Kiosks: A Balancing Act


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Kiosks have evolved from simply online public access catalogue terminals to dynamic in-library portals to the expanding range of online services and collections. The trick is to find the balance between quick access to the catalogue and broad access to all that other good stuff.

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  • Focus on “this is how we did it”…and “I’m interested to learn how YOU are doing it”…encourage participation,
  • …add s/t at the end about evaluating these goals / purpose?...did we do it?...make it easy for peeps to contriube…twitter hash tag / fb group…consider…state…balance of what patrons want (to find stuff) with what we want them to have (access to all the other fab online things we do…program registration, databases, surveys etc…// to raising a child…feed the veg with the chicken nuggets!them…how do YOU do it good at your library?...let’s continue the conversation / dialoge after today…FB group…twitter hash tag…
  • The Board Committee (now disbanded!) has a list of “Programs and Services” including things like adult programs, volunteer opportunities, collections (from board books to maps…and everything in between!), tours, customer services…anything you can think of that libs do.Have done audits on:Computer Training Lab Web Site usabilityKiosks this year: internet classes
  • Talk about the etymology of “kiosk”…and how the term is used in computer-speak…add more notes here from⋅osk   /ˈkiɒsk, kiˈɒsk/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [kee-osk, kee-osk] Show IPA –noun 1. a small structure having one or more sides open, used as a newsstand, refreshment stand, bandstand, etc. 2. a thick, columnlike structure on which notices, advertisements, etc., are posted. 3. an interactive computer terminal available for public use, as one with Internet access or site-specific information: Students use kiosks to look up campus events. 4. an open pavilion or summerhouse common in Turkey and Iran. 5. British. a telephone booth. Origin: 1615–25; < F kiosque stand in a public parkthe general public is starting to see kiosks more and more – part of the whole “self service” movement from bank tellers to bank machines, from airport clerks to check in yourself and print your own boarding pass, to check yourself out at WalMart…
  • Currently these services include:Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC)Library’s Web siteChildren’s Song Index“Book a PC” serviceMy Library CardKidsZone Web siteCustomer SurveyWhat’s Up Calendar / online program registration“How to Use a Mouse” tutorial
  • first there was the card catalogue…
  • …then in 1986 TBPL automated…
  • …and replaced the card catalogue with computer catalogues ……we had a bank (or pod) of computers in the library for people to access the catalogue (not yet online)- “green screens”
  • …now the catalogue is online – on the web, accessible from anywhere - but we still need it to be available in the library…Catalogue is just one aspect of the kiosk…as we are adding more and more “virtual” / “online” / diy services (program registration / pc booking / databases like the song index)…need to balance access to these in lib + outside + with access to open webAnd we also have public internet stations…other computers in the library….AND children’s cdrom stations……take pic of kiosk…and internet pod and children’s…
  • …even on your mobile……the future is now available…maybe the next evolutionary step will be no kiosks, but hand-held wireless devices (…laptops / notebooks / blackberries / cell phones…) which will eliminate the need for kiosks…or will they?
  • - Need to be developed in a mindful way, as they are commonly customers’ first online interaction with the Library…in the past just sort of evolved without a lot of thought
  • Sign says “Catalogue”, but now kiosk is more…this pod has two kiosks and three CD Rom stations… pods at mjlb (and Cpark) includes cdrom + public internet + kiosks
  • Env scan – internal (what we’re doing now) + external (what other libs…+ other public service places (retail, gov’t, airports…all moving to self-serv kiosks) are doing)….for presentation add outcomes from each bit……see email questions from peeps I sent the report to for stuff to include…eg. We used “webalizer” to track traffic…and SquidProxy and SquidGuard to restrict open access to the Web (pop in screen shots / their Web pages or logos…)
  • Usage data was captured for the ten day period July 21st – July 31st, 2009. The table below shows the Library’s Online catalogue was by far used the most out of all the Kiosk menu items.
  • The Task Force recommends that the main menu of the Kiosks be redesigned to be more intuitive, with the use of graphics and other visual clues. Prominence on the main menu should be given to the Online Catalogue, as it is the most commonly accessed resource. The Task Force recommends this work be done in house in the short term, and that a professional graphic designer be contracted to do a full redesign in 2011. This time frame will allow for the Library’s new Web site and logo to be complete and established before the Kiosks’ main menu is revamped. It also allows for budgetary planning: this item will be requested in the 2011 Capital Budget. The Task Force feels strongly that the main menu should be professionally designed as it is many patrons’ introduction to the Library’s extensive online services. It is clear that the Online Catalogue, PC Booking, My Library Card, Web Site and KidsZone need to remain on the kiosks. It was brought to the attention of the Task Force that the PC Booking software on the Kiosks does not offer the same functionality as the same software on other computers located in the Reference Department. The Task Force therefore recommends that PC Booking software on the Kiosks be reconfigured to allow for “next available station” booking, as it does on the Reference Department terminals.
  • According to CountingOpinions, our ongoing customer satisfaction survey, our patrons are very satisfied with the kiosks, and feel they are very important. Data from 2003 to July 2009 (n=253) was analyzed. In the “Equipment” category, Thunder Bay Public Library patrons rated “Catalogue Terminals”. Their average “satisfaction” and “importance” ratings are:Satisfaction: 8.86 (8 – 10 = “very satisfied”)Importance: 8.84 (8 – 10 = “very important”)This data reinforces the Task Force’s premise that Kiosks serve a vital role within the Library. …not really that useful, but affirming!!!Customer Comments collected both in-library on hand-written forms, and via email from the Library’s Web site were also reviewed, and the following comments about Kiosks were found:Catalogue computers – particularly the mouse – need repairs. Slow and hard to move around. Very frustrating. The on-line catalogue desk (keyboard) moves. This is difficult to use when you don’t have good balance.New catalogue is very hard to use for left-handed people when mouse won’t reach to other side. I have found 1 at MJLB that does reach but none in children’s room at Brodie.These comments show that it is important for Kiosk equipment to be in good repair, and accessible to all. The current practice of reporting computer problems (include those with Kiosks) using the Library’s Intranet Support Site should continue to be used.
  • A review of the professional library science literature, as well as broader business literature, was conducted. Articles reviewed are listed in the Bibliography. Kiosks are ubiquitous in customer service industries. They are being used in a wide variety of retail and governmental applications – from airline check-ins to employment services. The Task Force found that the literature is very specific to each sector. Library literature focuses on online catalogues rather than the broader use of kiosks that offer additional services. No standards currently exist for the number of kiosks required in a library. However, John Slater, Library Development Advisor – Policy and Planning at Ontario Library Services North wrote in response to an inquiry:The OPL Guidelines Council has recently been tasked with coming up with a set of technology standards for Ontario public libraries. They should be starting work on this soon. Hopefully the standards will include the sort of minimum numbers you are looking for. Perhaps you’ll have the opportunity of suggesting that they specifically address the issue of OPAC numbers.
  • I heart SurveyMonkey!Posted far and wide (FB, list serves, etc…) amazing 150 replies!!!67% from public libraries 29% from academic libraries rest from schools and special libraires
  • What do you call your opac terminals?…part of the communication / non-library lingo pieceA few libraries referred to them as “card catalogues”. Some had named them after their ILS system name (eg. COMCAT, LION, HIP), and one library has given their OPAC terminals literary names like Hugo and Ahab. Some libraries reported using customer-friendly names when talking with patrons, and official names when talking with staff. An email survey of Thunder Bay Public Library staff revealed that most refer to the Kiosks as “OPAC terminals” or “Library Catalogue”, as most patrons use them primarily to search for items. The fact that the kiosks offer more than just the catalogue should be promoted to patrons and staff. The Task Force recommends that this be accomplished with an improved main page interface for the Kiosks. Because they are self-service stations, their function needs to be communicated clearly at first glance. The Task Force recommends that standard signage for Kiosks be investigated by the Publicity and Publications Committee.
  • Survey Question 5: Please note any issues, problems, challenges (or solutions!) you have had with your OPAC terminals. Thirty nine of the 85 people who responded to this question mentioned the challenges related to preventing patrons from using the terminals as internet stations. Other common comments were customers’ frustration with not being able to print, and the library not having enough OPAC terminals. Thunder Bay Public Library staff reported that we have enough kiosks to meet patrons’ needs. They do not see people lining up to use the kiosks.Printing is currently not possible from Thunder Bay Public Library’s kiosks, and our patrons have not expressed any frustration over this. Introducing printing from kiosks would be technically and logistically complex, and would prove counter to the use of kiosks as quick search stations. Therefore the Task Force recommends that the current practice of not offering printing from kiosks be maintained.
  • In conclusion, the survey results show that the challenges of making OPAC terminals work for patrons is common in libraries. Although the challenges are common, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Thunder Bay Public Library’s Kiosks provide access to more options than those at other libraries. Patrons who want to search subscription databases, or access the open Web are referred to public internet stations. The Task Force recommends access to the Virtual Collection of subscription databases be investigated, the face of the Kiosks be improved.
