CIL11: Learning from Inspirational Libraries

Marshall Breeding was up this morning talking to us about learning from libraries he’s visited around the world! I don’t see Marshall’s slides online yet, but I hope to find them sometime because he has a ton of awesome pictures in them to share with us all.

First up, in 2007 Marshall visited Yonsei University library in Seoul, Korea. Marshall feels that they have done everything they could with technology. This library kept one library with all of the books, and built another library with technology and unique spaces. If ever there was a building that embraced web 2.0, this is that library. Marshall showed us pictures of large touch screen monitors that people walked up to get directions in the library and/or search the library catalog. They also had a touch screen monitor with a note board – meaning people left notes for each other on this monitor using the app installed and then came and picked them up at the library.

Next up DOK in Delft (which we’ve all probably heard about for their awesome innovations). Lots of awesome spaces in this library. The children’s room is for the children to do as they wish, there are gaming areas in the library and a bunch of awesome architecture. One of the cool pieces of furniture in the library is a pod chair where you have a monitor and speakers and can watch a movie without others around you hearing it. At DOK they built their own ILS because they couldn’t find another one out there that was as innovative as they are.

In Sidney, Marshall visited the Customs House Library. The circ desk in this library is really pretty and unique looking. The building on the outside looks a bit like a historic building, but inside it looks modern and clean. One innovative thing they had was an interactive art exhibit that changed from time to time.

National and University Library in Slavania is up next. This library was built over a 150 years ago and is gorgeous, but difficult to fit a library in to.

The British Library is one of the most advanced libraries in the world. They are very innovative in their uses of technology – pushing the limits of what any platform can do. They have showcased the original collection from the library in a gorgeous glass case that looks like it spans floors. The British Library still holds on to the library as quiet place kind of atmosphere (which is something I sorely miss).

The Library of Congress Culpeper facility focuses on digital preservation. Marshall talked about the fact that they innovated new technologies to get movies out of the paper that the film was wrapped in – the film had disintegrated, but the paper held on to some of the images.

Next on to Argentina. The picture of this library looks like it couldn’t possibly stand up … pretty awesome looking. The library itself looked awesome, but their technology isn’t really state of the art and they still have piles of library cards that have to be entered into their automated library system.

Next up the libraries in Medellin. They offer library services in the metro stations where you can drop off and pick up book on your way to and from work.

Technorati Tags: ,

CIL11 Keynote: Dancing with Digital Natives

Michelle Manafy was our keynote speaking this morning talking to us about the digital natives – those who have grown up with nearly ubiquitous digital technologies. Michelle started with a series of quotes:

By the time they finish college, kids will have spent over 10,000 hours playing videogames, sent and received over 200,000 emails and instant messages and spend more than 10,000 hours talking on cell phones — Mark Prensky

Those who turn 15 in 2016 are likely to spend between 1,200 and 1,500 hours a year on digital technologies. — Urs Gasser

By 2018, Digital Natives will have “transformed the workplace,” changing organizations, sweeping away many previous expectations in the process. — Gartner Group

Digital Natives will be “the beneficiaries of hidden advantages … that allow them to learn and work … in ways that others cannot.” — Macolm Gladwell

She then went into to the three keys to engaging digital natives.

Living Publicly

Kids these days are living their lives more publicly than anyone. These digital natives are about public opinion not private lives.

Tara Hunt in The Whuffle Factor says that “Andy Warhol’d saying ‘everyone will be famous for 15 minutes’ has changed to ‘everyone will be famous to 15 people.’ This is how the digital natives see the world. Examples of this lack of concern for privacy would include sites like, Twitter, and Facebook. Michelle talked about how the police monitor Twitter for gang activity because gangsters like to talk about their conquests.

One way we can use this behavior in libraries is to allow patrons to use social sign on to log into our sites – things like connect with Facebook or connect with Twitter. Letting users use their existing social profiles to log in to see and share your content.

Knowledge Sharing not Knowledge Hoarding

The digital natives are about sharing and crowdsourcing, not keeping information all locked up. I’m not officially a digital native – but I too believe this whole-heartedly!! Michelle showed us the haul video series on YouTube where people share their shopping stories. They talk about deals and finds and model their purchases – sharing all the info they can about what they found instead of keeping it to themselves. Next she talked about Quirky a site where the community decides what products will be produced! Other tools mentioned were ProPublica, DigitalKoot, and SchoolsApp – all of which take advantage of sharing knowledge and crowdsourcing.

The act of social sharing and crowdsourcing is not limited to these obscure small communities though – IBM DeveloperWorks and P&G Connect + Develop also allow for the community to come in and share ideas with them. “Knowledge sharing is power” not “Knowledge is power.”

This knowledge sharing trend goes both ways – digital natives have more faith and trust in information from peers and those not involved in the company. Sites like Yelp would be an example of this. I know that’s the first place I turn to find a good restaurant in the area.

Interactions not Transactions

This is a generation that grew up steeped in digital currency – things like virtual world economies and itunes gift cards. This culture also includes social capital – things like ratings and reviews and followers on social sites.

Your library being on Twitter or Facebook is not enough – you need to respond and interact with your patrons. Michelle talked about Threadless which built it’s entire business on interaction with their customers!

Next example was from PBS and their Digital Nation project. And of course a library example from an library that does an incredible job of interacting with their patrons – Hennepin County Library and their BookSpace project I mentioned earlier.


There are many forward thinking organizations out there experimenting with the techniques necessary to engage digital natives and we need to start thinking about how to leverage the inclination of the digital native to share and interact is a great way for us to offset the costs of doing business in a tough economical time!! It also provides us with an opportunity to listen and do better business based on feedback from those who matter the most – our patrons.

Technorati Tags: ,

Two Preconferences at CIL2011

The program is out and I’ll be giving two pre-conference sessions at Computers in Libraries 2011 in Washington, D.C. Make sure you register early!!

  • W7 – Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data
    Sunday, March 20, 2011 :: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Nicole C. Engard, Director of Open Source Education, ByWater Solutions
    Brian Herzog, Head of Reference, Chelmsford Public Library

    This workshop explains what mashups are, how they can be used, and shares examples from libraries around the world. In the first half of this workshop, attendees will learn about some of the tools they can use to mash up library data with content from the web to reach more patrons. Examples include using maps to enhance library data, using Flickr for digital collections, and creating library websites with data from several information sources. After learning the basics and seeing examples from other libraries around the world, attendees will have a chance to create a website pulling data from several sources on the web. After attending this talk, librarians will be able to define what a mashup is and identify mashups on library sites and the web; find tools and APIs to gather data for their own library sites; and pull data from other sites into a website

  • W15 – Practical Open Source Software for Libraries
    Sunday, March 20, 2011 :: 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
    Nicole C. Engard, Director of Open Source Education, ByWater Solutions

    The commonly accepted definition of open source software is software that is distributed with human readable source code in order to allow the user freedom to run, review, alter, enhance, and modify the code for any purpose. But open source is about so much more than just the code behind the software, it’s about community, collaboration, and innovation. The library community is abuzz about open source software, but many librarians have no idea what open source software actually is or what it means to use the software and participate in the community around open source. This workshop provides the 101 for using open sources in libraries: What will open source mean to our libraries? Why would I choose source? How do I get started? Do I need more staff? Will the transition be hard? Are there open source applications for my library? Engard provides facts, dispels myths, emphasizes what open source means for libraries, and shares a toolbox of at least 50 freely available open source products to use in your library. Includes demos, discussions, and more.

Registration is available online at

Technorati Tags: