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Libraries & their digital future
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Libraries & their digital future

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Slides and presenter's notes from a short presentation for City of Sydney Libraries in late June 2013.

Slides and presenter's notes from a short presentation for City of Sydney Libraries in late June 2013.
Slide #25 is my fave:)

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Libraries & their digital future Libraries & their digital future Document Transcript

  • Libraries and the Digital Future @malbooth This short presentation was aimed at just stimulating some thought about how some “back- end” technologies (like RFID & ASRS) relate to the front end in digital libraries. I only had 20 minutes or so and therefore it doesn’t even attempt to cover everything. I wanted to make the point that the technologies we are using are merely enablers and not the end-game or the solution. Much of this won’t be news to any of those who have seen my presentations before. It ends with a few simple slides that sum up the major things I think we need to consider when contemplating future libraries.
  • RFID |can hold more data| self service|other efficiencies*|future potential| * scanning; security; smart cards; stocktake Future Library - technologies Radio Frequency Identification tags are not for all libraries, but they do have some future potential, especially if we consider application like way-finding and data mash-ups. It is a start ...
  • Future Library technologies - ASRS At UTS Library we are implementing an Automated Storage & Retrieval System that will be located underground and adjacent to the future Library on Broadway. Currently the excavation is completed and the builder has started on the underground vault which is to be completed by around September 2013.
  • Six aisles, 12,000+ bins: ~ one million print items Future Library - technologies After that, a Dematic ASRS will be installed over a number of months with six 15m cranes services the aisles and over 12,000 bins. By mid-2014 we will have loaded this system with the first batch of our less well used print items from the Blake (City Campus) Library. The next load will come from the Kuring-Gai Campus Library at the end of 2015 when we merge both libraries in the City. We estimate that the system will cope with annual relegations from the open shelves in the Library until well beyond 2040, thus keeping research collections on- site and within easy reach of Library patrons. With up to 80% of our print collection in this facility, we believe the investment is wasted if it isn’t used and to use it to its fullest extent, the items in it need to be discovered online. The serendipity of physical browsing has to be replaced in imaginative ways, online, by new features that excite curiosity and encourage requests from the facility.
  • Discovery Is More Playful Moving from Search to Discovery We think that successful Discovery is going to be more playful than our Search interfaces. So we are looking for inspiration beyond library applications and programs. And it isn’t a challenge to be solved by more benchmarking and best practice measurement. So, we’ve looked the the ways people are using mobile devices to discover new content when convenient to them. We think there is a lot to learn from new content aggregators and discovery applications like Zite http://www.zite.com/ The UI is playful, intuitive and assists the application to learn more about your interests and needs. Other examples include StumbleUpon http://www.stumbleupon.com/ and Artsy http://artsy.net/
  • From Search to Discovery Discovery Is More Playful Another example is how we are learning to discover new music by online platforms like iTunes, Pandora http://www.pandora.com/, rdio http://www.rdio.com/ and Spotify https:// www.spotify.com/au/ These online services assist users in exploring musical content well beyond the playlists of most radio stations or your own music library.
  • From Search to Discovery Discovery Is More Playful Other helpful discovery platforms like Pinterest http://pinterest.com/ and Urbanspoon http://www.urbanspoon.com/ or Yelp http://www.yelp.com.au/ have much to teach us about discovery too.
  • From Search to Discovery We have even more help! In 2012 we started an Artist-in-Residence program and it continues in 2013. Our first Artist Chris Gaul focussed on looking at discovery in libraries in very different ways. As an artist he had a very different approach to the same challenge that we did as librarians and we found this to be extremely helpful in improving our understanding, providing a new perspective and many original ideas, like the discovery of text based content through sound.
  • How Our Artist In Residence Has Helped From Search to Discovery We have even more help! In 2012 we started an Artist-in-Residence program and it continues in 2013. Our first Artist Chris Gaul focussed on looking at discovery in libraries in very different ways. As an artist he had a very different approach to the same challenge that we did as librarians and we found this to be extremely helpful in improving our understanding, providing a new perspective and many original ideas, like the discovery of text based content through sound.
  • How Our Artist In Residence Has Helped Libraries Rational Efficient Logical From Search to Discovery We have even more help! In 2012 we started an Artist-in-Residence program and it continues in 2013. Our first Artist Chris Gaul focussed on looking at discovery in libraries in very different ways. As an artist he had a very different approach to the same challenge that we did as librarians and we found this to be extremely helpful in improving our understanding, providing a new perspective and many original ideas, like the discovery of text based content through sound.
  • How Our Artist In Residence Has Helped Libraries Rational Efficient Logical Artists Emotive Intuitive Questioning From Search to Discovery We have even more help! In 2012 we started an Artist-in-Residence program and it continues in 2013. Our first Artist Chris Gaul focussed on looking at discovery in libraries in very different ways. As an artist he had a very different approach to the same challenge that we did as librarians and we found this to be extremely helpful in improving our understanding, providing a new perspective and many original ideas, like the discovery of text based content through sound.
