The theme for this year’s Internet Librarian was “Driving Our Community’s Digital Destiny”. The emphasis was on how the library helps the community tell their story.
The opening keynote was by journalist and marketing consultant Brendan Howley. He was asked to help the Stratford, Canada library find out how to better connect with their community. His recommendation was to collect patrons' stories about the library. He ran sessions with important community groups.
Stories are powerful -they focus attention and catalyze action, much more than just bunch of raw data. A neuroscientist named Jaak Parksepp found that stories are kept in the same part of the brain as our own memories - stories become part of our experience. Stories build trust, because people will make the library story theirs and share it with others. Sharing a story creates an emotional connection.
Libraries are cultural triggers, creating networks with our patrons. Groups who are part of library programming, from book club members to makerspace users, become the strong ties. They tell our stories to others who are not already heavy library users. The latter are “weak ties”, but they may be more important, as they bring in underserved groups and new ideas. We need to identify who the “bridges” are between strong and weak ties.
Ideas for creating stories and connecting to the community:
- Open media desk for citizen journalism.
- Curating local music.
- iBeacon ($25) -A device that broadcasts the Internet on a wall- could be used to provide interactive content at live program like music concerts.
- A map of community stories.
- Cultural tourism map - municipalities can’t afford to do this anymore, and it increases our value in the eyes of city leaders.
Recommended book: A Pattern Language
Not Your Momma's Library:
Sonya True is a professor and digital initiatives librarian at Vanguard University. She talked about how the Internet is changing our brains. Brains need to take a break to recharge (e.g. doing something different for a while in the middle of solving a problem), but mobile devices are straining our brains and depleting our mental batteries. Constant Internet use makes us crankier and too self-focused. The library can help with that without throwing the technology baby out with the bathwater.
Programs to recharge:
- Canine Therapy
Games can stretch our brains, bring out imagination and improve problem-solving skills- see the work of Stuart Brown on play theory.
One way libraries can use technology to improve libraries is by using neuroscience to create libraries that are more welcoming, as this library in the Netherlands did. We can think of the library as a giant brain - in the future, libraries could talk to patrons and tell them where to go.
Libraries are experimenting with humanoid robots - the faces and resemblance to children make it easier for people to interact with them. At the Westport, Connecticut library, robots teach coding and Tai Chi.
Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent by Douglas Coupland
Play by Stuart Brown
Deb Hoadley is the team leader for the Massachusetts Library System’s eBook project. It was a challenge to create a project for all types of libraries including multiple vendors, but coming together as a consortium does give some leverage. They decided to focus on local stories and take advantage of connections - no need to do it all on one’s own.
In January 2014, mobile apps overtook PC apps in terms of Internet usage - more Americans have mobile devices than computers. Massachusetts decided to focus on mobile, but it's hard to keep up in apps - Android and iOS keep changing every six months.
Massachusetts took a look at what was already out there, and saw the British Library’s 19th Century Historical Collection which includes 19,000 books on iPad, doesn’t require instruction to use, has been downloaded 500,000 times, and was great publicity for the British Library.
They decided to collaborate with Biblioboard, the company that made the British Library app. The Massachusetts Library app includes items like patents that would otherwise be hard to access. The collection development policy is that they will take any local author. Access is multi-user and unlimited. Patrons can search content by location with a map. Biblioboard links to and from other online digital collections like Internet Archive and Digital Public Library of America.
So far, unique local content accounted for 7% of usage while represented only 1% of content.
Getting MOOC’ed: Free Online Training Going Massive:
Michael Stephens is a professor of Library and Information Science at San Jose State.
Emily Hurst is Technology Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region.
Emily Hurst has the responsibility of training medical librarians in a large region of five states including Texas. In 2012, she decided to start using online courses, or MOOCs. She created a Super Searcher class to improve librarians’ Internet search abilities. To her surprise, it had a wide appeal- she had requests to join from academic librarians, public librarians, school librarians, and members of the public. To create the MOOC, she used Moodle, which is open-source software.
Things to think about when creating a MOOC:
- Attrition rates are high - it is easier to motivate smaller numbers to complete it.
- Online grading, replying to questions in forums, etc. take time.
- It needs to be ADA compliant.
- Badges can motivate students - they mark how far the student is progressing.
- Interactive elements encourage students to participate.
- Success does not necessarily equal completion- 15% of students received certificates, but 76% felt they were successful in reaching their goals.
- Self-grading modules lessen work for instructor, may increase work for IT
- Librarians need to learn about instructional design principles.
Currently, people expect to be able to learn, work & study wherever they want to. MOOCs offer learning everywhere. Students can answer each others' questions in an online forum. MOOCs can include blogs, badges, home room guides, guest lecturers, and Google Hangouts. Staff that do programs such as 23 Mobile Things gain higher confidence with technology.
Other MOOC software:
- Zaption -allows you to create tutorials & quizzes. Results are automatically sent to the instructor.
- Google Forms - can create forms for quizzes and essays like Moodle, but better and for free.
Types of MOOCs:
- xMOOC - students watch videos lectures and take quizzes.
- cMOOC =students create mashups and original content.
Presentations for Internet Librarian 2014 are available here.
--Andrea H. @Central