Month: October 2019

Reflection #4: Module 10 – Mobile Devices & Digital Connections

I decided  to look at the web lecture for Module 10: Mobile Devices & Connections:It began by refreshing upon one of the Four Tenets of the Hyperlinked Library:

“The most powerful information services to date are probably found in the palm of everyone’s hand.”

Dr. Stephens had brought up research done between PEW, Internet and the American Life which I found incredibly pertinent to the discussion.

He stated, “this is one of the times they did their future of the Internet and talked to experts and they gathered all the data and they put out predictions for where the Internet is gonna go. And one of those things was that connectivity was going to move to the mobile device.”

In 2008, the researchers at PEW, Internet and the American Life stated:

“The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020.”

I thought that was incredibly telling and I would never have imagined that if I had heard it back in 2008. At that time, mobile devices were just coming out and being made accessible. Now fast forward to the present, where we are nearing the end of 2019, and I can safely say that this is most definitely true.

It makes me feel happy to know that we have a world where it’s that easy to stay connected. I personally have family and friends that live in another country and it’s become less costly to reach them thanks to some new social media apps. In the past, it would have been quite expensive to call using the international line on a home phone connection. Now I’ve been primarily been using some popular apps in China, Japan and Korea – Line Messenger and WeChat. I remember using WeChat during my studies abroad in Beijing and to stay connected with my friends there as well as using it to keep in contact with my family. I remember using them to call people, send messages, and do video chats similar to Facebook. 

But now mobile technology has evolved so these apps now include options for taxi (i.e. KakaoT, from the Kakao Talk app in Korea) or to make payments (i.e. WeChat’s E-Wallet, WeChat Loan, WeChat Pay, Utilities (Bills) to make payments on electricity, water, heat, gas). In addition, we get news on these apps, get notifications/updates on what people are doing, The best part is that some of these apps allowed a user to make free phone and video calls/chats. It really opened up accessibility to users who might not have been able to make phone calls or messages due to budgeting.

These apps really encompassed the Four major themes discussed in Dr. Stephen’s web lecture.

Key themes:

  1.  Mobility – This is good or bad again depending on what you think. We also are looking at our phones. That our worlds and our family connections go with us.
  1. Connectivity – We are hyper connected. There is a little ding from some kind of connection coming in. We are connected again. I’ve been to tables where for a minute, everyone’s looking up that thing you’re talking about or a message just came in to the group of friends from the other group of friends and we’re gonna meet up.
  1. Access – It is about getting the most unique things you have and putting them in the palms of people’s hands.
  1. Mobile Learning – Because with these devices, it becomes easier to learn, wherever you happen to be. 

Mobile Devices and their applications are changing how we traditionally stay connected and receive and send out information. Mobile devices are making our lifestyles more convenient when on the go as they are no longer bound to a physical space or format. What does this mean for libraries? It means there’s so much out there for libraries to explore. We need to reflect upon what we are doing traditionally in terms of information sharing and collaboration. This is a time where libraries, similar to mobile devices, should take note. 

This is the time where we can learn from how mobile devices are keeping people in the know, so to speak. We can share all updates about the library in terms of current and future library planning, remodeling of the physical spaces, new collections, services and programming content. We could have messaging applications or chat systems with a librarian at any time for any questions.These can be accomplished through a previously established app or an entirely new library-specific app created by the librarians themselves. These are pathways through which libraries can gain as much participation and feedback from the users of the library by having these mediums through which we can create mobility, connectivity, access to the latest services or programs (thus allowing them to share their feedback and experiences with them). Libraries really need to look at being in the same place their users are – their mobile devices! 

A word to the wise –

Dr. Stephens shared that “some of this stuff sort of comes and goes. Maybe the time of the library creating an app, maybe that’s not something that we’ll be doing that much and maybe NYPL can do it because they have so much behind them. They have so much support and they have so much interesting collection types. If you do have the time, the money, and everything you need to do this I think it’s something to try or to at least make your website very mobile friendly. It’s really interesting to kind of watch like how these things came and then kinda went away.”


