Posts tagged under: Learning

Invite your community to shape smart spaces

Betha Gutsche

smart_spaces

When 15 small and rural libraries joined the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces project, they signed on for a journey toward transforming their physical spaces and library services. Their exploration was guided by principles of placemaking, design thinking, and active learning. Along the way, they connected with their communities in refreshing new ways that catalyzed relationships and opened up possibilities.

Transformation is a big, ambitious word, charged with expectation of profound change. It might seem like an oversized challenge for libraries that are defined by small: small town, small building, small budget. But these 15 intrepid libraries, serving populations of 560 to 16,000 people, discovered the key to unlocking true transformation: meaningful connection with the community.

Rather than a more familiar positioning of “the library as the heart of the community,” each sought to put their community at the heart of the library.

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Three things librarians wanting to engage with Wikipedia should think about first

wikipedia

Wikipedia is big. Maybe not googol big, but 5.4+ million articles in English is up there. The platform is the fifth-most accessed website globally, and billions of edits have been saved since the online encyclopedia launched in 2001.

Though most librarians have read Wikipedia articles and work with patrons who use it regularly, few librarians actually edit Wikipedia. There are good reasons libraries need Wikipedia, and vice versa. So how could you get started with Wikipedia at your library?

One way to get a handle on something big is to start small. That’s what I’ve been learning from public library staff in my role as the OCLC Wikipedian-in-Residence for the past 16 months, which included interviewing public library staff and teaching a nine-week online training program.

Here are three surprisingly simple things about Wikipedia that public library staff involved with the Wikipedia + Libraries: Better Together project say their peers and colleagues should know.

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Getting smarter, together

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It was great to see everyone in Baltimore at the inaugural meeting of the Americas Regional Council. It was a phenomenal experience—from the inspiring keynote speakers to many in-depth, informative breakout sessions.

Nearly 200 attendees from 120 institutions, 36 US states, and four countries joined this membership meeting where the theme was, “The Smarter Library.” We shared ideas, questions, and insights about what it takes to become smarter and innovate continuously around the needs of the communities we serve.

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How OCLC transformed a library … and one student’s life

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Throw down the gauntlet

At the beginning of the 1992–1993 school year, I issued a challenge to teachers, students, administrators, and community members around the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools in Michigan. Our small, rural library, which supported two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school, had recently joined OCLC and for the first time had access to libraries worldwide through WorldCat. Even though our materials budget was tiny, I stood up in the first district staff meeting of the year and promised them all I would get any book that anyone needed for any reason.

The teachers whispered and even snickered. Our library had never been very relevant to them. We weren’t included in their lesson plans, and they rarely sent students to find resources. After a couple weeks, I got my first request: a 17-book bibliography. And that changed everything.

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The “audacity and humility” of getting smarter

Ginny Steel

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Can things really be smart?

Is a thermostat programmed to change based on time of day and weather conditions “smarter”? How about a chat-bot that answers your customer service questions? What about an email feature that automatically sorts messages based on your past activities?

In many cases when we hear “smart [thing],” it’s a synonym for some kind of software automation based on sensors, data collection, or connected devices. Nearly half of Forbes17 Top Enterprise Tech Trends for 2017” relate to ideas of “smarter” services, apps, products, infrastructure, and lifestyles. The assumption is that by automating as many aspects of a process as possible, we’ll get better results.

I’m not convinced that’s the case.

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Time to change

Andrew K. Pace

Change

The Brady Bunch: Time to Change

When it’s time to change then it’s time to change
Don’t fight the tide come along for the ride, don’t you see
When it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange
Move your heart into what you’re gonna be.
Sha na na na na na na na na, sha na na na na

Those unforgettable lyrics were immortalized by fictional pop-sensations, The Brady Bunch Kids. I will admit that I cannot utter the phrase “time to change” without hearing Peter Brady’s voice crack. I am unabashedly a child of the 1970s.

Fortunately for me, my most recent change at OCLC was what many have described as a “good fit,” not just for me, but also for OCLC and its growing membership. After eight years of managing a range of products and services in the Library Management, Cataloging & Metadata and Discovery & Syndication lines of businesses—accentuated by the launch five years ago of WorldShare Management Services—I was offered an opportunity to start a new gig under Lorcan Dempsey in the newly formed Membership &

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What we can learn from “The Selfie Generation”

Skip Prichard

Teenagers taking a selfie photo

Here are two questions you don’t often see next to each other.

  • Why do academics need to “publish or perish?”
  • Why do teens love to post online pictures of themselves doing silly things?

While their circumstances couldn’t be more different, I believe that the motivations for both groups are remarkably similar and comes down to four principles: visibility, reciprocity, creativity and authority.

These are some of the guiding beliefs of a group that has been called “The Selfie Generation.” But they are also those that encourage all of us, more than ever before, to share who we are and what we do using inexpensive, omnipresent digital technology and social networks.

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