November 5, 2019 § Leave a Comment
As a former public library employee and a current library student, I have heard of the Dokk1 numerous times but have not really explored on what it is and how it provides services. In an article written by Morehart (2016), the Dokk1 library in Demark is described as the “living room of the city” and focuses on “providing space for performances, meetings, children activities, art installations, and general public gatherings” (Morehart, 2016, para. 4). It’s design is based on the Four Space Model which suggests an “inspiration space, learning space, meeting space, and performative space that overlap and intersect” (Stevens, 2016, para. 2). The Four Space Model can be found on the Model Programme for Public Libraries.
The Model Programme for Public Libraries is a program and website that provides insight and instruction on how to design the modern library and its programs. Its goal is to provide a flexible, public space that puts people’s needs and interest first. The website is organized and run by the The Agency for Culture and Palaces in Denmark and its goal is to open up the possibilities of what can be done in a public library (The Agency for Culture and Palaces, n.d.)
What I enjoy most about the Model Programme and its user-focused approach is the lack of policy and rules that the library implements. To allows the space to transform with its daily visitors throughout the day, the library staff did not want implement any arbitrary rules (Stevens, 2016). Throwing out rules and restrictions allows the users to connect to the available resources in a natural way that is useful for them. It’s an out-of-the-box way of thinking that reminds librarians that maybe we don’t know what’s best for the user. I think if we provide the appropriate spaces the modern day society, the users will decide on what that library can be for the community.
The Agency for Culture and Palaces. (n.d.). Model programme for public libraries. Retrieved from https://modelprogrammer.slks.dk/en/
Morehart, P. (2016, August 17). Moving beyond the “third place”. American Libraries. Retrieved from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/blogs/the-scoop/library-design-moving-beyond-third-place/
Stevens, M. (2016, May 24). Dream. Explore. Experiment. Library Journal. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=dream-explore-experiment-office-hours
September 23, 2019 § 3 Comments
This week, I have really engaged with the idea of participatory environments and on some the unique ways in which librarians can create experiences that are truly user centered. One article that really spoke out to me was written Kathleen Constanza on the San Francisco library and their dedicated teen area The Mix. The area came into existence with the help of the Board of Advising Youth(BAY), a group of teens that helped design the space and advocate for its funding. It was specifically designed for the teens by the teens. Once can even say a user experience designed by the user. This to me is what libraries should really be moving towards.
As I continued reading through some of these inspiring readings, I really began to reflect on some of the participatory websites I enjoy. Two things that came into mind was Reddit and Goodreads. Both places allow me to “geek” out and participate in participatory environments, such as pop culture fan bases on Reddit or the Goodreads awards, which I look forward to every year. Then I thought about how I participate with the my neighborhood library. Eventually, I came to realize that there is only one time that I fully participate with my library and that is the Summer Reading Program(SRP). Now I have been on both sides of of SRP, both as a public library employee and user, and I fully enjoy both sides of it. I love the moments of chaos as the library goes all hands on deck for SRP but I am not here to talk about my time as an employee. I want to talk about being a patron. As an adult user during SRP, I enjoy signing up and writing reviews on the books that I read. I enjoy it so much that I do not miss to review my summer books and I read other people’s reviews to get ideas on some titles to add on my to-read list. Mind you, I do not often write reviews, even on Goodreads, so this for me is an event. This is the only participatory online activity I do with the the library. As an active library user, this makes me realize I want more from my library.
If I could create some participatory activities, I would include elements from the participatory environment that I already enjoy. For instance, why is it that we do not have comment capabilities on library websites? Why can’t we review books on the library website? Why can’t we create annual book awards for our library (this could be online or in person)? As a user, I feel like this would be exciting and different. Yes, the library websites provides an abundance of information pertaining to its events, its databases, and the collections, but it doesn’t really ask the user to interact with it. If libraries can make these tweaks to their online environments, maybe some of our users will stay awhile and enjoy the virtual side of the library.
