That said, I must comment on some threads of conversation I had at the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Las Vegas. In 2006, I wrote a post at Tame the Web (TTW) entitled “Five Phrases I Hope I Never Hear in Libraries Again.” It got a lot of traction back then, during the heyday of LIS blogging, and I used a slide of the phrases for many years in presentations. One of the phrases was: We’ve always done it this way.
Back then I wrote, “I think it’s time to red flag any utterance of that phrase in our libraries and make sure it’s not just an excuse to avoid change. It may, however, be the best way to do something.” I urged readers to explore alternatives and new ways of working to make sure efficiencies couldn’t be improved. I cautioned: if librarians are hiding behind that phrase because they’ve had enough new things or just want to keep things the same, it might be time to move on. Is it anxiety that puts up these barriers?
Here’s my June column:
More than once, someone in the audience has expressed concern that children and young people are always looking at their mobile device, texting, gaming, or whatever. Recently the comment was this: “I want to take away the iPad and send them outside. They are not in the moment.” My reply was a reminiscence of my mother taking away my Hardy Boys books and sending me out to play one summer day. I was furious! The seminar room vibrated with comments: “It’s the same thing.” “It’s not the same thing!”
Oops – forgot to post this:
I’m most excited about the requirement for student reflection blogging in this course. Discussion forums, landlocked inside the learning management system, are giving way to a WordPress-enabled blog community that all of our core students will work with for thoughts on the course content. I am a longtime advocate of the power of blogging as a means to foster critical reflection in a safe thinking-out-loud space and promote engagement with other students and faculty via commenting. The Sloan Consortium, devoted to effective online education, recently heralded a similar model: the University of Nevada Las Vegas Journalism School’s use of WordPress and BuddyPress for multiuser blogging was cited as an educational innovation.
Here’s last month’s column – all about getting too hung up on citation formatting:
But wait—shouldn’t we be teaching soon-to-be librarians how to cite properly so they in turn can deliver the gospel to their young charges in the university? And grading them down for every missed period or italicized article title? I’d argue that instead of citation fixation we promote reflection and consideration of the ideas presented in our courses. To synthesize is a sometimes overused verb in higher education, but it works in this instance. Students encountering new ideas and voices of any discipline are better served by someone who can nudge them toward critical examination and combining ideas into cohesive structures that help them understand the world. From that understanding should come new ideas, not a perfectly cited reference.
Together, we’d like to thank everyone who expressed interest in a second iteration of the #hyperlibMOOC. We believe our MOOC filled an interesting gap in the MOOC phenomenon by providing community-centered, large-scale learning specifically for library and information science professionals. Our reflections, both scholarly and personal, show that this experience was formative for ourselves as scholars and as a teachers. But more importantly, we recognize that the #hyperlibMOOC provided a new, engaging way for our students to continue their professional development and lifelong learning.
At this time, we will be unable to offer another iteration of the #hyperlibMOOC. This is due in part to logistics and professional requirements on our part. But rest assured, it is our intention to revive the MOOC here shortly. In fact, we have applied for a Knight Foundation grant to offer and expand the #hyperlibMOOC to reach more professionals and teach more topics related to the hyperlinked library.
Participatory, hyperlinked library services; DIY and maker movements; emerging technology in academic and research libraries; Google Glass—the Library 2.014 conference covered a broad range of topics and these were among the most notable. Join us for this free LJ webcast, where we’ll cover the highlights of each one and offer key takeaways.
- Michael Stephens will discuss participatory, hyperlinked library services in a connected world of “continuous computing.”
- Susan Hildreth will reflect on how the DIY and maker movements—particularly as they relate to STEM education (with badges to certify skill development)—place libraries as central learning hubs for their communities.
- Samantha Adams Becker taught the first online course ever to take place in Facebook. She will explore emerging technology uptake—especially digital communication formats—in various education sectors including academic and research libraries.
- Ayyoub Ajmi will describe experiences using Google Glass at the UMKC School of Law Library—what they did with it, what they couldn’t do, and what’s for the future.
Join Michael Stephens who will moderate a lively and insightful discussion with our panel of distinguished experts.
Ayyoub Ajmi, Digital Communications & Learning Initiatives Librarian, University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC)
Samantha Adams Becker, Senior Director of Communications, New Media Consortium
Susan Hildreth, Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Michael Stephens, Assistant Professor and monthly columnist for Library Journal
Thanks to all the fine folks who attended my plenary talk today at the West Virginia Library Association conference. We’re up on Snowshoe Mountain in the “Quiet Zone.”
The slides are here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/239835/StephensWVLA.pdf
I’m staying over the weekend and will be spending the day at WVU Libraries on Monday.
Shout out to all the fine folks organizing and attending my favorite conference – Internet Librarian International – in London in just 3 weeks. I am so sorry I cannot be there this year!
Folks come from all over the world for this conference and I have always come away inspired and energized.
Here’s a sampling of what delegates will experience:
How are library and information services evolving?
This is what ILI is all about! Technology, content and the methods for delivering it, plus evolving new services and models, all influence our ability to provide the best possible experience for our users. Hear this year’s trends in library tech – including 3D printers, the latest in digital learning materials, apps, the future of documents, library labs and more – plus meaningful social media, marketing and measuring impact, altmetrics, and how search and discovery tools and techniques are revolutionising the library experience.
