Category Archives: Librarian 2.0

The Hyperlinked Library: A TTW White Paper

Download the paper here: The Hyperlinked Library (PDF) | The Hyperlinked Library (epub) (Coming Soon)


Libraries continue to evolve. As the world has changed with emerging mechanisms for global communication and collaboration, so have some innovative, cutting edge libraries. My model for the Hyperlinked Library is born out of the ongoing evolution of libraries and library services. Weinberger’s (1999) chapter “The Hyperlinked Organization” in The Cluetrain Manifesto was a foundational resource for defining this model as are the writings of Michael Buckland, Seth Godin, and others. I’ve been writing and presenting about it for a few years – expanding and augmenting as new ideas and new technologies take libraries in new directions.

In Serials Review (2007), I defined the Hyperlinked Library model as

an open, participatory institution that welcomes user input and creativity. It is built on human connections and conversations. The organizational chart is flatter and team-based. The collections grow and thrive via user involvement. Librarians are tapped in to user spaces and places online to interact, have presence, and point the way. The hyperlinked library is human. Communication, externally and internally, is in a human voice. The librarians speak to users via open, transparent conversation. (p. 255-256)

The model incorporates recent dialogues about Web 2.0 by such authors as O’Reilly, and concepts tied to Library 2.0 and participatory service, including ideas presented by Casey and Savastinuk in their book Library 2.0.

The model is broader than just online communication and collaboration. It encompasses both physical and virtual space, as well as many types of libraries. Presenting the model to assembled teacher librarians at the Australian School Library Association conference in Perth in 2009,  I argued that school librarians could use the model as well to extend support for learning beyond the walls of the school library and engage with students, teachers and administrators in an open, transparent manner wherever the learning takes place.

Adapting to change in a positive, forward thinking manner will be important for libraries. The response to ongoing change should be constant and purposeful – based on thoughtful planning and grounded in the mission of libraries. Hyperlinked library services are born from careful trend-spotting, an application of the foundational tenets of librarianship and an informed understanding of emerging technologies’ societal and cultural impact.

Along with adapting to constant change should be a positive approach to challenges currently confronting libraries and information centers all over the world.

An ongoing challenge to libraries is public perception. In 2005, OCLC found that people perceive a narrow view of the library brand. Books was the foremost answer in a survey question devoted to what people think about when they think about libraries. More worrisome for those working in technology-related areas in libraries was the finding that 1% of those surveyed start their information needs at library Web sites. OCLC’s follow up report in 2007 noted that use of library Web sites had dropped again – to 22% of the public surveyed. Consider the resources we use developing our Web sites – the return on investment for staff time, money and technology is must be high. The use of open source software platforms / content management systems is one way hyperlinked libraries can boost their online presence ROI.

Another notable challenge currently is flagging budgetary issues. The recent global economic downturn has affected many libraries in the US and globally – some to the point of cutting staff, hours, services and in some extreme and disheartening cases to the point of closing. Making do with limited budgets and resources means we need to be ever diligent with handling our other challenges centered around technology including:

Techno-lust: This challenge is an overarching need for new technology combined with unrealistic expectations for the problems it may solve and too much techno-lust can damage a library’s public perception and internal morale. Purchasing technology without a strong connection to the library’s mission or technology plan can possibly yield less than stellar results.

Other challenges related to technology include techno-stress, when new tools seemingly arrive daily creating an uneasy feeling of anxiety related to understanding it all while techno-divorce addresses the culture of perfect in many libraries that prevents us from ending projects that just aren’t working. Techno-shame occurs when embarrassed library staff confess they are embarrassed to not be knowledgeable about emerging technologies, while techno-phobia creates an atmosphere where no new technologies are explored because of an unrealistic fear. Often, this institution is mired in a culture of perfect – where nothing is done without endless meetings, word-smithing and discussion. In 2010, there aren’t resources and time to exist in that paradigm. The Hyperlinked Library is nimble and quick.

Some newer challenges I recently added to the model include:

Techno-hesitation: This library is caught in the mindset of “Let’s wait until the next new thing comes out” to try something new. Experimentation with emerging technology should be ongoing. Trial and error and “divorcing” those initiatives that did not work so well leads to more learning and innovation.

Techno-banality: No dumb computers! This library is mired in a culture of overprotectiveness. Technology offerings for library users are so locked down and secure that access is fraught with barriers and blocks. In a time of such emphasis on user experience and library as community space, these barriers have the potential to send users to other locations for access.

