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I CAN DO IT ALL BY MYSELF: : Exploring new roles for libraries and mediating technologies in addressing the DIY mindset of library patrons


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Presentation given at the American Library Association Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA. June 23, 2012. …

Presentation given at the American Library Association Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA. June 23, 2012.

Speaker: Bohyun Kim, Digital Access Librarian, Florida International University
Speaker: Jason Clark, Head of Digital Access and Web Services, Montana State University Libraries
Speaker: Patrick T. Colegrove, Head, DeLaMare Science & Engineering Library, University of Nevada, Reno

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  • Be part of their information ecosystem .Improve patrons’ information (research) workflow.Push out programs and products that draws attention.Be sought after by users; don’t run after them.
  • You’re looking at essentially all of the open/collaborative study space that existed across the over 22,500 square feet space of the library when I was hired into DLM in 2010.Note the photo was taken mid-day/week during the Spring semester; not unusually empty at the time. =/
  • # students/# librarians = 3,363:1# courses/# librarians: 1,477We were going to have to do this the old-fashioned way: one person at a time.
  • We _do_ have a “microkitchen” – left behind when staff relocated onto the public floors.Trust is a powerful thing: toward the end of the semester, a female engineering student told me (gruffly): “Hey – thanks for trusting us enough to let us put our food in there <the fridge>”; my response: “thanks for trusting us not to eat it!”
  • Have/want a coffee shop in your library? We’re not there yet, but…
  • Image on left: an Arduino-based DIY breathalyzer. Recently added 12 kits; have been unable to get the initial two back into the library!
  • First out of the printer: a yellow ducky was the print demo.Second out? That turbine blade – the printer was barely out of the box when several teams of senior projects engineering students converged; we were barely able to save their project.Impact: broad, across the CoS & CoE. Makers, including BridgeWire.
  • Note the mixing of librarians/staff/customers in the snapshot of the mini maker event, top right-hand side. - anecdote, “DLM>KC” buttons appeared the last time I went to the ALA national conference… - anecdote, “Clever Girl”/end-of-semester national merit scholar
  • Driven exclusively by listening to the crowd. Each one a success – gotta like the hit rate.
  • Aka crowdsourcing.The previous slides? Not my ideas – and yet a huge library “win”.Ryan Emerson Johnson (“Ryan of Libraria”) – a recent MLIS grad at Syracuse University – points out (“Crowdsourcing and Library 2.0’)by definition “the crowd will always contain more experts than your organization.” Leverage that fact!Listen + implement early & often. Perpetual beta.
  • We share this in common: the sure knowledge that the library _is_ a very exciting place.How can we draw these kids in and get them “all sugared up” on library resources, learning, and knowledge creation?
  • Empty walls  instant collaboration areas!Note the time progression – team starting at one side works through/around other groups that come and go, making use of at least three whiteboard walls…Expect pushback at the idea of painting whiteboard walls. Two points: the fact that writing on walls is verboten is the value, and 2) it’s paint – if it doesn’t work out, you can simply repaint. - cleanup is trivial; microfiber cloth, dampened with water if needed. - initially 1,000 square feet; not enough. Added another 1,500 this Summer.
  • Note the continuum: from private, to semi-private, to fully open/public collaboration areas.Would you want to go into a completely private collaboration room with someone you barely know? ;)
  • Note the continuum: from private, to semi-private, to fully open/public collaboration areas.Would you want to go into a completely private collaboration room with someone you barely know? ;)
  • A “crime of opportunity”, the atrium display led in relatively short order to a significant donor/community outreach event.So well-received it had to be hosted in the “mother ship” library on campus…
  • Powerful stuff. If we’re open, allowing ourselves to display vulnerability and have a genuine interest, magic happens.Note that in order to support the learning mission of the library, it is _critical_ that the environment be socially conducive to discussions.
