Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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

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