Institutional challenges include embedded staff who roadblock new initiatives, silos of knowledge in which institutional memory and procedure is stored in one place/person, and institutional culture based on perfection. An underlying cause of many of this inner challenges to libraries could easily be boiled down to fear: fear of change, fear of technology (as above) and a fear of losing control of our collections in a world where Google is the go to information resource and books download seamlessly to e-readers.

What can meet these changes and challenges head on in the 21st century world of constant change and numerous challenges to the role and place of libraries in our world? The Hyperlinked Library model is meant to define a set of characteristics that when adopted by individual libraries could lead to improved perception, improved use and improved service models for our ever-changing world. Some of the characteristics of the model include:

The Library is Transparent

Transparency in organizations yields an open flow of communication, an involvement of all stakeholders and an honest approach to governance. For libraries this involves offering two communication mechanisms for user interaction and feedback. Tell your users how you are spending their money (via collected taxes, student fees or monetary support depending on the type of library).

Another aspect of transparency is welcoming anonymous feedback, in the form of suggestion box entries or via online commenting. Librarians should not be afraid of anonymous comments. There may be some negativity, easily ignored, as well as some useful insights, ideas and informative questions. One example of this type of interaction with library staff is the VBPL Talks blog, maintained by the executive leadership team of the Virginia Beach Public Library. Out on the open Web at http://vbpltalks.blogspot.com/, the site is a forum for anonymous questions from the library staff to administrators.

Library user involvement is also key to transparency and welcoming users into our spaces and virtual places is paramount. In “The Transparent Library,” Michael Casey and I urged administrators to focus “on user-driven policy not driving users away.” (2008) Understanding how policy impacts user is key as well. Does that sternly worded sign on the library door have to be there denouncing the use of cell phone technology within the library? Wouldn’t it be better to encourage considerate behavior and let go of banning devices that connect our users to the world. You might find that a mobile phone interface for the library catalog or “text a citation” features might be more in line with user needs or wants. Michael Casey and I noted: “Focus on understanding those folks who might be breaking your rules by listening to their needs. Then act. You and your users will benefit.” (2007)

The Library Learns and Plays

Henry Jenkins defined play in Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture as “the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving.” The concept has seen a resurgence in organizations as a means to encourage learning and engagement. As part of the Hyperlinked Library model, an organization focused on experimentation and play encourages all staff to learn. That learning will lead to a more informed, engaged staff. A culture of play replaces a culture of perfect.

Play was foundational to the creation of the original Learning 2.0 program – a self-directed emerging technologies course conceived in 2006 by Helene Blowers at the Public Library of Charlotte Mecklenberg County in 2006 for a system wide, all staff included endeavor. Also known as the “23 Things” method, the program has been adopted by libraries, consortia, state systems and national libraries in the United States, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands and beyond.

The global success of Learning 2.0/23 Things programs in libraries is a notable example of an emerging “learning culture” in our institutions. “I believe that this has been one of the most transformational and viral activities to happen globally to libraries in decades,” argued Abram (2008) in a blog post at Stephen’s Lighthouse.

Self-directed, empowered learning based on the concepts of discovery and play within the context of how libraries might use emerging technologies may lead to more innovative uses of those technologies for library services. Currently, I’m conducting an ongoing research project in Australia, measuring the value and impact of the program in libraries. Early conclusions point to the fact that the lasting impact of participation in a Learning 2.0 program can lead to more informed staff discussions and problem-solving with tools highlighted in the learning modules. A stronger awareness of the tools and their use on a personal level – RSS feeds for keeping current as a prominent example – is another lasting result of the program. See the research site at Tame the Web online for more, including a recent conference paper.

The Library Connects with Users

Creating connections and community for library users is paramount in the Hyperlinked Library model. Peter Block defines community as “human systems given form by conversations that build relatedness,” while Rheingold defined virtual community as “social aggregators that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on those public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace.” Both of these definitions – years apart – have one thing in common. The connections are formed via conversation

Seth Godin’s Tribes explores the idea of interconnected community as well. Godin argues that businesses fail because “they forgot to embrace their tribe” and offers a roadmap for creating a tribe, which he defines as “a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.” Social Media sites break down geographic barriers and allow groups to form via various communication mechanisms. A tribe can be global or simply based in the library’s community.

