Its been six years since I did my study tour and one of the most important lessons I learned was when lookin at the big picture, that librarians are getting it right. We are experiencing a lot of change, but we are making the best decisions for our users and we are seeing the benefits – we are still here and so are our users.
This quote is from Unknown. There is a value in looking back. History can be intriguing, I enjoy local history and seeing how much things have changed. Story of local history photo of Fountain Gate. Briefly thought about Back to the Future – theme, thought I would spare you.
Back in 2006, two scholarships were awarded each year - $15000 each. I won the Margery C Ramsay scholarship and Anna Boland, then from Hume won the Barrett Reid for family literacy learning. Full text of proposal continued: This would also include investigating the costs in terms of equipment, staffing, promotion, administration and other resources. The services I would visit are those with a great repuration for innovation and success with it.....” This last part important because I could do a lot of what I proposed remotely, but the behind the scenes stuff really had to be done in person. Photo of me investigating gaming. Libraries chosen by reading blogs, journals and by asking questions of those librarians who were also known for their innovation. Done by email etc. Also considered geographical proximity. 7 public librarie and other services – all down the east coast. Three week study tour, conducted in April 2007. Also challenged to stretch myself, so I timed the visit to include the Computers in Libraries conference in DC and submitted a proposal for a paper – which was suprisingly accepted and which was ironically on cutting edge projects in Australia, such as NLA's Picture Australia project and SLV's Inside a Dog. WHO CAN REMEBER WHAT THE INTERNET WAS LIKE IN 2007. Give us some guesses.
Of course all the big players were already there – Google, Yahoo, Microsoft. Amazon was only an online Bookstore. Librarians were on Facebook, but not libraries because Facebook hadn't allowed institutional accounts at that point. Blogger existed, but wasn't owned by Google at that point. Music downloads were already big. SJCPL lent ipods with audio donwloaded from iTunes. Amazon Kindle didn't come out until 2008. Twitter was actually created in 2006 – but didn't take off for a bit yet. Twitter's popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference. Smart phones have been around since the 1990s, but only really took off with the launch of the first iPhone in 2007. Android phones followed and now have the market share in many countries inlcuding the US and Australia. What has come and gone? Lots of search engines including Alta Vista are still around but have faded into obscurity. Dot com bubble burst in 2000-2001. Those that went inlcuded Geocities and Lycos.
Ann Arbor is in Michigan – blogs – using Drupal content management system, gaming (Eli Neiburger), Picture Ann Arbor, downloadable audio. Charlotte-Mecklenburg – North Carolina – Learning2.0 program, ImaginOn, Second Life, multiple websites including StorySpace, podcasts, book reviews from patrons, My Space profile. Darien – Connecticut – 10 blogs – each for a different area, included one from the director. Instant messaging service- Meebo, children's email newsletter, downloadable audio, My Sapce, podcasts. Hennepin – Minnesota – catalogue comments, Book Space, donwloadable audio, 24/7 ask a librarian, online application, RSS feeds, online polls, email newsletter and web based guides Princeton – Book Club Wiki, reminder notices by email, donwloadable audio, streaming music, Flickr, podcasts, wireless, St Joseph – Indiana – Word Press CMS (blogs), gaming, Wiki for subject guides, downloadable audio, instant messaging reference, Flickr, My Space, WiFi, lend iPods with audiobooks Thomas Ford – Illinois – local history blog – user friendly website (Do you want to) donwlaodable iPods, searchable book reivew, Flickr, MySpace and Facebook!, Listen to a story podcasts I also visited Web Junction (part of OCLC) and OPLIN -the Ohio Public Libraries Network in Columbus, to learn more about services who supported public libraries and the cutting edge things they were doing. OPLIN – mobile accessible webpage Web Junction – online staff training HOLY GRAIL Whilst at OCLC I also held a duplicate copy of a 1st edition of Dewey and was able to see a digitized copy of a first edition Dewey with Melvil's notes for the 2nd edition written in the margins.
Social media – what to use, how to use it, what not do with it. Learning 2.0 – Helene Blowers explained all about it. Feedback tools such as instant mesaging, screencasting, online polls and surveys (Survey Monkey), Audacity – using library examples and doing a live demo of recording suing Audacity Tim Spalding from Library Thing – to launch Library Thing for Libraries. (who uses it? - who likes it?) RSS – what was available, how to use it (still on the edge of mainstream even now, but highly valued by those who do) Change management – the ever present topic at every conference Second Life, the the online virtual world. Isn't this all sounding everyday? It wasn't back in 2007. Photos- explain
Picture – printing catalogue cards at OCLC I went to learn what went on behind the scenes. What did I learn? All these new innovations took all these things. Although in a lot of instances, the new tool that was being used for the online was free, the cost of implementing it was far from it. Building a new website, contributing content to it regularly, managing comments, staff training, all took time to develop, implement and roll out and maintain. Took staff away from other tasks, cost money in terms of staff and time and in some instances, hardware and other infrastructure, involved a lot of learning curves. Even though it was a risk to venture out ahead of others, they did so because they knew their users and what they wanted/needed. It was a risk as their users may have not been ready for it, but mostly they were.
