Category Archives: libraries

There and back again: 23 Mobile Things

There and back again: 23 Mobile Things | 23 Mobile Things.

Right now a lot of people are doing the Singapore, Philippines version of the 23 Mobile Things program. This is a guest post by Kathryn Barwick, Mylee Joseph and me for the awesome new program with a greeting to all the learners. Follow the link to see how the Singapore, Philippines are rocking 23 Mobile Things…

The Library is the Hummingbird

The legend of the hummingbird reminds me of all the amazing things libraries do every day to support healthy communities and to empower the citizens within them:

One day, a long time ago in a faraway place, or so the legend goes, there was a huge forest fire raging the countryside. The animals were terrified. They were running around, screaming, crying and helplessly watching the impending disaster.

In the middle of the flames, and above the cowering animals, was a tiny hummingbird busy flying from a small pond to the fire, each time fetching a few drops with its beak to throw on the wild flames. It kept repeating this over and over and over again.

After a while, an old grouchy armadillo, annoyed by this ridiculous useless agitation on the part of the hummingbird, cried out: “Little bird! Don’t be a fool. It is not with those miniscule drops of water one after the other that you are going to put out the fire and save us all!”

The hummingbird replied, “Could be, but I’m going to do my bit.

Let us have a closer look at what kind of drops of water libraries are throwing on the fire.

Libraries (and librarians) make us smarter and stronger – individually and collectively

Libraries are not schools or universities. You do not earn a degree from the library, but libraries are being the hummingbird by supporting lifelong learning on all levels.

Children, young people, and adults who study at the library get the help that might earn them better grades, and people who learn in a more informal way also get the support they need at the library. In the last 12 months 24 million Europeans (most frequently elderly people, members of ethnic minorities, and people from rural areas) used their public libraries to engage in informal learning activities. Libraries open up the world of knowledge and help introduce new ways of viewing life. They encourage thinking and the discussion of ideas. By doing this they make us stronger together.

With more and more information available in the world each day, it is more important than ever to have access to helpful and highly skilled information navigators. Librarians help people find not just “any” information but exactly the “right” information.

Librarians also support people in their job searches. Last year 1.5 million Europeans applied for jobs and 250,000 found jobs using free library internet access. (Now there is an example of our hummingbird throwing a quarter of a million drops of water on the fire.) Some libraries do not just provide access to the net but have job search programs. In the U.S. more than 65% of public libraries provide direct services for job seekers.

Access to free library services saves time and money, spurs economic growth

A 2013 survey of public library services across 18 European countries shows that nearly 100 million Europeans visited their public library, and 14 million used it to access the internet last year. 83% of those using free public library computer and internet services reported a positive impact on their lives – saving time and money, improving skills, gaining access to government services and employment- and health-related resources. Public libraries represent the only source of free internet access for 1.9 million marginalized Europeans.

Sometimes the small drops that the hummingbird throws on the fire have a very big effect. In the state of Maryland 90% of the state’s citizens say public libraries are “a good investment.” More than 40% of the state’s citizens think of public libraries as an economic anchor, potentially attracting “good businesses” to their area, and they are probably right. In South Carolina, the total direct and indirect return on investment for every $1 expended on the state’s public libraries by state and local governments is $4.48 – almost 350%.

There are lots of good reasons Americans go to school, public and academic libraries nearly three times more often than they go to the movies, and as you can see from this article it is not just the fact that there are more public libraries than McDonald’s. Libraries are simply making people smarter and helping them in their everyday lives.

Libraries connect ideas, information, and people

This is only a little part of all the things libraries are doing. Storytime inspires our kids with the power of great stories and their parents to read aloud, which again helps the children’s language development and makes them better readers. Makerspaces are emerging at libraries worldwide. Oh, and I almost forgot, you can still borrow good reads at your library – in traditional paper form and as e-books.

In other words, by being the hummingbird the library is doing its part to put out the fire by supporting learning and inspiring people to read, experience and think. In lots of different ways libraries empower people around our beautiful planet. Libraries are connecting ideas, information and people, and they are facilitating the development of new knowledge in their communities. I find it a very realistic vision that the fire will be kept in control. LEflag

Image credit:
[Jungle Orchids and Hummingbirds], Martin Johnson Heade, Painting, 1872, digital image, Yale University Art Gallery, http://search.openlibrary.artstor.org/object/AYALEARTIG_10312577805.