Notable examples of creating a library tribe include the social networks created by Hennepin County Library, Roselle Public Library (a Ning site for library card holders) and the community of users who actively comment at Ann Arbor District library’s Web site. Dublin City Libraries One Book program recently created a community for readers of Dracula. One commonality of these sites is that conversation is encouraged between all users, including responses from library staff.

From the Netherlands comes another fascinating example of connecting with users. Patrons of the DOK library in Delft will soon be able to record their memories of the town and family for sharing via a wall of monitors called the Agora. Digital images, audio, and video will make up the tapestry of local history available in this high tech setting. Here they transcend the role of library user and become active creator in the collections of the library. Watch for this model to make inroads in other libraries around the world.

The potential to interact online with a community of library users is promising as we find our way through Facebook fan pages, library twitter accounts, and communities built in sites like Ning or with Drupal. Godin warns, however, that some organizations are stuck: bound by archaic rules or not only avoiding change but fighting against it. This echoes the aforementioned dangers of technophobia as well.

The Library is Everywhere

Beyond creating community, the Hyperlinked Library seeks to put its collections everywhere – available to all outside the walls of the library. As institutions such as Duke University libraries develop mobile applications for accessing their digital collections on the move, we are fast approaching a landscape of ubiquitous library access.

I was recently in Columbia, South Carolina, where I found myself in the hotel bar after a presentation about the Hyperlinked Library model. The bartender was fired up about his brand new iPod Touch. He was playing the bar’s music from it via a cable attached to the sound system, and surfing the Web via the hotel’s free Wi-Fi. He praised the access to the Web and his apps and held up the shiny new device and said:

“I have the whole world of information in my hand.”

What does it mean in 2010 for a young man – a typical consumer of information – to believe he has the world in the palm of his hand? What does it mean for the role of librarians? For libraries? This will be an important consideration for libraries – how can we compete with ubiquitous Wikipedia/Google access? One solution: making the collection, services and personnel of the library available wherever library users happen to be – in the palm of their hand. The Hyperlinked Library, we might say, has streams of information and knowledge that flow like water to where inquisitive users are thirsty.

The Library Encourages the Heart

The defining element of the Hyperlinked Library model is that the library should seek to encourage the heart of users via every mechanism and every channel possible. Rules and outdated policies fall away in favor of breaking down barriers to service and collections.

Encouraging the heart is satisfying the needs and wants of our users – something libraries have always done. The need for self-actualization, inspiration, basic human curiosity, and support for learning are all part of this concept. Encouraging the heart might mean beautiful artwork in the library space, a welcoming, engaged staff ready to explore with users and a physical/virtual space that is easy and FUN to use.

When asked what I see for the future of libraries – all kinds of libraries – I imagine a space where users will connect, collaborate, create and care.

Connect: Users will connect with each other and with library staff to follow their dreams and get what they want/need. Access to information sources will be unfettered. Support for technology and managing the ever-growing flow of information will be readily available no matter where users are.

Collaborate: Users will meet in groups. Tribes will form based on projects, interests, community need. Spaces will offer the best in collaborative technologies. Learning will occur here as well.

Create: Users will find the tools they need to share their own stories with their family, friends and the world if they so choose. The best technologies and support for these endeavors will be a part of library services. Library staff will become guides and co-creators. Local content will reign as one of the most unique offerings of the library.

Care: Users who interact with a transparent, playful institution grounded in learning, experimentation and play will surely care about the library. Those who actively participate will remember the library when funding issues occur or needs for more space or more technology must be met. The library is part of the community and the community holds the library in its heart.

These characteristics are just some of the facets of what I believe will make libraries truly innovative, useful and needed in the 21st century.

This article was adapted from a presentation given by the author at the 4th Leipziger Kongress für Information und Bibliothek, Leipzig, Germany in March 2010.

References

Block, P. 2008. Community: The structure of belonging. San Francisco: Berrett- Koehler.

Casey, M., and M. Stephens. 2007. Ask for What You Want. Library Journal 132(13): 29.

Casey, M., & M. Stephens 2008, November 15. Six Signposts on the Way. Library Journal 132(13): 21.

Jenkins, H. 2006. Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture. Chicago:MacArthur Foundation.

Rheingold, H. 1993. The virtual community: Homesteading on the electronic frontier. New York: HarperPerennial.

Stephens, M., M. Collins, 2007. Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and the Hyperlinked Library. Serials Review 33(4): 253-256.

Links

Ann Arbor District Library: http://aadl.org

DOK: http://www.dok.info/

Dublin City Libraries: http://www.dublinonecityonebook.ie/

Hennepin County Library’s Bookspace: http://www.hclib.org/pub/bookspace

The Hyperlinked Library: http://tametheweb.com/the-hyperlinked-library/

Research at Tame the Web: http://research.tametheweb.com/

Stephen’s Lighthouse: http://stephenslighthouse.com/

Further Reading

Casey, M. E., & Savastinuk, L. C. (2007). Library 2.0 : a Guide to Participatory Library Service. Medford, N.J.: Information Today, Inc., 2007.

A Burgeoning Librarian’s Perspective : A TTW Guest Post by Terri Rieck

For new librarians entering the field of academic librarianship, there is an expectation to continue and evolve the Participatory Service methodology. Luckily, it is not a forced expectation, but rather one of excitement and, dare I say, glee. The ability of academic libraries to effectively reach and engage students in the research process is palpable and librarians are responsible. Librarians entering the profession are happily challenged with continuing this new era of constant change, experimentation, innovation, and evaluation.

This group of new and future librarians is so inspired and focused on this new culture of libraries and librarians. And I must admit, it’s partly selfish. We are desperate for a career, for a purposeful and fulfilling career—one that reaches users in effective ways and offers services and methods of evaluation that will overcome the intimidating nature of the academic library. Some of us may have gotten to this place from experiences with former academic libraries. Some of us may want to overcome and change the current brand of academic libraries—but the reasons why don’t necessary matter at this point. Because now, we are part of a tribe and we do intend to make this profession our own – isn’t that the point of a career? We have made our spaces online and in classrooms and will remain supportive and collaborative through our professional careers. We intend to follow the principles of librarianship combined with innovative thinking and experimentation detailed in the Library 2.0 methodology to encourage better services for users and a more fulfilling work environment for us.

The Dark Side

There is, of course, a dark side. For a recent MSLIS graduate, who is looking for an interesting and purposeful career, and has been introduced to innovative professors, interesting theories, Web 2.0 technologies, and thinking about emerging trends, walking into a library stuck in an environment of presenting information with no viable way to reach or engage users will be an immensely frustrating experience. That combined with the intimidation and nervousness of being the new person makes for a complicated and sticky situation. Other library staff may be hostile or passive aggressive if a new employee intends to change their way of doing things—not to mention the daunting task of getting the library administration on board.

To ensure a positive discussion, I would like to add that in no way is this a demonization or negative perspective attributed to more traditional library services. It is only an adaptation that reflects changing user needs. There is no doubt that there is an immense need for academic libraries to brand themselves as a welcoming online and physical space for students to find resources, get research help, study, collaborate, learn, experiment, innovate, have fun, and enjoy a scholarly community. In the article, “A Manifesto for Our Times,” Cohen (2007) writes, “While our users are steeped in a culture that is collaborative, personalized, and open, our library culture tends to be a closed, one-way street. We expect users to accept the library on our terms—to come to our spaces to receive services, and to deal with websites and catalogs that are essentially brick walls. While some libraries are making strides in moving ahead, many other have yet to make a targeted commitment. We have not, as a profession, demonstrated a resilient response to the Web 2.0 phenomenon” (p. 49).  Therefore, to a certain degree, some academic libraries can seem like a different culture to students invested in the online world; particularly the ones that don’t offer services to match the users’ needs. Cohen (2007) adds, “Ultimately, librarians become champions of adaptability in order to meet users’ evolving needs” (p. 49).

Future Implications

Creating a “culture of constant and purposeful change” (Casey & Savastinuk, 2007, p. 5) will ensure that libraries remain relevant to their communities—whether staff, faculty, users, or administration. This culture encourages creativity, idea creation, supportive peers, and inspiring mentors. However, it does require a certain amount of buy-in and staff commitment.

Participatory Service methodology will move academic libraries toward physical and online spaces that are open, welcoming, friendly, helpful, approachable, collaborative, transparent, resourceful, strong, engaging, and fun.

