The Hyperlinked Library Reflection: Learning Never Stops

This blog is split into three reflections: Growing up, Professionalism & Current Thoughts.

Growing Up

I try to reflect every once in a while thinking back to when I was either eight or nine, one of my earliest memories. I believe I was in third grade at the time and although it may have seemed like a bizarre memory, I had it often, nevertheless. I dreamt of growing up, growing a full beard (yes, I know), driving a car, getting a job, making money, and a bunch of other things that I can now say are becoming true. On the other hand, I thought for the longest time that grownups never made mistakes. My family members sometimes reflect back and explain to my siblings and I that they had no idea what they were doing in certain situations. Yet, we as children always saw them as the perfect adults always knowing what to do in every situation. Justin Hoenke explains something similar in a conversation with Warren Cheetham for Tame The Web (TTW). “When I was a teen, I used to think that adults never made mistakes.  They were the ones in power and they never messed anything up…I put a lot of pressure on myself to be that “perfect adult” but what I was doing was something that I could not keep up with (TTW Editor, 2013).” It’s difficult to be perfect. We shouldn’t focus on being better than others. What matters is that we are good for ourselves.

Professionalism

It’s crazy how time flies. I used to want to dress up in Business suits and head to work so I could afford that new iPhone or game console. I was always told to act professional in school and in the workplace when the time came. I didn’t really understand what that meant until now. Professionalism can mean a variety of things to different people. We can see it in our speech, attitude, dress, character, and online (Clausen, 2012). I’m going to put emphasis on the last point. As we have seen throughout the semester, being professional is extremely important. In a time of being fully immersed in an online world due to COVID-19, some might forget that we still have to be nice to each other even though we can’t see each other often. Here’s an example: Have you ever written someone either through text or social media and as soon as they responded you could tell what they were feeling? Regardless if you know this person or not (and can read what they say in their voice), we all can sense sarcasm and sadness among other feelings. Those feelings are also sometimes paired with emojis. Being professional is not difficult. Even if you are facing hardships, treat others how you would want to be treated. It’s as simple as that. 

Current Thoughts

I’m going to do my best and condense an entire essay of information into a couple of paragraphs. You want to become a Librarian? My parents asked me that question when I started my MLIS degree. Yes…but no…kind of…maybe. After going to Business school and filling my head with knowledge, I figured it was time to learn something new. I have a plan to go for my doctorate one day so I figured this would be a good start. Truthfully though, I didn’t know what I wanted to major in. I looked at an MBA, Masters in Data Science, Economics and so on. Nothing clicked. Well, here I am. Some don’t understand the name. They hear Library and Information Science and automatically think Librarian. Yes, it’s a part of obtaining the degree but there is so much more that comes with it like a Matryoshka doll. “About the only drawback I’m finding is the (sometimes) well-meaning dismissiveness, particularly from my friends and family. A working-class male taking a degree to be a what? Sometimes, they just laugh. I could try to explain, but it’s difficult when I hardly understand the profession myself (Anonymous, 2016).”

I chose to major in LIS for a couple of reasons. The research that leads to new explorations and the thrill of being able to step into libraries (looking from a different point of view). My first full-time position was in IT so I found it very rewarding when I could help someone. I’ve changed over time. My point of view has shifted to not knowing what I want to do to finally saying I am on the track to my success. A few years ago, I couldn’t say that I found research fascinating. Now I do. I didn’t understand why we had libraries. Now I do. The more I know and learn about libraries, the greater the impact they have on me.

I would like to thank Professor Stephens for a marvelous Fall 2020 semester.  

References:

Anonymous. (2016, March 5). Who would be a librarian now? You know what, I’ll have a go. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2016/mar/05/librarian-professional-calling-priest-degree. 

Clausen, K. (2012, October 19). The Importance of Professionalism. HLS. https://hacklibraryschool.com/2012/10/19/to-be-or-not-to-be-the-importance-of-professionalism/. 

Editor, T. T. W. (2013, August 19). Making mistakes in our daily work: A TTW Conversation between Warren Cheetham and Justin Hoenke. https://tametheweb.com/2013/08/19/making-mistakes-in-our-daily-work-a-ttw-conversation-between-warren-cheetham-and-justin-hoenke/. 

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Director’s Brief: The beginning of Artificial Intelligence in our libraries

(Photo Credit: @neonbrand via unsplash.com)

Technology was created to make our lives easier. Artificial Intelligence is still in the beginning stages of becoming a part of our everyday lives. Companies such as Amazon, Apple and Google have contributed by creating their very own AI technology that sixty percent of the world uses. As more smart devices enter the market, our department stores, hotels, museums and libraries, that can only make life better, right? Come along with me as I introduce you to Artificial Intelligence and how it can have a positive impact in our libraries…   

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Infinite Learning: Libraries & Technology

Libraries have always been there for us. Whether it’s somewhere to study, relax or read a book, libraries are that place to visit. Yet, there is one thing libraries don’t have or don’t have enough of. Technology has slowly progressed into the library space but there can always be more of a presence. Libraries in neighborhoods and on college campuses are slowly taking advantage of technology but only as it becomes readily available and affordable. When having computer time in grade school, I remember getting behind one of the twenty computers they had in the library and playing The Oregon Trail in the early 2000’s. In recent years, technology has brought SMART Boards and iPads into the classroom. Why not do the same for libraries? Imagine libraries of the future having every Apple, Google and Augmented Reality technology implemented for every type of learning. How cool would that be, especially for younger children. But are libraries the best place to bring children to learn about technology? Will it change the way children think and solve problems?