September 16, 2019 § 4 Comments
For my context book assignment, I chose Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure can help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life, written by Eric Klinenberg. This book has been on my to-read list for almost a year and I have checked it out many times, but never had the chance to sit down and read it. When I saw that it was an option for this assignment, I immediately grabbed my copy that was hanging out on the shelf and read it to my heart’s content.
In his book, Klinenberg makes a statement that in order to combat inequality, crime, and disparity within neighborhoods, projects that support social infrastructure must take precedence. Social infrastructure are essentially the shared public spaces in cities and towns. These spaces can include libraries, schools, playgrounds, parks, athletic fields, swimming pools, sidewalks, courtyards, community gardens, green spaces, churches, civic associations, markets, cafes, diners, barbershops, and bookstores (Klinenberg, 2018, p. 16). Such places bring families outside of their home and out of isolation, and into the these shared public spaces. Because of the maintenance and ownership of such places, less crime can be attributed to the passive surveillance practiced by those who enjoy the space. We also tend to form stronger connections with others when we linger and share these common spaces. Stronger connections means stronger neighborhoods, even among some of the most polarized neighborhoods.
For neighborhoods that are suffering from crime, abandoned places, and a lack of food, Klinenberg offers evidence that creating shared public spaces within the neighborhood can help reduce crime and increase health. In Engelwood, an urban neighborhood of Chicago, there is an effort to turn abandoned, empty plots into shared community gardens. For a neighborhood that is considered a food desert – that is, a neighborhood with very little places to go for groceries – creating such places was a game changer. Not only does the community gardens provide fresh food, but they also provide a space to form social connections. These connections can obviously decrease time in isolation, which can be dangerous in a time of crisis. According to Klinenberg, “ a large body of scientific research now shows, social isolation and loneliness can be as dangerous as more publicized health hazards, including obesity and smoking” (Klinenberg, 2018, p. 23). In other words, social infrastructure helps people become and stay physically and mentally healthy.
For librarians, this means that we need to embrace our libraries as the third places they are. As we know, libraries are “among the most critical forms of social infrastructure” and “the most undervalued” (Klinenberg, 2018 p. 32). This means that we need to advocate and record evidence that our programs and spaces are being used by the neighborhood. We need to bring research and literature to the table to support our advocacy, and we need to become involved within our communities to create stronger support. We also need to give our users a chance to develop ownership, so that they may advocate for more funding for their libraries. In addition to support, we can also be part of other local programs that develop more of these shared spaces. We can be present in the community and get our hands dirty in creating these shares spaces. Being seen in the greater community and creating these spaces can help us form stronger connections to our users and other local organizations. All of this can help librarians bring more people, more organizations, and more funding to the library itself. We just need to remind people that we are the ultimate of shared, public, free spaces.
Klineneberg, E. (2018). Palaces for the people: How social infrastructure can help fight inequality, polarization, and the decline of civic life. New York, NY: Crown.
Goodreads. (n.d.). Palaces for the people: Cover. Retrieved from https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/37707827-palaces-for-the-people
September 9, 2019 § 1 Comment
As I read more about the hyperlinked library model, I am amazed at how much heart is at the center of it. From what I have read and understood, the hyperlinked library model puts the user at the helm and the institution helps facilitate the user’s needs. This focus on the user is what makes the hyperlinked library so connected through human activity and emotion. It’s as if the libraries and the librarians are telling the users to “Follow your heart”.
So I was able to check out the e-book version of The Heart of Librarianship by Michael Stephens from the Los Angeles Public Library and one concept that stuck with me was that the hyperlinked librarian uses several methods to implement practice, one that includes “Playfully approaching opportunities to create learning experiences and engaging information-based services” (Stephens, 2016). Let’s focus on the word Play. As someone who was a preschool teacher, I have been arguing for the benefits of play for about a decade. In this class, I finally see it as a characteristic that librarians should have. To playfully approach new ideas, one needs to be curious, creative, and willing to take risks that fall outside of the box, sort of like a child whose only materials to play with are rocks, sticks, and dirt. Leave a four year old to play in the dirt and he will discover the anthill nearby. Next thing you know, he is making contraptions out of rocks and sticks near the anthill that is supposed to “help” the ants, whether that’s for extra exercise or new ways to get food (I really do speak from experience here!). To me, the Anthill represents the discovery of something new, whether that’s a technology, a user need, or another organization, and the Contraptions are the different methods on how to best connect the user and this new discovery. In other words, we need to approach emerging technologies like a curious, enthusiastic four year old.
