Archive for category Social Library Issues

Developing a Library Incubator

Are there better places to learn on campus or in a community? The library can better serve their community by providing new services and re-vamping existing delivery strategies. According to “where do we go from here? Informing Academic Library Staffing through Reference Transaction Analysis,” mobility, power and technology are changing the way students use the reference desk. In 2010, over 62% percent of undergraduate students owned Internet capable handheld devices.

According to PewInternet, 91% of American adults own a cell phone and many use the devices for much more than phone calls. With the rapid adoption of mobile technologies and advances in all digital resources, libraries need to provide answers to questions wherever we are.

Resource rich environments can be enhanced with touch points that help you navigate to what you need. The library can offer tools that enhances the users ability to operate in the digital cloud. For example, a plan to define the path of travel through the library can be both physical and virtual. There is technology that can react to our needs wherever we are.

Academic libraries are starting to use location based QR codes to support real-time learning activities. Plans that allow users to walk into an area with books or periodicals and connect to the libraries e-resources are being considered. Librarians are developing real-time opportunities for physical and virtual collaboration, providing a platform to support Laphams Quarterly’s art of learning.

Laroi Lawton at Cuny Bronx Community College developed a good starting point for reasons why libraries are important. The list provides some of the reasons that students know and indicate that their library is still relevant, in order of importance:

1. convenient hub
2. socialization
3. motivation
4. collaboration
5. resource rich
6. safe
7. relevant collections
8. distraction free
9. service
10. ambiance

We see the need for libraries continuing into the future. They provide a unique medium based on a long history of programmable space that encourages individuals to succeed. Libraries are places to learn and promote civilized activities. This personal approach towards helping the library user along with their research is the basis of our culture.

There are a wide variety of new mobile technologies and apps that are changing the way people use information. It is time to accept the handheld librarian as the norm and add them to the art of knowing….Join Us at our workshop on Oct 26th at the Georgia Institute of Technology

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Learning Machine – Library as Place

In the August Edition of Scientific American, there is an article by Seth Fletcher entitled Machine Learning. It starts to outline the evolution of education and the transformation of higher learning in the 21st century. It illustrates that computers are playing a role in higher education. It outlines how active learning software is being used in higher education.

According to Seth Fletcher, “Proponents of adaptive learning say that technology has finally made it possible to deliver individualized instruction to every student at an affordable cost—to discard the factory model that has dominated Western education for the past two centuries. Critics say it is data-driven learning, not traditional learning, that threatens to turn schools into factories.”

During the Top Tech trends discussion at ALA2013 (#ALA2013), Clifford Lynch started asking us to rethink the way we manage our personal identity. The group discussed the need to handle our own factual biographies i.e. learning identities. According to the group, it is going to be a big concern to provide privacy, especially when adaptive learning systems are tracking our progress through society.

Adaptive Learning systems provide knowledge scaffolding for students, researchers and scholars. According to the Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford University (SUES) “Scholars researching the nature of creativity have long recognized the importance of adaptive and integrative learning, and most of the rest of us understand it intuitively: who among us cannot recall such a moment of illumination, when elements from different books came together to produce new insight? A number of programs at Stanford have already woven such learning into the fabric of their curricula.”

How does this relate to libraries? Student learning systems can be augmented; intertwined with digital content from libraries. The “Library as Place” offers the flexibility to allow for creative research. Access Services Librarians distribute content, equipment and tools. Partners can play a role offering tutoring, enhancing learning outcomes and student success.

Interested in learning more about the types of products and services that will be offered by higher education in the future? The following are a few adaptive learning web sites to research:
1. PrepU
2. Knewton
3. Area9
4. CogBooks

Below is the Youtube link for the LITA Top Tech Trends Discussion. Cliff starts talking at 20:12.

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Common Core Presents an Opportunity for Libraries

During architectural library planning and through construction, we develop a blue print that defines an overall vision of the desired building to guide its construction. This is includes a needs assessment, building program and facility plan that informs the project team with an overall end in mind.

