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Keep Calm and Make It Real


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Kelvin Watson, Vice President Digital Services & Strategy and Interim Vice President Information, Technology, and Development, Queens Public Library

Libraries invest with a variety of eResource providers to license a rich array of eResources for its patrons and are sometimes forced to rely on a complex set of proprietary interfaces to navigate and deliver them. Only the most savvy patrons are able to keep track of a large number of separate usernames and passwords and website URLs. Even when this barrier is crossed, accessing the eResource (or even finding out what is available) requires the user to follow links out of the library’s system and over to the eResource provider’s system. These systems are often “walled gardens,” where the eResource provider, not the library, controls the user’s experience, and it is difficult for the user to make their way back to the library site if they don’t find what they need on the vendor’s site. This complexity hinders the patron’s ability to easily discover, engage with, and consume the library’s valuable investments and instead often concludes in frustration and failure. The Queens Library has embarked on a project to radically improve the way library patrons discover and access eResources. Queens Library intends to create a Virtual Library System that will provide a best of breed solution for accessing eResources for all of Queens Library’s patrons. This System will eventually allow Queen’s patrons to have seamless access to digital materials all within Queens Library’s own web and mobile interfaces. This system will replace the unwieldy model that creates many barriers for users looking to access digital content, barriers that run the range from software that is too complicated for those with little digital experience to navigate, to the lack of access to devices on which content can be consumed. Libraries have to continue to reach beyond the confines of its physical locations and extend its presence into people’s homes by providing devices that will let patrons interact more deeply with the Library’s offerings. The Virtual Library System will keep Queen’s Library’s doors open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and shifts the balance of power from providers to libraries and patrons.

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Keep Calm and Make It Real

  1. 1. Queens Library Tablet Lending & Mobile App
  2. 2. Your Library On Demand Physical Digital The Virtual Library is an integrated system created by Queens Library to improve access to eBooks & all services for public library users in either physical, or digital spaces.
  3. 3. Simple Access to Everything Discoverability Access The Virtual Library answers today’s challenges by clearing the clutter that plagues legacy library tools and provides a superior customer experience in a single comprehensive catalog.”
  4. 4. Eliminate Obstacles & Silos Variety Delivery Library systems are no longer chained to seldom- used tools, and can easily integrate with fresh partners via a plug-and-play fashion. Patrons also have flexible options to consume info and media on their terms.
  5. 5. Three Simple Goals, now in reach. • 1. Single Comprehensive Catalog – Users are able to search and browse relevant items in either our physical or digital collections. This includes all material types including eBooks, Audiobooks, print, CDs, DVDs, Articles & Databases. • 2. Easy Discoverability & Access – 24/7 access and ease of enjoying library content, programming, and services. Essentially find what you want, when you want. • 3. Flexible Content & Delivery Options – Enjoy the ability to download, stream, or access the full complement of available content from all our strategic partners and publishers.
  6. 6. The 3 Principles of Virtual Library • 1.Physical & Digital : Ease access and simplify discovery • The virtual library doesn’t replace public libraries or their physical spaces, instead it acts as a multiplier for the precious resources of space, staff, and finite hours of operation -- to extend the robust services and products our patrons already enjoy. Our goal is to eliminate difficult tools, easing access and simplifying discovery across all operations, human or digital. • 2. Discoverability & Access : Superior experience for physical or digital spaces • The virtual library contains flexible components that can be used within our library facilities for self-service or to aid our staff to provide a superior customer experience. • 3. Variety & Delivery : Pushes The Digital Divide Into The Past • This initiative addresses the critical need for Queens Library to modernize our interactions with our diverse patrons. Although Queens library is responding to the growth of mobile devices and technology in our lives, we leave no one behind in the digital divide. Our solutions are crafted as end-to-end experiences thoughtfully considering those that rely solely on the public library for information literacy.
  7. 7. Stage 1: 2013-2014 • Quarter 1: A Mobile Solution as a response to a tragedy • Quarter 2: Intense focus of what patrons need • Quarter 3:”Discovery & Delivery” Platform comes alive • Quarter 4: Platform comes online for Superstorm Sandy Anniversary • Highlights • Receive 5,000 Google Nexus 7 Tablets • Invest in custom interface • Extend reach into devastated areas • Assessment of Operations and User Experience • Launch on Anniversary
  8. 8. Stage 2: 2014-2015 • Quarter 1: Tablet loaning has healthy launch, eyes shift to patron mobile devices • Quarter 2: BYOD application officially launches • Quarter 3:”Discovery & Delivery” Platform comes alive • Quarter 4: Taking things to the next level • Highlights • Rollout across affected areas • Switch focus to working on BYOD App • Win ALA, Gov, NYLA Awards • Working with Partners Key to API and feature set development • Expand tablets across all of Queens
  9. 9. Stage 3: 2015-2016 • Quarter 1: Better Performance, Better Product • Quarter 2: Meeting Patron Demands • Quarter 3: Changing the way things are done • Quarter 4: Reader Development, Integrated Catalog • Highlights • Focus on performance and improvement, standards • Prototyping high demand features • Turn focus to unified experience and working with vendor partners • Planned development of reader application • Better integration with Web
  10. 10. Discovery & Delivery Mobile Tablet Platforms
  11. 11. Queens Library’s TABLETS-FOR-LOAN – Queens Library has developed a proprietary interface for the tablets- for-loan(5,000). – Who can borrow? Any adult with ID and a library card; children may borrow with parental permission. – Goals are to provide library users with educational and practical resources with a special focus on resources that aid in economic viability; – Curated/persona driven access to Queens Library resources and programs; – A useful experience with or without internet access; – Icon-driven menus, intuitive operation for new tech users; appropriate for all: – Improved digital literacy; – Encouragement to explore and discover; – Secure, simplified device management; – Fresh, engaging content pushed to the tablet whenever it is in WIFI range. – Loan period: one month, with up to three Renewals. Total loan period = 4 months. 12
  12. 12. Tablets-for-Loan Curated Content 13
  13. 13. Queens Library Discovery & Delivery Mobile: Quick Facts • Custom interface for Queens Library Mobile "Discovery and Delivery" platforms • The QL Mobile "Discovery and Delivery" platforms offers a buffet-style browsing experience that allows for search and discovery of eContent, programs, services, and resources, plus general information vital to our patrons and their local community. • Patrons can easily browse booklists, events, and various other features of the library experience. • Is remote extension of library programs and services that is available 24/7 to patron as long as they have a viable network connection • Built for mobile tablet “device-loan” retail models and patron BYOD rollouts
  14. 14. Library-to-Go Tablet Use Case 15
  15. 15. Tablet Loan and Management 16
  16. 16. Mobile Advancement, User-centric principles Queens Library Advances – UI/UX – API’s (Technical Integrations) – External Apps Integration (if necessary) – Patron Authentications – Account Management – Library functions and workflows – Multi-channel access – Read Now!, Give it to me now! World – Simplify, simplify, simplify – Test, test, test – All about feedback, as well as content 17
  17. 17. eContent Champion, Vendor Partner Queens Library Advances Partners on our Web and mobile integration / development roadmap: – Axis360 (eBooks) – Acoustik (AudioBooks) – OneClickDigital Solutions (Ebooks, AudioBooks) – Zinio (E-Magazines) – Freegal (Music & Movies) – IndieFlix (Movies) – Bibliboards (Edu Content) – Gale Cengage (Edu, Research Content) – Overdrive (Ebooks, AudioBooks, Kindle) – &More 18
  18. 18. Queens Library: Mobile App (BYOD) FOR PATRON MOBILE PHONES •BYOD is very different than “loan” model •Architected App to benefit from lessons learned during Tablet app development. •Is one of the most custom mobile solutions in Library Industry and Queens Community •iOS Apple and Android Soft launch Q1 2014 •Available in iTunes Store and Google Play Store for mobile phones right now •Fresh version slated for release, QA testing •In constant review and development, especially in regards to eContent integrations •Instant feedback channel and shares real-time Library information 19
  19. 19. Awards 20 • NYS Governor Broadband Champion Award • ALA Library Of The Future Award • NYLA Mobile Best Practices Award
  20. 20. 21 Media Coverage
  21. 21. Articles 22 vending-to-other-libraries/ 10/Features/Queens_Library_Named_For_2014_Best_Practices.html profession/ 1.1821236 platform-using-superstorm-sandy-donation-tds14/ cardholders-later-this-month-5000-tablets-set-to-circulate/ magazines/ tablet-lending-program-NYC_217398.old.html tablet-borrowing-program-NYC_218334.old.html new-tablets-NYC_210022.old.html tablet-this-week
  22. 22. Virtual Library Overview 23
  23. 23. Demo 24
  24. 24. Kelvin Watson, VP Digital Services and Strategy