Module 10: Mobile Devices & Connections Web Lecture

References to the Apps I used abroad and now daily

Kakao T. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Line : Free Calls & Messages. (n.d.). Retrieved from

QP Software. (2019). All you can do with WeChat in 2019. Retrieved from

Emerging Technology Planning Assignment: Introducing Video Game Tournaments to Vernon Area Public Library

I decided to explore the idea of introducing video game tournaments to public libraries as a participatory program/service. I was inspired by an article I saw in Module 7’s Planning for Participatory Services. I thought that Green (2012) highlighted an interesting innovative program called LibraryGame, which would encourage regular user’s usage of the library in the future as well as introduce new patrons to the library in a fun way. As a gamer myself, I found that the only medium to access video game tournaments were on livestreams or word of mouth since they were so far away. By introducing video game tournaments to public libraries, I intend to bring in an element of inclusion by having libraries be that space where engagement, participation, play, and social networking could occur. 

Morton Grove Public Library’s Teen Librarian, James Facer, stated, “It’s important for our library to include as great a variety of programs as possible to attract patrons from all walks of life and interests.“Our library works to incorporate the interests of the community we serve into our public programming and library services, and we’ve found that video game programs and games in the library are what our patrons want.” (Chicago Tribune, 2019). 

The following outlines a plan to implement a gaming tournament at the Vernon Area Public Library.

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service:

  1. Gaming tournaments can be a success, and garner a different demographic that we are not normally accustomed to seeing in the library.
  2. The gaming tournament will create opportunity for participation and networking among a underserviced age group. Teens can bond over common interests and can find community over a shared interest such as video gaming.
  3. Gaming tournaments would both build the community and create a great leadership opportunity for teens.Through volunteering, they would be able to collaborate with library staff on the guidelines and create outreach/marketing efforts.

Description of Community you wish to engage:

I wish to engage the teen patrons that are regular patrons of the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire, Illinois and engage the out of district teens.

Action Brief Statement:

The video game tournaments will convince teen users of the Vernon Area Public Library that by attending the video game tournaments at the library, they will contribute to their own teamwork and organizational skills, have increased leadership and involvement opportunities with the library, have a program that reflects their needs and interests, and create new staff and teen connections. We would also like to see an increase of use overall by the teen community and showcase that the library is a welcome space for teens and their interests and needs.

Introduction of video game tournaments will also be showing library administrators and staff that library video game tournaments are a fun new way to get teens, which are an under-serviced community into the library and use it outside of studying and educational purposes. 

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service

A ‘Smash’ hit: Morton Grove library stages Super Smash Bros. tournament. (2019, January 07). Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from”

Boddie, Catherine. (2014). Gaming in libraries: building relationships between communities & libraries. Colorado State Library. 

Retrieved from 

Ducusin Schweitzer, Anthony Albert. (2016, August 13) Community Love: Hugo , the boy from Chicago by Tones [web log comment]. Retrieved from

Garrison, Chad. 2010, August 3. Video Game the Library? WTF? River Front Times. Retrieved from

Tech Soup for Libraries. (n.d.). Gaming in libraries. Retrieved from

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service: (Who might be involved in setting policies? Where might you look for example policies? What do you want to include in guidelines for use?)

When introducing a new tool or service,. Casey and Stephens (2008) state “the new tool or service must fit into the library’s philosophy” (para. 5).

The video game tournament will adhere to VAPLD policies in regard to must remain in line with the library’s mission to “provide users with open access to information and ideas covering a broad spectrum of human thought and experience, and to foster the understanding and development of cultures, communities, and individuals (VAPLD, 2019).

In regards to the  policies and guidelines that will be unique to this program. Vernon Area Public Library’s programming policy states that the events should  support “the library’s mission and expand the visibility and engagement of the library in the community” (VAPLD, 2019).