References:

This legend of the hummingbird is a rough translation of a French version of the story “La légende du Colibri.” I first heard it at Copenhagen Business School where world renowned chef Claus Meyer told it at a conference: http://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/the-legend-of-the-hummingbird/

Additional sources:

The Library Effect

The legend of the hummingbird reminds me of all the amazing things libraries do every day to support healthy communities and to empower the citizens within them:

One day, a long time ago in a faraway place, or so the legend goes, there was a huge forest fire raging the countryside. The animals were terrified. They were running around, screaming, crying and helplessly watching the impending disaster.

In the middle of the flames, and above the cowering animals, was a tiny hummingbird busy flying from a small pond to the fire, each time fetching a few drops with its beak to throw on the wild flames. It kept repeating this over and over and over again.

After a while, an old grouchy armadillo, annoyed by this ridiculous useless agitation on the part of the hummingbird, cried out: “Little bird! Don’t be a fool. It is not with those miniscule drops…

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23 Mobile Things – Exploring the potential of mobile tools for delivering library services – at #lib2013

My first time presenting at an online conference was this years awesome Library 2.013. It was a lot of fun and I would love to do more online presentations. If you use Blackboard you can see the recorded version of my presentation here 

Here are my slides:

and links to presentation and video Greetings from Mylee Joseph and Abigail Willemse

Michael Stephens video about learning 2.0 and research results from 23 mobile things

Mylees Video presentations
Mylee Joseph and Katrhyn Barwick Slides
Hello from Mylee
Breaking the tether of the PC
Mobile friendly
Who what where

Abigails Video presentation – Greetings from #anz23mthings
Introduction & how we did the course
How we run our course
Collaboration for the course
Thanks & conclusion

23 Mobile Things – My slides from #ili2013

I was proud to present at this years Internet Librarian International in London, England about 23 Mobile Things. I had Michael Stephens and Mylee Joseph join me via video and had an absolutely wonderful time at this conference.

I was also proud to moderate a session and to be on the closing plenary with Donna Saxby and Marydee Ojala. Thank you all of you – and thanks for sharing you knowledge at your presentations and between sessions. Here are my slides:

Here is a link To Michael Stephens video.

Here is Mylee Joseph & Kathryn Barwicks slides

What I spend time on these days

I was recently asked what my next spare time project would be.
I made a short video for you about how my time is prioritized these days. Lots of learning opportunities – I love that.
The video is also a test of the short video blog format that I am considering using more… So tell me what you think?

I expect the library gamification and nudging theory projects I mention will be of global interest by the way.

23 Mobile Things, Danish libraries and global librarianship

I had the privilege of guest teaching Trent Hills MLIS class from the University of Washington in Copenhagen where they are studying for 4 weeks at international summer school. Thanks for having me.

Due to an accident (I hope you feel better Trent!) I was not able to get online and I promised the class to share links – So here they are:

23 Mobile things:
Exploring ways that libraries and library staff can use mobile technologies to deliver library services, to engage with their communities and for their own professional development.
You can read more about 23 Mobile Things on this site including link to the original Danish version. Projects that build upon our project can be found here.
Want to know more about the 23 Mobile Things team – Here you go.. – And if you got any questions look at the FAQ and feel free to get in touch.
23 Mobile Things are on twitter – use the hashtag #23mobilethings
Try looking at some of the things and explore the thinking points. I see them as a very strong part of this learning project.

Some of my sparetime projects that I mentioned:

Buy India a Library:
Crowfunding project using social media. 100 awesome people from all around the globe donated and here is the result. This is the #buyalib team 

Help This Week in Libraries:
First the link to the awesome show about library innovation – This Week in Libraries
The crowdfunding project Help TWIL partly funded the 3rd season of the show and raised awareness about its importance.
You can watch the shows online for free – Here is the show with yours truly
And here is the Help TWIL team.

Global librarianship

better togetherConnect worldwide. It is so much easier to work with people from another part of the world than I imagined and you learn so much by doing that. I wrote a post about it.

Be inspired globally and translate ideas so the make sense in your community. The local community is the main focus for the global librarian.
If you want to connect globally use social media and consider the awesome International Librarians Network.


Cycling for libraries:

I mentioned the fantastic moving unconference for librarians and library lovers – Read more about it on their website. When Cycling For Libraries visited my library the international think tank worked with crowdsourcing the future of libraries.

Danish Libraries:
We spoke about the Danish library system, funding etc… You can read a bit more here.

