Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Future of Libraries

What is the Status of Future Libraries?

Watching this video, you will learn that libraries are experiencing shifts, moving from thousands of physical books, to becoming more of a digital, information-commons type of structure. There are some scholars who believe that libraries are doomed, but this is not the case. However, in order to avoid the demise of libraries, these memory institutions must be willing to accept current trends, and adopt new methods on collection management and patron satisfaction. 

Currently trending is the ideal that libraries need to partner with local businesses and organizations, in that they will provide financial means to keep the doors open, while also serving as great promotion both for their businesses and the libraries themselves. Libraries also need to partner with IT professionals in order to digitize more collection materials, to pave way for more physical space being open to the influx of patrons who are wanting to return to the library

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Importance of Summer Reading

Summer is getting closer and closer, which means the infamous topic in the library is surfacing as well...

Summer Reading

I don't know about you, but I dreaded Summer reading all through school, but there are a lot of important uses for these programs, such as:

  • Children who don't read over the summer experience summer learning loss. That's right -- kids don't just feel like they've forgotten some of what they've learned -- they actually do forget it. And the effect is cumulative. Kids who lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates by the end of 6th grade. By joining a Summer Reading Club, kids can prevent this from happening.
  • Summer Reading Clubs encourages kids to read whatever they want, which helps instill a love of reading for recreation. Studies show that kids who read for fun often out-perform kids who don't in school.
  • Summer Reading Clubs and all of its associated activities are absolutely free, offering everyone safe, educational opportunities throughout the summer.

Here are some ways to make Summer Reading fun:

  1. Create a reading nook in your home.
  2. Make an event of getting a library card for your kid.
  3. Add an audience.
  4. Start a book club. 
  5. Make a scrapbook.
  6. Read for pleasure, but recognize your child’s accomplishments.
  7. Send a letter to the author.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Technology Innovations for Your Library

Today’s hottest web and mobile technologies are offering libraries a new world of opportunities to engage patrons. Ultra-popular social media websites and apps combined with the availability of affordable cloud-based services and the evolution and adoption of mobile devices are enabling librarians to share and build communities, store and analyze large collections of data, create digital collections, and access information and services in ways never thought about before.

But there is just one question.. How?
It’s not enough to simply redesign the library website. Libraries need to start thinking beyond blogs and start diving into the rich IT content knocking on the doors of libraries. 
Here are 10 ideas for you to leverage today’s most innovative tools and techniques. All of these come straight from The Tech Set #11–20 series.

  1. Host a cloud-based collection

  • Libraries are going digital, thus putting a strain on their already tight virtual storage abilities. 
  • Multimedia collections demand extraordinary precautions to ensure their integrity and preservation (It isn't as easy storing digital content as it seems).
  • Libraries need to provide as much protection for digital object files as possible. Two options are Amazon’s S3 with Amazon CloudFront and DuraSpace’sDuraCloud service.

                  Create a Basic Mobile Website

  • Winksite is an easy-to-use tool that can create a mobile site using an RSS feed from a WordPress content management system, platforms librarians are most likely familiar with already. 
  • The site is free and allows five mobile sites for each user account. Dashboard views and form wizards guide you through the setup of your site. The dashboard features many options for creating different mobile page views and customization. 
  • You can add your library logo, adjust the header colors to resemble your desktop library website, or upload a background image to replace the default white page background.

Start a Location-Based Photo Stream with Instagram

  • Instagram claims more than 80 million registered users who have shared nearly 4 billion photos and their photo's locations. 
  • Libraries can expand social media campaigns and create a visual narrative around events, displays, collections, or projects. For a start, library staff can encourage patrons to snap photos of the library building and their friends at the library with Instagram.
  • Establish hashtags so you can gather a photo-stream from library staff and users around a theme, such as local history or a campus research project. 

Use Crowdsourcing to Create a Collection

  • Crowdsourcing can be used as a great tool for archiving. For instance, that is how the New York Public Library has transcribed and categorized all of the menus in its extensive collection of historical restaurant menus. The What’s on the Menu?” site encourages visitors to help transcribe dish descriptions on menus into a database. 

Use Google Voice to Implement Text Reference

  • Patrons love to text, so why not allow them to text in their reference questions to your library?
  • Google Voice gives you a single phone number that rings all your phones, saves your voicemail online, transcribes your voicemail to text, and allows you to send free text messages. 
  • Simply enter the recipient’s phone number, type your message, and click “send.” You can use the service to reply by text message to a voicemail, call, or text. 
  • Patrons can respond to your text from their phone, and you can respond from your Google Voice account and browser. Only one librarian can be logged in to the Google Voice account at a time. You can configure LibraryH3lp to route text messages through its interface, where librarians can respond as they would to any other message.

All in all, the big take away from this blog is that technology is out there that can pinpoint specific areas of librarianship that are currently struggling. In the examples above, the use of advanced technology actually brings patrons into the library, and encourages them to actively participate in collection development, and allows their voice to be heard in a way it never has been able to before. So don't be scared of technology, it is there to help us librarians and patrons out to make our libraries even better!