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Some may disagree but libraries are just as great as schools when it comes to learning; sometimes more so. There have been numerous discussions about what modern or next generation libraries would look like. Are they a great place to bring children to learn about technology? Yes, definitely. Some libraries have brought consultants in to redesign the layout to appeal to younger patrons. They have changed the seating arrangements and allowed for more collaboration. They have added computers and a circulation desk to make students feel welcome anytime (Vangelova, 2014). In addition to a redesigned layout, Logan City Council Libraries have added a Sensory Space. It’s a hands-on environment for families and children ages 0-12 allowing everyone to learn and explore more via technology, sight, sound, touch and movement (Public Libraries Connect, 2020). Exposing young children to technology at a young age can also be beneficial in many ways. By allowing children to come together in a library setting and learn how to program a new computer language and use a 3-D printer among other activities, it gives them a chance for creativity and freedom. It also aids young children in socialization and relationship building while improving problem solving and perseverance (Barone, 2018). Libraries are the best place to bring children to learn about technology because of the atmosphere. Being surrounded by books, technology, and new friends at a young age can help guide young patrons on the path to success.  

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Speaking of problem solving, have you heard of the Kansas teen that used a 3-D printer to make a prosthetic hand for a family friend’s 9-year-old-son who was born without fingers (Williams, 2014)? At a young age, Mason Wilde had a passion for figuring out how things work, which led him to take apart his mother’s dining room table, the gliding ottoman as well as building a computer from scratch. Without the exposure of technology, Mason may not have been able to help his friend. Technology will only change the way children think and approach problems if libraries, and schools, make it available enough. The MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition promotes science, technology, engineering and math across the country. Connie Yowell, MacArthur’s Director of Education emphasizes the importance of the digital age of learning because the ‘‘competition is helping us to identify and nurture the creation of learning environments that are relevant for kids today and will prepare them for a 21st century workforce’’ (MacArthur Foundation, 2010). Children have already changed the way they think and solve problems thanks to technology. In the future, children will only become more technologically savvy as devices like Amazon Alexa and the new Apple homepod appear in their homes and classrooms. 

By teaching children about technology at a young age, they will be able to learn from their mistakes and move on to create a better world for all of us.   

References:

Barone, R. (2018, May 10). Positive Effects & Benefits of Technology on Child Development. iD Tech. https://www.idtech.com/blog/benefits-of-technology-for-children. 

Connect, P. L. (2020, February 17). Check out Marsden Library’s Sensory Space! Public Libraries Connect. https://plconnect.slq.qld.gov.au/blog/check-out-marsden-librarys-sensory-space. 

Foundation, M. A. (2010, May 12). Digital Media & Learning Competition. RSS. https://www.macfound.org/press/press-releases/digital-media-learning-competition/. 

Vangelova, L. (2014, June 18). What Does the Next-Generation School Library Look Like? https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/36326/what-does-the-next-generation-school-library-look-like. 

Williams, M. R. (2014, January 31). Kansas teen uses 3-D printer to make hand for boy. kansascity. https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article337980/Kansas-teen-uses-3-D-printer-to-make-hand-for-boy.html. 

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New Horizons: Technology in the 21st Century

Technology; It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time, for me at least. Even now as I type each of my blogs and assignments for Info 287 on my MacBook, I sit back and wonder how technology has impacted our daily lives. Some of us rely on artificial intelligence like our cellphones, Amazon Alexa and Siri so much that if we lose connection for a split second, we go mad. That’s a big conclusion from someone who worked in the IT sector for only a year. I received my undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems and I currently work as a Marketing Analyst. I ask myself these questions often and I know I probably shouldn’t, but will we ever get to a point where technology takes over our lives (not like it hasn’t already)? Can an overload of technology be a negative thing?

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Let’s dive into it. Technology is an addiction. Don’t get me wrong, I love asking my Amazon Alexa to play podcasts (yes, if you didn’t already know, Amazon Music has podcasts!) while I relax and sit on the porch outside in the evenings. I will say that technology has taken over our lives in positive and negative ways. Our cellphones, Alexa, Siri and other A.I. helpers are there to answer our silliest and most pressing questions anytime and every time we ask. We’ve even come to a point where we are thanking them for their assistance. For those of us who have such assistants, forty-one percent have thanked A.I. as if they were human (Terdiman, 2018). That’s absolutely wild (cue I, Robot movie theme), yet this is only one positive aspect of Artificial Intelligence. How about the fact we don’t need to hold cellular devices up to our ears anymore while driving or texting? 

