Archive for category library technology

Makerspace and 3D Printing: the Future is Here

The newest frontier in library service is the development of a MakerSpace, which can include access to 3D technology. Mick Ebeling at Not Impossible Labs provides an inspiring example of how 3D printers can make a difference in the world.

Why should the Library offer a MakerSpace environment? According to Mick, its time to start planning for the impossible – the future!

The library is an ideal place to introduce people to 3D technology. By providing computers and software to work on 3D projects, as well as a place to print these new creations, the library can help people step into a new world. They can be the “go-to” place for their students and patrons by enabling them to send the file(s) they want printed. The library will provide a time/cost estimate and print the items for pickup. See 3D rose example

As with any transition, libraries and educators need to be prepared before they offer such a service.There are few things more frustrating to patrons than seeing a service offered that then can’t be delivered! To avoid this, look for 3D printers that don’t require a lot of maintenance, and make sure staff have the technical training to manage the equipment, enabling them to share “making” skills with the community. For example, what will you do if you need to “level the build plate” or get help when the machine gets stuck? Investing in the necessary training for staff is essential; in a digital world, the library staff is actually more important than ever.

The Library MakerSpace will take a lot of work from the community to get started. The library staff will need to develop policies and procedures for MakerSpace services and equipment. For example, if you want to allow people use to hands-on tools you will need to provide space to work and a reasonable length of time to do so. This requires user policies, plans for time limits, and more.

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How does the 3D printer work?

The 3D printer system works like an automated cake maker; cold plastic is loaded into the machine and fed through a tube that is heated. The liquidized plastic is pushed through a tube like a decorator that writes “happy birthday” on a cake. This is a simplistic description that can be expanded to incorporate metal, wood and biodegradable plastic printing.

Product Ideas

The costs for entry into 3D library makerspaces is roughly $1,500 to $2,500 depending on the Makerbot Replicator. It comes with software that makes it possible to develop objects. Other manufacturers are Polyprinter and Lulzbot Mini. In addition, Lulzbot and Cura is a good hardware / software combination. Download Cura – free 3D software.

Software Ideas

Software is an important part of the 3D printing experience. AutoCAD works very well with the 3D printer. However, there are other open source options – Meshmixer, Tinkercad, Cura and/or AutoDesk 123D. This software needs to be intuitive and easy to work with and designed specifically to produce 3D-printable model files.

Once your library is also a makerspace, you may be able to connect your library to other MakerSpaces. Go to Skyforge and check out this service; it links all of the 3D printers together.

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Ceci n’est pas un Livre (this is not a book)

“The manner in which human sense perception is organized, the medium in which it is accomplished, is determined not only by nature but by historical circumstances as well” Walter Benjamin

Walter Benjamin wrote The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction in 1936. The rapid shift toward dynamic, industrialized modernity created a pervasive anxiety among artists and art lovers.  Could art be replaced by machines?  New photographic technology became the catalyst, carrying  fears surrounding visual art and, to some extent, perceptions of reality in of itself. Arguing that, in order for it to remain relevant, there needed to be a shift in how to understand art in a modern context. The themes of authenticity, tradition, ritual, value, mass production and proliferation of art are woven throughout the essay.

woman_readingIt is not surprising that similar conversations are occurring now surrounding the migration of the library’s print collections to digital platforms. Incorporating technology, “the machine,” into the library space is often viewed as being disruptive, inauthentic and contrary to the original intention of the 20th century library.

We are finding that these same themes brought forth by Benjamin in 1936 are entering our research process. How do we manage traditions and ritualistic expectations of library patrons? What is the value of the digital library? How do we connect technology with existing collections?

There remains a great deal of work for librarians to transform and create a new narrative for the printed book.  The historical context of the 21st century requires libraries to be creative, expanding on the idea of Ceci n’est pas un Livre . The bookwall is a design example that the library can use to highlight the idea of learning in the library.  

The overarching question remains: What type of machines do we allow into the Garden of Eden? Tell us what you think.

