Category Archives: Librarians, Libraries & the Profession

#IRDL2015 Twitter Chat Resources

I am honored to be participating in the  2015  Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL) at Loyola Marymount University. My focus with the scholars explores personal learning networks and reflective practice. Tonight, I’ll be hosting a Twitter chat for the 22 scholars. This post will serve as a resource for that chat.

Our hashtag  for the institute is #IRDL2015 and our chat hashtag will be #irdl2015chat. We practiced on Tuesday with http://tweetchat.com – very cool site for Twitter chats.

For tonight, the scholars are reading:

Horowitz & Martin: http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/view/20500/15739

MacMillan: http://words.usask.ca/ceblipblog/2014/11/04/reflections-on-research/

The Questions:

Q1. MacMillan describes her “research experience” – what does the “whole pattern” of your experience look like?

Q2. What’s the role of theory in your research or are you drawn to applied research?

Q3. Horowitz and Martin describe important considerations for the researcher/practitioner and their relationship to LIS education and LIS professors. How might we improve/enhance these connections?

Q4. What realizations have you had about your own research practice?
videochat18-roulette
Tips for the Chat:

  • Start by introducing yourself, share your location (in your room, in the library, at the cafe?)
  • Use the hashtag #irdl2015chat
  • Use @ replies to address individuals
  • Use answer numbers (A1, A2) to keep thoughts organized
  • Share images, links, video, etc

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Now you see it: How the brain science of attention will transform the way we live, work, and learn – A TTW Guest Post by William Bejarano

As part of Michael Stephens’ Hyperlinked Library course offered through San Jose State University, I reported on the book Now you see it: How the brain science of attention will transform the way we live, work, and learn, by Cathy N. Davidson. We were encouraged to use creative means to convey our reports, so I took the book’s central theme to heart and utilized several free and available web tools to comment across platforms.

Part 1: TameTheWeb – “Introduction”

The main thrust of this book is the notion that we are using outdated criteria to measure our educational progress. This is a crucial idea for information professionals to understand, because it attempts to call our attention to the largely invisible shift in how we find, absorb, and utilize information, which could be changing the very idea of what we consider valuable.

Given that much of the book is dedicated to questioning and possibly dismantling the argument that distractions and periodic attention shifts are a bad thing, I’ve decided to create a distraction-heavy presentation with different points presented on separate formats. If the author is correct in her assessment of how users absorb information, then anyone reading this book report will likely be checking Twitter and Tumblr (among other things) before getting to the end of it anyway. By appearing on all of these platforms, I hope to stay a step or two ahead of you!

(For you traditionalists who prefer to have everything in one place, the entire script is available at the very bottom of this post, in one big text-heavy entry).

Part 2: Screencast – “The Gorilla Illusion”

http://www.screencast.com/t/nQEWNZGuK

Part 3: Tumblr – “Distraction as an Asset”

http://hyperbill.tumblr.com/post/109733910521/distraction-as-an-asset

Part 4: Slideshare – “Fighting Gravity”

http://www.slideshare.net/hyperBill/part4-slideshare-44127214

Part 5: Twitter/Storify – “Using Hyperlinks for Good”

https://storify.com/hyperBill_287/using-hyperlinks-for-good

Part 6: Soundcloud – “Conclusion”

https://soundcloud.com/bill-133/bookreview-conclusion

BejaranoBioWilliam Bejarano has worked as Information Specialist at the Rutgers Center of Alcohol Studies Library since 2013. Prior to that, he worked in Technical Services at the Rutgers University Libraries for eight years. He holds a Masters in Employment and Labor Relations and will complete his MLIS degree in July 2015. You can email him at [email protected].

