Archive for July, 2013

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.

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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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Culture house + library – 2013 ALA Annual Program by LLAMA

The culture house is a concept developed by the Danish many years ago to promote the non traditional library. A few years ago, ACA researchers were looking into the idea of the culture house as a way to transform the concept of “library as place.” In the US, there are many examples of culture house + library projects.

At the American Library Association Annual Meeting in Chicago June 29-July 2, 2013, a combined panel of experts shared their ideas on the Culture House + Library. To download the Culture House Presentation, click here.

Alex Cohen, Aaron Cohen Associates LTD, shared library planning and programming elements for the Culture House. He explored library furniture, technology and flexible space concepts. He talked about the need to conceptualize new ideas at conferences like the American Library Association annual conference.

Susan F. Gregory, Director of the Bozeman Public Library, shared examples of how the community and the site and the location of the library can be integrated to create a culture house. She shared examples of activities such as music and cultural events that formed engagement with the community.

Peter Bolek, HBM architects, shared ideas from the Cuyahoga County Library System. He discussed how they created a strategy to engage the community using children book themes. He shared how the community built their culture house by modeling their library to a children’s book, expressing the architecture through a selection of colors and textures associated with the selected book.

Olaf Eigenbrodt, State and University Library Hamburg Germany, shared ideas from European Libraries + Culture House examples. He stated, there are Four Spaces:
•  Redefining the (public) library in a changing context.
•  Clarifying the multifaceted space of today’s libraries.
•  Reinforcing the role of library buildings in urban design.
•  Simulating Citizen Identity and involvement.

Olaf Eigenbrodt shared Henrik Jochumsen new model for the public library in the knowledge and experience society.

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Jeffrey Scherer, MSR Architects, did a case study of the Umeå 2014 European Capital of Culture. He outlined how the project started out as a library and became a Culture House. The library and community went through a process to help each other. He stated they used a strategy called: ”One for all and all for one”

    – Development that benefits everyone
    – Renewal of municipal services
    – Streamlining municipal departments
    – Mutual trust
    – Exchanges of experience

The Culture House is an example of the innovative programming that the American Library Association and LLAMA offers each year to its members.

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