Benefits of Gadgets in Public Libraries


Published on

FIMS Student Conference 2012 Presentation. On the benefits of using gadgets to improve the digital literacy skills of your community and staff.

Published in: Technology, Education
1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide
  • I have spent a fair portion of the last three years thinking about digital content and libraries. I am a technophile, I love discussing issues of access and literacy, and am pretty optimistic of the role of libraries in digital literacy as time goes on. This presentation today is really to help people understand why it is important for libraries to know about gadgets and to start thinking about taking a more active role in digital literacy initiatives.
  • This is the outline for the session, I do hope to have about 15 minutes at the end for questions, and playing with devices.
  • My definition: electronic devices with a specific function (with this definition many libraries have been lending for a number of years- see Daisy Readers) -Play Aways -so when I am talking about gadgets, I am trying to be as broad as possible, while still talking about physical items - I will talk about tablets a bit, because while they are computers, they are still a device that is popular with ebooks and is regularily brought into libraries with questions - these physical items will ultimately help you and your communities access your non-physical collections and resources
  • -I am not an expert on literacy, or kids, but I did want to touch one a couple of things that I have come across in the last few years Reluctant Readers
  • Learning to Read - Overdrive’s Disney Collection -Leapfrog -etc - Matching images and text helps children learn, as well as new apps that match narration to text. There are issues with how devices like ereaders work with children and helping them learn, but it is definitely something to keep an eye on. //Do you know of any other ways that literacy is being improved with technology?// -video games and literacy -texting/chat and literacy
  • What is it? Term that has been making the rounds four about four years and is similar to information literacy,but understands that there is also issues that are specific to the digital world, that information literacy programs do not address.
  • Computer Skills & Access Issues This is two things 1) Knowing how to use technology 2) Being able to access the technology So, having and being able to use skills related to technology We can address this through computer classes, and other learning situations, and continuing to offer access, and address the digital divide Issues of Authorship this is about creating and sharing helping people learn about sharing and interacting online setting up facebook, twitter, blogs, podcasting, videocasting software, hardware, resources, staff Issues of Representation This is about fact checking, knowing what to believe Recognizing phishing, scams, chain letters, evaluating materials (like information literacy) Can people evaluate the messages that they are getting Online social responsibility (ethics) So people can use it- how are they using it, do they know about the risks, about the Digital Tattoo? Are they aware of bullying? how to address it? Also, copyright, piracy, manners... Why is it important? Think about lifelong learning Think about not only children and teens, but adults and seniors...
  • Brief Summary of the new/updated CLA Position Statement on ICTs - this is what our National Library organization is championing, and an update to the 1994 ICT position statement -this fits with the ideas of Digital literacy in that it directly addresses Access -learning about information literacy -and ethics: open access, freedom of information, and privacy -it doesn’t match up for authorship and ideas of training, but it is very relevant to our times, and is a document that we can use as support when talking about how and why these issues are important
  • Digital Literacy & Gadgets Tools for achieving digital literacy In order to learn participate in society these days, there is often a gadget component. Entrepeneurs want to know how to use twitter to advertise, cooks want to use instagram to show off their masterpieces (and there are some cameras out there now that can post to the web and everything!). People want to put holds on a book at the moment it is recommended to them by a friend... Tools that enable access to society Gadgets and computers are how we are interacting with society. According to some sourses, like business insider, more people have cellphones than clean water. What implications does this have? Addressing (some of) the digital divide by making gadgets available, by training people on their use, we are helping address the digital divide. It isn’t a solution, but it is a tool.
  • Now, onto some fun things! First, my favorite topic- eReaders- libraries are currently: eReaders (come to my talk on July 12 to hear more about eBooks, eReaders and Libraries) lending demos eBooks Most public libraries have access to eBooks for patrons to borrow. These books are digital in mature, and therefore need a platform to display them. This includes, eReaders, tablets, phones. personal computers... How many of you are aware of the recent issies with eBooks and Libraries? I am just going to take a minute to discuss the debate going on in the library world about libraries and eBooks Librarian blogger Bobbi Newman recently started a discussion after she posted an article entitled “Should libraries get out of the eBook game?” citing that we can’t meet the demand, and the cost is high, and access is still low. This is about the issues surrounding the difficult DRM, that we don’t have access to a large number of titles, and the cost (limited use - ie 26 loans, versus selling a book for three times the retail price to libraries) Some great projects include: the Douglas County LIbraries: ( where they host their own eBooks, and lend through their catalogue. The books are mostly from local publishers, but they are getting more contracts all the time) The Kansas State Library, sued and won the right to take the books that they purchased through Overdrive and move them to another platform: (they took their content and are now using 3Ms platform) In Canada we are seeing some progress. The Canadian Urban Library Council has issued several position statements and - is looking to work with Candian Publishers in building a made-in-Canada digital repository that will integrate with Discovery layers There are other ongoing projects out there- such as, which apparently has a couple of ongoing research projects, but not a lot of news has been coming from them recently. other related items are tablets
  • Bookless-mobile - Library Live (LiLi) at the Fraser Valley Regional Library features a tv, xbox, a gadget bar, laptops (3G wireless) - part of a community librarian’s initiative (going out into the community to serve the under-served)
  • Hacker Spaces also known as maker spaces are places being built where community members can work with technology to learn new skills. This often includes 3D printing which works to teach programming skills, with great results. “ A hackerspace or hackspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace or creative space) is a location where people with common interests, usually in computers, technology, science or digital or electronic art can meet, socialize and/or collaborate. A hackerspace can be viewed as an open community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops and/or studios where hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things. Many hackerspaces participate in the use and development of free software and alternative media and can be found in infoshops or social centers. “ - wikipedia via makemagazine
  • The tiny picture on the screen is an Arduino Starter kit. This is based around an open-source programming language that can be used to do things like turn lights on and off, or make music, work with GPS. Projects like this can be used to foster an interest for programming in members of your community. Note: OLA had a technology lending library for members or their libraries > OLITA > Technology Lending Library
  • Power Meters On the lower tech side- Calculate your energy use Find out drains Helps save costs, but also requires some thinking to use effectively - a great way to look at environmental impacts, conservation, and numeracy
  • Jason Griffey “Personal Electronics are Personal” What does this mean? Some things we can’t/shouldn't really lend But we do need to be aware of what is out there, because we will get questions, and if the item is right, we may be expected to troubleshoot, or know where to get support (online, free, in person, recognize when it is broken) For example - at the last Gadget Lab that I volunteered at for LPL a woman came in with her electronic heart monitor - it wasn’t working and she wanted help making it work- we weren't able to fix, but we did go over the manual with her and
  • up to 3 examples
  • Exploring the questions facing librarians about the place of gadgets within our own libraries. community needs (back to digital literacy needs) Know where your community is at Think about the different places a community might be (full saturation to just becoming aware devices
  • emonstrations have them. have petting zoos, make time to answer questions, and even funnel people from one-on-one, and potentially time consuming interactions to a group situation where you and
  • staff training - I attended the recent CLA conference and went to several sessions on eBooks, Digital Literacy, and Community Based Librarianship. And all of them talked about the importance of staff being digitally literate. It is not enough to hope that one or two staff members will have the skills and knowledge to deal with all of the questions. What happens when those staff are unavailable? We can’t turn patrons away.
  • eBooks and Digital literacy. staff work use (reference, outreach) integrate the way your community uses gadgets into promotion, marketing, mobile access)
  • what about the budget? these initiatives can be expensive! and should we be using money for core services there isn’t an easy answer,
  • if literacy is a part of your library’s strat plan, or values, then you should consider allocating fund towards digital literacy initiatives. LPL: 2010-2013: include Digital Learning, Lifelong learning support, supporting people engaged in creative activities WVML Mission statement: ”We connect people with ideas, information and the world of imagination. We are the cornerstone of an engaged, democratic and literate community.” Possible places where a library might locate funds when getting started: Gifts and donations Grants plan ahead leftover funds
  • Are they good Depends on your community Think about why you are interested- are you meeting an unmet need? Such as - does your community face a digital divide or, But- at the very least we need to address: Digital literacy We want to give our communities access to information and this is part of that.
  • Contact me by email or find me in the GRC, hallways, elsewhere online
  • Benefits of Gadgets in Public Libraries

