibrary. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://www.saclibrary.org/About/Mission-Vision. 

Stephens, M. (2016). The Hyperlinked Librarian: Skills, mind-sets, and ideas for working with the evolving library. In The heart of librarianship: Attentive, positive, and purposeful change. ALA Editions, an imprint of the American Library Association. 

WordPress cost: WordPress price: Compare our plans. WordPress.com. (n.d.). Retrieved October 6, 2021, from https://wordpress.com/pricing/. 

Reflection Blog: Global Libraries

While exploring the global libraries module, I began to see the pattern among international public libraries. The international libraries are slowly transitioning from the Carnegie models to wide spaces that host various services that go beyond providing literary material and reading spaces. The libraries include makerspaces, event and gallery rooms to their services. They are becoming spaces where individuals can interact with one another and build relationships. The libraries are becoming participatory spaces. For example, Finland’s central library, Oodi, has become a hub of innovation for the Finns. The Oodi library has three floors, each dedicated to different activities. Even though the library allows users to use equipment like sewing machines, 3D printers, among other technologies, the most significant innovation in this library is a space called “Cube.” This space consists of giant touch screens allowing library users to convert almost anything into a 3D virtual reality (Cord, 2018). Students can use it as a study space, and others can showcase an interactive art gallery. Spaces like the “Cube” and the Oodi library are making it possible for library users to be as creative as they would like to be and still maintain the heart of the library as an information/educational hub

Credit: Elizabeth Ramirez Segura

Adding to the innovation of library spaces, some international libraries ask for community input in creating creative and participatory library spaces. One library in Denmark, Dokk1 Library Aarhus, took public opinion as they built the central library. What type of services can the library provide? What are their information needs? were some of the questions they asked the public (Public Libraries 2030, 2015). By including public opinion, the Dokk1 library created spaces where customers can explore different digital and visual elements, interact with other individuals, and continue to enrich their cultural knowledge. Furthermore, allowing patrons to voice their opinions on their information or library needs aids libraries in provided spaces that are not based on what the library staff and administrators think their customers need. It was about allowing library customers to participate in creating the library that will be utilized by them and inspire the growth of knowledge for generations to come. 

The Oodi and Dokk1 libraries are just two of the many international libraries that are actively moving the use of the libraries forward in innovative ways. The two libraries are not waiting to see how the future will transform them. They are already transforming themselves in ways users find helpful, which should be ideal for libraries worldwide. Innovation, creativity, and participation are critical components for libraries of the future. 

Reference

Cord, D. J. (2018, December). Helsinki invests in its people with a library that reinvents the genre. thisisFINLAND. https://finland.fi/life-society/helsinki-invests-in-its-people-with-a-library-that-reinvents-the-genre/?fbclid=IwAR02YiMMaUOXanedOfFbDrzhou_4s1_oHQInvzYDk3bPJeu9Vx3D_ItX5Zs. 

Public Libraries 2030. (2015, April 27). Pl 2020 Tour- Denmark- A knowledge hub for the community. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvFfbjs8aZo. 

Reflection Blog: Hyperlinked Communities

For this post, I will be reflecting on the Hyperlinked Communities module. 

I have to begin by saying that libraries are the most creative places I have ever known. They are the glue that holds communities together; they give individuals a sense of belonging and ownership. They are spaces where people can connect and share common interests or information. 

Image: A photo I took of the self-care wall in the teen space of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in San Jose, CA.

Watching Ciara Easter present on the ways libraries change people’s lives was heartwarming, empowering, and inspirational. I enjoyed hearing her speak about libraries as welcoming spaces even during unprecedented times. Libraries have opened after a snowstorm and during civil unrest because libraries provide a safe space, a space to heal and explore. Furthermore, it is great to see how libraries develop innovative programs for patrons to participate and share ideas. Libraries have certainly become more than just places that hold books. For example, the Idea Box created by the Oak Park Public library is a great way to get the community involved in arts, social justice and allow them to have fun. To make the Idea Box more interactive, the library gives the public access to photos of each of the ideas produced in the space. By doing that, library users can share the photos through various social media platforms allowing users to continue to have conversations outside of the library setting. The Idea Box connects the library and the users. Ultimately, creating the connection between library staff and library users/non-users is what libraries should strive for.   