Continue reading Now you see it: How the brain science of attention will transform the way we live, work, and learn – A TTW Guest Post by William Bejarano

The tumblarians – a TTW guest post by Tamarack Hockin

The LIS blogosphere is what brought me into librarianship. I was travelling in Tasmania more than a decade ago when I happened upon Jessamyn West’s librarian.net (still going strong!), and started the discovery process for my own career in libraries. I began spending part of my daily hour at the public terminals reading up on the issues of profession, reflections from practitioners, and linking around within a community of library bloggers. Enter the biblioblogosphere. I have just wrapped up the first semester of my MLIS, and had the amazing opportunity to delve more deeply into the biblioblogosphere in Dr. Michael Stephens’ LIBR200 course. The past few months have been spent constructing some preliminary research into the tumblarians, and considering their place within the existing research on LIS bloggers and information communities. It might be safe to assume that many of TTW’s readers are familiar with the biblioblogosphere since this is an area of special prominence in Michael’s research and many of his past posts.

For those who aren’t familiar, I’ll share here the world’s shortest review on the topic: Beginning in around the early-mid 2000s, LIS bloggers formed an informal online community of practitioners and researchers who shared personal-professional information. This community has been compared to a new form of grey literature for the profession (Powers, 2008), and bloggers themselves identified meaningful benefits from participating in these online conversations (Stephens, 2008). I’ll keep the citations brief, and just sum up the biblioblogosphere as comprising librarians who shared information and reflection on the profession, and who interlinked between one another’s blogs through conversation (e.g., commenting) and endorsement (e.g., blogrolls).

But back to the tumblarians. Who are the tumblarians, what are they doing, and are they an actual community? If the term isn’t new to you, then perhaps you’ve read Tkacik’s piece in The Digital Shift, or Power’s round-up in the Journal of Access Services— or perhaps you yourself are a tumblarian. For myself, I’m lucky enough to know a couple of tumblarians IRL, and was able to supplement this dearth of academic research on the topic by direct conversation. Let me tell you about what I found*. A combination of tumblr (the platform) and librarian, the tumblarians are defined mainly by their use of the hashtag of the same name. Tumblarians share information on diverse topics, but library-related information does take prominence.

I found that the tumblarians bear striking resemblance to LIS bloggers, and may be candidates for inclusion in the same grouping (while the platform is distinct, it shares many similarities with more traditional blogging formats). Like the LIS blogosphere documented in the research, there is a mix of personal and professional information, a community of inter-linking, and topics relevant to the profession are discussed. That said, there are also a lot of quirky animated gifs and pop-culture references. It’s a real mix of social and information. What I find most interesting is the way that this virtual community which is embedded in tumblr and centred around libraries and librarianship, is just that— a community.

My semester long project took place within the context and conversation of Fisher and Durrance’s (2003) information communities, which stressed the ways in which communities form around information needs. Yet it seems there is more than just an information need which leads tumblarians to engage with the blogosphere. Librarianship is deeply rooted in information, and our profession centres on concepts of informational authority, balance, and accuracy. Previous LIS bloggers have described themselves as LIS citizen-journalists who discuss and engage with the issues of the profession. Yet there is editorialising too, and also a lot of irreverent and playful content. The tumblarians especially seem to embrace the social aspects of a blogging community, mixing fandom and research side by side, separated only by their use of hashtags. A blog post (even a long one) is too short a space to get deeply into the issues and themes worthy of real examination. My hope is that I will have more time to follow up with the LIS blogosphere, the tumblarians, and the ways in which librarians and library workers are engaging in discourse about our profession.

We spend so much time with information, but I’m particularly interested in how we’re communicating.By “what I found”, I need to clarify that this was not actual research but findings through informal conversation buttressed by conceptual frameworks. Hence my using the term “preliminary” to characterise my research project.

See also, http://www.sjsu.edu/research/irb/index.html References Fischer, K. E., & Durrance, J. C. (2003). Information communities. In K. Christensen & D. Levinson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Community: From the Village to the Virtual World. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412952583.n248

Powers, A. C. (2008). Social networking as ethical discourse: Blogging a practical and normative library ethic. Journal of Library Administration, 47(3-4), 191-209. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01930820802186522 S

tephens, M. (2008). The pragmatic biblioblogger: Examining the motivations and observations of early adopter librarian bloggers. Internet Reference Services Quarterly 13(4), 311–345. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10875300802326475.

 

photo cc by-nc-sa KylerStorm[Flickr]Tamarack Hockin is in the first year of her MLIS at San Jose State University, and has been a library technician for six years working in Canadian public libraries. Find her wry humour on twitter @tamahoc, or contact her to talk libraries, anytime, via about.me/tamahoc.

