“Look, we’ve got more computer junk than we know what to do with and a generation of kids whose “information literacy” extends to learning PowerPoint and being lectured about plagiarizing from Wikipedia and putting too much information on Facebook. The invisible, crucial infrastructure of our century is treated as the province of wizards and industrialists, and hermetically sealed, with no user-serviceable parts inside.
Damn right libraries shouldn’t be book-lined Internet cafes. They should be book-lined, computer-filled information-dojos where communities come together to teach each other black-belt information literacy, where initiates work alongside noviates to show them how to master the tools of the networked age from the bare metal up.”
I have grown tired of so many discussions about information literacy always winding up at “we can show them where the best information can be found…”
Don’t miss this by Brian Kenney:
That strategy seems to represent a new chapter in a debate public librarians in America have had for 150 years: should we be providing our readers with the material they want, or should we be providing books we think they should read? Because, however noble DCL’s motivation is for its model, when it comes to e-books, the system is pushing its patrons to read something other than what they want to read. It’s back to the 19th century, Kindle in hand.
Of course, in DCL’s defense, much of this is out of its hands: only two of the big six offer their full catalogues to libraries, and in those cases they do so under lending restrictions, or very high prices. “We can’t be held hostage to vendors,” LaRue says, and “ownership” of the libraries’ content is the bedrock of DCL’s model.
But at this moment in nascent e-book history, is “ownership” really so vital? Is it really practical for public libraries to try to reform the publishing business by rerouting our patron demand? Or do we risk losing patrons dissatisfied with our digital offerings?
It is a complex question. I believe that part of the promise of digital content for libraries lies in experimentation, and that the ownership model, necessary for research libraries, may not suit public library needs any longer. Shouldn’t public library collections be dynamic and ever-changing? Does any public library really need to own an e-book it plans to discard in three years? Or 48 digital copies of Gone Girl?
One of the great opportunities for public libraries in the digital world is that they should be able to continuously recreate their collections, at a reasonable cost—without the expense of housing, materials handling, weeding, and discarding.
LaRue concedes he would entertain other ways to do business—like pay per use—provided he could still purchase copies for his “long-tail” catalogue. “But,” he adds, “that model doesn’t exist.” In a world where a digital copy of a book can be acquired in minutes, however, doesn’t the long-tail catalogue get to be pretty short?
Read the whole thing…so nice to be reminded of the Charles Robinson philosophy in the midst of all the e-book hoopla!
This quote from Seth Godin, shared on the super cool R-Squared Risk takers group on Facebook by Jodi Grifasi Brown is golden:
“Traditional corporations, particularly large-scale service and manufacturing businesses are organized for efficiency. Or consistency. But not joy. Joy comes from surprise and connection and humanity and transparency and new…If you fear special requests, if you staff with cogs, if you have to put it all in a manual, then the chances of amazing someone are really quite low. These organizations have people who will try to patch problems over after the fact, instead of motivated people eager to delight on the spot.
The alternative, it seems, is to organize for joy. These are the companies that give their people the freedom (and the expectation) that they will create, connect and surprise. These are the organizations that embrace someone who make a difference, as opposed to searching the employee handbook for a rule that was violated.”
~ Seth Godin from Poke the Box
(bolding is mine)
Don’t miss this great article by Toby Greenwalt:
The Idea Box7 is a nine-by-thirteen-foot space located in the opening vestibule of OPPL’s main library building. Originally designed as a coffee shop, the space is now a constantly changing interactive environment for art and conversation. Unlike a digital media lab or a makerspace, however, the Idea Box is focused on single-serving experiences. One month might have patrons rearranging small LED lights to create constellations on the walls. Another month might have a visitor posing for a green-screen photo with an oversized library card, and choosing their favorite exotic location to have superimposed in the background. These individual contributions accumulate over the run of the installation. Much of the joy, for staff and patrons alike, comes from seeing the space change over time.