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We will be releasing data about the survey at our workshop “make the library an incubator for learning” on June, 5, 2014 @ Steelcase Worklife NYC

 

Image: René Magritte – La Lectrice soumise (1928)

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Thinking about libraries in new ways

The library of the future is going to be a collection of activities and books.  The book technology may change from being clay tablets to e-books.  However, learning activities are the core of any library.

When we design new libraries, we look at potential learning activities.  We examine the combinations of functions from technology to books to learning spaces. These learning activities may use print journals or computers.  The combination of access to intellectual stimulation and space, enabling us to have experiences that enrich our lives.

Charlie Bennett, an academic librarian at Georgia Tech, delivered a poetic Tedx talk.  He talked about what libraries offer and the value of thinking in new ways about technology and service.  He explored the history of libraries and the factors that lead to the development of learning spaces.  If you would like to be inspired, take 10 mins and listen here to the TED TALK LIBRARIAN.

Below is a picture of a GT library / learning space.  What does the next generation library look like?IMG_4457

 

 

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Kicking the Tires on MOOC’s and Library Planning

The MOOC’s offer unique opportunities to educators, librarians and leaders.  They offer a rapid deployment of educational resources, challenging the ways higher education will function in our times.  The MOOC’s are possible because of the availability of a networked world that is now mobile as well as connected.  They offer services to unmet and unsolved educational needs.

At ALA Midwinter, a panel discussed the advances in MOOC’s and higher education.  Bryan Alexander, Anya Kamenetz, Ray Schroeder, Cathy De Rosa, and Skip Prichard discussed the impact of the MOOC’s and libraries.  Cathy De Rosa, OCLC Vice President for the Americas and Global Vice President of Marketing, shared OCLC collective insight research.  Bryan Alexander author of the The New Digital Storytelling also provided insights.

In traditional education, MOOC’s mean giving over authority and control of the classroom.  However, according to Georgia Tech, Alumni Magazine “Kicking the Tires on Tech’s first MOOC“, 113,668 students enrolled in the Universities first computational investing MOOC class.  Over 70,000 students watched a video from the course.  The numbers are astounding; the size of the audience is very large.

The library world understands that local-ness is especially vital in times of rapid change. In other words, they are organizations that can achieve coordination, synergy between higher education offerings and the wider public.  The possibilities of higher education exist; now it is time to develop finders to help our local community improve educational conditions.

mooc and library

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Playfully thinking about Library Programming

Programming Library spaces to improve learning activities can be in different sizes and shapes. According to Aaron Cohen AIA, the library is an incubator and a place for interaction. It is a space that allows for playful activities. Below are images that represents the playfulness of furniture and the types of visualizations during programming we provide to our clients.

library program consultant

library consultant seating layout

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Creating a Culture House – Library Design the Teton County Way

In Libraries Open Doors, Data to Digital Art Displays, learned about LED light installations that use library data to create a cultural aesthetic. Back in 2007-2008, ACA worked with the Teton County Library to developed a plan to enhance the “library as place.” After an exhaustive building development project, the library added additional square footage and created a destination that is called the Filament Mind.

Filament Mind is a human information-driven installation by E/B Office which is designed to visualize the collective curiosities and questions of Wyoming’s Teton County Library visitors through a dynamic and interactive spatial sculpture.

The project was inspired by the concept that our civic spaces should be intelligent and responsive, communicating as much to us as we do to each other, enabling a form of intra-environmental social interaction between our thoughts and the material of our built environments. More images and architects’ description after the break.

This project is an example of the innovative use of space that can be employed in a public library project. Deb Adams, Dail Barbour and the entire Teton County Library Board showed great creativity in the development of the design for the library. The Library should be commended for making the “library a place” a priority for the community. The result shows why Teton County is one of the nicest places to live in the USA.

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Fair Use for Libraries – Its time for libraries to start digitizing.

The definition of Fair Use recently expanded – implying a new era for libraries. The federal judge oversseeing a major copyright-infringement lawsuit brought last year by the Authors Guild against the HathiTrust digital repository and its university partners judged that transformative uses are a logical part of the fair use clause.

What counts as fair use was a limiting factor to many academic libraries. Their ability to digitize educational works seemed like a dead end in the current climate. The ruling enables libraries to continue to transform content from print to digital. The ruling will allow Academic libraries’ to index and digitize their works for educational purposes.

Judge Harold Baer, of the U.S. District Court in New York, wrote in a ruling issued late Wednesday, October 10, 2012 – “I cannot imagine a definition of fair use that would not encompass the transformative uses.”

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Learning Commons – Touch and Gesture Sensing for the Real World

The learning commons will be an interactive space with technology that allows for instant interactions with knowledge resources. The big challenge today is to make the environment more flexible and adaptable. Touché, a new sensing technology developed by Disney Research, proposes a novel Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing technique. It can detect a touch or personal interaction and simultaneously recognize complex configurations from the hand and the body.

The new technology will significantly enhance computer interactions, allowing for a broad range of applications in the classroom, library and the learning commons. For example, the product will enable learning environments (classrooms, museums, libraries) to enhance conventional touchscreens and lower the cost of hardware installations. It will create scenarios for library patrons to be able to browse e-books just like they were browsing a book stack. We can envision techniques to cross the digital boundary without hard-wired displays.

The technology will enable learning environments to add complex touch and gesture sensitivity to computing devices and everyday objects. It will enable the designers of learning environments to create virtual objects with touch sensitivity making it easy and straightforward to interact with technology.

The product illustrates that a single wire is sufficient to make objects and environments touch and gesture sensitive. Indeed, the next generation of learning spaces will be fluid and interactive. In the next couple of years, this technology will change the way we interact in the learning environment. It will enable virtual browsing to become a reality.

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Librarians are Digital Curation Specialists

Content is everywhere – librarians need to reach out and expand their knowledge of digital curaton techniques. The development of digital resources is an essential role for librarians. However, the wheels of technology can move fast, leaving you behind the curve. To catch up fast, Librarians need to be knowledgeable of how digital repositories can be developed. They need to learn how discovery services can be developed to improve the utilization of the library as a shared resource.

The digital curation is a strategy that library staff should embrace to be relevant to researchers. The following links help define methodologies that can support digital collection development efforts. They can be used to support the development of a digital library or repository.

Elements of a data management plan

An Extended Digital Curation Lifecycle Model

DCC Curation Lifecycle Model

Open Archival Information System —Reference Model

The OAIS Introductory Guide

Research Data Lifecycle example

Data Management Lifecycle Models

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The Library’s Value – Print and Digital Books Endure.

The Pew Internet Project Digital Differences Report provides critical research on the role of the Internet in American life. Since 2000, it has shown that there are a big differences between those who were using the internet and those who were not. It is not trivial for some demographic groups, especially when it comes to access to high-speed broadband at home, struggle to access the net.

We believe Libraries can make a difference by increasing access to the internet, cloud resources, electronic databases and digital repositories. The main findings by Pew are as follows:

    – One in five American adults does not use the Internet.
    – The main reason is they do not think the Internet is relevant to them.
    – 27% of adults living with disability are less likely to go online.

In the LA Times article, “even e-reader owners still like printed books,” the pleasure of reading endures in the digital age. According to a USC Dornsife/L.A. Times poll, 6 in 10 people say they like to read ‘a lot. It also shows that young adults read about as much as many of their elders.

Although many Californians who own Kindles, Nooks and other e-readers love their gadgets, they still prefer books the old-fashioned way — on paper. Even with sales of e-readers surging, only 10% of respondents who have one said they had abandoned traditional books. More than half said most or all of the books they read are in printed form.

It turns out that e-books create more readers not less.

The pleasure of reading endures in the digital age, even with its nearly boundless options for entertainment, according to data collected from 1,500 registered state voters.

object of meaning - the book

object of meaning - the book

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