Library as classroom: What’s the big flippin’ deal? — A TTW Guest Post by Jolene Nechiporenko

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In my hyperlinked library class we’ve been learning about the library as classroom and the benefits of the flipped classroom.  The flipped classroom lends itself to the newer concept of teaching and learning, the active, community centered, collaborative, group learning in which both students and instructors can be learners or teachers.

What is a flipped classroom? The flipped or inverted classroom assigns pre-class, often an online video, pod cast, or reading material, homework and then utilizes class time to complete an active discussion or learning exercise.  “Lectures are moved online to be viewed before class, and classroom time is dedicated to learning activities that require students to engage concepts at a higher level in a group setting and with an instructor at hand to answer questions, give feedback, and prompt reexamination of key ideas.” (Baepler, Walker, & Driessen, 2014)

What’s so great about a flipped classroom?  Flipping the classroom offers new opportunities to both students and instructors that the traditional classroom does not.  Among these opportunities is flexibility for both the students and the instructors.  Students can access, ‘at home’ materials online wherever and whenever they want thanks to the incorporated technology. These recordings or materials remain available to students for repeated use.  “It allows a blended, (online and face-to-face) and self-paced instruction more aligned to how this generation of students learn.” (Brunsell & Horejsi, 2013)

Flipping saves time in the long run.  Instructors record their lecture only once until they feel the need to make changes or updates and students can view/listen to the material as many times as they feel necessary.  This process, known as ‘off-loading’ allows for better use of classroom time. Kim Miller explains off-loading as it pertains to information literacy instruction “…it’s hard to jump into more complex application and exploratory activities during a traditional 50 or 60 minute class if students don’t have a basic foundation on which to build advanced skills.  Off-loading the procedural instructions, like how to navigate the library’s website or basic catalog searching, to pre-class activities can free up in-class time for librarians to help students work through more complex activities.” (Miller, 2013)

Off-loading provides for better use of classroom time which can foster active, collaborative learning.  “Engaging students in active learning during class gives them an opportunity to think critically about what they are leaning, something often lacking in traditional library instruction.” (Fawley, 2014)  “The [Horizon] report notes, “Students are increasingly evaluated…on the success of the group dynamic,” as well as the outcome.  This might involve peer evaluation and self-reflection in addition to review of the group’s work. (as quoted in Stephens, 2012)”

“Thanks to social-networking software, information can flow not just from teachers to learners but in multiple directions: among students, from students to classroom teachers, from teacher-librarians to classroom teachers and students.” (Loertscher, 2008). In this ideal environment, instructors can assume the role of student and students have the capability to be the instructor. “When an assignment is given, everyone-teachers, librarians, students, and other specialists- can comment, coach, suggest, recommend, and discover together, and push everyone toward excellence.” (Loertscher, 2008)

Why should libraries be interested in flipped classrooms?  It’s ideal for an instructor to collaborate with a teacher librarian and have their class take place in the learning commons where a world of resources are readily available to the learner.  Flipped classrooms are often found in libraries, especially in the information commons.  In addition, the flipped classroom can be applied to information literacy instruction in which the librarian is the actual instructor.  “Libraries are increasingly called on to pursue innovative educational initiatives in order to remain engaged with a user base that is beginning to expect more personalized, mobile, digital, and responsive information services. (Booth, 2011)

Want more information?  Check out this great info graphic:

flipped-classroom-2

References

Booth, C. (2011). Reflective teaching, Effective learning. American Library Association.

Brunsell, E.,& Horejsi, M. (2013) Flipping you classroom in one “Take”.  Science Teacher, 80(3), 8.

Fawley, N. (2014, September 1). Flipped Classrooms. American Libraries.

Knewton. (2011, August, 29). The flipped classroom. [Infographic] Retrieved fromhttp://www.knewton.com/blog/education-infographics/flipped-classroom-infographic/

Loertscher, D. (2008, November 1). Flip this classroom. School Library Journal.

Miller, K. (2013, February 25).  Flipping Out: Preflip planning. Retrieved from ACRLog.