  • How Our Artist In Residence Has Helped > Understanding beyond what we know > Fresh Perspective > New & Original Ideas From Search to Discovery We have even more help! In 2012 we started an Artist-in-Residence program and it continues in 2013. Our first Artist Chris Gaul focussed on looking at discovery in libraries in very different ways. As an artist he had a very different approach to the same challenge that we did as librarians and we found this to be extremely helpful in improving our understanding, providing a new perspective and many original ideas, like the discovery of text based content through sound.
  • From Search to Discovery http://find.lib.uts.edu.au The colourful bar above isn’t just decorative, it facilitates browsing for an unknown item within the collection and it visualises search results. See http://find.lib.uts.edu.au/
  • From Search to Discovery Discovery is not a system problem. But Discovery is not just something that needs to be provided in an online environment. The people in libraries need to be involved and this means both staff and users.
  • From Search to Discovery Rediscovering the curatorial role. research > acquire > arrange > describe > provide We think there is a need to encourage more understanding and practice of the entire curatorial role in libraries. Sometimes a focus on efficiencies and systems makes us lose sight of this role.
  • From Search to Discovery CURIOSITY ENGAGEMENT DELIGHT SERENDIPITY SURPRISE These are some of the things we need to aim at in being more active as curators of our collections. These things should be the objectives of our events and programs that are delivered within our libraries to assist the process of discovery, as well as our online programs and services.
  • "Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence boils down to curiosity." Aaron Swartz, 1986-2013 Curiosity If you do not know who Aaron Swartz was, you should look him up now. Try the Google. And then go to http://www.demandprogress.org/ Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/9132665129/
  • “... [technological] solutionism presumes rather than investigates the problems that it is trying to solve, reaching for the answer before the questions have been fully asked.” Evgeny Morozov, To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism Techno-solutionism And whatever we do needs to start with a better understanding of our users and their needs and behaviours. We’ve recently done a lot of user experience testing and research at the start of our projects so that the results deliver services users need and will use. We are also looking at hiring and anthropologist or ethnographer to embed that research as an ongoing program within our Library. I originally used this quote deliberately to be provocative at THETA. I grabbed it from a long review of Evgeneny Morozov’s book in The Atlantic http://www.theatlantic.com/ technology/archive/13/03/toward-a-complex-realistic-and-moral-tech-criticism/273996/ We have the book on order, but I’ve not yet seen or read it. I have since read this criticism of Morozov’s book by Cory Doctorow which is a bit of a worry: http:// boingboing.net/2013/04/14/blowing-up-morozovs-to-sav.html Doctorow refers to Tim Wu’s review but offers further criticism and analysis of his own. I have heard Doctorow speak and read his work online regularly and respect his opinion on matters including this subject. This indicates that I may have been too eager to support Morozov’s analysis without fully digesting his argument. Regardless, the point of this slide it to emphasise that we start with understanding our users and not leap into following the latest fad or fashion and then delivering them something they will not use.
  • Connections This is about not working in silos. Virtually everything we do in libraries works better if we understand the connections within the library and also to our various communities. We work better together than we do in competition. Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/8935583483/
  • Engaging We need to engage with our communities, express interest in what they do and what they create. This can lead us to a more active form of collection development within our communities and not just with publishers. The work here: http://www.pagescreenstudio.com/The-Book-Spotter-s-Guide Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/7787894376/
  • Should we change our style of play to: Why not? Many times in libraries when someone suggests something different or new we default to voicing an opinion about all the great reasons something isn’t going to work or accounting for everything that could go wrong. Maybe we should instead try asking why not or how we might make this work. Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/9033916040/
  • Not Knowing This image from Vivid 2013 is from the Praxis Makes Perfect installation in Walsh Bay near the STC. It was by 2nd year Bachelor of Animation students from UTS. After they got the nod for their proposal they had only eight weeks to put it together. Perhaps they managed because they did not know how complex and time consuming producing such a work would be for someone far more experienced? See: http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/blog/university-librarian/2013/06/praxis-makes-perfect Or visit the Museum of Old & New Art: http://malbooth.com/2013/04/18/some-thoughts- about-mona-part-1/ Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/8935562855/
  • ... or efficiency? Libraries are obsessed with efficiency. Sometimes this is a good thing, but it also tends to steer us away from what we can learn and initiate through Play. That is not a good thing and sometimes play delivers a far better solution. Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/8965199768/ Play of course means experimentation and making mistakes, so if we are to apply this and also utilise the power of not knowing, we need support and tolerance from management. I think it is also best if management set the example by playing and making a few mistakes too:)
  • Multiple Platforms Nowadays I don’t think we can look at the one digital platform, try something on it and then conclude that our work here is done. Our communities use multiple platforms for all kinds of things, so should we. IMHO. Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/malbooth/9033575540/
  • The Danger of Being Normal Libraries are too good at being “normal”. I think this is dangerous. Don’t be happy with being normal. Being comfortable with normal could lead to complacency and irrelevance. (This is an unabashed steal from James Franco who said his teacher at Yale had lectured about this.)
  • THANK YOU UTS: LIBRARY @malbooth