  • The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and its associated standards will have an impact on the future development of Kiosks. The Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services Web site ( explains:Ontario’s accessibility standards will be the rules that businesses and organizations in the province will have to follow to make Ontario more accessible to people of all abilities.The standards are being implemented one at a time, and include these that are relevant to Kiosks:Customer Service (need to comply by January 1, 2010)Information and CommunicationsMaking Kiosks accessible for people with limited mobility, vision and other physical and cognitive challenges will become essential. Thunder Bay Public Library has a Task Force which meets regularly to coordinate efforts to meet the current and upcoming standards. The Task Force recommends the Head of Virtual Library Services be responsible for coordinating efforts to ensure Kiosks comply with upcoming accessibility standards. The Head of Virtual Library Services sits on the Accessibility Task Force.
  • The future of computers in general is trending towards smaller, portable machines that facilitate wireless access to the internet from any location. The Thunder Bay Public Library’s online catalogue is currently available in an “AirPac” format which is compatible with handheld devices. Some avant-garde libraries are using wireless and handheld workstations for staff and patrons to bring the OPAC with them right to the shelves. Touch screens are also becoming increasingly common. Staff in the Children’s Departments report that young patrons instinctively reach out to touch the kiosk screens and expect them to respond.  The physical layout of our Library branches is periodically reconfigured to make room for new services or collections, or to increase staff capacity to provide service. Also, a new Mary J.L. Black Branch Library will be built in the next few years. The Task Force recommends that as new Library spaces are planned, consideration be given to placing Kiosks “in the stacks” and not in “pods” with computers designated for other uses (ie. public internet stations and CD Rom stations).  The Task Force recommends that the Publicity and Publications Committee, which meets quarterly, add “Kiosks” as a standing agenda item. Further, it is recommended that the Head of Virtual Library Services monitors developments in kiosks, and brings forward any new relevant new technology to the Publicity and Publications Committee for discussion.
  • Song Index has always been, and will continue to be accessible from the Virtual Collection on the Web siteMouse tutorial used in “Mouse in the House” internet classesNeither are used very much at all on the kiosks
  • Main menu redesign:to be more intuitive, with the use of graphics and other visual clues; that this work be done in-house in the short term and that a professional graphic designer be contracted to do a full redesign in 2011 (funding will be requested from 2011 Capital Budget)
  • - the Publicity and Publications Committee, which meets quarterly, add “Kiosks” as a standing agenda item. Further, it is recommended that the Head of Virtual Library Services monitors developments in kiosks, and brings forward any new relevant new technology to the Publicity and Publications Committee for discussion
  • Kiosks in YOUR Library: what’s on them? how did they evolve?The ideal kiosk (dream big!) brainstorm how the ideal kiosk would work what do you need to do to get there?One thing you can do now to improve your kiosks what can you realistically do now?
  • Put whole pres on slideshare + link from my blog + my FB + conference FB…Check out…and maybe include list of urls / part of bib?... http://kioskmarketplace.com …designed to deliver library services to inmates in prison…a new level of “secure”!Interesting: (good definition / clear instructions...+ printing)
  • Kiosks: A Balancing Act

    1. 1. Kiosks: A Balancing Act<br />Joanna Aegard, Head of Virtual Services<br />Thunder Bay Public Library<br />Manitoba Libraries Conference, May 2010<br />
    2. 2. To share with you work done at TBPL<br />Motivate you to think about the role of kiosks in your library, and inspire you to nurture them in to their most efficient, useful state<br />Generate and collect your new ideas for uses of kiosks, and how to study / nurture<br />What is the purpose of this presentation?<br />
    3. 3. Started in 2007 by the Board’s Community Relations and Services Committee<br />An Annual audit of selected programs and services is a key duty of this committee<br />Intent:<br />to ensure effective outcomes for the community and analysis of dollars spend to do so; and to make recommendations related to said Audit for purposes of budget preparation and services and program planning<br />Service Audits<br />
    4. 4. What are Kioks?<br />In-library computer stations where Library customers can access a number of online services.<br />
    5. 5.
    6. 6. A bit of history…<br /><br />
    7. 7.
    8. 8.
    9. 9.
    10. 10.<br />
    11. 11. To study the role of kiosks in relation to other Library services and collections<br />Examine sound practices in place at other public libraries (how they use kiosks)<br />Determine the most effective use of kiosks at TBPL<br />What was the purpose of this audit?<br />
    12. 12. challenging to communicate function <br />Provide Web-based services but not open access to the Web<br />↑ online services and collections = evolving role of kiosk<br />need to be developed in a mindful way<br />Why was this audit needed?<br />
    13. 13. Spot the Kiosks!<br />
    14. 14. Cross-departmental and multi-level<br />Task Force<br />
    15. 15. The Cross-departmental task force worked together and:<br />Studied how patrons and staff are currently using <br />Conducted a literature review<br />Surveyed other Libraries <br />150 responded to online survey<br />Developed ten recommendations<br />Methodology<br />
    16. 16. How Kiosks Were Being Used<br />
    17. 17. “unauthorized sites”…<br />
    18. 18. Re-design main menu<br />Keep:<br />OPAC<br />PC Booking<br />My Library Card<br />Web Site<br />KidsZone<br />Remove:<br />Song Index (available via Web site)<br />Mouse Tutorial (Mouse in the House class offered)<br />So, we recommend:<br />
    19. 19. Counting Opinions<br />“catalogue terminals”<br />8.86 satisfaction (8–10 = very satisfied)<br />8.84 importance (8–10 = very important)<br />Comment Forms <br />A few specific complaints about equipment<br />Customer Comments<br />
    20. 20. Not much…yet! <br />Library lit focus on “OPACs”<br />Business lit very industry specific (airports, retail self-check outs, government services)<br />Found no standards for number of kiosks, but Ontario Public Libraries Guidelines Council is working on it!<br />Literature Review<br />
    21. 21. Survey of Other Libraires<br />
    22. 22. Survey said:<br />
    23. 23. OPAC or PAC<br />Catalogue<br />Computer or terminal<br />What do you call yours?<br />The *what*?!<br />
    24. 24. What does it look like?<br />
    25. 25. Lack of access to the open Web<br />Not being able to print<br />Not enough terminals<br />Common problems<br />
    26. 26. Common challenges<br />No common solution<br />So, survey said…<br />
    27. 27. Legislation in the works (in Ontario)<br />Someone needs to be “in charge” to ensure compliance<br />Accessibility for people with disabilities = improved usability for all<br />Accessability<br />
    28. 28. Computers are trending towards:<br />Smaller<br />More portable (byo handheld)<br />touch screens (like Chapters)<br />“natural user interface” (aka nui)<br /> Pods = bad<br /> In the stacks = good<br />Attention to trends is essential, in order to avoid getting left behind. <br />The Future<br />
    29. 29. Edit “you can’t go there” page to direct customers to public internet stations, and include a link back to the main kiosk screen<br />Remove Song Index and Mouse Tutorial<br />Recommendations:<br />
    30. 30. the What’s On Calendar’s RSS feed be explored to determine if it can be used for a “Today’s” or “This Week’s” events display on the Kiosks<br />the main menu of the Kiosks be redesigned<br />
    31. 31. PC Booking software on the Kiosks be reconfigured to allow for “next available station” booking<br />standard signage for Kiosks be investigated by the Publicity and Publications Committee<br />
    32. 32. access to selected databases in the Virtual Collection be investigated, and implemented if feasible <br />the Head of Virtual Library Services be responsible for coordinating efforts to ensure Kiosks comply with upcoming accessibility standards<br />
    33. 33. as new Library spaces are planned, consideration be given to placing Kiosks “in the stacks” and not in “pods” with computers designated for other uses <br />“kiosks” be added as a standing agenda item for the Publicity and Publications Committee<br />
    34. 34. Kiosks in YOUR Library: what’s on them?<br />The ideal kiosk (dream big!)<br />One thing you can do now to improve your kiosks<br />Let’s talk about:<br />
    35. 35. Balas, Janet I. “Extending a welcome to the library and to the internet.” Computers in Libraries 21.2 (2001): 43-5.<br />Fritz, Mark. “Keys to the kiosk: the temptations of touchscreens.” EMedia 13.4 (2000): 28-39.<br />Herreras, Mari. "New kiosks will keep visitors in touch." Wenatchee Business Journal 20.9 (Sep. 2006): A6.<br />Ho, Aldred Tat-Kei and Ni, Anna Ya. “Challenges in e-government development: Lessons from two information kiosk projects.” Government Information Quarterly 22.1 (2005): 58-74.<br />Johnson, L., Levine, A., Smith, R., & Stone, S. (2010). The 2010 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. <br />"Library By Design." Library Journal. Fall(2005): 1.<br />Liston, Samuel. "OPACs and the Mobile Revolution." Computers in Libraries 29.5 (2009): 6-8, 10-11, 42-7. <br />Tarnowski, Joseph. "Touch up." Progressive Grocer 86.16 (15 Nov. 2007): 126.<br />Wisniewski, Jeff. “Next-Gen OPACs: No Time Like the Present.” ONLINE 33.5 (2009): 54-57.<br />Bibliography<br />
    36. 36. (kiosk thought balloon)<br /> (elephant balancing)<br /> (sign post)<br /> (futuristic hovering touch screen)<br /> (futuristic kiosk)<br /> (peach kiosk)<br /> (tree house kiosk)<br /> (Kodak kiosk)<br /> (slick kiosk)<br /> (built in to window kiosk)<br /> (Minority Report movie pic)<br />List of Photos used <br />
    37. 37. Joanna Aegard<br /><br />Find me on FaceBook<br /><br /><br /><br />Thank you!<br />