Choose Your Own Adventure: Part II

Saturday, November 13th, 2021

Learning Can Happen Everywhere, but Why Not in the Library?

What comes to mind when you think of learning? Is it a classroom with rows of desks taught by a teacher near retirement, or a library littered with rules such as “NO TALKING”? With the continued advancement of technology individuals are no longer bound to institutions for their Wi-Fi connections or desktop computers due to the power of their portable smart devices. “People expect to be able to work, learn and study whenever and wherever they are” (Stephens, 2020). Thus, a reformation of services in the library, like 3D printers, digital literacy programs and hands on experience learning needs to be made in order to bring these “free-learners” back into the library.

By allowing access to a 3-D printer in an area called the Makerspace, Johnson County Library improved the quality of life for one their patrons. At the Makerspace, Mason Wilde was able to replicate a 3-D robot hand model for Matthew, who was born with a limb difference, just with a library card and free online instructions. Fayetteville Free Library is another location reimagining their own institution with their Fabulous Laboratory (Fab Lab). Their staff is “Made up entirely of iSchool Students […] empowered to provide traditional services to [their] community […and] participate in the identification, development, and execution of new services and opportunities […]” (Britton & Considine, 2012). The Fab Lab provides a space where people can not only learn how to use technology, such as 3-D printers, but also play and create community. Lastly, in an attempt to become the “Creative and inspirational focal point for all citizens meeting with learning, culture, community and diversity” (Lauersen, 2020), Roskilde Libraries focuses on investing in five key areas with “special focus on efforts aimed at families, socially disadvantaged and young people” (Lauersen, 2020). These areas are:

  • Literature and the joy of reading
  • Lifelong learning,
  • Music for everyone
  • Digital literacy and digital well-being,
  • Democratic participation and dialogue.

These examples embrace the idea that learning comes in different forms. Some through hands on experience, others through play. In conclusion, if these spaces are provided for our community members, then the library can become the focal point of learning.

References:

Britton, L. & Considine, S. (2012) The makings of maker spaces, part 3: A fabulous home for cocreation. http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2012/10/public-services/the-makings-of-maker-spaces-part-3-a-fabulous-home-for-cocreation/

Lauersen, C. (2020). Learning, culture, community and diversity: New library strategy for Roskilde Libraries 2020. https://christianlauersen.net/2020/06/23/learning-culture-community-and-diversity-new-library-strategy-for-roskilde-libraries-2020/

Stephens, M. (2020). Infinite learning: Learning everywhere. https://sjsu-ischool.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e38d4a22-9626-4b29-a038-aaef0124ee52

The Power That’s Inside

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

The Power of Stories

The transformation into the library of the future is not one that will happen overnight with the addition of a few technologies and a strong mission statement. It requires the superpower of insight and empathy in order to understand the needs of the patrons we serve. One-way libraries are utilizing not only their available spaces, but resources are by allowing both patrons and staff to share their experiences or “stories” to other community members and peers. According to Evans Groth, “If we help our patrons and our colleagues to share our library stories, we build and fortify a culture of accessibility and inclusion […]” (Stephens, 2020).

Yarra Libraries has done this by acknowledging the importance of inclusion after a staff member shared the challenges with over-stimulation experienced by her two children within the autism spectrum. This seed blossomed into a wide implementation of services such as PECs (Picture Exchange Communication) visual schedules within the library, “Chillout Zones” during community events, and a “Sensitive Santa” during the holidays.

The Human Library model is another example of accessibility and inclusion. Here “Library patrons meet one-on-one with ‘human books’ and engage in meaningful dialogue with those people about their personal stories […] The[ir] goal is to get beyond assumptions and stereotypes” (Ray,2019). This allows “[T]he public library [to] share the community with itself, providing a venue for individuals to articulate their experiences and to communicate with one another” (Wentz, 2013).

Finally, with the philosophy that everyone wants their story to be heard, StoryCorps provides a method for community inclusion. Through their services, members can share their stories through online archives. This is done by uploading conversations or interviews regarding personal experiences and sharing it within their own communities through online archives. “Storytelling is an important tool for libraries to engage their communities […] and they are an ideal place to record and preserve these memories and experiences” (Eberhart, 2018).

Why is story telling this important?

The importance of storytelling goes beyond gossip. It helps us form an understanding of our perceived world, and the world around us. When individuals can describe their personal experiences in a way that others could understand, empathy is created. This superpower is one that is formed through understanding and breaking of preconceived stigmas/ norms. By understanding that “The library is not just what it has always been. It is always going to do those things […] We should be asking them what they want […] We should be a place to access knowledge, and also to learn about what’s happening in the world” (Paxaman, 2019).

References:

Eberhart, G. M. (2018). Sharing people’s stories: StoryCorps partners with public libraries. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/sharing-peoples-stories/

Paxaman, M. (2019). Challenged but not dying, the public libraries are more relevant than ever. http://www.jutlandstation.dk/challenged-but-not-dying-the-public-libraries-are-more-relevant-than-ever/?fbclid=IwAR1g1o4r9XqHTuu8IuGOIWQcGW_EC40ID99C4OYkDxF3xuMiDoWhnpG8Spw

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

Stephens, M. (2020). Office hours: The power of stories part 2 https://287.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/office-hours-the-power-of-stories-part-2/

Wentz, E. (2013). The human library: Sharing the community with itself. http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2013/04/human_librar/

How to Adult

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021

ADULTING 101

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:
Here at the Baldwin Park Library, our goal is to provide equal learning opportunities to patrons of all ages. As an extension of our online learning programs via our library website, we would like to provide all community members the opportunity to participate in our Adulting 101 courses and meet others within their community. Adulting 101 teaches basic life skills which are needed to function as an adult. These courses will be provided inhouse, free of charge, and live streamed for those at home who cannot make it to our location due to limited capacity and COVID-19 guidelines. These live streams will also be recorded and uploaded to the library’s site, YouTube and linked via our social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) for those interested in revisiting previous classes.

Description of Community you wish to engage:
The primary target for these services is youth, ages 13-29, but all patrons are welcome (no age limit). 

Action Brief Statement:
To our Patrons
We will convince our community members that by attending our Adulting 101 courses, they will learn life skills which will better prepare them for functioning as an adult because these courses are not readily available within public education.

To our Library Administrators
We will convince our administrators that by providing a space for Adulting 101 courses at the Baldwin Park Library they will create learning opportunities for our community. Which will increase patron activity, investment and networking because of the sense of belonging created by our program.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service:

Ford, A. (2018). Adulting 101: When libraries teach basic life skills. American Libraries, 49(5), 14–15.

Houy, G., Alexander, K. L., Miller, C. L., & Storms, K. (2020). Adulting 101: Real skills for real life–A critical science-based course in the Texas Tech University family and consumer sciences education program. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 87(1), 57–62.

Lucas, T. (2017). Adulting 101: Know your audience. OLA Quarterly, 23(4), 5–7. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.7710/1093-7374.1915

http://journals3.oregondigital.org/olaq/article/view/vol23_iss4_4

Mi-Yeet Wong, Rietzen, C., Fitzgerald, E., Richardson, C., Uppal, D., & Shea, L. (2020). Cooking with Confidence: Partnering to Support Teenagers and Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum. Public Libraries59(4), 32–42.

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service:
In order to get the “ball rolling” with our proposed Adulting 101 courses, we would need our administration to get on board with our plan. This will be done by demonstrating the positive impact similar programs have had within their communities and how minimal the overall cost was for those libraries. For example, Texas Tech University reported that after completing their Adulting 101 courses “Students [felt] instant gratification by being able to utilize these skills in their daily lives” (Houy et al., 2020). North Bend Public Library (NBPL) reported that their “Expenses were virtually zero” (Ford, 2018). While at Forsyth County Public Library (FCPL) “Local community members volunteered their time to teach” (Ford, 2018). As another way to implement public outreach, our library will utilize community resources by offering businesses the chance to volunteer and in return, use our library as a form of outreach/promotion. Staff will contact local businesses and promote the events via our social media. Those businesses who are interested in volunteering will submit a “lesson plan” regarding the upcoming topic

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service: 
Our Adulting 101 courses will utilize only a portion of our staff time and require minimum training. A two-person team will be in charge of interaction with our community through our library site and social media accounts: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. There they will monitor responses to our Adulting 101 posts, which will take two forms specifically aimed at community input and outreach. The first, via polls (e.g., “Which of the following choices should be covered this month?”). The second, via comment monitoring (e.g., “Which skills are you interested in learning for future classes?”). Another two-person team, which includes the library manager, will be in charge of outreach to local businesses within our community. Here, we will offer the ability for business exposure in exchange for 1-2 hours of their time. Other courses, depending on subject, will be taught by our staff members. Lastly, one staff member will be in charge of recording and uploading our live streams to the library’s YouTube channel and website. For streaming purposes, the library can utilize what technology we currently have in-house (e.g., GoPro) or invest in a high quality 4k camcorder like the Sony – Handycam AX53 (with the price tag of $1099.99). Fortunately, due to our awarded grant money, we are allowed wiggle room to invest in this technology and still keep costs low.

Action Steps & Timeline: 
We will base our prototype off the models provided by institutions like the NBPL, FCPL and Texas Tech University. Their experiences provide us guidelines regarding the success rate of classes and what roadblocks one may encounter. This proposed project will run its alpha trial for a total of six classes, one class per month, for a total of six months. Within this six-month period, we will monitor community engagement and determine whether topics should be revisited due to library capacity levels and COVID-19 guidelines or extended to a multiday course. This project is dependent upon community outreach and user participation. If our community isn’t interacting with us through our social media outlets or library site, we will not be able to properly gage their specific needs. Participation from local businesses can strengthen topics covered due to their expertise in those specific fields, but not all businesses may be able to offer their services. In order for our alpha trial to move forward we ultimately need the approval by our library administration. COVID-19 regulations will remain in effect until further advised by government guidelines. If the perceived cost of the proposed camcorder is too high, there are alternative models that can be purchased, or leased. Additional employees can be added onto the previously proposed teams if needed.

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service: 
Within our institution, this will be a new service which requires the proposed 3 teams equating to a total of five library staff, which includes the library manager during our alpha trial. These five positions can be alternated amongst all library staff who are interested in participating within our programs and can be expanded depending on workload need. Social media monitoring and engagement will take an average of one hour per day, and can be done during the midafternoon depending on tasks required. While library site monitoring and update will need to be done at least once on a weekly basis. To create engagement with all of our staff, each team will provide a status update regarding community engagement bi-weekly. Individuals interested in participating within these teams will be allowed the time to shadow current team members.

Training for this Technology or Service: 
For our proposed alpha trial, we will select staff members with experience in social media monitoring, and website design. These staff members can provide training modules for others who are interested in participating within these courses. Our initial trial’s success will determine whether the training becomes mandatory for all staff members. These proposed trainings can be done after library hours.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service: 
In order to promote Adulting 101 our library needs to advertise these courses through multiple outlets. Flyers can be posted both in-house and outside within the community (e.g., local high school), but our biggest outlet for promotion will be through our online site and social media presence. Community members connected to us online can then comment, like and share our post providing free promotion of our services. Taking advantage of current trends, our library will also network with local podcasts to have them advertise or even promote upcoming events and courses.

Evaluation:
Our alpha program will be evaluated via five methods. The first will be based off in-house reservation of program and turnout. Second will be based off online livestream viewing numbers. Third through YouTube viewing numbers. Fourth through patron survey. Lastly, our patrons can leave us a comment via our social media platforms and our library site. Our patron surveys will be provided at end of the course in-house and online via a questionnaire link. The survey will contain five questions. Was this lesson new to you? How beneficial would you rate this lesson? Would you recommend this program to a friend? Would you revisit this lesson if available online? Would you return for future lessons?

My vision for this Adulting 101 course is to broaden the library community in two ways. First through promotion of library space, which allows all individuals to organize together in an open and welcoming environment where they can learn, regardless of age. Secondly, through local business participation, which will not only provide professional expertise to these lessons, but also a face to these nearby businesses. The success of livestreaming these courses can lead to the expansion of future services outside the realm of adulting, such as topics of interest..  

References:

Ford, A. (2018). Adulting 101: When libraries teach basic life skills. American Libraries, 49(5), 14–15.

Houy, G., Alexander, K. L., Miller, C. L., & Storms, K. (2020). Adulting 101: Real Skills for Real Life–A Critical Science-Based Course in the Texas Tech University Family and Consumer Sciences Education Program. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 87(1), 57–62.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

A BRAVE NEW Hyperlinked World: How Technology is Bridging the Gap Between Users and the Arts.

How can museums increase participatory engagement with their patrons and create a more user centered environment? With the technological advancements of the 21st century users can now experience these exhibits through means such as touch screen displays, smartphone applications and open-source tools. As a result, smart devices are no longer considered distractions hindering the museum experience, but learning tools. These interactive experiences propel the museum into the realm of hyperlinked environments.

Dutch Painting ArtLens Wall

The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) for example, engages its users via a 40-foot interactive MicroTile wall, known as the ArtLens Wall. The ArtLens Wall can “display in real time all works of art from the permanent collection currently on view in the galleries [ranging] between 4,200 and 4,500 artworks at any given time” (clevelandart.org). Through the ArtLens App (a free resource) their users have access to the museum’s resources both in house or from their own homes. The application allows them the ability to “create and share tours[globally], browse through all artworks on view, see the CMA’s highlights, and keep track of your favorite artworks” (clevelandart.org,).

In order to include all demographics of patrons, specifically the visually impaired, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago created an “open-source toolkit called Coyote for producing image descriptions” (Majumdar, 2016). This allows the visually impaired to fully experience what’s available on the museum’s site “with descriptions that are read aloud using a screen reader” (Zimmerman, 2016).

Libraries can use these museums as examples for ways to reach their own communities. The advantages of reaching a broader demographic can increase user participation, community outreach, and create a sense of belonging. This is not a call to fall into “techno-lust” but one of community analysis. Reminding us that the user is the center of our universe; our “SUN.”

Resources:

The Cleveland Museum of Art. (n.d.a). ArtLens wall. https://www.clevelandart.org/artlens-gallery/artlens-wall

The Cleveland Museum of Art. (n.d.b). ArtLens app. https://www.clevelandart.org/artlens-gallery/artlens-app

Majumdar, S. (2016). Coyote, an a11y initiative. https://mcachicago.org/publications/blog/2016/07/reading-images   

Zimmerman, E. (2016). Technology invites a deep dive into art. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/arts/design/technology-invites-a-deep-dive-into-art.html

Reflection Post: Participatory Service & Transparency

Sunday, September 19th, 2021

“A library operating without the input of its constituents is missing a vital component” (Stephens, 2012).

How can we further incorporate our community into THEIR local library or in simpler terms, what does the public want? This is the primary question librarians need to ask themselves when envisioning the future of the library. Which includes relinquishing archaic habits from the past that hinder our patrons from returning to the library. This starts with the reminder that, “The user is the sun” (Schneider, 2006). In order to receive accurate feedback of needs from their patrons, the library needs to be open with their decision making and transparent with their plans. By focusing on demographics beyond children and the elderly, the library can shift its way into the 21st century needs.

In an attempt to increase community access, the Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) experimented with self-service libraries which operated outside normal business hours. This method relied upon trust between the library and their patrons ultimately receiving positive reviews. To ensure that patrons returned to the library, Chapel Hill Public Library stopped charging its patrons book fees. This initiative was taken due to the declining trend of patrons returning because of a late or lost item. The MIX, a teens-only space in the San Francisco Library, “opened […] after four years of planning guided by a group of teens called the Board of Advising Youth” (Costanza, 2015). This space provides access to media tools, space for teenagers and an ability to hear what the community needs.

In order to incorporate both participatory service and transparency the library must be honest with its members on their decisions, whether it be the addition or removal of services, rebranding, etc. “They are looking to see their needs, hopes, and dreams reflected back to them. And if we’re not doing that, not only will we see our proposals fail, we’ll soon be out of business” (Kenney, 2015).

To summarize, librarians need to look at the needs beyond the faces that they see regularly. Many demographics can feel underrepresented, causing a decrease in empathy and understanding. Accurate feedback is important and unobtainable when secluded behind a closed desk. Understanding your community can cause not only an increase in patrons returning, but word of mouth. Causing new patrons to return.

References:

Costanza, K (2015). In San Francisco, teens design a living room for high-tech learning at the public library.

Kenney, B. (2015). Lesson’s from Seattle’s failed bid to rebrand its public library.

Schneider, K (2006). The user is not broken.

Stephens, M. (2012). The heart of Librarianship.

Fishes Aren’t the Only Things Hooked

Thursday, September 16th, 2021

Book Summary

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, written by Nir Eyal, provides a glimpse into the psychological side of marketing by examining how successful companies such as Amazon, Google, and Twitter created habit forming technologies by influencing human behavior. “Instead of relying on expensive marketing, habit-forming companies link their services to the users’ daily routines and emotions” (Eyal, 2014). Eyal defines habits as, “[B]ehaviors done with little or no conscious thought (automatic responses) […] and one of the ways the brain learns complex behaviors” (Eyal, 2014).

According to Eyal, these companies followed a four-step process known as “The Hook Model.” This model could alter user-behavior and create unprompted user engagement. The four steps of the hook model are:

  1. Trigger– an internal (associations) and external (environmental) actuator of behavior.
  2. Action– behavior in anticipation of the reward.
  3. Variable Reward- increase in dopamine in anticipation for a reward.
  4. Investment– user’s time, data, effort, social capital or money.

When following the model, companies can create a sense of belonging or community based off the user’s continued investment in whichever application they use.