According to Jay McTighe at Edutopia, “Think of the grade-level standards as building materials. As a construction supervisor, we wouldn’t simply drop off materials and tools at a worksite and have the workers “go at it.” Instead, we would begin with a blueprint — with an overall end in mind. Teachers can create wonderful individual rooms that won’t necessarily fit together within and across floors or achieve the intended results.

Common Core outlines individual learning strategies that take into account the big picture. For example, the Mathematics Standards accentuate the focus on a smaller set of conceptually larger ideas that spiral across the grades (as opposed to simply “covering” numerous skills) with an emphasis on meaningful application using the Practices.

Librarians bring a broad range of experiences with them, providing interstitial learning spaces for students and faculty. They provide “in-between” spaces to work as individuals or in small groups and in large settings. Libraries also provide links in the virtual world; links to important information such as a Common Core Starting Point.

In Common Core, each grade is a package of knowledge and skills that build upon the students precision level. This is called a progression, creating continuity from one grade to the next. Nearly every state has adopted the Common Core standards, each state is at a different level of implementation.

Schools that follow Common Core will need to focus on teaching precision skills to enable their students to grow. This is something libraries can support. Librarians are information specialists providing support around research. The foundation of any library is to provide content that will enable an individual, group or class to explore on their own level. Libraries enable students to practice at their own speed, providing space for different activities to build skills.

At the American Library Association meeting #ALA2013 Margaux DelGiudice told Publishers Weekly. “Now is the time for librarians to lead, to reinforce the importance of having a librarian as an information specialist available to support students and teachers. Remember, what is new for many educators are techniques that librarians have been practicing for years.” Rose Luna showed this video by the Teaching Channel that describes Common Core Math Standards.

There is more to come on the development of Common Core Standards. Libraries are a great place to start!

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Global Library Planning and Development Methodology

The library is part of an organic network of learning spaces. At its core, libraries offer the opportunity for growth and knowledge. They are places that spread knowledge with tools to intertwine business, skills development and education. Libraries can spread access to the Internet in rural communities. They can offer individuals and small businesses:

– Spaces for staff learning, capacity and innovation
– Incubator space for new products and practices
– Librarians for external innovations to introduce and internal innovations to scale up
– The community is a network that is “Doing while learning” at the library.

barbadosnationallibrary_edited-2

BRAC developed the Social Innovation Lab web page to support strategy development in rural communities. They are a development success story, spreading solutions born in Bangladesh to 10 other countries around the world. They are a global leader in creating opportunity for the world’s underserved.

At the Frugal Innovation Forum, participants gathered to generate ideas to help people with limited funds. Programs modeled around Scaling Up, Out, Smart, Digital and Together. Participants spent time exchanging ideas to improve life on this planet.

If you are planning to develop a library space plan or master plan for your campus, we believe the “Scaling Methodology for Planning” has resonance. When we start a project, we “Scale Up” and “Scale Out” to understand the big picture. When we develop a library space program, we “Scale Smart” balancing the needs of the library staff, collection and seating.

Often, we are asked about how to “Scale Digital.” We offer advice to create partnerships and re-engineer library operations; a practice that improves strategic planning outcomes. We “Scale Together” during a library space plan.

We support people who create communities of learners or Libraries. People driven by the opportunity for cultural exchange, community, membership, knowledge creation and access to library resources. In a way, it’s nothing new for librarians. We are wired to seek and provide unique resources, providing opportunities for the individual and community to grow.

The potential to develop a library is a true gift to a librarians career. It is an opportunity to increase access to shared resources, enabling individuals to become unique fulfilling their potential to grow.

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ConnectED – Build Physical and Virtual Library Space

President Obama unveiled a new initiative called ConnectED to connect 99 percent of America’s students to the internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within 5 years, calling on the FCC to modernize and leverage its existing E-Rate program to meet that goal.