Another concept that struck a chord with me was that libraries are infrastructure. Not too long ago I came across a podcast that was shared on social media. It was Episode 346 Palaces for the People, from the 99% Invisible Series, hosted by Roman Mars and produced by Emmett Fitzgerald. On this particular episode, our guest Eric Klinenberg talked about his book Palaces for the People, in which he explains the importance of social infrastructure. In a nutshell, shared spaces are what helps communities become and stay stronger. In a time of crisis, within these communities with strong infrastructure, community members reach out to each other, rather than stay in isolation. This week, I saw Eric Klinemberg’s name pop up again in the article Library as Infrastructure by Shannon Mattern(2014), where his findings support the argument that libraries should be considered valuable infrastructure within the community. Every time I read something of Klinenberg’s, I can’t help but agree on his findings on social infrastructure because I have experienced it in my own downtown, urban neighborhood. In this neighborhood, we have schools, churches, a library, a museum, and a park, all within a mile radius of each other. When a crisis did happen, my neighbors and I reached out to each other to make sure we were safe. I am not going to go into too much detail about what happened but you can read it here. Bottom line, I live in the apartment building that Angel Reynosa pointed at when he made up that story and my neighbors and I were traumatized throughout the entire experience. Reaching out and solidifying those connections helped the healing process because then we, the residents, didn’t feel alone. We were talking to each other, in our home and on the streets in neighborhood. The experience helped me make sense of the importance of social infrastructure.
Essentially, the hyperlinked library model is about people, and in order to connect with people we need the infrastructure to so. For us, the librarians, we need to get out of our comfort zone and meet the users on where they are, with the curiosity and imagination of a playful child. We need to spot trends and understand that our libraries can do so much more than just books. If we decide that they can, libraries can help people be better versions of themselves.
Fitzgerald, E. (Producer). (2019, March 19). Palaces for the people . Retrieved from https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/palaces-for-the-people/
Mattern, S. (2014, June). Library as infrastructure. Places Journal. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.22269/140609
Stephens, M. (2016). The Heart of librarianship: Attentive, positive, and purposeful chance. Chicago, IL: ALA Editions.
August 23, 2019 § 5 Comments
Hi, my name is Josephine Trott and I live in Lancaster, CA. This is my third semester here at San Jose State University. I have decided to take this class because of my experience with INFO200 and the lectures provided by Dr. Stephens. His lectures were very engaging and I wondered if he taught any other classes, hence why I am here in INFO287. I also want to increase my knowledge and experience with new technologies that will help deliver services to the user. Essentially, I just want to be a good librarian.
My work experience is entirely working with children but I am ready for a change. For a couple years, I worked as a preschool teacher for a private school and then as a Children’s Assistant at a city library. Currently, I am a stay at home mom and a full time student. For my academic experience her at San Jose’s iSchool program, I wanted to not focus on children’s services because to be honest, I feel like I have had my fill. I have instead taken classes such as collection development, information literacy, and prison library management. I am ready for something different and have prepared myself to make that change.
In my personal life, I am a wife and a mother to two wonderful boys who keep me busy. When I am not doing classwork, I help my kids with their homework and take them to their extracurricular activities. In my spare time, I love watching movies and TV, reading a variety of books, and taking long walks. My favorite TV show is The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. It has a very Buffy vibe to it. My favorite book is All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I love playing Pokemon GO and I consider myself part of their information community in my own city. It’s fun to get together with like minded people and go raiding. Finally, when I get the chance and some money, I love attending comedy shows and the theatre.
Good luck everyone and I look forward to working with you all in this environment.