#ala11 Panel Notes Time! – Future of Libraries: Cutting Edge Services

The first panel I got to go to was a presentation of libraries who won the Cutting Edge Services award from ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP).  It’s a self-nominated award and this was the first I’d heard of it – the title of the panel sounded catchy and I’ve decided I need to broaden myself a bit from Early Literacy – Middle School minds, so I thought I’d sit in.

2 of the libraries were academic, but I listened intently, trying to pull what I could.


Kristin Antelman, North Carolina State University, Web Design Project

The first project was a website re-design for North Carolina State University library and from this panel I derived the following project strategies:

  • Clearly articulate vision and goals from the beginning
  • Keep the process transparent for staff and patrons
  • Daily stand-up meetings are helpful – I have personal experience with these, and they’re not always as helpful as you’d hope they would be when some people just give you a specific run down of their day’s activities
  • Limit the number of items for discussion in a meeting (aka have an agenda)
  • Hire a project manager – I thought this one was funny, especially since coming from a public library, who has the money for that?

John Davidson, OhioLINK, Digital Resource Commons

The next speaker was from OhioLink, and he headed the Digital Resource Commons.  While this really had nothing really to do with me or my interests, I thought it was a totally cool project and got to learn a little about Amazon Cloud Computing.  The speaker was amusing and I learned about the Red Queen Hypothesis (which Wikipedia claims as):

In reference to an evolutionary system, continuing adaptation is needed in order for a species to maintain its relative fitness amongst the systems being co-evolved with

I would go so far as to say that this is necessary for human beings emotional evolution, and reminded me why I was sitting in a panel that I may not have been totally absorbed by, but picked up new terms, understood things that people are using and may not be directly related to Children’s Services.

Buffy Hamilton, Creekview High School, Media 21

The third person gave the talk that I felt most related to what I was doing and gave me a lot of good ideas to take home to my English Professor husband who is constantly trying to find new technology and new ways to keep his students interested in learning.  Buffy dubbed her library as the “Unquiet Library” and blogs as the Unquiet Librarian.  She cited two people who I would like to read more by: David Lankes (who discusses participatory libraries) and Henry Jenkins (who discusses engaging community participation).

Some notes that I took from her discussion of Jenkins:

  • keep participation barriers low and allow for artistic expression
  • provide support for sharing one’s creation
  • there’s more than 1 expert in the room – you can create experts
  • members need to believe their contributions matter
  • there needs to be a sense of connection with one another

Buffy really untilized some awesome new technology with her students and played on the fact that they want to do everything on their smartphone or tablet.  She got them into blogging about their research projects, which led to experts finding them and helping them in their research projects, uing tumblr and libguides and teaching about credibility and appropriateness of using multi-media platforms.  A big part of her classes were when its okay to use wikipedia or a .com website and when its not okay.  Or, even, using people and articles you read through social media.

In order to organize the multitude of applicationsand programs they were utilizing, she taught them to use information dashboards like netvibes.  There was a whole list of sites, apps, and programs they used.  So many my head was spinning and I’d barely heard of half of them, let alone knew how to use them, but I’m going to slowly and surely make my way through and check out all this cool new stuff that apparently I am now too old to know about…

Mary Anne Hodel, Orange County Library System, OCLS Shake It! Mobile App

I think this one was the least informative.  I didn’t stay until the end because I got the gist of the app and decided that I didn’t need to learn the politics that went into its creation.  But, its a cool app!  It’s like Urban Spoon but for books to help you find that next recommendation…


2 thoughts on “#ala11 Panel Notes Time! – Future of Libraries: Cutting Edge Services

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