Which new technologies and business models are the most appropriate for us to pursue now – and where should we focus our attention next?
All three tracks on Day One of ILI – New Blueprints for Libraries, Technology Innovation & Impact, and Content Innovation – are dedicated to technology and service trends and how to harness them now for future gain. Learn from practitioners who have redesigned their services to become key influencers in their organisations; how to create and curate innovative new content; get up to speed on real-world tech and how technology partnerships are driving change; and understand how gaming is building user experiences and encouraging social sharing.
What changes can we make to ensure our organisations and communities thrive?
ILI’s Day Two track, Closer to Communities and Customers, sets out the latest techniques for engaging new audiences, as well as models for developing your communities through co-creation and cooperation programmes. You’ll hear from experts in a range of library environments, each practising what they preach by listening to users and other key stakeholders, and developing services based on their needs.
What new models and roles have emerged to meet the changing demands of end-users?
New Blueprints for Libraries comprises a host of discussions on new and innovative models for libraries and librarians. Learn how radical, emerging new roles – from DJ to UX specialist – are inspiring change, plus a look at how libraries from different countries and cultures are responding to the same core issues to transform their communities.
How are libraries – and librarians – changing to ensure they are future-ready?
As information professionals, we’re not unique in our need to constantly evolve our services and roles, but we are fortunate that ILI brings together so many pioneers of library services from all over the world to show us what works, and what doesn’t! We know our libraries must grow with our users, and ILI’s track Closer to Communities and Customers provides plenty of insight into how to engage with existing audiences, and reach new ones too. If you are currently redesigning your services, then ILI’s New Blueprint for Libraries track helps you benefit from the experiences of global library leaders already exploiting multifunctional potential; while the Technology Innovation & Impact track guides you through technology that is going to make a big difference to us all in the future, and how we plan for its implementation and uptake.
A virtual tour of a city uncovering hidden treasures, small engaging ways of improving existing services and a new digital experience at the library – this is what the joint project Gamification – activating cultural dissemination resulted in. A project taken on by three libraries: Guldborgsund Public Library, Aarhus Public Library and Hjørring Public Library in their attempt to involve users in their services more actively. Each library contributed with a sub-project exploiting gamification, a method which draws on known elements from games to create a more active dissemination. An interesting tool for libraries to explore to engage citizens in a different and perhaps more entertaining way.
Exciting treasure hunts in the urban space
In Nykøbing Falster, Guldborgsund Public Library invites local citizens and visitors of the city on interactive walks around the town as part of the project Hidden Treasures. Through their smart phone, ‘treasure hunters’ can have a new and different experience of the town and its history.
With the project Hidden Treasures Guldborgsund Public Library wants to meet people in the urban space in a fun and engaging way. We aim to turn the local cultural and literary history into a vivid experience. Through a series of riddles and problems, the inquisitive-minded will hopefully see the town in a new light.
The interactive walks offer three different themes: a trip back to explorer and author Peter Freuchens’ Nykøbing Falster in the 1920s; an insight into the town when author Knud Romer grew up in the 1970s; and a contemporary tour with focus on local food from Falster.
Experience new perspectives of the library
In cooperation with three artists, Hjørring Public Libraries has developed an interactive tour of the library, where users experience the library from new angles and at the same time leave small clues for other users. Armed with headphones and an MP3 player, users are guided through the many offers of the library.
During the tour, the users are given challenges which they must solve in order to continue the tour, precisely as it is known in the gaming universe. The tour is formed so that the users, through their answers to the challenge, influence how certain elements of the tour develop.
Taking existing services a step further
At Aarhus Main Library, the project has resulted in making many small tests with gamification instead of one large. The focus has been on improving and expanding existing offers. In one test gamification was used on the service “International Breakfast” – a service where foreign families are invited to eat breakfast together in the library, to have an experience with other newcomers and hopefully build a better network in the city. Unfortunately, it has proven difficult to get them to talk to each other. Therefore, gamification was tested on the service as a method to create a greater desire among the participants to share knowledge, talk and have fun – together.
‘The project offers us an opportunity to gain practical experiences with gamification and at the same time explore which methods can strengthen the quality of our dissemination to and communication with citizens’, says Lisbeth Overgaard Nielsen, Lead project manager from Aarhus Public Libraries.
About the project
In order to test various gamification methods and tools in relation to different library user groups, the three libraries involved chose different target groups for their tests: Aarhus dealt with families with children, Guldborgsund targeted adults, and Hjørring was working with young people.
The project runs until 31 October 2014 and is carried out in cooperation between Hjørring Public Library, Guldborgsund Public Library and Aarhus Public Library. Aarhus City Archives participates in the project in cooperation with Aarhus Main Library. The project is subsidised by the Danish Agency for Culture.
Experiences from the three sub-projects will be compiled in a digital guide and disseminated in the autumn of 2014 where focus will be on opportunities and challenges within activating cultural dissemination.
Lessons learned from the project will be presented to Danish libraries in the autumn of 2014.