Archive for category Social Library Issues
The Bexar County library will open a prototype digital public library. According to “Paperless Libraries Switch to Digital” – It will have 100 e-readers on loan, and dozens of screens where the public will be able to browse, study, and learn digital skills. However, it’s likely most users will access BiblioTech’s initial holding of 10,000 digital titles anywhere.
The Learning Commons is a library space that the community can use for multipurpose / multi-functional activities. Conceptually, it is a public space that functions as a modern learning environment. A bookless library that offers just e-readers and desktop computers will find out that the “library as place” is the key their success; a motivating seating space that allows people to work collaboratively or individually.
According to Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolf in NPR’s “A New Chapter? A Launch Of The Bookless Library – The library is a chance to expand the scope of opportunities for people to learn technology. The world is changing.”
According to an NPR comment by Michael Hale – “For the past 15 years or so, the public library has become as much of a community center as a place to house a collection. It provides computers for those who cannot afford them, which allows them to construct resumes and do daily activities such as banking or renewing their driver’s license.”
Below is a picture from our studio. We are working on understanding how spaces relate to each other in the new learning commons. It is a good example of our visualization process and something that is critical to the development of new types of learning spaces.
According to MIT Technology Review “Mobile Computing Is Just Getting Started,” mobile computing is spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history. Almost half of the “late technophobes” have a smartphone, potentially transforming the way we make transactions in the library. In fact, 65% of the worlds citizens don’t have a smartphone yet. By bringing personal computing to the phone means that sharing information from the palm of your hand is really only beginning.
Mobile computing is changing the way we use information and the way we use the library. For example, Facebook’s share of the time a US smartphone users spends on their apps – 23%. According to Gartner’s “Big Data, Bigger Opportunities Investing in Information Analytics Report,” almost 27% percent of consumers ages 18 to 34 use QR codes. Indeed, the library of the future will be built on various physical + virtual apps – ones that help us find a group study room or arrange to meet at the learning commons for a tutoring session or helps us understand the physical landmarks in a library.
The killer app isn’t Angry Birds. It is access to computing, library discovery systems, online learning programs and online education. The wireless smart phones and tablets have arrived – it is time to design our learning spaces to take advantage of the mobility of information and our ability to share content to gain knowledge. The blended librarian was correct; its all going mobile.
Yes, the MOBILE COMMONS is the next interactive space we will be studying at ACA. Below are some visualizations of learning spaces; How will seating change now that we are mobile?
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Recently, the University of Texas president Bill Powers addressed the need to lower the cost for college. He argued that is it already possible for some students to get a degree for $10,000 and that the cost model for innovation requires more funding not less. We believe that the University library is an agile way to deliver discovery tools for more not less. The library can provide virtual services that enables a paradigm shift away from costly models of discovery. The library can be part of a new way to educate our students and lower the cost of education.
The diagram below outlines the way a student in Texas can get a degree for $10,000. It shows that a student who completes credits outside of a traditional campus settings i.e. before entering college has an advantage. In Texas, they have found ways to lower the cost of education by allowing students to gain college credits in high schools and two year schools such as community colleges in preparation for University.
It is no secret that graduating college in debt limits our young people. Often, their debt is substantial. They have no job and they have difficulty paying off their student loan. To survive what David Brooks calls a “brutal cascade” – the colleges and universities need to embrace the collaborative environment both online and in the library. They need to find ways to integrate the library (learning commons) to enhance tutoring, mentoring, community and sharing.
Colleges need to move away from their standard and costly teaching models. They need to explore how the flipped classroom combined with a library/learning commons and/or blended learning environment creates a positive feedback loop. They need to provide connections in house. They need to use the library as a virtual connector, allowing the student access 24/7 while they go to school.
In all of the discussions about lowering the cost of education, we need to remember the personal one-on-one exchanges that can happen in a library or learning commons. There can be skills building opportunities, activated by people sharing a space. It can be a visualization space with flexible technology, tables and seats on casters. It can include media / technology carts and/or book trucks with pre-arranged materials. This blended learning environment is like no other – flexible and multifunctional.
A couple of months ago, it seamed like all of the library information systems – ILS vendors were developing apps. The business of finding information had gone mobile; everyone was trying to develop a way to reach their customer more effectively. The New York Times article “As Search Goes Mobile, Apps Chip at Google’s Lead” discussed how searching for information is mobile. It states that Google is under pressure to change, because the behavior of searching for information is changing.
Entering the library to find answers is going to be a lot more mobile for users. The mobile user will search for information in different types of environments. Shar VanBoskirk stated “there is a lot of pressure on search engines to delivery more customize, more relevant results. Users don’t need links to web pages. We need answers, solutions, whatever intel we were searching for.”
We like to visualize and think about Apps as virtual “touch points” for content; providing new opportunities to find information. The mobile App can be combined with a physical “touch point” in and around a campus or in a community library.
A synergy of positive feedback can be created in the library to enhance learning activities. Libraries act as connectors for social and public spaces. They can be flexible “research commons” – places with an enhanced wireless network, lighting controls, heating and cooling and flexible furniture.
A low cost education system is critical to building up the youth in the 21st century knowledge economy. The ability to generate new ideas is critical for educational advancement. The social conditions are changing the way libraries are used. The economy is changing and libraries need to be able to do fundraising in the knowledge economy.
The invention of funding platforms is beginning. During our investigations into innovation we found Kickstarter, a micro funding web site that creates tools for the average person to start a building project. For example, Architect David Dewane – Gensler, started a project to create educational hubs that are creation, generation, dissemination and production zones for the youth of Africa. CLICK HERE TO SEE LIBRII: NEW MODEL LIBRARY IN AFRICA
In a “New Kind of Library” by Kira Gould – Dewane states – “This is a new kind of library. It will be the first that will actively engage users as content creators, the first that will operate on a sustainable business model, and the first designed to maximize the potential of high-speed information exchange in developing markets.” These strategies are helpful to include in the fundraising plan.
What if you could create a network of libraries in Africa to feed communities with knowledge, creativity conduits, and revenue?
What if you could create an innovative space in your library that will generate knowledge? Try Kickstarter to start the fundraising efforts.
The most visible signs of our embrace of digital media belongs to the students – young and old. The way they learn using computers, iPads, e-readers and smartphones are different than the past. They are quick to embrace the “library in the cloud” as Sugata Mitra describes in Build a School in the Cloud. It is natural for them to work in groups to learn. With just a little support from a “grandma” or someone who is older that encourages them as Mitra points out, the students can learn anything from a device connected to the net.
The shift taking place in libraries is proving to be transformative in the ways we use information. It is not only Community Colleges and Universities that are being transformed, but as the Strategic Content Alliance stated in Sustaining Our Digital Future: Institutional Strategies for Digital Content – “The use of dynamic digital resources — websites, digital collections, databases of crowdsourced or born digital content pose opportunities and challenges that are all their own.”
Our universities are working to understand the impact of globalization on higher education in an increasingly transformed environment. This ranges from overseas universities offering cheaper undergraduate and graduate programs to the development of “massive open online courses”, or MOOC’s.”
It has become clear that a great deal of the content that libraries are holding today is expected to endure because of our natural embrace of technology. We need to start rethinking how libraries and learning centers can support this paradigm shift in the 21st century.
The transformation of education through the use of technology is beginning to intersect with real companies and big money. The high cost of education and the options for sharing online services is an opportunity that is beginning to take shape. The integration of research databases, online faculty and facilitated courses is part of this big change.
In “Online Startup Plans To Create ‘Ivy Caliber’ Education For Half The Price,” we start to understand that there’s a massive problem in higher education. The number of people qualified to attend the world’s best universities who don’t get the chance to do so is growing. At the same time, the cost of attending college has risen to the point where people question its value, and student debt is skyrocketing.
According to Ben Nelson CEO of Minerva Project, “as we redefine every aspect of the traditional tier 1 research university, we are also re-envisioning the university business model to create a new way of operating that is more effective and efficient.” We see the library playing a strong role in breaking down the barriers of learning, supporting the creation of higher learning. The library is a place – physical and virtual – it will support higher learning – its time to build more libraries to support online learning.
The library is a dynamic space for start-ups as well as individuals. It is a space that combines the physical learning experience with the virtual tools. It is a place that has formal teaching and training programs as well as collaborative work-spaces for small groups to gather and exchange ideas.
General Assembly is a good example of how the physical and virtual spaces are being combined to create knowledge. The description of services reflect the types of work we are doing now and will be doing in the future.
The development of virtual services is not a replacement for the types of spaces, tools and opportunities for exchange that is required for profitable work. Yes, we are more efficient with our virtual tools, but we still need spaces. In the past, we would say that libraries provide the 3rd space – not home or work. However, the world is blurring and the difference between home and work is not so clearly defined.
Often, people need spaces that allow them to be motivated by the other people or they need to be in a setting to be more productive. For example, if I were at home, I would get distracted and watch TV instead of working on my business plan.
In “We must protect and reinvent our local libraries” by Jeanette Winterson, she makes an impassioned argument for why the library is invaluable. After all, John Maynard Keynes believed in culture – why wouldn’t it help others become great?
For anyone working to develop a better community and enhance their education and culture – Jeanette’s quote of Andrew Carnegie is worth reflecting on –
“Man does not live by bread alone. I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.”
Planning the future library and learning organization requires new ideas. Concepts that will take advantage of new and different types of learning opportunities. MOOC’s ( massive open online courses) are a good example of how the landscape of learning will change in the next ten years. The online courses will enable students to learn from professionals anywhere with a connection, extending the reach of libraries.
According to College of Future Could Be Come One, Come All, “the arc of Professor evolution, from professor in a lecture hall to online instructor of tens of thousands, reflects a larger movement, one with the potential to transform higher education” — subsequently changing the library service model, educational programs and learning organizations. MOOC’s are an example of how there will be new ways to enhance education and culture.
The value to library and education professionals; organizations that can take advantage of MOOC’s can be achieved in two ways.
1. Providing access to courses online through the library web sites or web presence.
2. Providing access to MOOC courses in the library building or resource center (specialized space for collaborative learning).
Three existing MOOC examples help define the beginning of a movement that will surely expand. Planning a new library? – Here are a few MOOC connections to explore.
We are sorry to hear that Jay K. Lucker, former director of the MIT Libraries, and nationally known library building and planning consultant, passed away on Sept. 2, 2012. He was 82. Aaron Cohen and Jay Lucker were contemporaries. Many times they worked on the same project, checking the work of the other. They competed making the world better through libraries.
Lucker started his library career at the New York Public Library in 1954. He came to the MIT Libraries in 1975 from Princeton University, where he was associate university librarian. During his 40-year career as a library planner, he guided the Libraries through the beginning of the transition to many digital library resources and services.
Examples of Jay’s Plans
Jay Lucker will be missed in the library community. His legacy extends far beyond MIT Libraries. His understanding of libraries and their uses will be felt by librarians for many years to come. He was an expert architectural library consultant that will be missed.