Miller, K. (2013, March 28).  Flipping Out: Reflection upon landing. Retrieved from ACRLog.

Stephens, M. (2012, April 25). Learning everywhere [Web log post]. Library Journal. Retrievedfrom http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2012/04/opinion/michael-stephens/learning-everywhere-office-hours/

 

Jolene Nechiporenko is a senior student in the Master of Library and Information Science online degree program through San Jose State University’s School of Information. She lives with her family in North Dakota and plans to pursue a career in librarianship.

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Michigan: Technologies and Trends Workshop

Tech-Trends

Mark your calendar now for an exciting opportunity to attend a very special event in which you will “explore cutting edge trends” in “evolving libraries.”

Opening keynote speaker, Michael Stephens will speak about how libraries can play a vital role in how “emerging technologies” can change the way we “live and learn.”

Other scheduled presenters include: Kyle Felker and Kristin Meyer from Grand Valley State University, Amy James and Elizabeth Walker from Spring Arbor University, Sonya Schryer Norris, Library of Michigan and Rebecca Renirie from Central Michigan University.

Registration

Earlybird Registration Deadline: May 22, 2015

Advance Registration Deadline: June 4, 2015

For more information and registration details, go to: http://www.milibraries.org/events/technologies-and-trends-workshop/

 

Justin is Going to New Zealand! LIANZA 2015

topofthelakeCongrats to Justin Hoenke, TTW Contributor, on his invitation to keynote LIANZA 2015! Iam so excited he’ll be talking about  his ideas for humanistic, user-centered  library services with the good folks of NZ.lianza

Justin writes:

I’m happy to announce today that I will be attending the LIANZA 2015 Conference in Wellington, New Zealand this year from November 7-11 2015 to speak about youth services, kids, tweens, teens, and everything awesome that can happen in libraries. I’m honored to be a part of this event. I’ve always enjoyed following the LIANZA conferences on Twitter (#lianza15 this year!) and cannot wait to learn and share with many librarians from New Zealand, Australia, and beyond. They’ve got a great lineup this year (Sarah Houghton, Ned Potter, David Lankes, and more!) and I am also looking forward to hanging out (and in some cases, meeting for the first time!) with some wonderful library colleagues.

I spoke at LIANZA in 2013 and the trip was wonderful on all counts. To put a fine point on it: life-changing. Read more about it here:

http://tametheweb.com/category/ttw-goes-to-new-zealand/

and here:

http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/12/opinion/michael-stephens/notes-from-some-small-islands-office-hours/

Photo: A moment of reflection for me in Glenorchy,NZ.

New Horizons: Libraries, Space, and People — A TTW Guest Post by Jonathan Pacheco Bell

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Our readings for New Horizons, New Models examined what forwarding thinking libraries are currently doing and envisioning as important future concepts. Of course, excessive future orientation can push some upstart librarians into technolust and, as Schmidt points out, make them forget about the people who are central to the library’s mission. To my surprise and satisfaction, space and people are recurring themes in this module’s readings. A focus on space and people dovetails with the theme of my #hyperlib blog. Today’s public library is an important social space. Libraries serve multiple functions in diverse communities. The library is a public service and a public space for all. This is especially important in this era of increasing privatization of public space and library service.

The readings got me thinking about my spatial learning from urban planning school ten years ago. Fields that deal with the built environment — planning, architecture, geography — tend to look at space with a heightened reverence. Space is not a given; space is a gift! Urban theorists like Edward Soja and Michael Dear, who are both cut from the postmodern cloth, consider space a generator of action and activity. (Their spatial lens benefits LIS’s emerging interest in space; library theorists should be reading their work.) It became apparent that spatial tenets from the planning realm could enrich the current conversation about libraries, space, and people.

A brief note on space…

The space we’re talking about is the subject of many dissertations from across the disciplines the world over. However, space limitations (terrible pun!) in this essay restrict my allowance for backgrounding. An extremely concise primer follows.

Throughout most of human history, space was considered no more than an empty container in which things happened. Space was passive, inactive, and inconsequential.  The prevailing concepts of time and history ruled thought. Space was irrelevant.

Changing conceptions of space arguably began in France in the 1960s, an era marked by widespread spatial turbulence (riots, protests, war). One theorist stands out. Michel Foucault is known for his studies of space, knowledge, and power. His work examined how space itself exercised control over bodies. Foucault’s evidence of the power of space famously included idealized prison buildings and militaristic city design. To Foucault, space was an active agent affecting our lived experience.

The rise of postmodernism boosted spatiality. Postmodern philosophy disputed the reliability of order, time, truth, and linear history. Instead postmodernism embraced the messy concepts of multiple “truths”, disorder, and difference. Spatial thinking fit well within postmodern ideals.

Today, space is a cause, not an afterthought. Across the disciplines people are embracing the explanatory power of space. We’re finally seeing this spatial thinking permeate the library realm.

Three spatial tenets for libraries:

Space is ACTIVE — Space itself is vibrant and exciting. A stimulus occurs when space is activated. People talk, conflict brews, ideas flow. Spatial activity leads to creation. People, objects, and ideas circulate within space, creating a self-sustaining environment that re/produces activity. Libraries should capitalize on this by including spaces that encourage vibrancy over staid, Shhhhh’d, study. The entire library mustn’t be converted into a jungle gym, but perhaps one space in it can be! We see this spatial awareness in the rise of library Makerspaces that encourage unlibrary like activities such as cooperative tinkering (see Horizon Report and Maloney). We see this in new YA spaces that encourage flexible, mobile, and customizable seating arrangements to improve user experience (see Bernier et al).

Space is CONGREGATIVE — Space brings people together. Space has the power to gather people both alike and disparate. Public plazas and private living rooms bring us closer. Commonalities are identified in these spaces. Groups form. Partnerships develop. Spatial congregation creates community. While the Social Web brings us together in cyberspace, it lacks what Soja calls the “stimulus of agglomeration” that physical space affords. You cannot disconnect with one click in physical space! Libraries must capitalize on the congregative quality of space. As Casey says, libraries can do this by turning outward and asking people what the community needs. Some communities need more than traditional book lending services. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recently approved a plan to support President Obama’s controversial “no deportation” policy. County branch libraries will serve as information centers offering immigration program resources. This works because County of L.A. public libraries are trusted spaces that support diverse communities.

Space is PEOPLE CENTERED — Space is “powered up” on its own, but powerful when people enact it. Our use activates the generative power of space. Of course, space must be nimble. We know people can be fickle. People’s needs change and dynamics shift. Space must adapt to these fluctuations. Intelligent spaces evolve without sacrificing their active, congregative qualities. We see this quality in the conception of third s/place, defined as a spatial alternative to one’s home and work site that brings people together. Public libraries function as a third place.  A high performing library third s/place is flexible, malleable, and supportive of people’s unique needs.

Although emerging technologies enhance our connectedness, emerging tech cannot replace the generative power of people coming together in physical space. Let’s keep that ideal in mind as we gaze out over the horizon. Libraries that put space and people first are looking in the right direction.

Jonathan is a Los Angeles Urban Planner and MLIS student at SJSU’s School of Information. Jonathan’s professional interests include library design, libraries as public space, and the role of public libraries in urbanized communities of color. His work has been published in UrbDeZine, Public Libraries, Public Library Quarterly, and SJSU SOI’s Student Research Journal. He earned his M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in 2005 and studied political science and architecture as an undergraduate. Jonathan will complete the MLIS in 2016.
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Building a Minecraft Community

You won’t want to miss reading about this library’s innovative experiment with Minecraft to build a community of young users.

John Blyberg, assistant director for innovation and user experience at the Darien (CT) Library has turned his “public library into a gathering spot for friends new and old, and a place to decompress” simply by running a single server for Minecraft users.

