Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Internet Librarian - Day 3


Makerspace and Digital Trends:

CJ Lynce is TechCentral Manager at Cleveland Public Library.
Uyen Tran is a librarian at San Diego Public Library.
Jenny Howland is Makery Facilitator at the Katherine Delmar Burke School.
Zeth Lietzau is manager of the Community Technology Center at Denver Public Library.

Libraries have always been a “gateway drug for making”, as Uyen Tran said, but now the making is happening on site at libraries all over the country. Making is messy and noisy, and things break, but that’s OK. With making, patrons go from attendees to volunteers to teachers. Patrons are clamoring for the laser engraver at Cleveland Public Library. A donation jar at the San Diego Idea Lab collects more money than their Friends group. The Denver Public Library is working on accrediting learners with their DPL-U, while their DPL-Fun track brings in patrons by the bushel and increased circulation. Girls at Katherine Delmar Burke School are developing a design thinking mindset by taking things apart.

Tips for making at the library:

  • Make kits and leave them out for patrons to play with.
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel: Make it @ Your Library is a version of Instructables with DIY projects geared to libraries. Thingiverse has models for 3-D printers.
  • K’nex are great for building and cheaper than Legos.
  • Do making at outreach events as much as possible - it increases attendance.
  • Patrons have to understand how the technology works - its not a “drop off” service.
  • You don’t have have to have a dedicated space or a 3-D printer to do making.
  • Involve your patrons -send a message to them if the equipment breaks down; they can help fix it.
  • Reach out to partners for training certification - community makerspaces, colleges, software vendors.
  • A makerspace should be flexible, with moveable furniture
  • Staff need to move from being a sage on a stage to a guide on the side.

Making programs:

  • Designing electronics with 123D Circuits
  • Audio mixing using Creative Commons music
  • Virtual jam session using GarageBand
  • Making speakers out of sticky notes and old headphones
  • Envelope and duct tape wallets
  • Coding with Kidsruby
  • Custom cookie cutters made with a 3-D printer
  • 3-D paper craft
  • Font making
  • Pinhole camera
  • Home brewing
  • Making cars for Nerdy Derby - a no-rules miniature car racing competition
  • Monster-making party - sew 2, give one to charity
  • Wooden clothespin fascinator

Lync has a list of all of TechCentral’s equipment (including costs) here starting on page 9 and a list of web sites and other resources here.

Let's get virtual:

John Shoesmith is the Outreach Librarian at the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.  

The Thomas Fisher library is open to general public and outreach is a cornerstone of their mission, so they wanted to recreate exhibitions virtually for people to see everywhere. Early efforts were too resource-intensive and required lots of assistance from IT. They wanted to put online curation in the hands of librarians.

The best software they found for the job was Omeka, open source software which is used by major institutions like the Smithsonian. Adding exhibitions to Omeka is an easy, one-button process. There are pre-installed themes, which can be customized if you know HTML and CSS. Photos of visual items were stored on Islandora, a digital asset management system which works well with Omeka.

Tech Wearables: The Next Frontier:
Barbara Fullerton is the owner of the research organization Librarian in the Cloud, Inc.

Tech wearables are projected to be a 20 billion market in the next few years. It’s more than Fitbit and health apps. We now have more devices in the US than people.

Issues with wearables:

  • Could be addictive.
  • Irritates the skin.
  • Companies have access to more of your data.
  • More ways to spam -will you get spam from your socks?

To help patrons with these issues, librarians should read the tech news, find out what companies are buying other companies, and who is getting patents. Libraries could also use these in fitness programs.

Wearables that are either here or coming to market soon:

Vendor notes:

  • Boopsie, the company that made our mobile app, now offers comics, graphic novel and manga subscriptions within the app via Comics Plus. Multiple users can view the same comics and the comic books are optimized for mobile with the ability to zoom into panels
  • Leapmotion allows you scan all parts of the book and slap it on a digital 3-D model. Patrons turn pages or zoom in with hand motions. Sound effects mimic a page turning. All that is required is a book, a projector and a computer. It’s a fun way for patrons to access rare, unique books that would otherwise be locked in special collections.
  • Snannx is a fax, scan, and copying system that can send documents to mobile or email and convert a print document to an editable Word file with the touch of a button.
  • LittleBits are reasonably-priced kits that allow you to build electronics with no programming or soldering.
  • Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 e-book platform now has e-audiobooks, and they are working on videos, which they say will include movies and television shows from major studios.

Things to think about from the closing keynote:

  • What is the library’s unique value?
  • How do we measure success?
  • We have to be savvy in marketing ourselves.
  • We can't do it alone.
  • Hire for attitude, train for skill.
  • Culture eats strategy for lunch.
  • The digital divide may become greater - libraries can make a difference.

Presentations are available here.

--Andrea H. @Central

Internet Librarian - Day 2

Keynote: Radical Transformation & Co-Created Magic:
Nina Simon is the director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

Web 2.0 is sometimes defined as software that gets better the more people participate. Nina Simon wanted to bring that engagement to a small, not-very-highly-funded, museum.

Ways of creating engagement:

  • Find people who are artists and historians in the community and ask them to participate.
  • Don’t try to be too “hip” - be welcoming to everyone.
  • Don’t limit certain days to kids and families- encourage multi-generational interactions at every program. Don’t wait until a program is perfect to put it out - let patrons be a part of it.
  • Find out skills/interests present in the community.

To engage, museums and libraries need to find “social bridges” - people who can connect to different groups. Encourage the knitter to mix with the graffiti artist, the hip-hop fan with the opera buff.

Successful programs:

  • Pocket museum - patrons took something from their pocket, put it on the wall with a Post-it about the item.
  • Pop-up museum- going out in the community with an exhibit and encouraging the community to bring their own items to share.

Just remember, when there is change, some people won’t like it, and that’s OK. Staff need to be risk-takers to adapt, and administrators have to be “space-makers” to allow risk-taking,

It's All About Learning:

John Szabo from Los Angeles Public Library spoke about their educational programs. LAPL offers training in citizenship, public health, insurance 101, financial literacy and an online high school diploma (not a GED). This was in response to a service group with a high percentage of foreign born, no high school diploma, and unbanked members. Every library branch has “citizenship corners”. They have over 20 community partners and staff trained in the Affordable Care Act.

In the future, they hope to offer civic education MOOCs, and combination debit/library cards for the unbanked.

LAPL also created a series of programs on Homer’s Odyssey, including Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson) reading it aloud, and a video map of Odyssey adaptations and influences around the world using Mappr.

Gizmo Garage:

Jezmynne Dene is the director of the Portneuf District Library

Portneuf District Library, a small, rural library with 22,000 service members, is on the wrong side of the digital divide. Due to lack of broadband, most patrons don't have the Internet or computers at home. Five years ago, staff memos were distributed via legal pad.

When Portneuf received a Gizmo Garage of 15-20 devices from the state of Idaho, they knew the staff would need plenty of training. Dene sent the devices home with staff for one month and had them write what they did and did not like about the devices and how that related to library services. They had to learn the library’s apps. It was counted as professional development hours. Staff that preferred certain devices became subject specialists.

When they started classes for the public, there were challenges, as this was most patron’s first Internet device.

Tips for e-device classes:

  • Ask the patrons ahead of time to bring usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, etc.
  • Extra power cords are handy.
  • Ask patrons to write down whatever changes they made to settings.
  • Offer one-on-one sessions for people who need extra help.
  • Teach patrons how to search Google for answers to troubleshooting questions.
  • Have laptops available for creating accounts- this also teaches patrons about the cloud.

E-device services offered:

  • “Silver Surfers”  tech discussion group
  • Lunchtime Bytes
  • Laptop for sideloading e-audiobooks from OneclickDigital - Centurion software wipes library card after each use.
  • Technology fair
  • Circulating iPads and Android tablets.


Amber Mussman and Christina Riedel are managers at Cedar Rapids Public Library.

Cedar Rapids Public Library has a service group in which 45% of households make less than $25,000 a year, and most people do not have a device of their own. With funding from a local tech company and the Kiwanis club, they offered circulating Nexus 7 tablets for adults and Leappad Ultras for kids. They check out of seven days and nothing besides a library card is required. They are first-come, first-served - no holds are allowed. Community partners brought them volunteers, including kids to teach kids.

What worked well:

  • Access for wide range of clientele.
  • Length of check out.
  • Protective hard case that allowed devices to be returned to bookdrops. 

What didn’t:

  • Patrons continually checking out the same tablet.
  • Self-check allowed fraudulent account usage.
  • The covers on both devices did not adequately protect the device from minor or major damages.
  • First-time patrons never returning devices (changed it so patrons have to have had a library card for 3 month before checking out a tablet).

All in all, the theft and damage was made up for by lots of positive patron feedback and engagement.

Tips for circulating e-devices:

  • Use software to wipe the device after each use.
  • Encourage staff input on devices.
  • Allow staff to take them home first.
  • Include a bookmark with information on library apps and itemized cost of devices, cords, etc.
  • Have a video on the device that explains how to get started

21st Century Library:

Travis Duncan and Jeremiah Walter work at the  Pikes Peak Library District in media and community relations.

When building their new facility, Pikes Peak Library district thought about what makes a great "3rd Place" in the 21st Century. They hired a futurist named Gary Golden, conducted a survey to ask patrons how they envisioned the library in the future (patrons were entered into a drawing to win a tablet), and created focus groups including businesses, entrepreneurs, and ethnic group leaders (while doing this, they discovered an underserved population of Telugu-speaking Indian immigrants).

Some ideas they came up with:

  • 50$ “e-bate” for staff to purchase devices and take technology classes
  • Video profiles of employees
  • A recording space
  • Why the library rocks video contest
  • A media space for citizen journalism
  • Partnerships with colleges and radio stations to find experts to train patrons in making podcasts and videos
  • Food by the Book programs including cooking demonstrations.
  • A “Green Screen Experience”- patrons could put themselves in old photos from the library’s collection.
  • LilyPad kits - wearable tech that kids and adults can make and take home.
  • E-help room - patrons can bring in their devices and staff will assist them
  • Readers’ advisory using interactive reading maps, made with Prezi and Emaze.

When the library had a paper rockets program for kids, they got stuck in the ceiling -instead of throwing them away, they left them there to advertise their programs!

The Internet of Things:

The  Pew Internet & American Life Project is predicting that the Internet of things will be the fourth digital revolution after the Internet, social media, and mobile.

In 2025, Internet will be like electricity - needed and ubiquitous, but in the background. Technology becomes more important as it fades in the background - everything is built around it. The Internet was designed for professors and engineers to talk to each other -  security was not the first thing on their minds.

Privacy issues:

  • Colleges could track when students go to rec center - students who exercise get better grades.
  • Lights & keys will have IP addresses.
  • Insurance companies may give you a discount to put a sensor in your car
  • Only rich people might be able to afford privacy and buy “the right to be forgotten”.

What librarians can do:

  • Continue to be tech experts.
  • Be “smart curators” in the sea of data.
  • Provide credentials for online learning.
  • Teach patrons about privacy issues. The Internet of things = more and more piles of personal information being left around.

Librarians are up there with nurses in being trusted, and we see things holistically, not just one narrow area. We can use this to help our patrons navigate the Internet of things.

Presentations for Internet Librarian are available here.

--Andrea H. @Central