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Presentation to ALIA NLS5 2011


Published on

Presentation to the 2011 ALIA New Librarians Symposium in Perth, WA.
All images are mine unless noted.

Published in: Education, Technology

Presentation to ALIA NLS5 2011

  1. 1. Change & our Future: It’s not just about Technology @malbooth 1In this slide the image used is from a workshop we ran in the Library (September 2010) for year 7 & 9 students so that they could tell us what theliked, disliked and would imagine for a library of the future that they might be using. Some of the outcomes from that workshop are listed on Slide23.
  2. 2. Books & transactions people & services We don’t want to do more of the same! 2(Image taken by me outside UTS Library during Library Fun Day 2011.)Freeing the library space from its current focus on storing books to more people friendly spaces facilitates the delivery of new services andfunctions for the library. Freeing our staff from transaction processing means that we can provide more of the value added services that we knoware appreciated by our clients.I’m not suggesting books will die or that they do not have a place, I’m just suggesting we move with the times we are in and put books inperspective. They don’t all need to be out on the open shelves filling up most of the space in libraries just in case someone wants to look at them.
  3. 3. Library3.0 3I’ve got no time or space to cover Library2.0, so I’m assuming some knowledge of it as it exists. It is what we are grappling with today – a vastlandscape of competing priorities and many issues that seemingly pull us in different directions at the same time. New values and opportunitiesare emerging, however, and there are many exemplars to follow if inspiration is needed. What remains, however, is the imperative to tailor whatyou deliver in your library for the needs of your community. To do that we MUST understand what your community’s core business or priorities areand then stay relevant to them.Here is where I think we are heading covering some of the key areas.Sure, some of the long-established obligations and responsibilities will also come with us, but the challenge is to decide what must be droppedso we can ramp up for new demands and the new environment we are working within.
  4. 4. • The challenge for an insurgent is not to try to battle the incumbent for the slot of normal.The challenge is to be edgy and remarkable and to have the market move its centre to you. • Seth Godin 4 4The quote is from this blog post: like the sentiment and it has become a bit an axiom for UTS Library.
  5. 5. LIBRARY RETRIEVAL LEARNING COMMONS SYSTEM Relocated & upgraded UTS Underground Library 5By way of illustration, I will now show a few of the initiatives we are taking at the UTS Library in order to set up our own future.Map context: urban campus, inner city; limited space; Broadway is a major avenue & thoroughfare to Sydney City; close to Central station and othertransport hubs.This map is the UTS Campus Redevelopment Masterplan. Projects currently underway include the Student Housing Tower, an underground Multi-purpose Sports Hall and a new Broadway Building for the Faculty of Engineering & IT. Building 14 will be a Frank Gehry designed building for theBusiness school and soon we kick off the preparatory work for the Library Retrieval System with excavation to begin in 2012.The UTS Library will be relocated in two stages from its current location in Building 5 of the Haymarket Campus:Stage 1 is the occupation and operation of our Library Retrieval System (LRS) to be installed under Alumni Green. It will be operational in 2014.Stage 2 is the occupation of the redeveloped Library building or Learning Commons in what is currently Building 2. Currently that is envisaged forcompletion and occupation in 2016/17.UTS Student vision film restricted opening hours -> towards 24/7 services
  6. 6. From book storage & shelving deserts to better spaces for people & improved search & discovery 6(Image taken by Dr Alex Byrne in the Tampere Public Library, Finland.)Libraries storing all or most of their collections on open access (like this image) become shelving deserts with the patrons mostly isolated in theremaining space on the periphery as collections continue to grow. Occasionally patrons make raids into the stacks to hunt for resources, returningto the relative safety of their own spaces.Our future library will not be designed as a book storage facility. About 75-80% of our collection will be housed in a Library Retrieval System likethe one in this link book storage facility + a website -> customised physical spaces & personalised web services/apps that assist users to search for and findwhat they want and also to discover resources they did not know about.From books & journals -> multiple media formats & games
  7. 7. UTS LRS ~950,000 items <15 mins Serendipity: 7(Image taken by me in the ASRS of the University of Utah Library, Salt Lake City.)The LRS will take away the ability to serendipitously browse the entire physical collection. It will, however, improve access to and delivery of thoseitems stored in it. We will replace physical browsing with improved browsing online of entire covers of “virtual shelves” (including the uniting ofprint & online resources, books available & those on loan & possibly arrangements other than Dewey), suggestions and recommendations (likeAmazon & StumbleUpon), an opt-in “Genius” like service that can list books you might be interested in based on your browsing and use patterns.We are also looking at the application of social bookmarks to the collection (e.g. using something like Delicious or Diigo) as well as offering usersthe ability to tag catalogue entries.We are talking to UTS visual communications staff and students to look at visual ways to represent the vast amounts of data we have about ourcollections, their attributes and their use in terms of data-visualisation.Recently, during discussions with a Vis Comm class serendipity came up and I responded (as I have been of late) saying that we were looking atthings like the addition of ratings, recommendations and folksonomies or tags to our catalogue search and also investigating whether features likeApple’s Genius selections or a feature like StumbleUpon discovery service might be possible. The academic responded that what he enjoys frombrowsing are the accidental discoveries, not necessarily related to what he first started searching for. What then came out of my brain was that Iwas currently playing around with Tumblr, explaining it as a cross between a blog, Twitter, and Flickr/YouTube. I said that for me it provides that“what was I looking for effect” as you look at the profiles and interests of other users who have either liked or re-blogged your posts. The like orre-blog provides the intersection of interests and then looking further into their archive usually leads to accidental discoveries. I think we canincorporate something like this in addition to more focussed catalogue search facilities.
  8. 8. Discovery: playful mobile abstract non-text random browsing shared curated 8It is the difference between the Whitepages offering and what Christopher Columbus did.Do we even try to provide the what-was-I-looking-for-effect that is offered on Wikipedia, Tumblr and many other ares of the web or are we stillconcentrating on the perfect automation of the card index system?It is the difference between browsing for images and music by viewing LastFM profiles & searching for a book or article. That is more playful.80:20 - both the 80 & the 20 are at the search end of the spectrum for us, but the last 20 isn’t really that productive and it is probably consumingalmost 80% of our effort (IMHO - no Katie, this isn’t evidence based, just my opinion based on observation and experience in libraries). Move it tothe discovery end of the spectrum (and that doesn’t mean just searching more widely).The discovery end of the spectrum is more playful and poetic and we can assist and expose our collections and our services by curating themmore. Sometimes search is abstract, more like discovery and that can stimulate deeper thought, and the exposure of new information, content andknowledge.Searching or discovery on platforms like Flickr, Tumblr or StumbleUpon is accidental, incidental & serendipitous.Discovery should be encouraged, facilitated and even led sometimes.We MUST understand this better if we are going to have an impact with data, otherwise it will disappear in repositories, never be shared and that iswhere its potential really lies: in the relationship between different data sets that expose new connections and different perspectives.Yes a lot of this IS still about technology, but it is also about imagining what it has the potential to do and using it differently. Not just acceptingthe vanilla, the ordinary, the usual.
  9. 9. RFID - moving away from transactions Not only: • Self-service • Collection management But also: • Data collection • Location & guidance • Smarter library • Mobile self-service? 9Primary uses:Access, processing loans, facilitating self-service & stock-take. This is how RFID is used in public libraries today. We are already doing much of thiswith our bar-codes and (security) tattle-tape.We don’t just want to replace what we already have with something newer. We see the potential for RFUD to do much more.Unlike public libraries many of our resources are used within the Library (not lent out), so we want to track the use of those resources using theRFID tags. It can’t be done as efficiently with bar codes. That will provide us with more useful and reliable data about what items are used morethan others from our collection.We also see some potential in using RFID to provide more helpful location and guidance for students to find collection items. As well, the Librarycould become much smarter with RFID enabled zones and shelves as well as mobile self-service (eventually).We’d like to explore the possibilities currently being applied and tested with RFID but not inside the library or academic sector. The retail, transportand logistics industry offer us some different applications of RFID technology and these could be combined with the standard library applicationsby a smart systems integrator in the second phase of our RFID deployment/implementation. Some examples include airport baggage tracking,self-service/faster checkin at airports & DVD rentals.
  10. 10. With RFID tags we will collect data on these and allow forvirtual browsing of them. 10
  11. 11. Welcoming, porous, merging digital & physical access Designed to encourage behaviours 11(Image taken by me in the Philological Library of Free University, Berlin.)We believe that a sense of place and space will be important in our new library. With less books on display that is easier to deliver in a given space.Even current school students have recently reminded us of the importance of an appropriately welcoming space to first enter for the Library. Theyrecognised the critical importance of that space in reminding you about the purpose of the institution you are entering. The use of appropriateorientation spaces has been well recognised in the museum world and in well-designed new libraries such as the one shown here in FreeUniversity, Berlin.From restricted opening hours -> towards 24/7 servicesFrom desks/counters/signs/screens/boards -> orientation spacesFrom website -> applications and open development with our content/dataFrom catalogues -> Google, Amazon, iTunes (interfaces)From face-to-face classes -> ubiquitous learningFrom Library (only as a location) -> mobile services across the campus (people & virtual)From passive consumers of technology -> active trend-setters and explorers through partnerships in research & publishingClever design can assist us in designing out undesirable behaviour (like theft, excess noise, vandalism, etc.) and in encouraging appropriatebehaviour like reading, study, collaboration, self-service, reference assistance, etc.Some answers and ideas will come from participatory design: we are already working with 4th year design students on projects such as DesigningOut Crime to explore the possibilities offered by RFID and mobile computing platforms as well as more traditional solutions to be found in spatialand furniture design.We believe it is very important to have our current and future students participating in the conceptual design stage. As a university of technologyour design, engineering, and IT students and researchers also have much to offer us from their own expertise.From GATES, DON’T! & SHUSH! -> Welcome, how can we help? & influencing behaviour (theft, vandalism, inappropriate behaviour/food/drink) bydesign
  12. 12. People Spaces Orientation Flexible Researchers Design! Place & space Peer-to-peer 12• Co-design or participatory design - at the front end of our planning• Orientation spaces - so important that even users know why & what they should be like• Flexible spaces - adaptable quickly for multiple purposes as needed without impacting on airflow or noise circulation• Better welcoming and useful environment for researchers• Merged physical & digital access (like Apple)• Allowing for those working with industry partners in the community / university• Recognising country, place and space in the design. Designing for storytelling as well as shelves and reading.• Accounting for p2p working, collaborative study, teams, etc. shared learning & discovery
  13. 13. • It isn’t just about plugging in new (enabling) technologies and opening up shiny new spaces.• Our people need to be prepared and we need to develop new services. 13 13
  14. 14. Our People 14 14 • Staff need to be found or developed. Why is there a divide between “professional librarians” and library technicians? • New roles? UX, design, design thinkers, visual communicators, leaders & managers, visionaries. • Encouraging talent, not qualifications • Encouraging risk taking, experimentation, exploration, e.g. social media: Create, curate, manage; Community; Corporate to personal voice; Networking, promotion; New, improved services; Explore, share; Improved ICT awareness • More inclusive, less hierarchical • Trust! • Modelling & recognising desired behaviours (if you look & act like a dinosaur ...) • Looking for possibilities, not problems (worst possible case scenario planning) • Learning by doing, NEW SERVICES: (Research Week & Shut-Up&Write) • A new/old identity and role in the community as connector/facilitator/provider? • Ensuring that life and energy are evident in your library • Encourage, reward, recognise creativity! • Letting go – of control & of old things that we don’t really need to be doing – how much value add is there as opposed to some stuff that people want that we don’t want to do or can’t do? • Being transparent/visible • Importance of playgrounds/sandpits • Gaming, reading, play at work • Hours to do things that matter (not usually 9-5) • SM only first step – to human connections, relates to space & place & community • Using multiple channels for conversations and connections (e.g.) • Radical trust (it drives change) • Disruptive technologies • Try & fail! • Be optimistic! • viral distribution, small data (mobile), P2P • Delighting patrons • Surprise – something they don’t even know they want yet • Be active not reactive – anticipate needs, be a leader, not a follower • Its not about the technology – we are in a service industry! • And we already have a recognised strong service ethic. • Challenge sacred cows – slavish worship of traditional norms, roles, tasks, processes and practices because we’ve always done them • Adaptability – to changed environments. Not doing more with less, but less of some stuff and more of others. • Have some fun – it isn’t that serious and you might attract some attention for your great new idea • Be visible! If youre needed dont hide! • Dont be afraid to be different. More of the same isn’t surprising and sometimes it isn’t needed • Libraries are not churches & we are not priests. • ImaginationLetting go of stuff others are doing better. The hard decision is deciding what to drop. We won’t be getting additional resources.
  15. 15. Changed research environments & behaviours Assist researchers to collect, store, organise, analyse & share data Provide dedicated spaces & services for researchers and their industry partners/creative industries Actively promote our expertise & new services 15(Image taken by me in the British Library Growing Knowledge exhibition, 2010.)Libraries MUST respond to changes in research environments and to changed researcher behaviours and needsMany researchers are collecting, storing and analysing large amounts of data. Retention, sharing, publication, ongoing management?Collect & StoreProvide institutional repositories like UTSiResearch and connect researchers to other suitable repositoriesOrganiseProvide expertise, training, advice on metadata; data management guidelines and toolsCurating datasets (e.g. ATSIDA)Analyse Metrics and citation analysis (expertise, training and tools)Share  connect researchers by facilitating and enabling social networks both physical and virtual (Shut up and write and Research @UTS early examples ofthis)advise on copyright, IP and open access publishingThere is still a need for dedicated space for researchers and their research partners in our libraries. And we must learn to market what we providebetter. It is the old story about a tree falling in a forest.
  16. 16. Sustainability Designed for & modelling sustainable operations, procurement, travel, relationships 16Image taken by me outside the Salt Lake City Public Library. • Operations, procurement, travel, relationships, services • An expectation for all libraries. • Sustainability as a community obligation • We have even developed our own sustainable collections model. This can be viewed in some detail in Dr Alex Byrne’s Designing the Library of the Future (Section 2.2). This is of course available online as a free download via UTSiResearch 2100/1037 • Briefly, the model begins with the inner circle of High Use Materials or the most highly controlled segment of the collection including physical resources on short loan restrictions and digital resources available online through our eReadings and the University’s online learning system. • Next comes Priority learning and research materials or the core collection covering licensed ebooks, e-journals and other e-resources central to our learning and research programs, the university’s own research outputs through UTSiResearch and physical items found in our open access collections (we are planning on approximately 250,000 items here). • The 3rd band is Foundation learning and research materials, a broader collection assembled to support the university’s programs. Digital resources in this band are of a lower priority and would be sacrificed under budgetary pressures. Physical items will be stored in our LRS and accessible within 15 minutes of a request. The LRS itself is a substantial sustainability initiative. • The 4th band is Extended learning and research materials. As items age and lose relevance (excepting classic works) they may be transferred to offsite consortial storage such as the CARM repository operated by CAVAL in Victoria, but still accessible within a day. This band also includes items not owned or licensed by the Library, but available through reciprocal borrowing arrangements including the BONUS+ consortium and inter-library loans. • Finally the outer band is the Global information commons comprising both the extended bibliosphere of over 160 million books plus journals and other resources held in the world’s libraries as well as the open World Wide Web.