    1. 1. The Benefits of Gadgets in Public Libraries FIMS Student Conference 2012 Saturday, June 23 Sarah Felkar, MLIS Candidate
    2. 2. Outline• What is a Gadget?• eBooks and Literacy• Digital Literacy• Library Projects• Community Needs• Budgets• Final Thoughts
    3. 3. What is a Gadget?• Electronic Device with a specific function From:
    4. 4. eBooks and Literacy“Middle school boys rated reading more valuable as an activity after two months of using an e-reader."
    5. 5. eBooks and Literacy
    6. 6. Digital Literacy This is the key issue!
    7. 7. Digital Literacy What is it?Issues of:• Computer Skills & Access Issues• Issues of Authorship• Issues of Representation• Online social responsibility(from
    8. 8. Digital Literacy CLAs Position Statement on Information and Communication Technology• Access to Networks• Access to Information Literacy• Open Access to Information• Freedom of Expression• Privacy
    9. 9. Digital Literacy and Gadgets?• Tools for achieving digital literacy• Tools that enable access to society• Addressing (some of) the digital divide
    10. 10. What are Libraries doing? • Lending eReaders • Providing eBooks
    11. 11. What are Libraries doing? • Gadget Labs • Mobile libraries • Tech HelpFrom:
    12. 12. What are Libraries doing? Hackerspaces & MakerspacesFeaturing: 3D printing, Skype, music and video editing, computer programming From:
    13. 13. Arduino Starter Kits Learn to program and code!Learn more through OLITA: > OLITA > Technology Lending Library
    14. 14. What are Libraries doing?Energy Meters• Lent out for patrons to use to calculate their energy use.
    15. 15. What arent Librariesdoing?• o Phones o more tablets o MP3 players (different from playaways) “Personal Electronics are Personal” -Jason GiffeyWhy arent we lending personal devices?
    16. 16. What are Libraries doing? What have you heard of/seen done?
    17. 17. Community Needs• Consider where your community is at.• Ask & listen to what they need.• Know how that fits with your librarys mission.
    18. 18. Community Needs• Everyone has their own gadgets• We have a digital divide• People are just starting to ask questionsScenarios:
    19. 19. DemonstrationsA gadget petting zoo&Demonstration EventsTwo activities that can solve multiple issues at once-
    20. 20. Staff Training• Download an eBook• Turn on/off navigate most (if not all) devices• Find and use troubleshooting resources• Have an awareness of available staff expertiseEveryone working in a library should be able to:
    21. 21. Staff TrainingKnowledgeable staff can then:•Use tablets in reference•Use devices for registering patrons at events•Take the Petting Zoo on the roadand...Better meet the needs of your community
    22. 22. Budget Impact Images_of_Money From:
    23. 23. Budget Impact• Consider pilot projects with one time costs.• Find out if Digital Literacy initiatives are part of your strategic plan- if so ensure that some projects make it into the planning cycle.
    24. 24. Final ThoughtsPublic Libraries dealing with gadgets is really about:• Access to information• Digital Literacy
    25. 25. Final ThoughtsIt isnt a question of "should you" but a question of "what" and "how".And...
    26. 26. Questions?Email: sfelkar@uwo.caTwitter: @SarahFelkar