Visiting the DOK Library Concept Centre

Larger YouTube version

I recently spoke at the UGame ULearn conference in Delft, Netherlands … and had some time to visit the DOK Library Concept Centre while I was there.

DOK is Delft’s local public library – but my, what a library! Cool building, forward-thinking staff, lovely setting … and lots of amazing technology, too. So I took some video!

This video highlights some of the neat projects DOK creates for their community. In each of them, you’ll notice a nice melding of technology, content, and community. Whether they’re working with a Microsoft Surface, creating a video, or setting up gaming in the kids area, they always include content and community connections.

I think the best example of this is highlighted towards the end of the video, when Erik Boekesteijn explains how their art gallery works with local schools to remotely display art in the classroom. Students can view a digitized version of the painting on a TV monitor setup in the classroom – they might see 20-30 works of art, have classroom discussions, etc. Then they take a trip to the library to see the actual painting.

Connecting community to content through technology – nicely done, DOK!

photo of DOK in the video by dmsmidt

New Song/Video Announcement and Call for Participation!

Read all about it here! Or just read this … remember that song/video Michael Porter and I created last year? Well… we’re at it again – with Library 101!

Here’s what Michael says:

“Getting into this video is actually really easy. Simply take and share a picture of YOU posing with a 0 and a 1! (Tagging it with library101 on flickr will be really helpful). We even have the flickr group linked above [ok, I linked it here] where you can put your 101 pictures. So c’mon! Do it and get just a little bit famous! Your family and friends will love finding you pop up in the video (and maybe even your coworkers?)! Put your kids in it! How about the family dog!? And you know grandma loves the library too, riiight? :) The most interesting your submission the more it will be featured, so get creative!

Look for the song and video in October of 2009 (debuting at a special “Connecting Through “Lights, Cameras & Action” session at the Internet Librarian Conference in Monterrey, California).”

Now all Michael and I have to do is this:

  • write words for the song
  • Create and record the music
  • Somehow fly Michael to Kansas to record the song and shoot some video
  • Get Michael back to Seattle so he can video edit like a madman
  • collaborate on a multimedia presentation for Internet Librarian like you’ve never seen before…

Whew! I’m already getting psyched!

Pic courtesy of Libraryman

Excerpt of Chapter 5 up at Webjunction

my book arrivedWebJunction recently excerpted chapter 5 of my new book in this article: Designing the Digital Experience: What is Community?

Here’s an excerpt of the excerpt:

Chapter 5 – What Is Community Focus?

What exactly is community focus, and how does it facilitate experiences in the digital space? To answer these questions, let’s consider what community focus means in the context of physical spaces, such as in a town hall meeting. In such meetings, people are focusing on one another: listening, sharing opinions, and discussing community needs. This type of interaction allows community members to voice opinions and concerns, providing a voice for the community. In this context, we can say community focus is an emphasis on participants’ ideas, concerns, and interactions.

The town hall meeting is just one example; people obviously hold many different types of meetings, from religious gatherings to departmental business meetings to family reunions. We tend to think meetings are important. Why is that? Because we find conversation important, and meeting together facilitates conversation.

Conversation inherently facilitates something else, too. It allows us to interact with members of our community with whom we wouldn’t normally interact or even know. This type of interaction allows us to feel as if we are participating in the “grand scheme of things.” The challenge, then, is to usher community into our digital space.

Go read the rest of the excerpt (or buy the book :-) ).

The Social Web and Libraries

I was just doing some blog reading, and that triggered some ideas that I want to do some more thinking about. And YOU get to come along for the ride!

Here’s what I was reading:

First off – I think I like the term “Social Web” better than “Web 2.0.” Why? Web 2.0 is a vague, muddied term. It mixes the social with the uber-geek-techie in ways that is sometimes confusing.

But the Social Web? To me, by the time social web components are being used, the techie part has already been accomplished. The blog is built, the coding has been done, and the framework has been tidied up. It’s all ready to go – it’s ready for people to start connecting with people.

And that’s something that libraries do well – the social. When we’re working the reference desk, answering questions… we’re doing the social. When we’re in a meeting, discussing our programs… we’re doing the social. Having a social focus is a HUGE component of what we do as libraries.

So anyway…  I read the ReadWriteWeb article (which doesn’t really deal with the Social Web in a big way – but they used the term, thus the trigger for me), and then I remembered Sarah’s post on social networking tips. Some of her points touch on the need to be real/human/transparent with our library communities, and provide tips on how to do that.

So – how are you “being social” online? How do you “do” digital community? There’s really no easy answer to that question … but a lot of people are focused on figuring it out, at least in the commercial online world! I think there are some posts there, too. What do you think? What’s the social web all about? How do you connect with patrons online? Why would you even want to do that?

Let’s discuss…

[photo by Max’s Pixs’]

Engaging Your Community

Trivia Night September 2007Still reading and thinking about blogs – it’s the fault of Mobilizing Generation 2.0: A Practical Guide to Using Wb 2.0 Technologies to Recruit, Organize, and Engage Youth, by Ben Rigby. It’s a good book – I suggest you read it!

So today, I give you two thoughts about blogging and engaging blog communities.

On page 28, Ben writes: “A handful of elite political bloggers now wield tremendous influence, but like celebrity reporters, they’re in constant demand and are therefore more difficult to contact. However, they rely on so-called B-list bloggers for story sourcing. By looking at comments and links on an elite blogger’s site, you can begin to understand the structure of his or her network. You can reach out to the less popular bloggers and become a trusted source to them. In turn, they will feed your perspective and ideas to the elite bloggers.”

Engage the A Listers

There’s two ways to look at this. First, the obvious way. Want Robert Scoble or Chris Brogan or the ReadWriteWeb dudes to notice you? Find out who they read, then engage THOSE authors. The “B list” authors are more likely to hold conversations with you. If you strike up an engaging conversation with them, and that conversation ends up in the B lister’s blog, then … you just might get noticed by the “big guys.” Of course, if you’re like me, you’re starting way down the list (maybe the “Y Listers”?), so I have a much longer road to travel (unless the bloggers I linked to actually read their ego feeds – if you do, please say hi!).

Engage Your Community

Secondly, the much more interesting way. Ben continues (on page 29): “By developing trusted relationships and treating bloggers as a core part of your outreach efforts, you can take a proactive role in shaping news that affects your organization. You’ll also be prepared to respond rapidly to negative news and to promote your achievements.”

This means engaging local bloggers, or bloggers near and dear to your organization. In libraries, this means other librarians (to bounce ideas off of) and THE LOCAL COMMUNITY. Find bloggers in your area. Subscribe. Engage. Repeat.

There ARE bloggers in your area, already saying stuff about you. You have a chance to engage those bloggers and be a little more in control of what is said – at the least by correcting bad information or providing an another viewpoint to the situation. Better yet – you have a chance to tell your story to your community. Share your good stuff. Ask how you can make it better.

But to do that, you have to engage.