Current Projects – Libraries / Gamification / Nudging:
I am curently working on projects about how libraries can use gamification in a meaningful way to meet people where they do not expect to meet us.
I am also working on a project about nuding and libraries. More info will be available on this blog when the projects go from planning mode to action mode.
Here is the link to the library gamification example I mentioned from Moraine Valley Community College Library and the awesome Troy Swanson.
The other example was Library Game by Shay Moradi.

Billions of Beautiful Words – Mary Gauthier on libraries and music.

maryjanHello Mary- Thank you for doing this interview about music and libraries… Let me ask you:

How did a library ever make a difference in your life and (or) your community?
When I was around 8 or 9, my parents marriage was slowly falling apart. I had my mom drop me off at the library when it opened on Saturdays, and I stayed there till it closed. It was how I spent my Saturdays for quite a while. It was my safe place, my place of peace.I read my way through nearly all the books in the children’s section, and began looking at books in the regular library. The library felt like home to me, more than home felt like home. Books are a treasure to me, they are life rafts, they are undiscovered worlds. And libraries are their homes. I love libraries.

Is there a librarian in your life – for better or for worse?
No, I almost always found my way on my own in the library. The few times I did ask for help, the adults frowned on my reading choices. So I didn’t trust adults. I used the card catalogues to find what I wanted, and to explore the selections.

Your songs are stories and libraries are full of stories – Do you see other connections between your art form and libraries?
Stories are so very important to me, and they always have been. I think that stories can help hold troubled lives together, they have some kind of magic glue that keeps us from shattering from the weight of our own experiences. There is something intrinsic in human nature that find comfort in other people’s stories. We look at each other and compare ourselves, we feel relief that we are not alone, we feel encouraged by other people’s courage and resilience. It is my deepest hope that my songs operate at the level of literature, that they have that ability to transcend time and place, and to offer other people something they can hold on to. Time will tell.

What are your thoughts about storytelling in songs vs. a novel or short story?
Songs are a very particular art form. There’s is very little time to get the story told in a song. Every word deeply matters, each syllable is expensive real estate. So songs are, by necessity, very dense. What is said in a line in a song, could take pages or even chapters to say in a book. Most Western songs are under 4 minutes long, by necessity. Also, with songs, melody plays a very important part in the telling of the story. We use it to emphasise important words, and manipulate emotions.

What inspires you when you write and what is a good song?
A good song connects to the human heart in a meaningful way. A great song does so in a timeless way, it operates outside of time. Your Cheating Heart was written in the 50’s, it is as relevant today as the day Hank wrote it.
I am inspired by emotion and the desire to make sense of my own life experiences. So often my experiences do not seem to make much sense in the moments they are happening, but then I write about them and it all comes into focus. I suppose in some ways, songwriters impose meaning, play God, create order, when there is not much to be had. But that is the beauty and the challenge of the job.

If you did choose to write a song about a library (hint!) – what would the title be?
hmmmmm, how about “Billions of Beautiful Words.”

How can a good song change the world? – or the life of an individual?
I’m not sure songs change the world in and of themselves. They do, however, have the power to articulate the sentiments of large groups of people, and give people a mantra and a big idea to rally around, and that can be very threatening to a people in power. Over and over again politicians try to use songs their own advantages, some with more success than others.

Have you ever performed at a library?
Not yet! But it would seem like a great place for me to play some songs. I have played at bookstores, lots of them.

Thank you so much for participating – and Thank you for your support for libraries and for your stories and beautiful music.

Please visit Mary Gauthiers website – and buy some of her amazing music. You can also follow Mary on Twitter and since you already love her in real life – you can also like her on Facebook.

Innovation in Public Libraries – For Alison Miller’s class at iSchool, Syracuse University

canadawater

I am very glad and proud to connect with the future of the profession: MLIS students at iSchool, Syracuse University for a talk about innovation in public libraries. Thank you for your time – please feel free to contact me with follow up questions and your views on this topic.

Things I covered in my talk:

Technology and innovation (briefly)
I am working on 23 Mobile things. An internal learning project at my Library that will get a global edition – We aim to teach staff basic app knowledge within the Apple environment and spark curiosity – But also look for ideas that can generate innovation in our reference service and how we reach out to our Community online. The project is open source so you can adapt it. There will be android version in the international edition -You can make the windows mobile version if you like.

Also: Read watch play an international reading group that has a blog and monthly Twitter chats about a given topic is an example of tech innovation to broaden reach and scope of a project.