All seems fine until we look at the negative sides of technology. Privacy, security and collecting information without our consent could be considered red flags for new users who want to pick up one of these devices. You may argue that when you set up these devices, they ask you if you want to allow or block your data being sent to the companies for evaluations (e.g. crash logs). True, they do ask you if you want to allow those messages through but some applications on Apple and Android devices do not. Apple has gotten in trouble before because they violated privacy laws by revealing iTunes listening data (Robertson). That’s scary to believe because after all, “what happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone”. If you are an Android user, Google has had their fair share of class action lawsuits relating to privacy violations (Montti). So how does a company like Google or Apple get into trouble? The Android operating system (and iOS for all we know) collects records, measures and information and sends it to their servers so they can build their AI based system (Griffey). This is how your smartphone can pull up pictures when you say ‘Siri, show me pictures from last May’ or ‘Hey Google, show me pictures from my beach trip’. On the other hand, libraries and library vendors could use A.I. technology to create service systems so that our values and ethics are backed into the technology at the outset (Griffey).       

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Shifting to a one-hundred percent technology learning system in schools seems like a distant goal, yet with the current pandemic, students, parents, staff and faculty had to readjust their way of learning overnight. This, in some cases, has resulted in students suffering because they had to learn how to use new applications such as Zoom and Slack. Having younger children learn how to use Zoom can be a daunting task since paying attention in the classroom and at home behind a computer screen are two very different things. I sometimes catch my younger sister ask our Amazon Alexa math and science questions along with vocabulary definitions. This is the equivalent to Professor Stephens asking his Alexa ‘How high is Mount Rainier?’ (Stephens, 2018). To answer Professor Stephen’s question ‘Are Alexa and Siri a voice activated path to the world brain?’, I would have to say yes. Never thought about it that way, but in some sense if all the Amazon Alexa’s, Apple’s Siri’s and Google Nests came together, I think we would have created a brain of unlimited information.

(Photo Credit: @jankolar via unsplash.com)

In the end, balance is key. If you are able to pick up a book instead of downloading an eBook, do so, as it will be an experience you will most likely will never forget. Venture into your public library and check out those newly released movies as it will be an experience you will most likely will never forget. Venturing out, picking up a book and driving to the library can be a part of the everlasting experiences you carry with you throughout your life. Don’t let technology bog you down. Technology can’t replace experiences. 

References:

Griffey, J. (2019, March 1). AI and Machine Learning. American Libraries Magazine.https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2019/03/01/ai-machine-learning-libraries/. 

Montti, R. (2020, July 20). Google Faces New Class Action Lawsuit for Privacy Violations.https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-privacy-lawsuit-android-apps/374952/. 

Robertson, A. (2019, May 28). Lawsuit claims Apple violated privacy laws by revealing iTunes listening data. https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/28/18643146/apple-itunes-privacy-listening-data-disclosure-lawsuit-rhode-island-michigan. 

Stephens, M. (2018, February 22). Flash Briefing: Office Hours. Library Journal. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=flash-briefing-office-hours. 

Terdiman, D. (2018, January 5). Here’s How People Say Google Home And Alexa Impact Their Lives.https://www.fastcompany.com/40513721/heres-how-people-say-google-home-and-alexa-impact-their-lives. 

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Emerging Technology Planning – An Artificial Intelligence System

Introduction

Professor Stephens shared a few articles about technology, and I have used those to write blogs about my experiences along with sharing what I would do in certain situations. One of those articles spoke about beacon technology that was being used to help museum goers access artifact information on their cellular devices as they passed within proximity of that artifact. This led me to think about a solution that could help the Dr. Martin Luther King Library (MLK) which is located on San Jose State University’s campus. The solution wouldn’t exactly be a beacon or use that technology in particular, but instead, it would help everyone looking for a new novel or podcast without spending too much time online or in the library scanning bookshelf after bookshelf.

Purpose and Benefits

I have proven to myself that technology can be implemented in almost any aspect of our lives. I am proposing an Artificial Intelligence program that helps avid readers find their next adventure, whether it be through the Wizarding World or for a first time Joe Rogan experience. I know what you are thinking, “That idea already exists in libraries.” Well, yes, but I am talking about a widely implemented Netflix or Spotify experience across all libraries and platforms. This system will be implemented with a new database and will allow children, teenagers and parents of all ages to find suggested readings based on their history and current selections. 

Artificial Intelligence will offer a new, updated recommendations tool. It will not be meant to take away librarian positions, but in fact solidify employees working in their library. Artificial Intelligence will help library patrons by allowing new computer systems to be installed, which will lead to having the latest technology in libraries; a new user interface (UI) that will include images of the titles or podcasts with descriptions, which in turn, will lead to a new way of finding titles faster than ever before and the ease of having all of the information above stored in your account where you can access it from anywhere. This may seem like a small addition to a library, but if you are like me, you know that finding different titles can be a daunting task especially if you already read or listened to their recommended section. 

Details about the library

The MLK library has four self-checkout stations on the ground floor including computer systems on each floor in various sections. We also have coin machines and printers where students can pay to print out assignments or anything they find interesting (B&W 15-29 cents per page and 46-91 cents for Color). The MLK also has a Teen HQ where primarily high school students have access to a gaming lounge, a recording studio included with high quality microphones, Pro Tools (music software), sound boards and speakers. The Makerspace 3D printers, CNC machines, Serger’s, Soldering Irons and Vinyl Cutters are available through the Teen HQ but are also free for SJSU students, faculty and staff. This would be a fantastic location to roll out the Artificial Intelligence tool. Along with the change, the library could also add an additional area in the Teen HQ focused on programming and Artificial Intelligence. This would allow new opportunities for learning not only for the MLK’s patrons, but for its staff and volunteers as well. 

