Archive for October, 2021

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

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