Reinventing Spaces & Places – Internet Librarian 2012

This was the closing keynote, and had some really cool ideas on reinventing libraries.

Speakers – Erik Boekesteijn, Jaap Van De Geer, Paul Pival, and Jeff Wisniewski

Grand pronouncement: We cannot save libraries by doing more of what we have done before, because the outcome will be the same.

Simple observation – media consumption is very obviously shifting. So we need to shift, too.

Opening random thoughts (random because of me, the notetaker, anyway):

  • Jaap and Erik wanted to have the best library in the world. So they toured the US and collected best practices in libraries.
  • Libraries need a new business model. Don’t focus on books – focus on stories.
  • Showing pictures of a beautiful library … With no people in it. Versus a new Apple Store that is full of people.

Where to start?

Viewsy – tracks people’s cell phones to measure foot traffic in a building. More info from their website:

“We provide a way to digitise an analogue world, turning visitor foot traffic into measurable insights that can be analysed and acted upon. We do this by measuring anonymous phone data from each customer walking past and through your store, data which is then analysed and presented for you on an easy to use online dashboard.”

What are successful spaces doing?

  • Library of 100 Talents – the teens designed their own youth department. Looks like a really fun place
  • Creation spaces –  TFDL digital media commons as example
    • 12 Mac pros with full a/v editing suites
    • 4 soundproof editing suites
    • DJ mixing board
    • Etc.
  • Fountaindale Public Library – 7000 square foot of digital media creation studio
  • Westport CT Public Library’s maker space – Placed in the middle of the library, in the stacks

Learning outside the classroom

  • Providing spaces where students an share ideas in public locations – promotes peer learning
  • Can also serve as formal learning spaces
  • Collaborative spaces can be in wide open areas and should have multiple uses

Renting out spaces

  • Assen public library in the Netherlands
  • They have a television studio
  • They make their own programs, but also rent out the space to professionals to use

Keys to success:

  • Involve the community
  • DOK library as an example
  • UrbanMedia Space Arhus Denmark – another example

What do the users say?

Paul played a video of students talking about the library. They want to collaborate, and want to have quiet study spaces. Go figure.

But the point here? Actually go ask your patrons what they want the library to be, then try to build that.

We don’t know what the future holds….

So create/design with flexibility in mind.

  • Flexible libraries/spaces
  • Flexible teams
  • Flexible furniture
  • Flexible infrastructure (add more wifi than you possibly imagine you’d need)
  • Raised floors – so you can put data and networking in the floor.
    • Me – that’s huge, considering in some parts of my library we have to drill to install more wiring. And that’s pricey.
  • Agile walls (you can move them easily)
  • Flexible technology – iPads replace desktop computers at north shore public library
    • No mediation required – there are check out stations / kiosk that will dispense iPads…
  • Interactive walls and flexible content
  • Marketing your space

What if you don’t have any space?

  • Reclaim that space – kill the large reference desk
  • Get rid of things that aren’t used (ie., 75% of your collection, perhaps)
  • Share space (airport library in Amsterdam)
  • Crossover with museum

Bucharest Metro Digital Library – poster walls of books with QR Codes. Scan and immediately download the book. Nice.

Transforming the Library Empire – Possible?

Speakers – Steve Coffman, LSSI
Roy Tennant, OCLC

This was the morning keynote presentation – here are some notes from their talk.

Steve talked first. He compared cataloging the web (some libraries were interested in that around 1999 or so) to Library 2.0, and said both those didn’t really work. I’ll disagree with him on the library 2.0 side of things…

– the real problem – google and amazon have larger collections than we do
– there is a huge amount of free material, and the average price is $7 so it’s cheap
– amazon, audible, and Netflix are capable of setting up library-like lending services

So – why would people go to a library, when you can get stuff pretty cheaply and more conveniently from other places?

His point – the digital library is here. It’s just not something we created or are in charge of.

Post-print futures

Maker spaces, gadget gurus, community convenors, publishers … Help improve society by facilitating the creation of knowledge in their communities…

Questions – what makes a maker space different from places like build-a-bear? Etc…what makes librarians unique in these new roles, because many others are already doing this stuff?

So where does that leave us? Because he thinks we are closely associated with books and buildings.

So …he thinks instead of running from our books and our buildings, maybe we should focus on them. That’s where our assets are right now.

So now he’s talking about how there are lots of print books still being published, don’t count print out, etc.

Also thinks that, in a few years, there will be some sort of digital backlash.

Ok … So I’m not really into Steve’s points. To me anyway, he’s basically saying people think of libraries as books and buildings, and publishers are still making print books, so lets still do that.

Again, to me anyway … That’s sorta like IBM saying let’s keep focusing on making typewriters, because people think of us as making them, and people are still buying them.

Um… ????

Roy spoke next…

Roy thinks libraries will survive.

Our flexibility is important.

Showing a bunch of old technology that has come and gone … and it wasn’t really that long ago

We as libraries have been through these technology changes – have done nothing but change for a long time.

Our gender matters. Our industry is overwhelmingly female.

Our principles matter. Freedom to read. Right to privacy matters. Yikes! Roy showed my old Facebook privacy settings video. I should update that one!

Our people matter. We have great people working at libraries that do awesome things. Patrick Sweeney’s Story Sailboat idea for example.

Maker spaces – a bit more positive thinking from Roy. Entrepreneurs try many things before something clicks. This might be one of them, but you have to try things to see what happens.

R-Squared conference – very different type of conference.

ALA ThinkTank – another great, lively idea.

Me here – I personally got more out of Roy’s part of the talk…

Websites at the Next Level – Internet Librarian 2012

Here are my slides from my session.

Here’s the session description – Ever had that feeling there was something missing on your website, or something not quite right … but you couldn’t put your finger on it? In addition to the seven essential elements, King describes ways to take your library’s web presence to the next level. Leave with lots of insights and ideas to improve your library’s website!

Great turnout, and a ton of tweets from it, too. Thanks!

Internet Librarian 2012, Day 1

For the next couple of days, I’m attending Internet Librarian 2012. Great conference – why aren’t you here?

Day one is over – I don’t have extensive notes from each session, but I will share some highlights.

David Weinberger started us off today with a keynote presentation on his Library as a Platform idea. He explained what he meant by platform and how knowledge is changing because of platforms, and then talked a little about the library as a platform. It was a good, thought-provoking talk.

Next up … well, that was me. I’ll post my slides in another post.

Michelle Boule talked crowdsourcing, and mentioned how to give your crowd the means to survive:

  • give them a goal
  • let the crowd choose their weapons – let them choose the technology they want to use to meet that goal
  • celebrate their successes and failures alike

M. Ryan Hess talked about Google Analytics, and then showed CrazyEgg. I’d forgotten about this really cool tool. It makes a heatmap of clicks on your website – great tool for usability, tracking clicks, etc. I need to check this one out again!

I was able to sign some books – always fun and a bit humbling, too.

And … I saw Jason Griffey’s LibraryBox in action. Very cool project, Jason!

So – good first day. Two more days to come!