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service

  1. Ability to optimize and improve internal business operations within the library
  2. Enhance the library check-out systems by providing updated features, functionality and performance
  3. Help make patrons more aware of other library services it offers (Teen HQ, etcetera)
  4. Promote A.I. (technology) based learning in the Teen HQ alongside the Makerspace area
  5. Allow patrons to see how the library appreciates and values the use of technology
  6. Include the implementation of A.I. voice assistants e.g. Apple’s Siri, Google’s Alexa that have access to the new database 

Description of Community you wish to engage

We would like to engage with everyone that visits the library, from San Jose State University students to Professors at the University as well as the patrons and the Homeless community that help keep the libraries’ doors open. Another important group that the library will be engaging with are the individuals that work in the technology sector including engineers and computer system analysts.

Action Brief Statement

For patrons

Convincing library visitors that by implementing Artificial Intelligence they will have an easier time browsing and choosing novels and podcasts which will allow for more time spent in the library relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere because the work of browsing for novels and guessing what titles might be interesting are already done for them.    

For staff

Convince library staff and administrators that by having Artificial Intelligence added to the library’s automation system they will have more free time to work on projects that have been left on hold which will help change the way the library functions because of the small implementation that will eventually take care of a fairly sized task.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service

Relating to A.I.

Artificial Intelligence. (2019, February 05). Retrieved October 08, 2020, from http://www.ala.org/tools/future/trends/artificialintelligence

Garcia-Febo, L. (2019, February 21). Exploring AI. Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2019/03/01/exploring-ai/

Libris A ProQuest Co., E. (2019, April 15). How AI Can Enhance the Value of Research Libraries. Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=how-ai-can-enhance-the-value-of-research-libraries

Wheatley, A., & Hervieux, S. (2019, January 01). Artificial intelligence in academic libraries: An environmental scan. Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://content.iospress.com/articles/information-services-and-use/isu190065

Relating to Libraries

Coleman, C. N. (n.d.). Artificial Intelligence. Retrieved October 08, 2020, from https://library.stanford.edu/projects/artificial-intelligence

Cox, A. M., Pinfield, S., & Rutter, S. (2019). The intelligent library: Thought leaders’ views on the likely impact of artificial intelligence on academic libraries. Library Hi Tech, 37(3), 418–435. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.1108/LHT-08-2018-0105

Massis, B. (2018). Artificial intelligence arrives in the library. Information and Learning Science, 119(7/8), 456–459. https://doi.org/10.1108/ils-02-2018-0011

Schreur, P. E. (2020). The Use of Linked Data and Artificial Intelligence as Key Elements in the Transformation of Technical Services. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 58(5), 473–485. https://doi-org.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/10.1080/01639374.2020.1772434

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service

The Artificial Intelligence recommendation tool will have to be added to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. library’s existing list of Policies & Procedures. The goal will also be written in their Library Mission and Goals in addition to their five-year strategic plan. The most important involved group besides the American Library Association will be the library itself and, if needed, the university that is associated with that library. They will be able to help and guide the process through to its end. The MLK’s Policies & Procedures site is the most appropriate place to look at example policies, if one is not familiar with the process already. We will not be needing this information per say but being added to the Technology and Internet policy would be beneficial.  

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service

Staff at the MLK library will have the option to learn about the new recommendation tool and how it works. Training will be provided by the providers and they will be available until the staff feel comfortable to help patrons without hesitation. Everyone works at their own pace, but an end goal will be set, and this will give everyone a goal to work forward to. As far as payment methods are concerned, Artificial Intelligence custom solutions can cost anywhere from six thousand to three-hundred thousand dollars, but the price could vary and increase depending on the customization. The type of customization that will be implemented may not be that expensive, but overtime, the Return on Investment (ROI) will also increase substantially, if used and marketed correctly. The best way to receive funding will be through government funding either through the city or the county (if planning to expand). 

The pro-bono contract will include the rate being charged, the payment schedule, project scope, as well as limitation of warranty, payment logistics, severability and integration, among other terms. In-kind contributions will not be necessary because the library will take the upfront cost. The goal is to provide a new system, way to search, and experience for the MLK’s patrons. 

Action Steps & Timeline

The A.I. project will be prototyped on paper or sketched out using graphic design tools showing each of the following steps from beginning to end. The timeline could extend out to more than a year if needed but could be completed in as little as eight months. As long as the Dean, Outreach and User Engagement, and Technology Coordinator agree on the preliminary plans, the rest of the steps will flow smoothly. The overall goal will be to finish in as little time as possible. 