The E-rate program allows US libraries to connect to the internet, but is it limited in scope and funding. By expanding the investment in the E-Rate funding program, it will help pay for investments in school and library networks. According to EdTech Magazine, “One of the creators of the E-Rate program, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), said it was time for E-Rate 2.0.”

The ConnectED program, as outlined by Arne Duncan Secretary of Education, should include the development of a network of educational (library) spaces to facilitate the efficient use of the E-rate program. For ConnectED (#ConnectED) to be successful, it should expand beyond a mere connection and examine public access; strategies that enable and empower people to visit, use and do research with the Internet.

Andrew Carnegie believed that the library building should have steps, inspiring people to rise up and enter to learn. He stated, “There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library.”

The Schools and Libraries program, also known as the E-rate program, makes telecommunications and information services more affordable for schools and libraries in America. Congress mandated in 1996 that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) use the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) to provide discounted eligible telecommunications, Internet access, and internal connections to eligible schools and libraries.

Below is a outline of why the library is an important part of our community. It was developed by the California Library Association – PRToolkit

PUBLIC LIBRARIES ARE PARTNERS FOR VIBRANT AND EDUCATED COMMUNITIES.
They provide a dynamic array of resources, services and programming that help make their communities attractive, vital places for businesses and their employees.

LIBRARIES ARE PLACES OF OPPORTUNITY.
They help people of all ages and backgrounds to lead better, more satisfying lives. Many libraries offer English classes, foreign language collections and other services to help newcomers adjust to life in a new country.

LIBRARIES ARE ESSENTIAL FOR A FREE PEOPLE.
They protect our right to know by providing access to a full spectrum of ideas, resources and services. Admission is free. No questions are asked.

LIBRARIES PRESERVE OUR PAST’ INFORM OUR PRESENT AND INSPIRE OUR FUTURE.
Libraries connect us with books and other materials that help us to learn from the past and prepare for the future. Not just books, but photographs, artifacts, historical documents and other pieces of our heritage that the Internet will never offer.

LIBRARIES SUPPORT LIFELONG LEARNING.
From cradle to grave, libraries provide books, classes and other resources to help us keep learning. “Tuition” is free. All it takes is a library card.

LIBRARIES ARE A GREAT AMERICAN BARGAIN.
Check out a couple of novels and audio books, some picture books for the kids, some CDs and DVDs and the savings quickly add up. Libraries are paid for with less than 2 percent of all public tax dollars and used by almost two-thirds of the population.

LIBRARIES LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD.
Libraries provide resources and services that help people of all incomes learn to read, use computers and develop other skills they need to succeed. A report titled “Toward Equality of Access” from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says “.. .if you can reach a public library, you can reach the Internet.”

LIBRARIES ARE GREAT PLACES FOR KIDS.
Starting with picture books and story-hour and continuing with summer reading and other programs, the library opens the door to learning, imagination and wonder. Kids learn both the thrill and responsibility of owning their own “charge card”¬ one that lets them borrow books, movies, music, games and more.

LIBRARIES SUPPORT A COMMUNITY OF READERS.
Libraries promote a lifelong reading habit starting with story-times for preschoolers and continuing
with special collections and programs for teens. Many libraries offer book discussion groups, presentations by authors and other book-themed programming for children and adults, also literacy classes for adults.

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Crowdfunding for Libraries (8 steps)

As the world gets smaller and more people have access to the internet, we are getting requests to fund local library projects all over the world. These projects are important “peace centers” where young and old can be trained, read a book or meet for a cup of coffee.

The concept of fundraising for libraries isn’t a new topic. Roberta Stevens, past ALA president 2010-2011 from the Library of Congress, helped develop a framework to help librarians do fundraising. In the past year, technology platforms for fundraising started to offer libraries new ways to raise funds. These programs can be done anywhere in the world. However, a US partner is a good way to make all the connections and validate the process. The Leeway Foundation created a web page as a starting point for anyone looking to do crowdfunding for libraries.