  • Top right: Wordpress Developers – over a half-dozen were present; adopted Lilli Brant room as the “Developer’s Den”.Cost: zero. (except for being willing to come in and open the library on a day it wouldn’t otherwise be open.)Impact: Computer Sciences & Engineering, Journalism, bloggers across campus and the local community – strong presence from local businesses.Newsletteritem: Reno-Tahoe WordCamp 2011: "Amazing turnout, tons of knowledge, great people"DeLaMare Library was the proud co-host (with the JCSU) of this year's Reno-Tahoe WordCamp which brought 200 people to campus including eight WordPress core developers from as far away as New Zealand.  A "WordCamp" is a two-day community-sponsored conference that centers around discussions related to the WordPress blogging/website development platform. By all accounts the event was a great success. DeLaMare was a hotbed of web development activity; check out the recorded sessions and photos.The WordCamp events hosted in DeLaMare yesterday was the second major event hosted in the library this year; roughly similar numbers at any given time as we saw at the "Expressions…" event, but with much less coming/going – gate counts indicated around 121 people, spread across simultaneous tracks on the third and second floors, and in Lilli Brant. Although the event was supposed to wrap by 5pm, they were "so in the zone" I wasn't able to get out of here until nearly 8pm; it's clear we're hitting the mark with part of our core demographi
  • We need to get over the fear of the “creepy treehouse” already. They’re mentioning it _so_ you can overhear; the test is whether or not you’ll take them up on the offer.Over 88 slices of pie served; an estimated 150 students and faculty.Cost: $45 (Costco)Impact: Predominantly Math and sciences.
  • Connaway et al; a voice of reason in several foundational articles over the past 5-10 years…The second quote is from an interview with Kickstarter founder; would anyone _seriously_ argue to preserve the status quo?
  • Segue to Jason A. Clark, Head of Digital Access and Web Services at Montana State University…
  • Transcript

    • 1. I CAN DO IT ALL BY MYSELF : Exploring new roles for libraries and mediating technologies in addressing the DIY mindset of library patrons American Library Association Annual Conference. Anaheim, CA. 2012. Speakers: Bohyun Kim, Patrick T. Colegrove, Jason Clark.
    • 2. I CAN DO IT ALL BY MYSELF – part I.: Exploring new roles for libraries and mediating technologies inaddressing the DIY mindset of library patronsBohyun Kim, Digital Access LibrarianFlorida International University Medical Library @bohyunkim (Twitter) (Slides)American Library Association Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA. June 23, 2012.#ala12 #diy
    • 3. Great Library of Alexandria - WikipediaLibraries,what has happened to them ?
    • 4. Open stacks / browsing/circulation
    • 5. Library catalog
    • 6. DIY searching for end-userswas once radical…
    • 7. DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library of Univ. of Nevada, Reno - FacebookLibrary spacechanged for collaboration
    • 8. “Using the Self-Checkout machines” – Multinoma County Library (Flickr)Self-service for convenience
    • 9. Open library metadata
    • 10. Patrons,what has happened to them?
    • 11. • Information consumers who are • Smarter • More empowered • More independent • More efficient • More trained • More dedicated • More impatient • More demandingWe are now…
    • 12. What does that mean toacademic libraries?
    • 13. • “According to the ARL statistics, the number of reference transactions went down by more than 50-60 % since 1995.” - Anderson, Rick. 2011. “The Crisis in Research Librarianship.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 37 (4): 289-290.Decreasingreference requests
    • 14. Decreasing circulation
    • 15. • “Unless current patterns change, by 2020 university libraries will no longer have circulation desks.” - Kurt, Will. 2012. “The End of Academic Library Circulation?” ACRL TechConnect. behavior has changed
    • 16. • Ask-an-expert sites (e.g., WikiAnswers) showed the largest five- year growth—136% increase. The frequency of use increased as well. The majority of college students who used these sites did so on an as- needed basis in 2005; now 30% search for answers at least monthly.• College students are asking experts for help; are they asking librarians? Our survey results indicate that only a few are using online librarian question services— 10% in 2010 vs. 8% in 2005. The number of academic libraries offering online reference services increased more than 10% from 2004 to 2008 (NCES). - OCLC Report - Perceptions of Libraries 2010, pp.52-54.Users prefer self-serviceeven in reference /research
    • 17. • In the era of information scarcity • Information was hard to find, obtain, access.• This problem is solved by librarians‟ mediation. • Libraries identify, acquire, organize, and provide access to information. • Mediation by librarians was necessary for identifying and accessing hard-to-find information efficiently. • Great value was created by the mediation between library patrons and library staff.Old paradigm
    • 18. Traditional library services are designed to solve information scarcity by mediation.
    • 19. But now,information is abundant.And we are so much more capable informationconsumers with the Web.
    • 20. • “You‟re pretty good at helping me, thanks, but I‟d really prefer to do more things by myself- and by the way, you don‟t make that very easy for me.” - Matthews, Brian. 2011. “Helping patrons help themselves,” Chronicle of Higher Education Blog Network. /are-we-in-the-diy-era-helping-patrons-help-themselves/DIY – Users’ mindset today
    • 21. • Not unique to library use• Common phenomenon influenced by the automation of everyday service that we experience as a consumer.• WWW + Knowledge = DIY • Who knows more about how to best print your digital photo? You or the person at Walgreens photo service? • Can you file tax yourself rather than hiring an accountant? Yes, and it might be faster and more convenient!• The line between experts and hobbyists is becoming more and more blurry. • Example: Etsy, Flickr, Instagram, etc.DIY mindset - background
    • 22. DIY Internet Radio Station
    • 23. • Avoiding contact with the library staff unless necessary• Using an alternative to traditional library services• Giving up on time-consuming procedures• Prefers self-service• Practicing „Satisfice‟• Wanting to learn by doing, not by sitting and listening• Appreciation for tools that help them do the things that they want to do by themselves (e.g. LibX)DIY user behavior at libraries
    • 24. • Self-checkout machines• Drive-through windows• Vending machines with books and DVDs• Self-registration for library cards• Self-scheduling group study room and computer use• Self-pickup of holds• Self-directed printing• Self-service course reserves management by faculty• Convenience and empowerment for patrons• Staff efficiency for librariesMoving in the right direction…
    • 25. But our main message is unchanged.“Come to the Library !” “Talk to Librarians !”
    • 26. • „Ask a Librarian‟• Reference desk• Classroom instruction• Literature search• Library workshop“ Let us help you.”(=Go through us/ gatekeeping)
    • 27. • Attractions to draw more people to the library? • E-book readers, Starbucks, 3D printer…• Improve the library‟s physical space?• Create more contact opportunities online? • Ask a Librarian, Text a Librarian! • Embedded into the curriculum • Librarian presence in the LMS • More classroom instructionStill operatingin the old paradigm
    • 28. • Help is less and less sought out where information is abundant. • “Can I just figure thist out by myself?” • ”Do I have time for this?” • “Is this something I must go through?” • “Can I do it later?” • “It sounds boring… ”Lukewarm responses …
    • 29. • Interaction-oriented service is likely to to be received poorly because patrons are less likely to initiate it.• Librarians‟ mediation or assistance is often not necessary for library patrons identifying and accessing information.• And if any information system requires human mediation or instruction, that may well make a patron think that the system is inefficient.• Users expect efficient systems that allow them to serve themselves to meet their information needs. Kim (2011b).In spite of our best intentions
    • 30. Why? Because now,what is precious and scarce is informationpeople’s time and attention.
    • 31. • “I don‟t think education is about centralized instruction anymore; rather, it is the process establishing oneself as a node in a broad network of distributed creativity.” - Ito, Joichi. 2011. “In an Open-Source Society, Innovating by the Seat of our Pants.” The New York Times. innovating-by-the-seat-of-our-pants.html?_r=1Learning is changing…
    • 32. Now: Mediate when & where?
    • 33. Library as a warehousePassive help center (Kim, 2011a)
    • 34. Be where people are.Be sought after; don’t run after. Photo from Flickr:
    • 35. Circulate books & journals. Look up things that are had to find. Help then when asked Teach them proper research resources & methods.Old paradigm: no longer relevant
    • 36. Let’s show beautiful andawesome things instead. Photo from Flickr:
    • 37. DeLaMare Science andEngineering Library of Univ.of Nevada, Reno- FacebookReal people are inside &outside the library space
    • 38. Digestible bits of knowledge
    • 39. Enrich everyone’sinformation ecosystem
    • 40. Package info & dataas a meaningful connection
    • 41. Transform information intomeaning & knowledge
    • 42. • Part II (Tod): How can libraries respond to the changing user behavior and expectations to draw in and energize the users of the physical library space ?• Part III (Jason): How to leverage technology to create opportunities for mediation and dis- mediation opportunities that the library users online would welcome ?Examples: physical /virtual
    • 43. Part II & Part III
    • 44. • Anderson, Rick. 2011. “The Crisis in Research Librarianship.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 37 (4): 289-290.• Dempsey, Beth. 2010. "Do-It-Yourself Libraries." Library Journal 135, no. 12: 24-28.• Harvard Library Open Data,• Hoppenfeld, Jared, and Wendi Arant-Kasper. 2010. "Do-It-Yourself for Course Reserves: A Student-Driven Service in an Academic Library." Journal Of Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery & Electronic Reserves 20, no. 5: 353-361.• Ito, Joichi. 2011. “In an Open-Source Society, Innovating by the Seat of our Pants.” The New York Times. by-the-seat-of-our-pants.html• Kim, Bohyun. 2011a. “Beyond the Middlemen and the Warehouse Business.” Library Hat.
    • 45. • Kim, Bohyun. 2011b. “Research Librarianship in Crisis: Mediate When, Where, and How?” ACRLog. mediate-when-where-and-how• Kurt, Will. 2012. “The End of Academic Library Circulation?” ACRL TechConnect.• Matthews, Brian. 2011. “Helping patrons help themselves,” Chronicle of Higher Education Blog Network. /are-we-in-the-diy-era-helping-patrons-help-themselves/• NYPL Lab, What‟s on the Menu?• NYPL Lab, Direct Me NYC 1940.• OCLC, 2010. OCLC Report - Perceptions of Libraries.• Gorae_bot in Twitter. (cont…)
    • 46. I CAN DO IT ALL BY MYSELF – part II.Exploring new roles for libraries and mediating technologies inaddressing the DIY mindset of library patrons
    • 47. This was the reality ofDeLaMare Library.
    • 48.   We simply couldn’t afford the traditional approach.1Derived from reports generated June 2, 2012, using the CANID Interactive Reporting System on the University of Nevada, Reno, Institutional Analysis website at
    • 49. Radical measures?
    • 50. • “ ”••After two years:
    • 51. Key: relocated staff offices 4.
    • 52. Positioning staff to “bea node in their network” 5.
    • 53. Views frommy desk on the 3 rd floor…
    • 54. security device:Left behind: a microkitchen.
    • 55. A coffee shop?
    • 56. Fundamental: “ ”
    • 57. ’Create and leveragecontact opportunities.
    • 58. Recent additions:Sparkfun Inventer kits
    • 59. Recent additions:3D printers & scanner
    • 60. Recent additions:button makers
    • 61. •   •• •••• • • •Additional development:
    • 62. A few of the guidelines6:
    • 63. Draw in and energizeusers of the physical library. Image credit: rumpleteaser, “Kid in a Candy Store”, , licensed under creative commons Attribution2.0 Generic (CC BY). Retrieved June1, 2012, from
    • 64. Added over 2,500 squarefeet of whiteboard walls.
    • 65. Created semi-private collaboration areas.
    • 66. A whiteboard wallcompetition on FaceBook?
    • 67. “ ”Going deeper:communities of practice.
    • 68. • • • • • • •Nurture them!
    • 69. Give them somethingto talk to you about.
    • 70. Could turn into atraditional library event…
    • 71. or an outing onthe University Quad...
    • 72. with several hundred studentsand faculty participating.
    • 73. Rules of engagement:
    • 74. Expressions ofHomelessness exhibit.
    • 75. WordPress WordCamp.Image credit: thekevinjones, (June 5, 2011). Wordamp, Reno 2011. All rights reserved. Retrieved June 5, 2012, from
    • 76. Pi day.
    • 77. Rube-Goldbergmachine competition.
    • 78. Locksport workshop.
    • 79. “ ” “ ’ ” The key:
    • 80. Okay, that’s great – forthe people who come in tothe library.What about everyone else?
    • 81. I CAN DO IT ALL BY MYSELF – part III.Exploring new roles for libraries and mediating technologies inaddressing the DIY mindset of library patronsJason ClarkHead of Digital Access & Web ServicesMontana State University LibraryAmerican Library Association Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA. 2012
    • 82. tag for links
    • 83. • What about users that don’t come into the building? • Libraries are passive • Users are active• Building engaging tools and online experiencesNew Paradigm
    • 84. Traditional library services are designed to solve information scarcity by mediation.
    • 85. • In economics, disintermediation is the removal of intermediaries in a supply chain: "cutting out the middleman". •
    • 86. DIY – “Do It Yourself” Ian MacKaye, Punk Rocker and DIY Patron Saint
    • 87. DIY – “Do It Yourself”
    • 88. • “…recorded their own music, produced albums and merchandise, distributed their works and often performed basement shows in residential homes rather than at traditional venues to secure freedom in performance.” • – “Do It Yourself”
    • 89. • DIY as part of Internet Culture • Make Magazine • • Skillshare • • We work in a medium that facilitates DIYDIY and the Internet
    • 90. DIY Libraries
    • 91. What about apps and tools that create and support DIY behavior?
    • 92. • WikiAnswers •• Direct Me NYC: 1940 •• Whats on the Menu? •• Patron Driven Acquisition • driven-acquisition-pda-does-and-doesnt-mean-an-faqCrowdsourcing
    • 93. Crowdsourcing
    • 94. Crowdsourcing
    • 95. • The Student Research Pad (draft) • student-research-pad/ • Surfacing scholarly community activity • • • Mendeley,, Zotero, scholr.lyResearch & Citation Management
    • 96. Research & Citation Management
    • 97. • University of Michigan Library Bookmarklets • • LibX toolbar • • NCSU QuickSearch (metasearch results) • • Search
    • 98. Extending Search
    • 99. Converting traditional services?What are the new "app" opportunities?
    • 100. • twitterbots, chatbots, statbots • Chatbot - University of Nebraska Library • • Statbot - Florida State University Library • Ready Reference
    • 101. (new) Ready Reference
    • 102. • Gimme (Scottsdale Public Library) • • BookMeUp • Reader’s Advisory
    • 103. (new) Reader’s Advisory
    • 104. • Data mining social media • awareness-in-twitter-for-reference • library-and-social-media(new) Outreach
    • 105. (new) Outreach
    • 106. • Range Science Information System (RSIS) • • Experts creating a digital "bookshelf"(new) Digital Collections
    • 107. (new) Digital Collections
    • 108. • Patron Driven Acquisition • t-patron-driven-acquisition-pda-does-and- doesnt-mean-an-faq(new) Collection Development
    • 109. (new) Collection Development
    • 110. • Sorting databases based on popularity (clickthrough analytics) • p(new) Content Selection
    • 111. (new) Content Selection
    • 112. • Real-time Instruction • • ctice/guide-side • "Guide on the Side", a tutorial created for JSTOR by University of Arizona librarians(new) Instruction
    • 113. (new) Instruction
    • 114. • New job duties, New staffing models • Realignment of personnel • Look for public service + tech service collaborations • This is a great opportunity! • We all have some role to play; it just might be a new role.Takeaways & Next Steps
    • 115. Takeaways & Next Steps
    • 116. • Bookmarklets • lets• AskREF • point• BookMeUp • Samples
    • 117. Twitter Hashtag #diyQuestions?