Additional Guidelines:

1. The tournament will be open to non-residents, and no library card registered with our library or otherwise, was required to participate in the tournament.

2. There is no need for patrons to pre-register or pay for attending the event.

3. Good sportsmanship and gaming etiquette shall be observed. This means that we would disqualify players for usage of trash talking and bad behavior. 

An example policy considered would be the Gaming Tournament Quickstart document from the Chicago Public Library’s teen librarian, Taylor Bayless. She works with YouMedia on gaming tournaments held at the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washingon Library Center. In addition, she wrote up the gameplay/tournament rules with the teen organizers. They also did group meetings with the players on gameplay rules and how to be a respectful and courteous player. This document gives guidelines on what to do to prepare for the event as well as what to do on the actual day of the event. 

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service:

There will be a small cash fund of $100 that will act as prize money for the winner of the tournament.

In addition, we would ask to partner with local game shops and if they would like to donate both  video games, controllers, and consoles that the library does not have in its collection.

Outside of donations, according to the Daily Herald’s documentation on the budget proposal of FY2019,  the budget for teen programming is $6,650, which will be from donations from the foundation’s donation of $10,000. (Daily Herald, 2019). This will cover the cost of any consoles of interest that may not be included through the donations and partnerships. Consoles of interest include Nintendo Switch and adjunct joy cons, PS4, XBOX One, XBOX 360, and Wii.

Action Steps & Timeline

I would submit my proposal for the event 4-6 months before the program to the adult services department head because program proposals are done on a quarterly basis. In addition, teen service is associated with the adult services at Vernon Area Public Library. I would then wait for either verbal acceptance or an e-mail confirmation.

If the proposal was not approved, then it would need to be revised to train a small number of librarians, say 1 full-time librarian and a few part-time or half-time staff. 

An initial testing may be required in the format of asking feedback from patrons to gauge interest in the event and the range to which it would be successful in garnering the optimum amount of participation from the community.

Should I be approved, I would then schedule meetings. I would meet with teen services librarian, and the head of volunteer services (who is part of community engagement) to gain teen volunteers. Once we have gotten teen volunteers in part due to the teen services libararian and the head of volunteer services, then we can begin another set of meetings.

This second set of meetings would include the teen services librarian, the youth services staff in charge of purchasing video games, and the teen volunteers. We would sit down to write ideas for the guidelines and outreach efforts. 

The teens and the librarians would work together on guidelines. The librarians will make sure it aligns with the library policy on general behavior.

I would also reach out to local game shops to gain a partnership should they be interested.

Gameshop would also provided staff to supervise to help set up, run the program, and supervise patrons and as they play and brought prizes.  The library had to provide extra screens and TVs for the consoles to be hooked up to.

Outreach efforts would be made through word of mouth, newsletter (both online and physical copy), website, and the library’s official social media accounts ( FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter). Teens would be in charge of spreading the word further by using their own personal accounts to reach out to their friends and create a word of mouth effect by inviting them. 

Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service

Library staffing required for this event would primarily be the teen services librarian, the youth services librarian who is in charge of purchasing video game titles, and myself. They will help coordinate obtaining the gaming supplies we need as well as help coordinate with the teen volunteers working on the preparations for the event as well as working the day of the event on video game set up and assistance with the players. 

However, on the actual day of the event, the library staffing would be the full-time teen services librarian and the half-time library associate which would be me. With these reduced hours, it would create opportunity for the teen volunteers to gain more leadership opportunities and get involved. They would be able to attend the staff training in-service, weekly follow up meetings to help clarify  any questions or concerns regarding the event.

Training for this Technology or Service:  

I would work with the youth services librarian in charge of purchasing video game titles, the teen services librarian, and the teen volunteers on . I would work with the youth services librarian in charge of purchasing video games, the teen services librarian and the teens to work on training for staff to be prepared on the day of the event should there be any questions or need for assistance should we be preoccupied with assisting other players and event goers at the time. 