Here is an example of a proposed timeline:

Months 1 – 3 (Phase 1 (Development) – Up to 12 weeks):

  1. Idea is pitched to lower level staff, gathering feedback with Research and Development (R&D) [1 week]
  2. Idea is pitched to Dean and executives, deciding on whether it will continue or not [1 week]
  3. Reach out to patrons and public, gathering feedback about the idea [2 weeks]
    1. If enough agree with the idea, continue
    2. If not enough agree, revisit step 1
  4. Reach out to an Artificial Intelligence Consultant(s) and their team [1 week]
  5. Define the project goals [1 week]
  6. Define milestones [1 week]
  7. Decide on the timeframe [1 week]
  8. Review the funding considerations and payment options with ROI timeline [2 weeks]
  9. Re-evaluate with all staff, Dean and executives to ensure best case scenarios [1 week]
  10. Close out first phase of implementation [1 week]

Phase 1 timeline total: 12 weeks

Months 4 – 8 (Phase 2 (Implementation) – Up to 16 weeks):

  1. Begin to develop new database for library (including everything the previous catalog contained) [5 weeks]
  2. Install new touch pad check-out stations on every floor *7 public floors* [2.5 weeks]
  3. Purchase & Install A.I. voice assistants on every floor *7 public floors* [1 week]
  4. Implementation, installing database to new check out stations [2 weeks] 
  5. Testing phase 1 [2 weeks]
  6. Testing phase 2 with corrections [2 weeks]  
  7. Training employees phase 1 & 2 [1.5 weeks]
  8. Grand Opening and Evaluation Period [Day of]

Phase 2 timeline total: 16 weeks

*Plan listed above is subject to the minimal time designing and implementing an Artificial Intelligence system in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library including the minimal amount of testing time. The recommended plan for a project of this nature is 52 weeks (1 year) accounting for change, error and additional testing.

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service

The MLK Library will have two temporary specialists, from the consultants team, and two volunteers that will join the library during the middle part of phase two when the testing phases 1 and 2 are underway. The volunteers on the team will be for moral support. The ideal candidates will be past project managers who have knowledge in A.I. or have worked on massive projects of any kind. They will be able to provide their past experiences as examples. The specialists will be able to help until two weeks after the implementation and project have been deemed a success while the volunteers can stay as long as they like. 

One way the MLK Library can generate more hours is by providing workshops on Artificial Intelligence by bringing in data scientists, and A.I. specialists to instruct various classes catered towards teens, college students and adults. The library will offer tours to those professionals who sign up and from there they can reach out to those who might be interested.   

Training for this Technology or Service

Training will be designed to get library staff and personnel, along with volunteers to up to speed on the new interface and Artificial Intelligence technology. When new volunteers join the library, they will be enrolled in a two-hour training course on how to use and help others use the new platform. Patrons will be able to learn about the new system through the MLK Library website. The Library will list the steps needed to use the new system successfully. 

The Information Technology Services group will be the first to use the tool with hands-on experience. After the group feels comfortable, they will work with the hired consultants to come up with the training phases listed in the timeline above. The best way to deliver the training will be as an online class put together by the consultants/ITS group. Once the group decides on the course(s) and a deadline, staff and volunteers can complete that before they start assisting patrons. There will be an added section to the MLK Library website with all the information outlining how to use the tools and benefits as well.  

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service

The MLK Library uses the largest social media platforms to communicate with their patrons and followers. The new technology will be advertised using Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in posts that show how it works. Basic marketing will also be used to encourage new visitors as well as existing to come and see the new check-out stations and system. The Library has over two-thousand three hundred followers on Twitter, over two-thousand followers on Facebook and the same for their Instagram page. The new Marketing goal will be to attract new users from all working sectors so we can gather data through surveys. Promoting the new system to San Jose State University students will be the easiest, since the library stands tall adjacent to the tower lawn and across the street from San Jose City Hall. There is no doubt that this library is slow on any day of the week. 

During the day, hundreds of students come in and out of the library’s doors eager to find a spot to sit in and either relax or study. Having banners around the library or promoting the system on the library’s website will sure catch the attention of many. The library can write posts on their social media platforms and tag “@SJSU” so that students and others following can catch up on what is happening. Advertising to the public could be tricky but the best way is to ‘focus your efforts on writing compelling titles that draw and encourage people to click through and continue reading (Beese, 2016)’. Having a catchy title will be great for all the newcomers but for the loyal patrons that visit the library regardless, they will visit no matter what. 

Evaluation

For Patrons

Guests and visitors will have a chance to fill out surveys after they have used the new system and then after six months. In the survey, the library will ask about the ease of use and what improvements they would like to see going forward. After each class or training session, the library would be open to feedback about how patrons think these groundbreaking changes are.  

For Staff

Staff and volunteers will be able to use the metrics and benchmarking for improvements overtime. After a couple months of collected data, the library will be able to evaluate the attendance for classes, the surveys, social media input and any other feedback collected. 

The MLK Library’s stories about these changes with feedback will allow other libraries in the branch or district to mimic the same process. The library will be adding 21st century technology into library settings, allowing for the growth of new and future technologies. We are giving our patrons an opportunity to learn something that will change our lives going forward. The goal will be to gather at least a couple of years’ worth of data then bring that to the attention of the County of Santa Clara. With the data collected, the County will be able to decide if branching off to different locations will be suitable and beneficial for that area.  

References:

Beese, J. (2016, August 16). 5 Highly Effective Ways to Increase Social Media Shares. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-shares/

Danielsen, A. (2017, October 27). How long will your machine learning project take? Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://medium.com/collektive/how-long-will-your-machine-learning-project-take-f6d9ce31cdaa

How to Create a Project Management Plan. (n.d.). Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://www.wrike.com/project-management-guide/faq/how-to-create-a-project-management-plan/

King Library Floor Plans. (n.d.). Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://library.sjsu.edu/floor-plans/king-library-floor-plans

Quiambao, L. (2019, January 23). How to Write a Project Plan in 8 Easy Steps. Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://www.wrike.com/blog/how-to-write-a-project-plan-easy-steps/

SJSU Library Staff Directory. (n.d.). Retrieved October 09, 2020, from https://library.sjsu.edu/staff-directory/sjsu-library-staff-directory

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Tech in Hyperlinked Environments: Museums, Galleries & Archives

I visited the Getty Villa for the first time in 2014 while I was still in high school. As a family, we decided on the Getty Villa out of curiosity, hearing the name many times, yet never visiting the extravagant and scenic grounds. Off the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, lay a museum filled with modern architecture and Ancient Roman architecture. I was aware that some museums don’t allow cell phones inside, out of fear for flashing cameras or disruptive phone calls. Yet, to my surprise, everyone in the Getty Villa was using their cellphones. 

Now more than ever, museums are taking advantage of the internet, allowing guests to use their cellular devices to interact with various exhibits and galleries. Why the change of heart? Museums like the Getty have also installed and set up Wi-Fi for their guests. In 2015, the Met’s MediaLab decided to implement and install Beacon-like sensors, seeing that GPS could be problematic when indoors behind thick walls (Doljenkova & Tung, 2015). These beacon sensors function using Bluetooth transmissions and are built using a silicon enclosure, an ARM processor, a BLE radio sensor, a one thousand milliamp battery, and a reusable adhesive. So how are these small changes making museums better? Users can now walk past exhibits and be alerted on their smartphones about the artifact(s) and other information they may find interesting. How is this set up though? Each beacon would be attached to artifacts and exhibits. With the use of an editor, museum administrators can enter in all the information about the artifact or area into the application and all you would have to do is wave your phone. Personally, this is could make a difference when someone is in a rush or if they are short on time. If a beacon-like device can save what someone looked at, like a search history, the user can ultimately look back on the app and re-read what they missed or didn’t have time to read.

(Photo Credit: @chrisstorz via unsplash.com)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has also allowed the use of smartphones. In fact, the museum revealed their latest project, a redesigned website that features a whole new look while allowing room for “future projects that help blend digital and physical spaces (Titlow, 2016).” But who or what is the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s competition? The answer might surprise you. It’s the internet. Netflix. Google. Social Media. Sree Sreenivasan, the Met’s chief digital officer, mentioned that staying competitive is key in the long run. With social media, the Met surpassed one hundred and one million Facebook followers in 2015. Their YouTube channel gained seven million views and their Instagram account has over one million followers. This success story sounds like what the Met’s MediaLab accomplished with their beacon idea. If museums encouraged and implemented the use of cellular devices, they would not only give their guests a chance to learn differently, but in return, guests would share their findings online with the use of hashtags and trends.

If you thought smartphone integration was cool, the use of virtual reality is even cooler. Yes, I myself wondered how museums could incorporate VR into their everyday exhibits. How would that affect the museum financially considering they are quite expensive per unit, depending on the brand. It’s truly inspiring and quite out of this world when you can put on an Oculus Rift headset and get dropped into Dali’s 1935 painting “Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus”. But how is this possible? Well, with virtual reality, almost anything is possible. Here’s how the San Francisco/Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida did it. A virtual reality experience puts the user in the painting where “he or she moves through a vast desert full of dreamlike oddities, like enormous elephants on stick legs, or a ringing telephone (Zimmerman, 2016)”. Think that’s cool? Some museums are now digitalizing their collections with a camera from Google that produces images with over one billion pixels. It works by taking about two hundred gigapixel images and then stitching everything together to create the original image (John, 2016). If you were wondering, our eyes have the equivalent of a five hundred and seventy-six megapixel lens. 

(Photo Credit: @stella_jacob via unsplash.com)

With the use of emerging technology in museums, visiting one in the future will become a whole new experience. Future generations will be able to use augmented and virtual reality to travel back in time with Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin or Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn among others as they immerse themselves in their pieces of art. It will be exciting, and I personally can’t wait to see what museums implement next. Only time will tell…  

References:

Doljenkova, V., & Tung, G. (2015, March 30). Beacons: Exploring Location-Based Technology in Museums. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.metmuseum.org/blogs/digital-underground/2015/beacons

John, B. (2016, May 17). An eye for detail: Zoom through 1,000 artworks thanks to the new Art Camera from the Google Cultural Institute. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://blog.google/topics/arts-culture/art-camera-cultural-institute/

Titlow, J. (2016, September 13). How A 145-Year-Old Art Museum Stays Relevant In The Smartphone Age. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from https://www.fastcompany.com/3057236/how-a-145-year-old-art-museum-stays-relevant-in-the-smartphone-age

Zimmerman, E. (2016, October 28). Technology Invites a Deep Dive Into Art. Retrieved October 01, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/arts/design/technology-invites-a-deep-dive-into-art.html

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Technology & Hyperlinked Communities

Libraries have become more technology based in recent years. By joining social media or creating algorithms to help patrons find titles they might be interested in, libraries have come a long way from where they used to be. But what could libraries do to make the process easier for everyone? What could they do to increase foot traffic? The answer is technology. This could refer to any type, from Artificial Intelligence to increasing their online presence. With approximately fifty-nine percent of the world online, it would make sense to start that Facebook or Instagram page and post as often as they can (Clement, 2020). 

(Photo Credit: wraltechwire.com)

Companies like Amazon, Google and Netflix based their online services off of recommendations. “Product recommendations count for up to thirty-one percent of eCommerce revenues…(Serrano, 2020)”. So how would adding product recommendations to a library help? I want to say books that are sometimes overlooked may have a chance to be read more. Take the Harry Potter series for instance. Let’s say I’m looking for the fourth novel in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (probably my second favorite). An Artificial Intelligence algorithm would provide recommendations based on the type of novel (fiction), the date the book was published (July 2000), the author and a few other categories. The algorithm would provide recommendations for all of these categories. Michael Bhaskar says it best; “Search, for example, tells us what we want to know, but can’t help if we don’t already know what we want (Bhaskar, 2016)”. I can’t say I agree with the second half of this statement, because recommendations through algorithms will help patrons choose books that may never have been heard of, nevertheless.  

(Photo Credit: interest.co.nz)

Implementing technology in libraries could come at a cost though. A prior student of Professor Stephens asked a pressing question regarding her public library job, “When people are asking for help so their basic needs can be met, how do we balance that with emerging technologies? (Stephens, 2017)”. In my personal experience working in the technology field, I have had customers and partners approach me and ask similar questions. I always answer with “Oh, let me see what I can do”, then frantically try to find a solution that fits their Business needs. As Stephens mentions in his article, do you dedicate some of the budget to buy the latest and greatest technology? Thanks to social media, price no longer plays an important role when attempting to simply increase foot traffic or advertise the latest release of Stephanie Meyer’s new title Midnight Sun. The New York Public Library uses the Instagram application to engage with their patrons, show off their surroundings and collections, publicize events, show what happens behind the scenes along with their history (Williams, 2014). Using social media and free online tools can help libraries reach out to their patrons and supporters. This is a way to connect on a personal level.

If there is one thing we as humans have learned through these difficult times with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that staying together, through online technologies is the most important thing. It has helped most businesses, libraries and restaurants stay afloat. So what could libraries do to help us all stay connected? The answer is still technology along with communicating with everyone possible. That helps us know that our libraries will always be there for us.

References:

Bhaskar, M. (2016, September 30). In the age of the algorithm, the human gatekeeper is back. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/sep/30/age-of-algorithm-human-gatekeeper

Clement, J. (2020, July 24). Digital users worldwide 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/

Serrano, S. (2020, September 07). Personalized Product Recommendation Tips and Stats. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.barilliance.com/personalized-product-recommendations-stats/

Stephens, M. (2017, April 20). Libraries in Balance: Office Hours. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=libraries-in-balance-office-hours

Williams, S. (2014, April 17). Five ways libraries are using Instagram to share collections and draw public interest. Retrieved September 18, 2020, from https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2014/04/16/five-ways-libraries-are-using-instagram/

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#Tell Everyone: Why We Share & Why It Matters (A Context Book Review)

The world has become highly impacted by social media and the internet. Teenagers are joining Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms so they can share what happens in their daily lives. Why do they feel the need to share this information with certain people? Is social media the best way to share the news?

Communication around the world has been facilitated because of the increase in social media platforms over the last ten years. More people are browsing the world wide web and this provides bloggers, social media influencers, and regular individuals a chance to increase their followers and influence. In #Tell Everyone: Why We Share & Why It Matters (2014), Alfred Hermida examines how social media, specifically Twitter, has helped people in a wide variety of ways including during catastrophes. He writes about why we as humans have the urge to share information, why negative news tends to be shared more than positive news, and how consumerism can affect companies in both positive and negative ways.

(Photo Credit: @clay.banks via unsplash.com)

Information is endless and will continue to grow as long as there is a need or want for it. Hermida’s examination on how Twitter has saved countless lives in many disaster scenarios can be pointed back to libraries. When we need information, we sometimes check the library, and more often than not, we visit Facebook and Twitter, scroll through posts our friends have shared and perhaps read something that we find interesting. We then proceed to comment on, like or dislike the post, and the cycle continues. If we find something at the library that catches our eye, we would most likely read it and pass it on to our networks as a ‘recommended book’; something they have to read. But why do we feel a need to share the information we find? Hermida (2014) puts it simply, “We can’t help it. We are made to be social (pp.30).” 