For many recent grads, they may require a staff culture that promotes constant and purposeful change and a degree of embedded librarianship in both the online and physical space in future jobs. I know I will. We have seen the way that it could be—from working together on class projects, to finishing the end of the semester in one piece, to getting passionate about a research paper topic, to engaging in online spaces such as class sites, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. This is the culture we are embedded in, enjoy, and want to continue through our professional careers—knowledge sharing, collaborative and engaging projects, mentorship, support, and a unified effort to best serve the user community. I’ve realized that collaborative and supportive peer librarians are a great asset to my professional development and my personal learning network. I don’t want to be stuck behind a desk; I want to participate in the profession.

Finally, I just want to express another desire for this tribe of new and experienced librarians focused on Library 2.0 principles and technologies. We need help! We need mentorship. We need to be taught the ropes so to speak. We are looking to collaborate with more experienced and more knowledgeable libraries in the field. Please don’t be intimidated by our eagerness. We are in this profession for the same reason you are. We want to help make the academic library a place for learning, research, and collaboration—we just want to take it up a notch.

To End…

The tribe and I intend to make this new culture of change, interaction, innovation, services, and technologies the paradigm in academic libraries where students are responsive. Librarianship will remain bright and adaptive with these principles. The users are going to feel and know our eagerness and ability to make the library their space.

There is an article that I keep returning to when I need inspiration after reading about all or any of the problems, concerns, bleak futures, and budget crises facing academic libraries.

“What are libraries? Libraries are not just collections of documents and books, they are conversations, they are convocations of people, ideas, and artifacts in dynamic exchange. Libraries are not merely in communities, they are communities: they preserve and promote community memories; they provide mentors not only for the exploration of stored memory, but also for the creation of new artifacts of memory” (Schultz, 2006).

Schultz goes on to describe Library 1.0, Library 2.0, Library 3.0, and finally, Library 4.0, the neo-library: Experience. “This will be the library for the aesthetic economy, the dream society, which will need libraries as mind gyms; libraries as idea labs; libraries as art salons. But let’s be clear: Library 4.0 will not replace Libraries 1.0 through 3.0; it will absorb them. The library as aesthetic experience will have space for all the library’s incarnations: storage (archives, treasures); data retrieval (networks—reference rooms); and commentary and annotation (salon). Available as physical places in the library ‘storefront,’ they will also be mobile, as AR overlays we can view (via glasses, contacts, projections) anywhere. Both virtual and augmented 3D reality will enable us to manipulate data via immersive, visual, metaphorical, sculptural, holographic information theatres: the research and analytic experience will merge with drawing, dance and drama…I’ll meet you there” (Schultz, 2006).

And I will meet you there as well. Librarians are charged with continuing the culture of “change and purposeful change.” The path has been carved; now, both new and experienced librarians just need to bring it to life in academic libraries.

Terri Rieck is a graduate student at Dominican University’s Graduate School of Library and Information Science, graduating in May 2011. She is also currently interning at Northwestern’s Schaffner Library on the Chicago campus.

Citations:

Casey, Michael E. & Savastinuk, Laura C. (2007). Library 2.0: A guide to participatory library service. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc.

Cohen, L. (2007). A manifesto for our times. American Libraries, 38(7), 47-9. Retrieved from OmniFile Full Text Mega database.

Schultz, Wendy. (2006). Web 2.0: Where will it take libraries? Infinite Futures: To a temporary place in time. NextSpace, The OCLC Newsletter (2). http://www.oclc.org/nextspace/002/6.htm

Integrating Staff Personal Social Media Presence into Library Web Site = Human Touch

I’m updating some slides and prepping for spring classes today. I was pleased to find this wonderful staff directory page for the Todd Library at Waubonsee Community College:

https://library.waubonsee.edu/staff/

Not only do I get a photo of the staff member, I also get access to their social media presence as well. Frankly, I’d like to see more libraries do this. Wouldn’t clicking through to a staff listing such as the one above paint a clearer picture of the PEOPLE running the library beyond just a name and email address? I understand if some individuals were not interested in participating, but I’d rather such a page be opt in for those who want to – with the understanding that their social media presence becomes part of the story the library is telling.

Speaking of marketing, isn’t this type of  endeavor – that glimpse into the social presence of those folks who you might see behind a service desk or those ordering/processing materials – is a million times more real than the latest crafted message from the PR department? Kudos to the folks at Todd Library!

TTW readers – do you have other staff bio pages to share like this one? Can you do such a thing at your library?

On the Zukunftwerkstatt Kultur und Wissensvermittlung – Future Workshop in Germany

From Michael: Christoph Deeg of the Zukunftwerkstatt in Germany agreed to do a guest post for me outlining the origins and philosophies of this group. I spent an incredible day with the group in Berlin – and learned so much from them.  I was honored to be asked to participate as a founding member last March and am pleased Christoph agreed to write for TTW – in English!


The Zukunftwerkstatt Kultur- und Wissensvermittlung e.V. is a non-profit-organisation that brings people together who are active in public institutions or private enterprises dealing with future possibilities of mediating of cultural and scientific topics. It is the aim of our organisation to develop and realize concepts that will make knowledge society come true.  We are open to people and their ideas and consider ourselves mediators between institutions, enterprises, people and products, while not pursuing any financial interests. We are guided by the desire to find and support people of vision who believe – as we do – that cooperation at all levels will unfold new and exciting possibilities for all participants and hence for all customers or users.

Dividing lines between learning and playing, between education and entertainment are breaking down. New virtual worlds and leisure time options are evolving. Interaction, multi-optional, individual and global communication systems are gaining ground. Negotiation and utilization of knowledge in the fields of science and culture will become essential. If we acknowledge the overall scheme of things, a new means in communication will emerge with new networks and unique possibilities of cooperation: Users will gain global access to cultural and scientific subject matter. Enterprises and institutions, if cooperating closely, will gain access to millions of interested, creative and openminded users and customers. Never before have so many opportunities been better for such complex cooperation at all levels between public institutions such as libraries, museums or private enterprise as for example the games industry. And never before were we closer to realizing a knowledge and culture society, without the partners in cooperation having to give up any of their own goals.

We believe that libraries will play an important role in conveying knowledge and culture in the future. But they won`t be able to define themselves as simply providing access to knowledge, because nowadays they compete with a whole range of alternative suppliers. Libraries depend for their legitimization on the advantages, which the society that finances them draws from their services: preserving cultural heritage, promoting literacy and serving as mediators and managers of media and information.

We also believe that computer games and Web 2.0 will have a huge influence on the way cultural and scientific content will be imparted in the future. Therefore it is important to understand the culture behind these new media which is based on cooperation, transparency, interaction, trust, sharing, and having fun.

The best way to describe the modern internet is to show a picture of an soccer-stadium like the one here. The stadium itself is useless. What makes it alive are the people, the teams, the fans. All the different platforms that you can find in the internet like Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Youtube are useless without the people that upload and share content. It is all about people not about software and it is not possible to understand anything of these new platforms only by a theoretical discussion. To understand the people the way they work and communicate, they way they care and having fun we have to become users and gamers.

While at the moment most of the libraries are trying to follow and understand trends and technologies they have to become their designers not in a technical but in a content and service orientated way.

We do not think that there is any kind of “rat race” between the traditional and the future library or between the books and the computers. There is neither a competition between gaming and seriousness. But we found out that if you start this exciting journey you will have to work hard, learn a lot and you will have fun.

Our story began in 2008 in Mannheim where we (Julia Bergmann, Jin Tan and Christoph Deeg) met at the celebration dinner in the occasion of the Bibliothekartag which is the biggest library conference in Germany and probably in Europe. We all have different backgrounds. Julia is a librarian and works as a trainer for information literacy. Jin is also a librarian. After working in a huge library in Berlin he is now on his way back to china where he amongst other things will develop new intercultural projects for the Zukunftswerkstatt. Christoph is not a librarian. After studying Jazz drums he worked  in the range of marketing and sales for the music – and the games industry. All together we come from different worlds and cultures and we still believe that this interdisciplinary background is very helpful for our work. But lets go back to that evening 2008 in Mannheim. After we had dinner we we started talking about libraries, gaming, the web 2.0, the future a.s.o. And while we where exchanging our experiences the idea was born to do something at the Bibliothekartag 2009 in Erfurt. And so the story went on.

The first idea was to create a little space for the visitors of the Bibliothekartag 2009 conference in Erfurt to try out the Web 2.0 and the world of computer games. We wanted the librarians to try out these new technologies and to discuss their experiences and ideas. From our point of view most of the librarians in germany did and still do not have much experience with gaming and the web 2.0. This is by the way not only a problem in libraries. You can find the same situation in institutions like museums, operas, universities and even private enterprises. And this is probably comparable to most of the countries worldwide. We started to present our idea to librarians, companies and institutions and we were happy to see that we got a lot of support. Companies like Electronic Arts, libraries like the ETH-library in Zürich, universities like the University of Applied Science in Potsdam and last but not least a huge number of librarians helped us. The result was a bit different to the first idea but in positive way.

We had our own exhibition stand where we introduced our visitors to the world of opportunities and possibilities arising from the use of computer games and Web 2.0 applications. Everybody was invited to try out the aspects and possibilities of new media, computer games and diverse web tools and to gain a better idea of the vast potential of these devices for the development of their libraries. Our visitors had also an opportunity to learn from best-practice models so far in use in libraries worldwide, where Web 2.0 applications were enhancing their services to their customers. The librarians could also experience the chances of including computer games, internet communities and social media into their services and of course we shared our enthusiasm with all the visitors at our exhibition stand. We had speeches and a very successful panel discussion with librarians, game-developers and futurologists about the future of libraries. To get an little insight about Erfurt 2009 we created a little trailer. Enjoy yourself :-)

After one year successful voluntary working together we found ourselves again at the celebration-dinner of a Bibliothekartag. And while we where celebrating our success we where asked to go on with our work. Today we have an legal form that goes with our activities. We started a research programme and we are teaching librarians how to use the Web 2.0 and computer games as part of their daily work. At www.zukunftswerkstatt.mixxt.org you can find our interdisciplinary online-community which is open for everyone who wants to think about the question how we will impart cultural and scientific content in the future. We are also talking to companies and politicians to make them understand how important it is to support the libraries on their way in the future. Beside this we started to found an own research-institute. Furthermore we are realizing a roadshow which is a mobile-future-library. But the most important thing is we are activating people to try out these new technologies.

In 2010 the library-conference was located in Leipzig. Prof. Dr. Hans-Christoph Hobohm from the University of Applied Science in Potsdam who had been with us from the first activities in Erfurt 2009 told us that there was the possibillity for the Zukunftswerkstatt to present Michael as speaker at the library-conference in Leipzig. It was the Embassy of the United States that made this possible. Prof. Dr. Hobohm also  had an great idea. As mentioned before we found a legal form for the Zukunftswerkstatt that goes with our activities and structure. Our legal form is an registered non-profit association. We wanted to found it officially during the libraryconference in Leipzig. In Germany you need 7 people to found such an association. Generally who can ask everyone to become a founder. But we wanted to have founders that identify to our project and our activities and that will support us. Prof. Dr. Hobohm asked Michael to become the 7th founder. Michael accept our invitation and so he became and he still is a founder of the Zukunftswerkstatt Kultur- und Wissensvermittlung e.V.

From left to right: Jin Tan (Zukunftswerkstatt), Christoph Deeg (Zukunftswerkstatt), Dr. Rudolf Mumenthaler (ETH Zürich) , Julia Bergmann (Zukunftswerkstatt), Michael Stephens, Prof. Dr. Hans-Christoph Hobohm (University of applied science Potsdam) und Hans-Jürgen Schmid (librarian emeritus)

We are very happy that we were able to gain Michael Stephens as a founder of our association. During the day that we spent with him in Berlin we were able to learn a lot. Sharing and discussing ideas and visions is important. It was fascinating to find out the similarities and the differences between our two cultures. But we also found out that we had much more similarities than expected. We believe that the future of libraries is not based on countries or areas. Everyone can learn from each other. Our little association has founders in the USA, China, Germany and Switzerland.

We would like to invite you to become part of our interdisciplinary and international community. Talk to us! Talk about us! Lets have fun…

Christoph Deeg

http://www.zukunftswerkstatt.org/

Justin and the 8bit tat he got at Annual

One of the highlights for my very brief time at ALA Annual in DC was having lunch with Justin Hoenke, He writes for TTW as a Contributor, blogs at 8BitLibrary and other blogs, and was a 2010 Emerging Leader on Team J. I was the Team J mentor.

Take a look at this: http://blog.8bitlibrary.com/2010/07/08/project-brand-yourself-a-librarian-the-aftermath-part-1/

Justin added a Link (I had it wrong – updated!) tattoo to his collection, which also includes a library logo on the other arm. (See http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsphotos/4743185541

What a unique way to spread the word about libraries (and gaming in libraries). It’ll be a great conversation starter for Justin on planes and out in the world. :-)

I must also say I’m so excited to see the young librarians like Justin working so hard at improving service – checkout some of his posts about what he’s done in libraries - as well as making change in our associations and organizations.