Training on gaming best practices, behavior rules, downloading game accessories, setting up the games and the tv, as well as troubleshooting are the topics included in training. 

The training will take place during our morning staff inservice days on Fridays from 9 am to 1 pm. This training will only be an hour in between the presentations and it will allow for any questions or concerns staff not heavily involved with the event shall have on how to guide the players to their destination and if they need help. It is always good to have all staff aware of the rules and set up even if they are not primarily involved. 

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service

Step one would be to promote the event on the library’s official social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. In addition, having the teen volunteers promote the event on their personal social media accounts to their friends and family could get the word faster among the target age group.

Step two would be creation of  in-house posters and posters to be sent off at off-site locations.

Step three would be to promote the event in the newsletter both the online version as well as the physical copy that is on display at the library as free hand-outs and to be mailed to the homes of the patrons. 

Step  four would to post signage at the Youth Services Desk, Circulation Desk, Adult Reference Desk, and besides the doors to the library lobby.

Another way would be to promote the library event through word of mouth. In addition to promoting the event at the service desks during patron-staff transactions, it’s also good to promote awareness of the event among customer service staff members so that they can best direct patrons to the reference desk for more information about the event. 

One final suggestion which may seem strange is to promote by having Twitch livestreams or on YouTube. 

Among gamers, twitch and YouTube are wonderful venues that gamers use to 1. Gain new knowledge about new games coming out and 2. Gain information on where the next big gaming event is. 


The success of the video game tournament will be measured by keeping a record of the number of attendees, how enthusiastic the players are during the event, and the information about ages of players. 

Because of the community nature of the event, it would allow me to gain feedback from players about what they liked and didn’t like for the event. In addition, we would ask them for any changes they would like to see for future tournaments. The players would usually share this info with our teen tournament organizers and then they would incorporate the changes into future tournaments.

I would also use the reviews and information gleaned from newspapers, e-mails, website reviews for the event, and gamer blog posts to see what else I could do to improve upon the service. 

I would like to expand the service to include all ages, continue offering a diverse range of games and consoles, partner up with video game tournament organizers, and have input and participation of  the attendees on the formation of guidelines and outreach efforts in


Bayless, Taylor. (n.d.). Gaming Tournament Quickstart! Chicago Public Library. Retrieved from

Casey, M. E. & Stephens, M. (2008). Measuring progress. Retrieved from

Daily Herald. (n.d.). Vernon Area Public Library District Budget Proposal FY2019 [PDF File]. Retrieved from

 Green, G. (2012). The Innovative use of technologies in libraries. Retrieved from

Vernon Area Public Library (2011). Mission Statement: Retrieved from

Vernon Area Public Library (2019). Programming Policy. Retrieved from

Reflection Blog #3: Module 6: Hyperlinked Environments – Libraries, Museums, and Participatory Culture

This week, I really wanted to discuss Hyperlinked museums. I always remember growing up with a love for the arts and going to museums like the museum of science and industry for example for class trips but I never had the opportunity as an adult to do so. Another one that I loved dearly was the Art Institute of Chicago but again, here I have the issue of access. I had a friend who was a student studying abroad from Japan going to the Institute to study there. She was already quite accomplished, having her work displayed in Denmark and the school would allow her to take breaks to travel and promote the school and her work. It was only because of her that I got to get in for free essentially where normally you would need to get an annual pass or a season pass for special exhibits. 

As I sat down looking at the golden lit doll rooms, which were a particular favorite of hers to visit during her studies, I couldn’t help but be grateful that I knew someone that either worked at a museum or studied at the institute when it was quite costly to hold membership through the regular means of paying. I remembered the instances where I was invited with my class to attend a series of events such as a special watercolor and ink exhibit in the 798 district in Beijing, performances by the students in a national academy of performing arts in Beijing, and getting personal lessons on paintings by a professional calligrapher and professor in Guilin.

