Reflections

This class should be required for all MLIS students. I have learned so much from the course content, classmates, and Dr. Stephens. All this was made possible because of the environment that Dr. Stephens created – he modeled transparency and designed an environment in which students could feel safe sharing their work and asking questions. We were not just learning about course modules such as emerging trends, transparency, and reaching all users – we were incorporating them into our lives. The Hyperlinked Library is an online learning commons.

toolbox

What about the Internet, computers, and social media? These are mere tools that were used. Without the participation, honesty, and talent of the LIBR 287 community we would have just had a bunch of technology in search of a use.

I hope to keep in touch with everyone online or in person. Maybe at ALA in Chicago?

bean

Images
Chicago bean. Retrieved from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbell1975/7512090024/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Toolbox. Retrieved from http://www.masonandmasoninsurance.com/our-services/construction/the-toolbox/

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Craving community

The Third Place
Work and home (or school and home) are the places where people spend the majority of their time. But, people crave a Third Place where they can fulfill the social need to connect with society. Where do you choose to hangout?

I was intrigued by the existence of places where books are the impetus for face-to-face social interaction in the digital age. People can use computers and smart phones to communicate from just about anywhere – so why do they choose to go to a physical place to be in the presence of real, live, people? Social media is a tool that enables people to connect virtually. But, people still desire the opportunity to connect in person. As discussed in The Library of the Future in Plain English (Stephens, 2013), people need a physical place for collaboration and communication. There is an attitude shift about the purpose and design of libraries. Gone are the days of shushing, libraries that evolve will survive.

Customer Service
Look at the successful service model of the Apple store – welcoming, no question is seen as stupid, staff members are experts about their product, customers can browse without pressure to purchase. What fascinates me most about the Apple store is the Genius Bar – a walk-up help desk.  Most of the people visiting the Genius Bar could get remote technical help for their computer problems, but they CHOOSE to visit the Apple store in person. Apple was smart enough to recognize their customers’ desire for face-to-face interaction. Several years later, Microsoft copied the Apple store’s customer service model. Libraries would be foolish to abandon the walk-up reference desk as they expand online library services.

Seeing triple?

Apple Store Genius Bar

Apple Store Genius Bar

Microsoft store

Microsoft Store

Reference Interview

Reference Interview-Archives of Ontario

Rebirth of Reading Rooms
There is a common misconception that as more library content becomes digitized, the number of people who visit physical libraries will decrease. In fact, library functions are now appearing in non-traditional venues. Today we are seeing an evolved version of traditional reading rooms. We need to feed our souls’ need for a sense of community.

Click here for Books and Bars video

Some examples of public places where people can relax, socialize and read are:

Beijing Bookworm

Beijing Bookworm

Witness the Beijing Bookworm – a library, bookstore, event venue, reading room, restaurant, and bar. I discovered the Bookworm online and was curious about the multi-purpose nature of this place. How do library and bookstore coexist? Are there trained librarians on staff?

I will be traveling to South Korea and China from March 6-17, 2013 for work. If time permits, I will visit some libraries and bookstores. Beijing Bookworm is not too far from the hotel where I will be staying in Beijing.  Wish me luck!

Community at the Bookworm

Community at the Bookworm

References
Archives of Ontario. (2013). What does an archivist do? [Image: reference interview]. Ontario Ministry of Government Services. Retrieved from http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/about/archives_unboxed/archivist.aspx

Books & bars: L.A.’s thirst for literature (and style) [Blog post]. (2011). Styleture. Retrieved from http://www.styleture.com/2011/01/04/books-bars/

Bookworm, The. (2013). [Website]. Retrieved from http://beijingbookworm.com/

Erikson, R., & Markuson, C. (2009). Designing a school library media center for the future. Chicago: American Library Association.

Haselton, Todd. (2012). Apple: Retail layoffs were a mistake, staff changes being reversed. TechnoBuffalo [Image from blog]. Retrieved from http://www.technobuffalo.com/2012/08/16/apple-retail-layoffs-were-a-mistake-staff-changes-being-reversed/

Kamin, Jeff. (2013) Reinventing the book club as show [Blog post]. Books and Bars. Retrieved from http://booksandbars.com/

Nazaryan, A., Zaraick, K., & Santo, F. (2012). Drink a beer, open a book: the best bars for reading in New York [Blog post]. New York Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2012/10/drink-a-beer-open-a-book-the-best-bars-for-reading-in-new-york

Stephens, M. (2013). The hyperlinked library model. LIBR 287-The Hyperlinked Library [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://thehyperlinkedlibrary.org/hyperlib/readings-and-more/the-hyperlinked-library-model/ 

All Aboard!

cluetrain

The Journey Begins
What if we dared to do something really creative…and succeeded? The United States is comprised of risk-takers, pioneers, and explorers. These are people who dared to board ships, trains, or wagons, and travel to unknown destinations. The willingness to venture into the unknown is in our blood. It is imperative that we stay true to our roots and board the Cluetrain.