The genesis of Idea Box came during the library’s last strategic planning session, fueled by a library brainstorming initiative they called Spark8. Monica Harris, OPPL’s customer service manager, described the process: “We had people from all over the library looking at crazy things. One of our assistant directors, Jim Madigan, said, ‘We’re very focused on art here in Oak Park. We have a lot of great art in the library. We have one art gallery, but what if we open a second art space. We could call it the Idea Box.’ The Spark Team liked that idea, and they ran with it. They said, ‘OK, we’ll call it Idea Box, we’ll put things in there, we’re not entirely sure what’s happening with it yet, but I think it sounds really good.’”9
Please take a few moments to explore this incredible presentation from the Smithsonian’s Michael Edson. It’s here the work of libraries and museums converge and Michael identifies some very useful ways of thinking about this shift. To me, it’s brilliant.
The filing claimed that McMaster is liable for allowing Askey “to continue the publications” and for refusing to force him to take the posting down.
The lawsuits inspired scholars from around North America to rally behind Askey. Created by Martha Reineke, a professor of religion at the University of Northern Iowa, a petition demanding EMP to drop its lawsuits had garnered more than 3,100 names as of Monday morning.
EMP told CBC Hamilton on Monday that it “has discontinued the court case against McMaster University and Dale Askey.”
In a statement, the company added: “financial pressure of the social media campaign and press on authors is severe. EMP is a small company. Therefore [it] must choose to focus its resources on its business and serving its authors.”
Hooray! There’s something about that last line that irks me though….
WOAH – Dale just tweeted that only one of the suits is dropped. The other is still active. Stay tuned!
Higher education has been abuzz about the potential behind service-learning opportunities for many years. The logistics behind service-learning can often be a significant obstacle. Connecting volunteer and social justice efforts to the classroom and also accommodating students’ busy lives can difficult to say the least.
Our library has supported a significant service learning project on our campus, ActOut Now!: Education Through Action. This is a project organized by one of our writing faculty and his students. Our library offers the space for them to hold a volunteer fair where local nonprofit groups, students, and activists come together to discuss issues and build connections. To me, this project is a manageable way to connect service-learning to the curriculum. It is a project that may also be replicated outside of higher education. Our library is not the driving force behind the project, but we offer space and promotional support through social media to help advance the project’s goals.
Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the author of the book, Managing Social Media in Libraries. You can follow him on Twitter at @t_swanson.
Anythinkers get creative as they learn how to write and record a song.
Note from Michael: I caught mention of this event on Facebook from Stacie Ledden. I’ve been watching what Anythink has been doing for some time and the R-Squared conference only made me more interested in what’s happening at this most forward-thinking, innovative library. Stacie put me in touch with Matthew, who graciously agreed to write this guest post. Give a read and take a look at the photos Matthew provided for a glimpse at what is possible when you move from being an “experience library to a participatory library.” I’ll be sharing this post with students in my Hyperlinked Library class for sure. Thanks Matthew!
Anythink’s Approach to Connected Learning at TechFest 2013
On Monday, February 18, Anythink Libraries held our fourth annual “TechFest” staff development day. In the past, we’ve had some amazing experiences—petting zoos, fantastic keynotes, guest instructors, and presentations from Anythinkers all across the district. However, this year was also the launch of our “Studio
” initiative, a culmination of our efforts toward evolution from an experience library to a participatory library. These efforts began with our participation in the IMLS Digital Learning Lab grant
, inspired by YOUmedia Chicago
and funded by the John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur foundation.
Anythink’s goals for the grant were to:
- Transform the district approach to teen technology programming by placing a greater emphasis on creativity
- Build the capacity of our teen and technology guides to support digital media tools
- Open a pilot lab at Anythink Wright Farms
- Develop a roadmap to opening similar creative spaces in all of our libraries
To this end, inspired by the spirit of the R2 conference
— the TechFest team (Logan Macdonald, Samantha Meisinger, Leilani Schrichten, and myself) decided to take a risk and approach the day in a completely new way. We decided to take what we’ve learned about Connected Learning
and turn the day into a collaborative, interest-driven learning experience. We recruited 12 “mentors” for different content areas: including video, web design, animation, podcasting, 3D printing, and audio recording.Each group of ten got to “Hang Out, Mess Around, and Geek Out
” with their mentor providing just in time instruction to help them develop an end product for a showcase at the end of the day. Staff had the opportunity to feel comfortable exploring their creativity, and learning together.
When we came up with this idea, we weren’t sure how it would go over. We worried that perhaps staff would expect a more traditional day, but we found that we had better attendance than we’ve had for our other TechFests. There’s already been talk of making this a model for future training days.
Walking away from TechFest, many Anythinkers find new relevance in supporting community creativity—and greater confidence with the technology that helps make it possible. By emphasizing collaboration and staff interests, rather than training on tools, we feel it overcame potential anxiety associated with learning a new technology and situated the learning in people’s lives.
TechFest 2013: Anythinkers Got Creative In-World and IRL with Minecraft
TechFest 2013: Anythinkers Explore the Promise (and Perils) of 3D Design with Tinkercard and the Makerbot Replicator
TechFest 2013: Anythinkers Get Creative with the Green Screen
Matt Hamilton is part hardware geek, part software geek. He brings a punk rock “Do It Yourself” ethos to librarianship, often turning tradition on its head. Matt is the IT Director for the Anythink Library System in Colorado and wasnamed one of Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers for 2010. He received his MLS from Emporia State University’s School of Library and Information Management and has since presented around the country on innovative services, staff development, and emerging technologies.
The dates are set for the Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference. The third annual global conversation about the future of libraries is scheduled for October 18-19, 2013. The conference will once again be held entirely online around the clock in multiple languages and time zones. Everyone is invited to participate in this FREE forum designed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among information professionals worldwide.
To be kept informed of the latest conference news and updates, please ?join the Library 2.0 network. You do not need to join this network to attend, but doing so will also allow you to correspond with the presenters and other members, and to comment on sessions and discussions.
NEW for 2013! The Library 2.013 conference will feature two additional themed conference strands: 1) Doctoral Student Research and 2) Library and Information Center “Tours.” We encourage doctoral students to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to present their research and hone their online presentation skills. We also heard that many of you want to “see” libraries from around the globe. Presenters will take conference attendees on virtual tours of their libraries or information centers. We will post more information soon on the format of these tours.
Altogether, there will be eight conference strands covering a wide variety of timely topics, such as, MOOCs, e-books, maker spaces, mobile services, embedded librarians, green libraries, and more! Presenters may also submit presentations that cover LIS-related topics not included in the themed strands. The Library 2.013 Worldwide Virtual Conference is a great opportunity for professional development and networking. View the Conference Strands. (As a reminder, recordings of the Library 2.012 Worldwide Virtual Conference presentations are still available for viewing at your convenience.)
We are looking forward to the third year of this this momentous event, and to your participation!
Dr. Sandra Hirsh, Professor and Director
School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University
More Information: ?http://slisweb.sjsu.edu/people/faculty/hirshs/hirshs.php
Web 2.0 Labs
More Information: ?http://www.stevehargadon.com and http://www.web20labs.com
Dr. Hagar is a member of our faculty at San Jose State University SLIS. Her research area – crisis informatics – is very interesting and timely.
Dr. Chris Hagar is one of our featured keynote speakers at the 2013 Information Architecture Summit. She is a full-time faculty member at the School of Library & Information Science at San Jose State University in California and holds a PhD in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her primary teaching and research interests are in the areas of crisis informatics and community informatics.
Dr. Hagar’s research focuses on information needs and information seeking in crises, disaster health information, and roles for librarians and information professionals in crisis preparedness and response. In 2012, she published Crisis Information Management: Communication and Technologies, a collection of perspectives from international professionals tackling issues of crisis preparedness, response, and recovery.
Read the interview at the link above.