On the academic side, movement towards crowdfunding is increasing. For example, in U. of Virginia Teams Up With ‘Crowdfunding’ Site to Finance Research stated, “The University of Virginia is one of the first to start such a fund-raising effort through a partnership with a crowdfunding start-up company. UVa is teaming up with Useed, a company focused on promoting fund raising in higher education by soliciting donations for university research projects or student-proposed entrepreneurial projects.”

According to the Fundraising Toolkit by the American Library Association, there are 8 easy steps to follow:

1. Recruit Help

In small or rural libraries, most of the responsibility for leading this effort will fall on the shoulders of the library director or manager, but he or she need not embark on this alone.

2. Examine your library’s community

Work with your committee to look at your community’s political, economic, social and cultural environment. What are your community’s strengths? Its challenges? Its important issues? What is happening with education, business, jobs, the arts?

3. Tie your library to community issues

If you’ve done a good job evaluating your community, connecting your library with its issues and values should be fairly straightforward. Take the checklist you have created and determine how the library relates to each one.

4. Develop your case

People will give to you because you meet needs, not just because you have needs. What are you raising money for, and why is it important?

5. Identify potential donors

Who is in a position to support your library? Is it local businesses? A civic or fraternal organization? A book club or garden club? Parents? Which individuals are likely in a position to write a check?

6. Make your fundraising visible

Consider planning activities that call attention to your library’s role in the community and its vital services. Events such as book sales, contests, read-a-thons, speaker programs, and others are all great ways to add some spin to your fundraising efforts.

7. Be realistic about the kinds of fundraising your library can succeed at.

Be honest. Set goals that are ambitious, but achievable in the context of your community’s size, its resources, and the environment you have evaluated.

8. Have fun with fundraising!

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Library Planning – Kickstarting the Design Process

It is important to remember that funding a library improvement project does not have to follow a prescribed linear course. In Crowdfunding the Library, we noted that librarians and educators can generate interest to improve libraries.

Crowd-funding is a way to kick-start a library building improvement plan. For example, there are web sites (kickstarter.com) and if you are an academic library Bill Gates recommends (microryza.com). Both are websites offer funding opportunities with a solid plan.

Organizing the funding process can trigger additional opportunities that will gain traction in your community. One way to begin this process is to ask the community – What makes a beautiful library?25 Stunning Libraries From Around The World” provides inspiration – ideas that you can use to get people excited about libraries.

Remember libraries are not just about books or e-books. They are social spaces, places for tutoring and collaboration, culture and programming. We are planning libraries that are digital as well as social. They are integrated with library information systems that enable circulation, reference, access and ebook access. According to Publishers Weekly – Bookstats trade publishing “Total e-book sales rose 44.2% in 2012, to $3.04 billion and accounted for 20% of trade revenue in the year, up from 16% in 2011.” The 44% increase in e-book sales is an important indicator that access to the library is digital as well as physical. Kick-starting the fundraising process will help the community understanding that these changes are an opportunity.

The practice of library master planning helps and supports local fundraising efforts. The studies help answer questions about the future, providing opportunities to align the community. Fundraising effors will help your library solve problems and generate experiments with new services.

Kick-start the programming process and start communicating new ideas. Use Kickstarter to get the ball rolling, enabling your library to create an improvement plan. If you are a global library in need of support, Deborah Jacobs blog about the development of libraries with Gates funding may be a starting point.

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I-Library – What about the Learning Commons?

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.

Learning Commons Visualization Work

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Making the Learning Commons Mobile

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?

Contact us via Twitter – libraryconsultant
@acohen17

learning commons

visualizations of the learning commons

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Education for $10,000 – Use the Library

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.

http://www.texastribune.org/2013/01/30/guide-getting-one-texas-new-10000-degrees/

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.

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