Archive for category library technology

Digital Asset Management: the Next Wave

A high-performance Knowledge Management application for a library requires functions for both individual and the team needs. We design models for the metadata framework for Digital Asset Management (DAM) Systems, or digital libraries. Our team of librarians research and populate fields with possible values, including description of the attribute, type of metadata, and relations to other attributes.

Our Digital Asset Management work includes the development of functional programs such as:

Business Arc

  • hitecture: User stories and business processes
  • Application Architecture: DAM software development
  • Information Architecture: Conceptual representation of information
  • Integration Architecture: Research all technical integrations enabling the DAM system to connect with other knowledge bases
  • Technical Architecture: Information regarding the hardware, software, etc.

Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD can identify and plan next generation libraries: digital asset management systems, digital libraries and archive systems. We can help to:

Determine the search queries that users may type in to find assets using your digital system

Determine, prepare and design the training requirements and modules for training users and librarians to offer knowledge management services

We are constantly researching the evolving communication needs of sales and marketing staff to understand how DAM applications create pathways for business. We know that functions emerge from framing the content for use. Our Knowledge Management professionals analyze user functions to determine UX interfaces that interact with the DAM system; this could be a VR system or a content portal built on library information system knowledge.

We can show libraries and other firms how the DAM will function as a 21st century research portal or marketing library. This work enables global businesses such as healthcare or research centers to do things faster, better and cheaper. Below are some links that will help you start your research.

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Make Your Library More Relevant Than Ever

Even in the digital age, public libraries remain a vital community resource. According to PLA’s latest study on user awareness in libraries,  53% of the public see the library as a source of community pride, and 61% of voters are willing to donate money to support their library.

Communities with great public libraries can draw more people in and continue the cycle of growth. However, this often means a redesign is in order. Communities  that need to raise money for their library require specialized help (Contact Library Consultant).  This work is essential to changing the building, enabling your library to grow.

A good design can increase usages of your library; when a new library is built or an existing one is renovated, there is an increase in educational programs and amenities.  Our library programming results in new user experiences, because space is allotted for various patron activities: quiet reading, education, digital resources and group meetings.

The OCLC and PLA report outlined current perceptions and support among US voters and how they may have shifted over the last 10 years; it showed that libraries are still relevant today.

The update of the original study – From Awareness to Funding: A Study of Library Support in America,

Additional Outcomes:

  • 58% feel that public libraries advance education
  • 51% believe libraries enhance the quality of life of any community
  • 70% of library users visit the library building
  • 52% of library users visit the library’s website

We are both digital librarians and a library space planning consultant group. We can help libraries that need to:

  1. Engage with the public to determine space and service needs, resulting in responsive buildings.
  2. Offer digital services to a social-media savvy public through inventive library services and operations.

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The Plausibility of a Virtual Library Concept

Mobile devices once represented a “new frontier” in library service, offering more access and connectivity than ever before. Today, Virtual Reality (VR) applications represent the next wave in libraries. Motion-controlled technology will enable us to step into another world, no longer tethered only to the physical library space. Users will no longer be spectators but participants in the virtual library.

This new technology offers exciting opportunities for knowledge management applications. For example, Kevin He, founder of Midas Touch, is developing physics-based animation games that incorporate real-world movements with the screen view. In the future, the availability of headsets will make it possible for library users to experience different worlds.

VR technology growth is an indicator that things are changing in the research landscape: academic librarians and/or provosts looking to enhance research experiences need to pay attention this topic. Investment in a VR space will enable institutions to offer more value to students; these spaces and technology programs can further enhance student success. For example, a VR program might provide an enhanced experience such as being at the Grand Canyon, adding a new way for students to use information.
Library planning for VR

Planning these spaces will require new program ideas with a flexible library design. This isn’t about individual learning; virtual reality library will be a group space. Additionally, we will need programs and designs that offer safeguards for the distracted. Incorporating this new technology will require a library program that will help drive collaboration, knowledge and innovation in order to meet the needs of tomorrow.

The five P’s–purpose, place, people, programs, and partnership–are a starting point for the library staff and knowledge management business teams. They will need to research how to blend library services in both physical and virtual worlds. They will need to offer cultural and educational experiences in both physical and virtual learning environments. VR technology has the potential to drive innovation, enabling research to happen all in one room or space. ACA can help libraries determine the hardware, software and spatial requirements for the virtual reality library.

Below is a picture of Project Morpheus for PS4

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Library Coding Classes / Crowdsourcing Fundraising Ideas

Transformative learning environments can make a big impact on struggling youth. As technology continues to advance, libraries are now offering coding classes to support the next generation of education. They are creating their own well of knowledge by training the community in new skills. For example, the Hive at Hillsborough Public Libraries provides all the tools to develop new ideas. Louisville’s library system (LFPL) offers coding courses to community members, supporting the next wave of knowledge workers. The HPLC and LFPL are both examples of libraries that are responding to an industry that is chronically in need of young and energetic workers, i.e. software and hardware developers. The libraries are making a difference with both space, services and collections; something that is unique to all libraries.

According to Coding ‘Boot Camp’ Opens High-Tech Doors, free software-building classes can put poor youth on a potentially lucrative career path. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that hiring of software developers will grow at a rate twice as fast as the average for all occupations through 2022. Keeping this in mind, libraries need to be investing in coding classes, staff and hackable spaces. They need to connect with companies like Jeff Macco’s Seedpaths; delivering software development education to entry-level and advanced-level students.

Libraries that support the community with coding/software development and crowd-sourcing skills can make a real difference in the world. What if libraries could train their own software developers to help them build public funding campaigns? As the Guardian reported in”Crowdfunding saved Timbuktu’s manuscripts. What’s next?,” Thomas Gruner and T160K developed a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo called Timbuktu Libraries in Exile. In 2014 it raised $67,000, illustrating that crowdfunding is a viable way to raise money for libraries: ancient and modern, large and small.

Even though Timbuktu’s library had no funding, hackers from around the world rallied to support the wealth of knowledge it holds. This can be the same for any library. It starts by building new spaces that will enhance the technology capabilities in your community and connecting them with the world.

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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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Please take our Public Library Survey

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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