  17. 17. Cultural, Learning & Social hub Culture is activity of thought, and receptiveness to beauty and human feeling. Scraps of information have nothing to do with it. A merely well-informed man is the most useless bore on Gods earth. Alfred North WhiteheadImage: 17• From service provider -> cultural, learning & community hub• Going beyond the ordinary; Importance of cultural materials within academic & other communities• Developing cultural & special collections, not an assumption, not passive!• Artist-in-residence programs• Understanding the curatorial process and what that means for access, exposure, promotion, research, publication, etc.• Have we forgotten the full curatorial process? o Develop>organise>manage>disseminate>imagine & create o Get out of silos and apply/develop the full range of your skillset o Better for your career anyway!• Connecting to others and connecting others• Engaging effectively in a community – immersive in participation!• Shared interests – what are they in your community?• Promoting debate & discussion• Culture – what it is & why it is important. How did we ever forget that role?• Engage – don’t ignore!
  18. 18. Are we Curating our Collections? Research Acquire Arrange Describe Provide 18Here area a few of my ideas relating to being more active in curating our collections and our services. This is merely to stimulate a bit of thoughtand perhaps some re-imagining beyond the silos we now seem to operate in. Somewhere, someone has to consider the entire process or curationlifecycle.
  19. 19. Are we Curating our Collections? Liaison Research Publishers, passive, Acquire mostly text Dewey, set, inflexible Arrange Publishers, Worldcat Describe Shelves & catalogues Provide 19This might be a bit hyper critical, but we asked some random library users about who does what on this curation process, what would they say?I think we’ve sliced it up and specialised far too much. We’ve lost the continuum.
  20. 20. Are we Curating our Collections? Liaison Research Connect, engage, learn Publishers, passive, Active, beyond text, Acquire publish(!), produse mostly text Dewey, set, inflexible Arrange Virtual shelves, crowd curation, other? Publishers, Worldcat Describe Folksonomies, ratings, artist-in-residence? Shelves & catalogues Provide Exhibits, discovery, OA, create, imagine! 20So here are a few random ideas to encourage us all to think beyond the ordinary, beyond what we’ve always done.
  21. 21. British Library: Business & IP Centre 21(Image taken by me in the British Library in the lounge & networking area outside the BIPC reading room.)•The British Library: NOT a museum of the book.•Business and Intellectual Property Centre. This is impressive new business for the British Library and an example of seeing an opportunity andgrasping it with both hands. They’ve developed great partnerships with the business of the City and now librarians in this centre help peoplestarting up new businesses. I believe this is the kind of thing all of us need to learn how to do in our own communities.••On the far wall you can see examples of success stories encouraged as businesses by this centre.•For UTS I see this as a model we might use somewhere in our new Learning Commons, probably targeted at our research community, perhaps tolink industry experts with researchers or others from URS starting businesses or seeking help getting inventions and prototypes off the ground.•It might also be a useful industry mentoring centre for post-grad students.•We could even use the model to assist academics and researchers with e-publishing and in order to understand Copyright better (in the way BIPCdoes much the same thing with IP and Patents law).•What are banks, local government organisations, non-profits, and airports doing?•How will we handle growing collaboration between faculties & universities?•What is relevant in YOUR community? (e.g. reference materials & services for the unemployed, disadvantaged, children, assisting literacy, ageingpopulation, changed industry base, IP/Copyright needs, etc.)•Collaboration with creative industries (digital media, games, digital services, entertainment, our future)•Facilitating and welcoming industry links and partners•Look outside for possibilities beyond your usual small world•Another example in London are the Idea Stores in East London – deeply relevant and connected to their communities, providing what theyneed.