How and why did I select The Cluetrain Manifesto as the text on which to base by book study? I am bit ashamed to admit that I started my book selection process by printing the recommended book list and searching library catalogs for a print copy of the book. Then I stopped and realized that I was ignoring the Cluetrain by limiting myself to print books. Part of my job as a high school librarian is to gain knowledge about transitioning from print to electronic school books. I have been attending conferences, reading articles, and participating in webinars to gain knowledge. In December 2012, I purchased a Kindle Fire for the purpose of gaining experience using eBooks; the next logical step was to purchase The Cluetrain Manifesto as a Kindle Book. All aboard!

Laptops and eBooks: A Romance
It is next to impossible for me to divorce the content of The Cluetrain Manifesto from the context with which I am most familiar – the private high school library where I work. The Cluetrain stops here often, but only some people get on board. The school community can be seen as a microcosm of the larger society in which we live.

People who have boarded the Cluetrain market by example, whether knowingly or unknowingly. I attend meetings where there are a variety of note-taking styles: listening, pencil and paper, electronic devices. In some of these same meetings, the agenda is about the desire to eliminate all print textbooks and to dramatically reduce copy costs by reducing print handouts. I bite my tongue to avoiding interjecting, “Why don’t we stop handing out print agendas at meetings? Instead, iPads will be used to deliver the agenda and all notes must be transcribed electronically. We will be able to experience exactly what we are expecting the students to do.” The current marketing trend in K-12 schools is to promote the adoption of electronic textbooks and transition to an electronic device ratio of 1:1 for students. School administrators covet the ability to use the terms “1:1” and “eBooks” in marketing campaigns, while simultaneously behaving like luddites. The school market consists of students and parents. The conversation needs to be – let students do what aids their individual learning styles. We have standards for learning, but have trouble remembering that true academic standards do not limit the formats used for exchanging information.

“At some point, you start paying more attention to the messages and conversations, and less to the differences in software and tools employed by the various electronic delivery channels (p126, Levine, et al.).”

Lines of Communication
The view that “markets are conversations” is central to The Cluetrain Manifesto. The key to success is accepting the reality of the way businesses are currently run. We must keep conversations active so that progress will happen and businesses will survive, maybe even flourish. The utopian part of me wants to believe that it is possible to completely change school administrators’ view before the change we are seeking becomes outmoded. Presently, schools encourage students and teachers to communicate via email. Students view email as something only used for communicating with adults (Hannan, 2011). In my experience as an educator, K-12 schools are about a decade late in adopting communication tools. At this rate, teachers will have school-issued Facebook and Twitter accounts after students have moved on to a new form of communication.

If I were a dystopian I would think that it does not really matter what we do because the economy and hackers will soon destroy any attempts at progress. I am neither a utopian, nor a dystopian – I am more of a realist with idealistic tendencies. Change will happen and it will be propelled by the financial health of businesses. In academics, the decision-makers have to be conscious of turning a profit while simultaneously adhering to educational standards. Without conservations breaching the walls of Fort Business (p190, Levine), we become isolated from the world in which our customers reside.

Here be dragons
Library staff who interact with library users have the ability to see real conversations in action. This knowledge makes them privy to the way people use and exchange information. Libraries could block all Internet sites that compete with their library resources, but “free customers are more valuable that captive ones (p15, Levine).” Given the freedom to use online library resources or search the World Wide Web, what do the library users choose? The library staff on the front lines know the answer without having to perform market research. They are qualified to be conductors of the Cluetrain.

We need to be concerned that the corporate walls are keeping the dragons in, and locking out true exchanges of information. In the quest to retain hierarchical control, businesses put fear of the unknown into the minds of their workers and some of their customers (p90-95, Levine). Of course, I see the need to keep dragons out of my high school library for the safety of the children. But, I am also in a key position to observe how the high school students with which I work communicate. Several years ago I was able to change the school policy that forbade the use of phones in any school building. Now students can use phones for academic purposes, with teacher permission. I observe students using social media on their smart phones for academic purposes. I also see that many prefer the option to use print books over the eBooks available in the library. I have let some dragons into the library, and it is a good thing.

Hannan, A. (2011). Communication 101: we have made contact with teens. Aplis, 24(1), 32-39. Retrieved from EBSCO: Academic Search Premier, February 24, 2013.

Levine, R., Locke, C., Searls, D., & Weinberger, D. (2009). Cluetrain Manifesto [Kindle Edition].  The. New York: Basic Books.

Open Clipart Gallery. (2013). Train silhouette [Image]. Retrieved from http://openclipart.org/detail/25364

Stephens, M. (2004). Technoplans vs. technolust. Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA474999.html