To read more about Blyberg’s innovative way to build an “afterschool sanctuary” follow this link:

http://www.slj.com/2015/04/technology/my-public-library-minecraft-community/#_

 

Making Libraries Habit-forming! — A TTW Guest Post by Susan Musson

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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (2012) has been on my books-to-read list for over a year now so I was quite pleased to see it included in the list of suggestions for this Context Book assignment. My only hesitation was that I was unsure how a book on habits could be applied to the library community. I needn’t have worried. This book is not a ‘self-help’ manual, and Charles Duhigg is not a therapist or neurologist. He’s a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist which is evident in his conversational tone and investigative style. He describes how habits have destroyed and then saved people’s lives, emotionally and physically; how companies came back from the brink of bankruptcy; how one of the lowest ranked teams in the NFL turned their game around; and how oppressed, but resigned citizens came together during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. While these seemingly random case studies may not sound related, it is the recognition of habits and how using that awareness made it possible for dramatic change, individually, company-wide, and throughout an entire community. It was the focus on this last subject that made me realize what a powerful tool habits can be and how applying them to public libraries will require reforming habits of patrons as well as librarians.

Duhigg has developed a simplified model of why habits develop and how this awareness is critical in changing certain ones. “Habits are powerful, but delicate. They can emerge outside our consciousness, or can be deliberately designed. They often occur without our permissions, but can be reshaped by fiddling with their parts. They shape our lives far more than we realize – they are so strong, in fact, that they cause our brains to cling to them at the exclusion of all else, including common sense.” (Duhigg, 2012, Location 521). Identifying habits as three individual processes allows us to examine and modify each in order to change. https://duhigg-site.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Flowchart-How-to-Change-a-Habit.pdf

“Experiments have been carried out publicly in the foyer of the Main Library in Aarhus.” (transformationlab, 2007). This is a great example of how testing the theory in Step 2 of Duhigg’s flowchart works. Obviously not all libraries have resources that were made available at the Main Library in Aarhus, but that shouldn’t stop one from trying some simpler experiments. One way to find out how library patrons want to participate is by asking them, just as the L. A. Public Library did in 2013, http://magazine.good.is/articles/crowdsourced-design-why-los-angeles-is-asking-the-public-to-create-the-library-of-the-future. For many patrons, seeing their idea or suggestion brought to life is the ultimate reward. As patrons grow accustomed to being asked for input, responding to those requests will become a habit.

Participatory service is a two way street and there are so many ways libraries can contribute. For example, I would love it if my library emailed me book suggestions based on my previous check outs, and even better, offering a hold option so it would be available for me to pick up within the next 24 hours. Duhigg talks about how Target has been researching our buying habits to provide more individualized marketing material, a.k.a. coupons and catalogs. (Did you know your envelope of coupons might be completely different from that of your neighbors?) Amazon has been collecting data about our purchases and feedback for years and uses it to make more purchase suggestions, as well providing our reviews for others to help choose their own purchases. “To market a new habit – be it groceries or aerobics – you must understand how to make the novel seem familiar.” (Duhigg, 2012, Location 3285). So, by using patrons’ records, with their permission of course, libraries have the option for customizing and personalizing communications for each user. Senior events and classes could be announced by automated phone calls to the generation that might not have embraced social media. On the opposite end of that spectrum would be tweets and instagrams about after-school library programs and homework help to those that seem glued to their phones. Tracking feedback via social media and program attendance will give libraries a sense of what patrons want, and what they might not be interested in. Pretty soon, library patrons will be expecting reading suggestions and being able to register for a program through email or on their phones, and a new habit is created!

Resources:

Duhigg, C. (2012). The power of habit: Why we do what we do in life and business. Random House, New York. [Kindle version]

Mack, C. (2013, February 15). Crowdsourced design: Why Los Angeles is asking the public to create the library of the future [Web log post]. GOOD.Retrieved from http://www.good.is/posts/crowdsourced-design-why-los-angeles-is-asking-the-public-to-create-the-library-of-the-future

transformationlab [Kanal tilhørende transformationlab]. (2007, May 7). Transformation lab – Prototyping the future [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/TpFO_L_jA1c

securedownloadSusan is a student working towards her Master of Library and Information Science at SJSU School of Information. She looks forward to joining the growing number of information professionals who are working to break down the physical limitations of libraries. Susan believes that today’s libraries are not defined by a building or a book, but rather defined as a structural or virtual space of unlimited information, that should be made available to everyone with a thirst for learning.