Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Twenty-Eighth...

Number Twenty Eight:

Deep Run Recreation Center, Lunch, Turkey Wrap

Part Deux, or rather Day Two, the other half of the library staff, and as promised, my portion of our talk of Change & The Library. Presented awesomely by M., B. and myself, but probably won't come across as well here because, well, we had a great slide slow presentation to go along with it. Yes, use your imagination with I have stuff like (IMAGE OF BLAH BLAH), that means I was changing the slide! Oh, I managed to sneak this shot at nearly the very end of the first presenter from the Kansas Public Library system.

Here ya go:

"I am here to tell you about a few of the examples of some of the changes that are happening in libraries and what the future could be in terms of Library Collections and Building Designs.

Like M. said, library collections are almost secondary to what libraries are really about: which are people. Media formats are continually change, we know that, from clay tablet to scroll to book to playaway to our current competition: eReaders. According to a recent study, by 2015. up to 25% of books will be sold in digital form. And we think that statistic might be low. Imagine that percentage in 10 years.

Yeah, whatever Phil, how does that affect that Tuckahoe patron that wants a large type copy of Joan Medlicott’s “The Gardens of Covington”?
Right now, we can’t even get that for less than 400 dollar used.
(IMAGE OF BOOK WITH 2nd HALF – $400 Price)

Well, on the Kindle, you can get it for quite a bit less, and change your font size to what you want. But, for the sake of argument, this poor patron does not own a Kindle and we can’t shell out nearly 500 bucks for a book.

Now imagine this at your library branch.
It is what they call a Print on Demand machine. What this does is print a copy of a stored book in the system on paper. A person looking for a book not on the shelves could come into the library look to see if a large type edition of “The Gardens of Covington” was available in the system for POD, then for the cost of the printing fee, have it printed out, checked out to them.

Another option we could have is through the electronic distribution of digital media.
Imagine having an application on your handheld device that would allow you to download audio books or even Ebooks through your local library. One of the solutions, at least for now, is something called Overdrive.
Overdrive provides libraries popular audio books, eBooks, music, and videos to lend to patrons for download. In some ways it is very similar to a kind of lease plan in that we are allowed a certain amount of bestsellers available digitally for download onto a device.
For instance, we may have 10 digital “copies” of “Stones into Schools” available for card carrying library patrons to place a hold on, download when available, then virtually return once they are done. Overdrive items are not limited to a few best sellers; there is a digital collection from their catalog of more than 100,000 titles available to anyone who has a participating system’s library card. And the good news about this is that our system is planning on getting this sometime next year.
But what about 10 years from now when everything you ever wanted in information and entertainment could be made available via a stream of information, plucked from the internet “cloud” like Netflix already does?

Will we even need paper books?

Has anyone seen one of these?
That’s right, the infectious RED BOX, coming to a grocery store or pharmacy near you. Quite successful right now.
And I saw this when I went up to ALA in DC this past year, a snack machine full of books and dvds. So it looks like vendors are trying to sell libraries on this as well.
Expensive yet successful in the areas they serve.
This is the Library A Go Go, part of a CA Public Library system. It holds about 400 paperbacks and is designed similar to an ATM.
Much like the Red Box, these seem to be successful in Malls and various public buildings. One example in Hugo, Minnesota is called the Library Express.
This is a drop collection set up outside their City Hall. What happens is a Library worker goes to these metal lockers with various holds that library patrons have placed to pick up. They can go any time of day or night to do this. It has been successful; the criticism is that it is no longer a “public library” but more of a “public book locker”. Incidentally, there is also one in Roanoke, Virginia.
As you can see, the future can go pretty much anywhere, so be open and be prepared.

So IS a future library a library without a library? IS a future library a library without books? Could it be a space with fewer books, but more access to more information through electronic distribution and streaming media? Fewer materials in the collection, but better, even faster CONNECTIONS to the information they want and need? Could it also serve the community as a space for people to connect and collaborate? Will the future of library service be more creative?

Ultimately a library reflects the community in which they serve. Here are some examples of some library building designs that do that with the future in mind.

This is perhaps the most dramatic example:
The University of Amsterdam has converted their library into basically a massive study hall without any visible books. Instead of stacks of books, they created multiple workspaces with access to wi-fi. Instead of the shelving, they have red crates where students who request books can pick them up similar to Minnesota’s Library Express. As ebooks continue to increase in popularity, the University of Amsterdam has basically shifted their focus of operations from books to people.

Now a less extreme example closer to home is the Chicago Public Library.
YOUmedia was created to connect young adults, books, media, mentors, and institutions throughout the city of Chicago in one dynamic space designed to inspire collaboration and creativity. Mentors from the Digital Youth Network, a digital literacy program, and the Chicago Public Library created this space in a centralized location downtown. It houses wi-fi, books, media – it even has a television and music studio so teens can have a place to create. Not only does a place like this offer career opportunity, but it also teaches and educates teens in different skill sets so they have more than one in case their dream of becoming a famous music producer doesn’t quite pan out. This is a wonderful example of collaborating with other agencies and creating space for the always feared “teens in the library”.

You might guess that library staff in a place like this has to expand their skill set to meet their patron needs as well. At this point I will turn it over to B..."

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