Thursday, April 16, 2015


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream


Bohyun Kim is the Associate Director of Library Applications and Knowledge Systems

We are in the second machine age. Economic growth is going up, but not wages or employment. Employers use technology to hire fewer employees and expect those they do hire to be skilled and work well with machines.

Employees are expected to manage and train themselves, and to take all the responsibility for failure. Artists and authors have to do their own publicity. We exploit ourselves by taking calls and voicemails at home. In a sense, we are all expected to be entrepreneurs. Social media can bring us together to help others- but giving the guy who has to walk 21 miles to work  $300,000 to buy a car doesn’t address systemic transportation problems. The so-called “sharing economy” is not about sharing freely, but about capitalizing on one’s assets. It’s not an option for poor people who don’t have nice cars or homes. Most “makers” are already knowledgeable and tech-savvy.

In this harsh world, the library has a great role to play by bridging the digital divide. Education is key to employment, and employers don’t want to do on-the-job training. People have to become self-directed lifelong learners to stay employed.

Libraries can teach critical learning. We can pay attention to technology and use it in a way that makes things better, not worse. Most of us live in a “filter bubble” where we only interact with those with similar views, but the library can bring diverse people together, e.g. the Human Library project. As a place where the drive for money and power as an end in itself is questioned, the role of the library is never apolitical.

This was a great talk, I encourage everyone to watch the whole thing if they can, or read this blog post based on her notes.

Tech Tuesdays: Taking Time to Teach Technology to Technophobes

E-books are proving to be very popular at the L.E. Phillips Library in Eau Claire, Wisconsin - over 43,000 Overdrive downloads in 2014 with a population of 67,000, plus they have Overdrive Audio, Freading and circulating iPads with library apps pre-loaded.

There is lots of interest in technology in the community, but questions come up that can't be answered in a few minutes on the public desk.

Three types of patrons with technology questions:

1. I want you to do it
2. I can do it myself if you get me started.
3. I want to learn, but I'm nervous and afraid I'll break it.

To help people in the third category, they created Tech Tuesdays. The got the word out on flyers, public radio and the newspaper. Besides e-books, they address social media, the cloud, and photo management.

Tips for technology training:

  • Address limitations in what library can and cannot address on the flyer - have to create reasonable expectations- we can’t figure out their Apple ID.
  • Use positive language to convince the technophobes they can do it.
  • Learn everyone’s name and use it.
  • Pair patrons who are getting it quicker with those getting it slower.
  • Have two staff to help people who fall behind.
  • If there is a conflict between those who want help right away and those who want a presentation, divide them into two groups.
  • Collaborate with places that fix computers -send patrons to them, and ask them to send people who need more instruction.

Digital literacy resources:

Form, Function, and the Right Tools: Effective Publications for the Accidental Designer:

When Trent Brager was a student worker at the College of St. Catherine’s, one of his first jobs was making a map of the library. Without any graphic design software, he ended up making it in Powerpoint. Like Trent, many of us are jumping into graphic design without tools or training.

The goals of a flyer are to get  the viewer's attention and provide information.

Tips for flyer design:

  • Think of location - how far is the flyer from the viewer? Will it make them want to come closer?
  • Pick a color and font to match the mood of a poster -- please, please, please think hard about using the Comic Sans font for anything except children’s and/or graphic novel programs.
  • Think in terms of the whole page- - squint to see how the whole picture looks.
  • Choose fonts for readability - all caps and narrow fonts are harder to read, fonts with serifs can be distracting.
  • Think of the shape, texture and rhythm of your text box.
  • Create contrast between font and background.
  • Use complementary colors with the same value to make your flyer vibrate
  • Use white space - let your flyer breathe
  • Keep it simple - not everything needs to be on the flyer.

Resources for the accidental designer:

Colorhexa - helps you pick out complementary colors.
So You Need a Typeface - flowchart for choosing fonts.
Trends Brager’s videos on Publisher, Microsoft Paint, finding free fonts and clip art on the web and other design tips.

Handouts are available here.

--Andrea H.@GLCL

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