  22. 22. What our students want Mobile check out 24/7 operations Natural light Inspirational & quiet spaces Book history Customisable spaces Comfy chairs Participation 22We have become aware of these needs through a number of small but useful initiatives:. using Wallwisher software on a spare large TV screen with a keyboard in our front stair well to facilitate a regular engaging conversation withthose using our current Library. Moving from a culture of complaint in an old corporate complaint book to one of conversation with real people inthe Library - not just because we moved from print to electronic media, but because we moved our responses from corporate to authenticindividual voices of Library staff. by fully participating with academics, researchers and students as a “client” on some of their research projects into library services and spaces,and. by getting to know some local co-designers/design thinkers who understand the reality of community engagement and its potential to deliveroutcomes that synthesise organically the perspectives of all people involved in or touched by a project.
  23. 23. Future students want Art Atriums Natural light Randomness Comfy chairs Decent ceilings Grand entry area Thematic identity Greenery & water Meaningful signage Intuitive technology Gaming/media spaces Obvious sustainability Curved & open spaces 23(Image taken by me in the Philological Library of Free University, Berlin.)These points are what the year 7 & 9 students told us they wanted in a university library of the future after a half day informal workshop in ourcurrent library in September of 2010.Extended learning means the opportunity to learn beyond the set curriculum.What can we do to provide randomness in our libraries. Everything we do is about (mostly outdated ontologies and structures!Gaming & media spaces are probably essential now. A library without them in the future will be irrelevant.Orientation spaces have a significant effect, more significant than any signage, on the behaviour of those entering. It is expected by our clients.Water features, greenery and natural light are probably things we would wish to see ourselves.Future students will expect all technology that we provide to be intuitive. If it isn’t it won’t be used.Signage can be over-done, and to be effective it must be meaningful.Our future students expect like-books to have some kind of thematic identity that gives users/readers a clue about their content.I didn’t really understand why students said they liked the curved spaces in the UTS Library until I saw those of the Philological Library in Berlin’sFree University.Library spaces and services must learn to be customisable and personalised. Maybe we are too precious about those spaces and don’t understandtheir true potential.We want our future library to be a social hub, but it also must provide exposure to culture, so the use of art within the library will be critical.Our sustainability initiatives must be visible and demonstrate our progress (or not) in all dimensions/facets.Comfy chairs are essential because patrons simply will not spend every hour in a library awake.“Lack of rules” perhaps indicates that we still have too many rules, or too many signs indicating the rules. Perhaps there are other ways to influenceand encourage behaviour besides rules.
  24. 24. • But:• It isn’t the consumers’ job to know what they want.• Steve Jobs• There is more to it than that. 24 24
  25. 25. 25From “Lending” “Research Help Desk” “Access” “Security” “IT” “Information literacy” -> triage HELP & expert consultanciesWe like the Apple model that is more generic and helpful than ours is at present. • Not the consumers’ job to know what they want. • Who asked for an iPhone or a iPad? • Leadership - from above and below, particularly on hard stuff like sustainability • How do we design and offer better services • How do we move from Lending, Research Help Desk, Access, Security, IT, databases, and information literacy to triage HELP and genius consultancies (or “visitor experience” like SLQ)? We like the Apple model that is more generic and helpful than ours is now. • Jane Fulton Suri from IDEO suggested bringing observation, intuition, empathy & imagination together to make an empathic economy in a presentation for the Business Innovation Factory-2 (2006) event: Finding inspiration Through the Power of Observation. See http:// • The Stanford DSchool model: empathise>define>ideate>prototype>test • What does design thinking have to offer us? • Importance of language – meaning what you say & saying what you mean; so others can easily understand • Innovation from within • Design process – where, when, how • Agility • Good knowledge of external (non-library, non-academic environments and services) • DIY – or why consultants are not always good for your business • Breaking free from traditional views about library roles! • The importance of collaboration between librarians • The importance of sharing
  26. 26. (re)designing libraries is: social innovation 26 26Another image taken by me at UTS BikeTank in u.lab. See our process more like that of Social Innovation? See also Socialinnovation – what it means and why it is relevant . . . sustainability, social justice, social inclusion, community engagement
  27. 27. 27• We must recognise and exploit our neutral position in the heart of our communities• We must also build on our reputation or legacy position as a home of knowledge