Archive for April, 2012

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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Value of Library: the Man in the Google glasses

The Library provides more than just a books, media and computers. It provides a social space to gather, creating opportunities for people to network their skills and learn from each other. The library delivers opportunities to share in groups, learn from peers and connect with friends. The library is a place that allow for common activities and social connections in a physical environment.

In the future, work and study will be more electronic. Students will do most of their work in the “cloud;” most faculty will be teaching and testing 100% online. From a library technology point of view, mobile tools, multi-platform visualizations and 3D printing will be available for collaboration and high-speed communication.

Google Glasses are a good example of how the world will change 10 years in the future. In the future, we will be pulling up content from our glasses in new and different ways, reacting to our environment with library search technology. The OPAC or library catalog will be available on the go.

In the op-ed “the Man With the Google Glasses” by Ross Douthat, we realize that technology is not the only answer to a healthy learning environment. According to a Duke University study, Americans used to have more friends. In the 1980’s Americans reported having, on average, three people with whom they discussed important issues. In the mid-2000’s, Americans became more isolated with only two close friends to share important issues. Is this a result of our use of the internet?

Social Isolation is real. For example, Sociologist Eric Klinenberg, “Going Solo: the Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.” He states that more American’s are living alone today then ever before, begging the question: what about libraries? Is it the place for positive social interactions in a technological world?

The Library is critical to sharing information when connected virtually or not. It is a place for scholarly, social and cultural uses. It provides opportunities for the Man with the Google Glasses to interact with the community.

For a road map to begin research – go to: “Library start up” – physical and virtual space for social interaction, jobs communication and sharing. Physical or Virtual, it is a quiet and noisy space to grow ideas into a better future world.

Below is a link to a video from Google About their Glasses – note that the protagonists visit’s the Strand Bookstore. Google should have the person meet at the library. It is a better place to gather and share. See -Google Glasses

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Library Planning Workshop

Library Planning Workshop

Library Planning Workshop

For more information – Go to: http://www.acohen.com/workshops.htm

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The Library’s Digital Data and an Ark Full of Books

As society embraces all forms of digital entertainment, a latter-day Noah is looking the other way. Brewster Kahle, who runs the Internet Archive, a nonprofit, hopes to collect one copy of every book.

Brewster Kahle is trying to make sure the flood of Digital Data does not leave behind important knowledge. According to Kahle, “We must keep the past even as we’re inventing a new future.”

There are librarians who actively collect important documents, books and media. They are people who safeguard culture and history. They are bridge-makers who actively seek and shape their collection.

A key aspect of library planning; create a collection development plan that fits your institution and community.

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Library Technology and the Friction Problem

The service desk is an important element in the design of a future library. It is a functional element that enhances the space and the service.

The design of a traditional information desk can create friction, limiting the flow into the library. The friction can reduce the effectiveness of the entry and the lobby. According to the Technology’s Friction Problem by David Pogue, “Friction is a hassle. steps. process. And in this increasingly technified world, there is still a suprising amount of red tape.” He goes on to state, “lowering friction doesn’t just mean more transactions. It means more of any behavior you’re trying to encourage.”

Librarians who work hard to make self service a priority understand that processing materials efficiently is important. However, there are other groups that confuse tradition with friction. They want the community to work closely with their staff. They believe the tried and true service desk is the answer.

The Library’s technology can be used to reduce friction and encourage use. The library of the future can have a service desk that is flexible – one that is rolled in and out as required. The configuration can allow additional staff to surge into the space when it is busy, using ipads, pedestal seats or roving and card swipes.

The apple store allows users to purchase online and pick up at the store. Amazon has the 1-click buy button. It is time for libraries to reduce the friction wherever possible. Libraries need to integrate the physical and virtual library to reduce and eliminate friction, improving research services.

An example of an Ipad swipe card reader.

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