Technology has become a key part in everyone’s life in one way or another. The first thing most of us do in the morning is check our email, scroll through the latest news stories on social media or through an online or virtual newspaper, then get to our workplace so we can use similar technology to get work done. Hermida (2014) states, “…people use social media services and technologies to create, share and comment on the news (pp.81).” We may take technology for granted but what we sometimes forget is that news can now be published in the blink of an eye compared to the year 1450 when the Gutenberg Press was released commercially. Thanks to technology and social media, I can converse with my cousin who lives in Greece without having to worry about time zones, and you may not have to worry about if your friend got your message because they will be notified through their application of choice.

(Photo Credit: @marvelous via unsplash.com)

Libraries and technology are two areas that make up the Hyperlinked Library, which is a participatory institution that welcomes user input and creativity. In this case, Twitter is the technology that Hermida is examining along with how we use it. It’s no mystery that all social media platforms encourage creativity. Take a look at Twitter as well as Pinterest, Tik Tok, Instagram, Snapchat, and the infamous Vine. Each application encourages users to be themselves. Social media not only allows us to express ourselves, but it encourages us to take action for those who are in need. Hermida (2014) also writes about the 2011 Japan earthquake and how citizens used social media to reach out to their families and check that they were safe. Architect Toyo Ito remembers that day and recalled how local officials opened up a local library “because it functions as a kind of cultural refuge in the city… Most people who use the building are not going there just to read a book or watch a film; many of them probably do not have any definite purpose at all. They go just to be part of the community in the building (Toyo Ito, 2013, as cited in Mattern, 2014).”  

So why is it that we feel the need to share information with certain people? I believe sharing is a way to help others. We all feel great when we share something because we are passing along a message to someone who it may not have reached. We share information because we feel the stories are important. If all this is true, does that mean social media is the best way to share the news? As technology changes the way we live our lives, sharing information through the internet will keep getting quicker and fact checking from multiple sources will be spontaneous. Social media in many ways has already become the quickest way to share news.  

References:

Hermida, A. (2014). #tell everyone: Why we share and why it matters. Toronto: Doubleday Canada.

Mattern, S. (2014, June 01). Library as Infrastructure. Retrieved September 12, 2020, from https://placesjournal.org/article/library-as-infrastructure/?cn-reloaded=1

Rose, J. (2013, September 01). Toyo Ito interviewed by Julian Rose. Retrieved September 12, 2020, from https://www.artforum.com/print/201307/toyo-ito-interviewed-by-julian-rose-42634

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The New Hyperlinked Library Model?

Photo: My trip to the NYPL on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
New York, NY 10016

A couple of questions arose when I completed this set of readings: Do we still need libraries, and if we do, is it possible to modernize current libraries to make them more appealing for future generations? 

There are plenty of individuals that would answer the first question with a simple Yes. With that being said, I myself do believe that libraries are still an important part of our everyday life, regardless of whether someone can look up and read articles or books on the world wide web. Libraries have always been a home to some and removing them from society will ultimately hurt the large demographic that still rely on them for a variety of reasons. Take Aaron Schmidt’s (2014) realization for instance. He spent the day cycling then went into town to the library he knew best, walked into the bathroom and started refreshing himself. Realizing that he was that guy bathing in the restroom, he quickly thought of an important concept that might make sense to implement in all library settings: Showers. As I mentioned before, libraries are a home for some and to them away will affect the large group that uses them (e.g. Homeless Communities). Dedicated library showers would allow anyone to wash up, if needed. It seems like a good idea and I would really like to see a prototype or plan for these in the future.

I realized that Yes we do in fact still need libraries, but is it possible to modernize them in some shape or form? In 2017, the Free University of Amsterdam told their staff and students that they would be renovating their library (Leferink, S., 2018). The one request students made was to keep the physical books because they provided a level of comfort and atmosphere. One of the reasons I visit the library is to look at, touch, pick up and read the books. Even if I am not checking anything out, being in a library gives me a sense of comfort. It may just be me, but I enjoy it. Even Buffy Hamilton and Roxanne Johnson at the Creekview High school Media Center in Canton, Georgia thought of a way to innovate and redo the current 9,000-square-foot media center. They found a way to use student’s smartphones and Smart boards (Mathews, B., 2010). Jasper Visser (2011) found a public library in Delft, DOK that goes against all the rules of a normal library. Imagine this: A library you can talk freely in without having to lower your voice, one that has Spotify Stations, Xbox’s, complimentary Wireless Fidelity and great coffee. It may seem like a dream but modernizing today’s and future libraries can only make them more attractive to the future generations. 

Just to add my two cents: Libraries across the country are changing for the better. They are implementing technology and adding zones for lounging, teaching, and talking. Students are realizing that books are something they want around them in a library (I mean who wouldn’t).

References:

Leferink, S. (2019, June 04). To keep people happy … keep some books. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from https://blog.oclc.org/next/to-keep-people-happy-keep-some-books/

Mathews, B. (2010, June 21). Unquiet Library Has High-Schoolers Geeked. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2010/06/21/unquiet-library-has-high-schoolers-geeked/

Schmidt, A. (2014, May 6). Exploring Context: The User Experience. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=exploring-context-the-user-experience

Visser, J. (2014, April 11). DOK Delft, inspirational library concepts. Retrieved August 29, 2020, from http://themuseumofthefuture.com/2011/01/22/dok-delft-inspirational-library-concepts/

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