Leadership and innovations
I am head of development at my Library. A title that in a way makes no sense at all because no one sits in a corner and innovates. If you have one person to innovate in your organization – you are doing it wrong. In my talk I will share thoughts about innovation culture in libraries.

Also: we used LEGO serious play to work with innovation for our Strategic plan.

Mission and Vision statements and innovation
My library has been working with vision and slogan (if not mission) We had the LEGO Serious Play part and all staff was part of the process of working with the vision and how we could make it visible in what we do for our community. Our vision roughly translates to:

Guldborgsund-libraries wants to give added value to our guests no matter where they are  physically or digitally in the areas of cultural experience, learning and knowledge.

Our slogan: Guldborgsund-libraries – More than you can imagine …

Reference Services and innovation
We try to think learning in everything we do and every way we connect with our community. This shapes the way we meet people and how we answer questions. We have a learning area in the heart of the library and try to fascilitate knowledge sharing within the community.
Also: we did a roaming librarian project a while back and we might take it up again soon. It is a simple and good way to connect with people… 

The librarians used a cart and had some books and a lot of info about the library, about online services, Library programs, the children’s library etc with them… They had a Blackberry from which they could access the library catalogue, check out books and register new members. That was the reason we got the idea – because that was possible. They did not check out many books – but they got us a few new members and a lot of good publicity.
Last fall we did the same thing when our book mobile was  part of a culture evening in the city. Two librarians were on the streets to meet people and tell them about the book mobile. We had a contest for adults and one for children there – and we handed out a lot of info on the library.

I did a very short post a while back about this – Where you can see “The ladies in red” with the mini library – See it here

Our members are our guests
The term guests is not strictly internal terminology but we could do more about communicating it to the public.
We will have some changes in the way we meet people in the main library this fall and the way we make our guests feel at home will be part of the planning process. The main shift I can mention is that everybody is more focused on how we meet people and not only on the right answer – but also how it is delivered. I think it is incredible how much actually changes when you change the terminology. Food for thought.

What I did not mention
Innovation happens when you connect with people who think different than yourself. People from other professions and people from other cultures. That is one of the reasons I work with global librarianship – because I think it is inspiring and sparks innovation in my own community. We try to work with a lot of non library partners and I love what happens when we do – We work with the local museum, music school etc and with people from other fields like universities on a gamification project I will share more about soon.

Your feedback inspires
I feel so priviliged to get the chance to connect with you because you have chosen to be in this field and your ideas are highly appreciated – so go out there and participate in making libraries better… Keep the good stuff, change the bad stuff – and tell me and others all about it…

Why the story of Buy India a Library is (still) important

I am very excited to present with Justin Hoenke at Bibliothekartag 2012 i Hamburg, Germany about a project I love and am very proud to be a part of – Buy India a Library

How to use social media for collaboration, inspiration and changing the world will be some of the tracks of our talk. Including a small how to – and facts about the project and the library in Mysore, India. What can you learn from what we did with this project? That is what we will try to answer.

We did not do it alone but with a little help from our friends: Librarians and library lovers from all over the world. 100 people donated more than 3000 Euros and here it is – The Library:

We did this using social media without ever meeting in person. In fact the first time I will meet one from our team is the day before the presentation when I meet Justin in Hamburg. It is not a rare thing to work remote with people you never met – but to gather a team (Justin, Andromeda, Ned, Jan) and fund a library in another country in two weeks. I’ll say that is really something – and the take away is that when we could do it – you can do it too. It’s hard work but it is possible and it is easier than you think.

Libraries are closing all over the world but we just opened a new one funded by awesome people who know that this library will make a huge difference in a local community in India and give children from Mysore, India an opportunity to get important literacy skills and thereby empowering them to live dignified lifes.

This project is an example of egoless social media. Connections matter and because of the connections we made and facilitated, people from all over the world gave Mysore a physical library. Once more, and I can never say this enough, thank you to all those who donated and those who shared what we did. The library is yours, it is ours but most of all – it is the people in the Mysore community that benefits from this library – Just like it should be.

This library, like any other library, will make it’s community better by sharing, gathering  fascilitating and creating knowledge in it’s community…

It Is a Global Profession… If You Want It to Be

It Is a Global Profession… If You Want It to Be

I am very happy to be able to share my thoughts about global librarianship over at Jessica Olin´s great blog “Letters to a Young Librarian”. I hope you will take the time to visit Jessica´s blog and read my post – Comments very welcome.