Eyal also mentions that in order to create habit forming products one must consider its simplicity. “[…] the ease or difficulty of doing a particular action impacts the likelihood that a behavior will occur” (Eyal, 2014). An application could be life altering and overall beneficial for a user, but flop if it requires abnormal changes to behavior or routine.

How can this influence Library 2.0?

As aforementioned in my previous post, in order to shift into Library 2.0, we need to embrace change, even though it may seem disruptive or intimidating. So, how can we recreate the library as the central hub of information where our patrons could invest themselves? According to Eyal, “Users increase their dependency on habit forming products by storing value in them” (2014). By creating memories and experiences for our patrons and community, we can create a greater value for the library and in return, receive their investment. Unfortunately, libraries are limited to visitor access due to the pandemic. Yet this shouldn’t limit their ability to pursue current and future clientele via school visits, online communities, or pop-up libraries. In a sense, bringing the library to you! Which falls in line with his concept of simplicity. Eyal states, “You have to actually want to use your product and believe it materially benefits your life as well as the lives of your users” (2014).

Why I read Hooked

Due to having a background in behavior psychology, a guilty pleasure of mine is reading how companies and products boom. Whether it be through a created a sense of association, value, or reinforcement. Eyal’s “Hook Model” was heavily influenced upon the works of B.F. Skinner’s experiments on variability and reward, also known as operant conditioning, along with Albert Bandura’s theory of social learning. Both, fathers in the field of behavior modification. Nir Eyal’s Hooked is similar to Dr. Jonah Berger’s Contagious: Why Things Catch On. According to Berger (2013), value is expressed in the form of how the information makes us look to our peers (Social Currency); what cues make people think of the information (Triggers); the feelings invoked by this information (Emotion); the visibility of the information (Public); whether you can use this information (Practical Value); the broader narrative of this information (Stories).

References:

Berger, J. (2013). Contagious: Why things catch on. Simon & Schuster.

Eyal, N. (2014). Hooked: How to build habit-forming products. Portfolio.

Library 2.0, the library of the future? A reflection.

Sunday, September 5th, 2021

            Library 2.0 A Guide to Participatory Library Service, is a delve into the fast-paced world of information expansion and how the library can better serve their patrons and their community. By looking inward and breaking away from traditional thinking and routines, the library could modify practices that may be cost inefficient and time consuming. This inward reflection can only be made by taking into consideration what the staff, who interact with the patrons, have to say. When staff members feel as if their opinions count, a greater sense of belonging is felt, which can propel new ideas for future modifications and ease to change. This will help prevent the cycle of “Plan, Implement, and Forget” (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007).

            As the internet continues being the forefront of information, due to its ease of access via smart devices, the library needs to learn how to utilize it to its fullest advantage in order to evolve into Library 2.0. “The internet should not be considered an enemy or competitor […] [but] as a tool that you c[ould] use to reach our users” (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007). This could be done by utilizing free social media platforms that could allow not only users to communicate what they would like to see at their local library (via blogs or social media), but also, allow staff members to communicate their ideas and interests.

            The most important message in Library 2.0 is that change, even though it may seem disruptive or intimidating, is needed. “By evaluating the service, you may discover a way to revitalize it—or determine a way to revitalize it—or may determine that these resources could be better used elsewhere” (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007). In order for a library to change, its staff has to be flexible and feel as if their voices are heard along with those of their patrons and community members.

References:

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Information Today, Inc. http://doi.org.287.hyperlib.sjsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Library2.0Text.pdf

Introductory Blog

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

Hello everyone!

My name is Jonathan Padilla and I’m from Los Angeles, California. I am excited to continue my journey this semester here at SJSU to acquire my MLIS, this fall being my second.

I decided to take INFO 287 this semester due to the enthusiasm Dr. Michael Stephens displayed regarding emerging technologies within information communities during his recorded lectures in INFO 200.

This semester, I am hoping to further not only my understanding of what emerging technologies influence information seeking behavior, but also be more engaged with my peer community. My goals while here at SJSU are to further my knowledge in both research methods and information sharing. This will help in my journey to work in either special collections or as a research librarian.

A few interesting facts about this Jonathan.

  • I attended Humboldt State University for my undergrad in psychology.
  • I am a One-to-One behavior instructor.
  • I have four cats, two dogs, two turtles, a hamster and a fish.
  • My Pyrador weighs over 105 lbs
  • I go to conventions and dress as my favorite characters.
  • My dream job has always been to be the guy at the end of Raiders of the Lost Arc, putting away the artifact in a vault and researching it.
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