In the future, I hope to advocate for participatory spaces like the Idea Box. I think libraries are moving in this direction by creating maker spaces and programs like knitting clubs. All it takes is motivated and forward-thinking library staff plus the input of community members. By asking community members what they would like to see in the library, library staff can specifically cater to their user’s needs. 

Reference

Oak Park Public Library. (n.d.). Idea box. Flickr. Retrieved September 18, 2021, from https://www.flickr.com/photos/oppl/collections/72157630548314758/.

TEDxTalks. (2019, June 13). How libraries change lives| Ciara Eastell| TEDxExeter [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tvt-lHZBUwU&t=74s. 

The Digital Age and The Library

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Book Image: https://library.sacredheart.edu/blog/bibliotech-why-libraries-matter-more-than-ever-in-the-age-of-google

To author John Palfrey (2015), libraries are needed more than ever in a world rapidly becoming a digital world. 

In his book, BiblioTECH: why libraries matter more than ever in the age of Google, Palfrey points out that libraries in the digital age will be more than spaces to gather and find information in both physical and digital form. Libraries will be important in increasing their communities’ digital literacy skills and preserving materials to make information and knowledge more accessible in the future. 

Digital Education + Libraries 

As new technology emerges each year, new ways of accessing information online have erupted. There are various search engines and databases to choose from. However, should we trust every search engine and website we find on the internet? Is the information credible? 

Assessing the quality of information is the core of the library profession (Palfrey, 2015). It is embedded in the curriculum of the information and science master’s degrees and internships (Palfrey, 2015). It is only appropriate that school librarians teach students to use the internet and learn about today’s information landscape as most teachers are not tech savvy (Palfrey, 2015). There are librarians across the nation that are already helping students succeed in the Common Core curriculum with the help of technology. Currently, school librarians use video game consoles to teach students math and create data spreadsheets for students to analyze and problem-solve (Palfrey, 2015). In academic libraries, the digitization of books is helping students access information remotely (Palfrey, 2015). Like school libraries, academic librarians teach students how to use different databases and assess the quality of information with the help of Libguides, among other resources. Even though, for some individuals, libraries are becoming obsolete, it is clear that libraries are needed to continue to provide their expertise in analyzing information and helping students succeed. 

Preservation of Information + Libraries + Library Users

Palfrey (2015) believes that when public and academic libraries communicate and collaborate, both libraries and library users benefit in the digital age. One significant benefit for library users is access to preserved and archived material. More and more libraries are becoming the homes to archived material, making the preservation of culture reachable at any given time. Thanks to academic and public libraries, publishers can access previously published material and patrons have access to books and information no longer published (Palfrey, 2015). The job of archiving can be overwhelming, but libraries can alleviate the need to archive every single material or duplicate the work if they communicate and know the materials each of them is archiving (Palfrey, 2015). Their goal should be to preserve as much information and not duplicate it. Finally, as the digitization of books and information gains momentum, it will be essential for libraries worldwide to share archived information so the public can have more access to knowledge and further their cultural education (Palfrey, 2015). 

Preserving information can also mean getting help from library users and non-users to expand access to information digitally. For example, library staff can spend less time entering metadata to digitize collections of volunteers from outside of libraries help. The New York Public Library (NYPL) has successfully used crowdsourcing to help describe unlabeled photographers from New York City for their website Surveyor, which holds NYPL’s photo collections (Spaan, 2017). NYPL has allowed library and non-library users to participate in a library service that will benefit not only New Yorkers but other communities and will be available for years to come. 

Future of Libraries

Although many fear the advancement of technology, libraries should embrace it. Technology allows libraries to stay updated with technology most of their patrons use and offers more services besides a collection of physical materials and digital resources like ebooks. Technology helps libraries implement maker spaces where youth and adults alike can interact with new technology. Moreover, technology can help libraries incorporate participatory services like the ones pioneered by the NYPL archives collection or a Surface and Flickr App. Furthermore, technology allows school and academic librarians to teach digital literacy skills. Students can be given the skills to filter information and learn the different digital tools available.   

No matter the choices libraries make in the future, patrons should have access to information. Ideally, it would be a mix of digital and physical materials and services free of cost. 

Reference

Michael Stephens. (2011). Erik Demonstrates Surface & Flickr App [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCpY5zTv2Xo. 

Palfrey, J. G. (2015). BiblioTech: Why libraries matter more than ever in the age of Google. Basic Books. 

Spaan, B. (2017, July 7). Surveyor geotagging tool puts nypl photos on the map. The New York Public Library. https://www.nypl.org/blog/2017/07/07/surveyor-photos-map. 

Reflection Blog: Foundational Readings

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Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.” – Ms. Frizzle. 

The quote above is the best way to describe Brian Mathews’s piece, Think like a Startup. Although the article pertains to the future of academic libraries, I believe the information also applies to public and school libraries. One particular statement stood out to me. Mathews (2012) said academic libraries “can’t map [their] value to outdated needs and practices, but instead, must intertwine [themselves] with what’s needed next.” (p. 3). In other words, libraries have to keep being creative as the world keeps changing. They cannot stay stagnant or continue to offer the same programs and services when patrons’ needs change. Innovation is vital for libraries to continue to become information hubs and much more to the diverse communities they serve. Libraries should not be afraid to experiment with new programs and service ideas. If an idea fails, then libraries should look at why it failed and learn from them. Making changes when something does not work will make any library grow and continue to create a welcoming environment for library users for years to come. 

As I kept reading the article, I kept on thinking about the library where I work. I kept questioning how innovative the library system had been over the past ten years. Fortunately, over the years and especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, the library system has made changes and become innovative. For example, they have created services like personal shopper (selecting books for patrons), curbside service, and more electronic resources, including hotspots. My library system also created programs at local city parks for families of all ages to enjoy. I feel like these services and programs are a step in the right direction. It allows communities to know that the library is still active and ready to serve them. 

Reference

Mathews, B. (2012). Think like a start up. 

Mechling, L. (2020, August 31). This school Year, unleash your inner Ms. Frizzle. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/31/parenting/ms-frizzle-magic-schoolbus-teaching.html. 

Introduction

Hello everyone,

My name is Elizabeth. I live in northern California, where I work as a library assistant at a public library. In 2012, I graduated from CSU, Sacramento, with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism. Through my undergrad years, I worked at a public library. In this public library, I was allowed to get involved in planning and aiding youth services librarians with children and teen programs. Due to my involvement in youth programming, I became interested in pursuing an MLIS. Now, I am in my penultimate semester in the program. After obtaining my MLIS, I will be seeking opportunities to work as a youth services librarian at a public library in California.

I chose this course because I am interested in the emerging trends and use of new technology within libraries. Although technology keeps involving, libraries have adapted to the changes and continue to offer a welcoming space for everyone. Time and time again, I have heard questions like “libraries still exist?” or “do people even use libraries anymore?” from many people in my community. As a person who has worked at a public library for the past 13 years, I can say that libraries exist, and many people still use them every day. I hope to learn more about what topics are shaking the library world.

Lastly, I want to share some of my favorite travel photos.

This is the pyramid of Kukulcan in Chichén Itzá, Mexico. I have had the opportunity to visit this Mayan site twice.
One of my favorite foods from South Korea is buchimgae, Korean pancakes. Delicious!
I was raised in a small town in Zacatecas, Mexico, with a small public library. The library offers patrons computers, newspapers and of course books.
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