All of these situations had a commonality which was the use of connections that people otherwise would not have had and bypassing the costs of access that would otherwise hinder people from enjoying everything museums had to offer.

I remember that my library does have what they call museum passes, in which they allow patrons belonging to our library to have accesses to 4 passes (1 per library card) that allow discounts on parking prices and admits two with a discount for those aged under 2 who could go in for free. 

Some issues with the program: 

  1. Only resident library card holders could hold them. In doing so, we bar access and we are deterring the interest of the community as well as people visiting from other libraries.
  2. Limited list of museums that the library partnered with. 
  3. This list did not include popular ones like the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry.
  4. Limited amount of passes to be taken out. It was a set of 4 passes per museum, and only 1 per Vernon Area Public  library card holder.

Added to that, I will always remember when a patron had asked me why we didn’t have any connections to the museums in the city and why were other library card holders not allowed to receive the benefits of this museum program. Why is it this way that both museums and libraries, both wonderful institutions, have restraints in regards to access and who is able to benefit from the partnerships? Why were they not included in the selection process?

So this brings me to my point: What  could institutions based on enriching lives, educating, and providing access like libraries and museums do to bring about a more participatory culture?

To that, I say there is.

Museum director, Nina Simon, and her TED Talk on “Opening the Museum” shares points from her work, The Participatory Museum. She discussed transforming museums into “places where people can actively participate, where you can connect with culture, and hopefully through those experiences, connect more deeply with each other.” Most people do not view museums as open spaces, more like elite institutions that serve an increasingly “small and limited subset of our population.”

 Simon asks for museums to reassess how they are connecting with and servicing their community, which is something to be considered in library spaces.

Next , I looked at a 2016 article by Dr. Piotr Bienkowski on How to change into a participatory museum and gallery.

Bienkowski discussed the details of four overall outcomes, with their own qualitative-based indicators of success – therefore displaying evidence of organizational behavior. Beinkowski believes that the outcomes and indicators “essentially define what the Foundation expects a participatory museum or gallery to be” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 11). Extensive detailing  of these outcomes and indicators would help support the idea that they would become the foundation for a “shared, transferable framework for assessing participatory organizations” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 11).  

Four outcomes:

1. Rooted in local needs. 

Museums and galleries should know their role in providing for the needs and values of the diverse community. They should work to create “opportunities and partnerships with their community and others to meet the local needs.” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 12).

2. Community Agency

Communities are the “center of the values, strategies, structures, and work of museums and galleries.” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 12). They should be regularly  participating, collaborating, and making decisions.

3. Capability Building

Museums and galleries can develop “community skills, capabilities and creativity.” They also  help and prepare people with “engaging their community, articulate their voices, find employment or volunteer opportunities, and support staff in learning how to work with the communities.” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 13).

4. Reflection 

Museums and galleries should embed effective practice into their work. This should be done “internally, with community partners, and across the sector, to ensure ongoing reflection, dialogue, and openness to challenge, alternative values and working methods.” (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 13).

Museums should work on developing better partnerships with their community to provide full accessibility and opportunity for the community to actively participate.

An example was during the re-development of the St. Fagans National History Museum.

Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales worked with 200 organizations in Wales, most of which were 3rd sector agencies. These agencies  were involved in planning and decision-making. After researching the community, they set up 10 participatory fora looking in a diverse range of work from volunteering, diversity and informal learning.  (Bienkowski, 2016, p. 27). 

Bienkowski mentions one of the organizations, DrugAid Cymru, that provides staff with the training on supporting people with substance misuse

The museum learned from the fresh perspectives and expertise of the workers gained, while also creating a revolutionary and diverse volunteer profile. 


Bienkowski, P. (2016). How to Change into a Participatory Museum and Gallery
Simon, N. (2012, September 15). Opening up the Museum : Nina Simon [Video File] Retrieved from

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