We like to make my library’s annual reports fun – or at least, something our customers just might watch/read. This year’s report is in a video format (embedded above), with supporting info as part of a blog post in our Press Room blog.
Take a peek!
social media | emerging trends | libraries
I’ve been thinking about content creation and libraries lately. Right now, we collect content – hence our shelves of stuff. Yes, we do many other things too. But if you look at our buildings, they have been, by and large, designed for collections of stuff – for collecting content.
Some libraries are changing that focus (or at least adding on to it) by enabling customers to create their own content in a variety of ways … and it’s pretty interesting stuff!
I’ll lump what I’m seeing into three loose categories:
Digital Media Labs: These spaces have content creation tools that allow customers to create and share video, music, photography, and design projects. Customers have access to computers with editing software, cameras, camcorders, microphones, and musical keyboards.
The best examples I’ve seen of this so far are Skokie Public Library’s Digital Media Lab and Chicago Public Library’s YouMedia project. Skokie’s lab has a greenscreen wall for video projects; Youmedia includes a small recording studio space.
Hackerspaces: “A hackerspace … is a location where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, or digital or electronic art (but also in many other realms) can meet, socialise and/or collaborate … hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things” (from Wikipedia).
Basically, hackerspaces tend to be public spaces with tools – 3D printers, drill presses, etc. And people make stuff there. Who’s doing this? Well, Allen County Public Library and Fayetteville Free Library are, for starters.
Coworking Spaces: Coworking is a pretty simple concept. Independent workers, freelancers, small business owners, etc. gather in a shared space to share ideas, team up on projects, and get some work done in a more social setting. It’s an alternative to meeting at home or a local coffee shop.
Libraries have unofficially done this for years (how many of you have heard of a patron who runs his/her business from the library? I’ll bet some of you have). But some libraries are going a step or two further by embedding librarians in these spaces, or even offering coworking spaces as part of their services. Meg Knodl, a librarian at Hennepin County Library, is doing this – here’s an article on what Meg is doing. Helsinki City Library has created some coworking spaces – read more about it here.
For more info, check out these articles:
Question – is your library doing something like this? If so, let me know in the comments!
Photo by Skokie Public Library
Libraries and Learning Communities – Lee Rainie
three revolutions Pew has noticed
1. Broadband – 78% of adults use internet, 62% have broadband at home
2. Mobile phones – 84% (I think) of adults use mobile phones
3. social networking
important in 3 ways
1. sentries of information. people log on to their social networks first thing in the morning, rather than read the news.
2. evaluators of information – when people find confusing info, they turn to their social networks first. I’ve certainly seen and done that. asking if it’s true, and how much weight should I give it
– librarians – think about being nodes in people’s networks… dang. we need to be there!
3. serve as audiences – we are all performers. we are showing off for our audiences in a way.
Final thoughts about the futre:
1. What’s the future of knowledge
2. what’s the future of reference expertise
3. what’s the future of public technology
4. what’s the future of learning spaces
5. what’s the future of library as community anchor institution
Pew will be doing a 3-year study on libraries and communities. This will be HUGE.
Our deputy director asked for input from staff on being a 21st-century librarian – what skill sets are needed for the librarian of today/tomorrow/next year.
I had some thoughts, and I also poked around on some articles and posts discussing the topic. A lot of them mention “the ability to embrace change” as an important skill set.
I don’t think “embracing change” is necessarily the end result we’re looking for. Here’s why. It’s quite possible to do nothing until you are told to change, and then to embrace that change. One of those “ok, the boss says I have to blog now. I can do that.”
You could be patting yourself on the back for your mad “embracing change” skills, but are missing the point entirely. I think there are some librarians in our profession that go about change in this passive way – and to be fair, many of them are well-meaning. They’re just doing their jobs. The job changed, so they accept – even embrace – those changes as they occur.
Let me ask: Managers – is that what you meant by “embracing change?” I’m guessing the answer is “no, not quite.” It’s part-way there, but not all the way.
Here’s what I’d like to switch the “embracing change” idea to: “Being a Forward-Moving Thinker.”
To me, being a “forward-moving thinker” means that the librarian is actively pursuing and making and suggesting changes – to the boss, to the team, to the library – rather than passively waiting for those changes to happen. To me anyway, this hits on that active approach I’m thinking about. It’s a librarian DOING SOMETHING to make his or her job better, to adapt to new technology as needed (maybe even a little before it’s needed). It’s a librarian thinking strategically about their job.
See the difference? Thoughts?
If you had a manager that talked to you the way you talked to you, you’d quit. If you had a boss that wasted as much as your time as you do, they’d fire her. If an organization developed its employees as poorly as you are developing yourself, it would soon go under.
Can you relate to that? Better yet – what are you going to do about that for 2011? Here’s some assumptions I’ll make about YOU:
Me? Gee whiz – I’m writing this for myself So get moving, start acting, and see where you end up going in 2011. Should be a fun journey, to say the least.
pic by asma