To Justin: Well done, Sir!

Transliteracy Quick Code

http://nlabnetworks.typepad.com/transliteracy/2010/04/a-quick-code.html

Kristy McGill writes:

For a bit of fun, try taking this very quick transliteracy test…

Transliteracy Code from Kirsty McGill on Vimeo.

I will stress that this was designed only as a bit of fun – it is not, by any means, a definitive test! However, in producing it, I was mulling on two points related to transliteracy…

1.Our brains are designed to solve problems and spot patterns, which allows __ to miss ___ every third ___ without confusing ____. Whilst it is not possible to understand and demonstrate complete fluency in every type of literacy there is, the ability to find patterns and infer meaning must surely be a component part of being a transliterate individual?

2.The desire to understand and the ability to search out meaning must also be a factor in transliteracy. How many of you did an internet search to de-code the morse code or semaphore sections of the video? Does an ignorance of morse code or semaphore mean you are not transliterate? Or does the desire to fill in that gap and the ability to find that information prove that you *are* transliterate?

Something to ponder, anyway! ;-)

I’m fascinated by the robust discussions of transliteracy and transmedia going on right now. I was interviewed last spring for an IFLA paper on the topic:

http://www.ifla.org/files/hq/papers/ifla75/94-andretta-en.pdf

and since then I’ve incorporated the topic into my classes.

Don’t Miss the Tech Set from LITA & Neal Schuman

The Librarian in Black writes:

I’m pleased to announce that my first book, Technology Training in Libraries, is set to be released in March of this year!

This book has been a labor of love for the last year.  In it, I walk you through setting up a technology training program in your library, including basic technology training (both online and face-to-face) and general tech training principles and tips.  I also address creating and training to a set of “technology skills” expectations for staff members.  The bulk of the book walks you through the steps for setting up specific types of technology training: lunchtime brown-bags, 23-things style programs, technology petting zoos, peer training, and train-the-trainer programs.  On the practical side, I cover how to come up with a dollar value for estimating the return on investment for training programs, how to market training, creating a culture of learning, dealing with difficult learning, and measuring success with individuals and the library as a whole.  Finally, I offer a huge list of recommended resources at the end of the book.  At 125 pages, it is a concise how-to manual for successfully setting up specific technology training initiatives in a library.

The book is the 6th in a 10-book series called The Tech Set, a joint LITA & Neal-Schuman project edited by Ellyssa Kroski.  The entire series is  meant to be a series of practical how-to guides on specific technology services in libraries.  Other topics include next-gen catalogs, microblogging, mobile technology, gaming, unconferences, and more.  The set boasts some great names: Cliff Landis, Connie Crosby, Jason Griffey, Robin Hastings, Steve Lawson, Sean Robinson, Lauren Pressley, Kelly Czarnecki, and Marshall Breeding.

For more information, you can see my book’s pre-pub website (which offers a peek inside the book) and for a complete list of the Tech Set titles, see the site for the entire Tech Set series.

Elyssa asked me to take a look at the set and consider an endorsement. I read multiple chapters from each work – and Sean Robinson’s excellent tome on video making for libraries in its entirety and was very pleased. Pleased enough to endorse the set. I was especially taken with Jason Griffey’s work on mobile library services and mobile technology and Sarah’s take on a subject near and dear to my heart tech training. Here’s what I submitted to Neal Schuman:

For those curious about next gen library catalogs or wondering if the library should be on Twitter, the Tech Set offers ten volumes of current thinking and best practice for a wide range of  library-related tech trends. Editor Elyssa Kroski has assembled a who’s who of notable experts on these timely topics – including outstanding entries such as Jason Griffey on mobile technologies, Cliff Landis on utilizing social networking and Sarah Houghton-Jan on effective technology training. The titles are well-researched, clearly explained by a cadre of library technologists, offering tips and tricks for diving into blogging, gaming, video production, and  more. This set will be a useful addition to any librarian’s toolkit for  planning for emerging technologies.

These up-to-date  volumes will surely find a welcome spot in my teaching and will probably serve as textbooks for many technology-related LIS courses. Congrats to all involved!

LIS768 Group Projects Day 2

The New Digital Divide

This group explored the New Digital Divide.