Not all libraries have blogs, but many do and its mostly about being able to provide content in an easy way for users to access – not about the software. Still lots of debate around gaming, but many libraries have consoles available for use and they ware well used. Some libraries have also begun lending games to users for their own consoles. CMS – is used for most library websites these days. Email newsletters are also widespread, as are courtesy reminders, by both email and SMS. Technology centres were users can access specific software (imacs), or training are common. Patron reviews now more widely available through our catalogues, due to APIs and the addition of content from products like Library Thing and ChiliFresh. Downloadable music – expanded from downloadable audio – this available from multiple vendors, Freegal becoming more and more popular as CD loans decrease.
The Virtual World – Second Life was very much on library's radar in 2007. There was quite a bit about it at Computers in Libraries. What is Second Life? Second Life is a 3D world where everyone you see is a real person and every place you visit is built by people just like you. (from Second Life) A reference library was set up and meeting spaces used in Second Life to host training and seminars. In 2007, Gartner Says 80 Percent of Active Internet Users Will Have A "Second Life" in the Virtual World by the End of 2011. Virtual Worlds still have a place, but mostly in gaming – such as World of Warcraft, Minecraft is doing big business at present. Its' not big – so on that libraries may have been wrong, but then again, it may just be that it's not big YET. After all, it took ebooks two rounds, a decade apart......
Facebook did not have pages back in 2007 and Twitter had only just started. There was no Tumblr, Pinterest, Google Plus or any of a multitude of other social media sites. Libraries are using many. RFID has been around since the 1940s, first descendent of modern use in the 1970s, first patent in the 1980s and in the 90s one use was for cattle tagging. Since then transport, freeways and now libraires have become big users. Including libraries – here in Australia only really taken off in the last 5 years. Ebooks had a phase in the late 90s but never really took off. Who remembers the Rocket ebook reader? Really kicked off by the Kindle which came out in November 2007. Now devices everywhere. Libraries in US saw massive growth of ebook lending between 2005 and 2008, but here it was later. Mobile devices – are ubituquitous now but only because development of iPhone (June 2007) and iPad (April 2010) and subsequent Android and Window counterparts. How many iPads or Android tablets here today? Discovery layers have made our library catalogue content more discoverable, they have been around for public libraries since the late 2000s – PLVN ICT SIG had event in 2011 API's – appliation programming interface which allows us to share content between software, platforms etc, particularly the web, is also a recent development. Apps to go along with those mobile devices. Library catalogues, ebooks, music, language learning, social media, the list goes on.......
Makerspaces: Specialised hardware and software – ranging from 3D printers to laser cutters. Famous Makerspaces include: Fab Lab in Fayettville. They even have their own website – makerspace.com. A feware starting to appear in Australia, including at the Edge – SLQ, and mobile ones are popping up as well, to visit schools. Libraries are already in this space, with special computers, such as Macs with creative software. Very much a growing field. Me in photo Remote access to software – lending software via a remote terminal – Kansas City Public Library. Software includes Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office. Possible due to Google roll out of a gigabit fibre newtwork. Licenced for one user at a time – so scheduling in place. Cisco Meraki Presence, a suite of cloud-based location analytics and engagement features which includes Cisco Meraki WiFi with Facebook Login. This feature lets your customers connect to WiFi by checking in on Facebook, using your organization’s Facebook Page as a splash page. Streaming video – Charlotte Mecklenburg County is offering Hoopla – which offers a range of audio and video content, including tv show episodes and movies. Social media archives – South Caroline State Library has launched a project that will archive all tweets, Facebook posts and YouTube content from their state agencies into a single searchable portal. North Carolina has already done the same. Library of Congress is archiving the entirety of twitter. What are the cuttting edge things that you are seeing that have potential?
Story of telephone books for toilet paper. Libraries are already looking to the future. Ministerial Advisory Council's Tomorrow's Library – expand. PLVN's Libraries 2030 – looks to libraries broadening their purpose with some focus on both community and creation outcomes. Who knows what the NBN will bring? Whatever form it takes.
Reword this quote for libraries – it is not the strongest of libraries that survive, nor the most “cool” or the ones with the most money, but the one most responsive to change. Has been a lot of change in 7 short years. Change that libraries have handled very well. Librarians make good decisions on the whole, because they have come to know their communities and what they want and need. And when they don't they fix it and move on. This study tour has proven that. There is still a lot more change ahead of us, but we have a lot to be optimistic about. I know I am, I hope you are too.
Leading lights 251013 - Cutting edge now old hat
Cutting edge - now old
How much have libraries online
changed in seven years?
Ramsay Reid: proposal
“A study tour of public
library services in
the US who are
providing first class,
cutting edge service
to their virtual
clients... seeing how
the service is
behind the scenes.”
The Internet 2007
Didn't exist yet
Computers in Libraries
Social media for
Behind the scenes
Now standard in libraries
New in libraries since '07
Cutting edge now
Remote access to
software via the
WiFi access using
Into the future?
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives,
nor the most intelligent, but the one most
responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin