Friday, August 28, 2015

RA for All: Interactive RA: Featuring a List of Fun SF and FSY...

RA for All: Interactive RA: Featuring a List of Fun SF and FSY...: I am loving a current discussion on the SF/FSY site io9 so much that I wanted to share it with all of you. They asked readers to share “ W...





I like this post so much that I tweeted it as well as putting it here.  The io9 work is great and I also like the Tor rereads.  Both of these sites have great resources, but it can seem tough to connect them with clients.  It shouldn't, as Becky says in her post

The point here is, you are starting the RA conversation with your patrons at their comfort level. They can talk to you about their answer, leave a slip in a box, or simply interact with you digitally. But the conversation has begun. You have asked for their opinion on their leisure "reading," and have given them a choice in how to respond.



So...go and read Becky's post - and think about it, then take action.

Monday, August 24, 2015

My review of Makerspaces in libraries by Theresa Willingham and @jtdeboer

Makerspaces in librariesMakerspaces in libraries by Theresa Willingham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book provides a solid and helpful introduction to a particular interpretation of makerspaces in libraries. It has very good references to the information talked about so that it would be very easy to seek further information.

There are useful checklists of things to consider when planning makerspaces (and often when planning anything) in a library. The importance of bringing staff with you on the ideas are also addressed. The case studies from the USA, Europe and UK provide helpful perspectives, as well as more resources to explore via the links about them. The case studies highlight different approached to running library makerspaces, including whether volunteers or staff are used. There are also some detailed program examples so you could work your way through these in your library or community.

Many libraries have implemented much more diverse makerspaces, and this book does not focus on them, or include them. It also seems to dwell on a perceived dichotomy between makerspaces/fab labs and everything else libraries do, whereas I see them more as a continuum. That said, it is a very useful introduction to library makerspaces, and would help people start to think through strategies for their library.

It is a tough area to be writing in as more examples and interpretations are available all the time. Specific technology is mentioned, so read this book soon. I is a fast read. The authors did a good job with these challenges.

On the book the authors are both listed, so I would like to acknowledge the work of Theresa Willingham and Jeroen de Boer as they are both not mentioned on Goodreads.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Public libraries and technology for loan

It was impressive how easy it was to find out about technology for loan in many libraries. Arapahoe District Libraries had the poster shown below in obvious spots in each library.  You could not miss seeing what was available. They also have it clearly listed on their website. This makes it very easy for their community to discover (and the rest of us to feel a bit envious of what is available).

technology to borrow - Smoky Hill Library
Cambridge Public Library was lending nooks

nook promotion, Main Library, Cambridge Public Library, MA

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

reading suggestions from staff in public libraries

Several libraries I visited had displays of staff reading (and I have see this is libraries in Australia too). There were different methods used, and they all looked good.  This is impressive passive reader's advisory work.

Sheridan Library, Arapahoe District Libraries

staff picks - Sheridan Library
staff picks - Sheridan Library staff picks - Sheridan Library
Southglenn Library, Arapahoe District Libraries staff picks - Southglenn Library staff picks - Southglenn Library
 Cambridge Public Library has descriptions of the kinds of reading and watching enjoyed by different staff with groups of selections, rather than individual ones.

staff reading suggestions, Main Library, Cambridge Public Library, MA staff reading suggestions, Main Library, Cambridge Public Library, MA staff reading suggestions, Main Library, Cambridge Public Library, MA
An important thing to remember is to  please use suggestions not recommendations, makes it easier to try, but also less judgemental if you don't like it (and you want to go and talk to staff seeing suggestions for reading you make like).  It also does not imply you are a failure as a reading if you did not enjoy the suggestion, but it can feel a little harsher if you did not like something which was recommended.  We all like different things, and sometimes it is the timing which is wrong and other times the title.  It is not the reader who is wrong.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Public libraries and 3D printers

3D printers are becoming more common in public libraries, but different approaches are taken as to accessing them, or even seeing them in operation.

Arapahoe District Libraries encourages their community to request 3D prints.  The printing is free.  The aim is for the community to explore and discover possibilities.  Arapahoe District Libraries demonstrate 3D printing simply by having the printers working, all the time. This is impressive. Each of their libraries I walked in to (see below) I saw 3D printing.  It was a normal feature in the library, just as opacs, picture books, and information assistance.  The sign you can see on the tech bar below shows when demonstrations will be happening in a range of tech options at the library.  It was every day, at each of the libraries below, showing what was possible, and encouraging the community to think about even more.

May Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
tech bar including 3D printer - May Library

Sheridan Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
3D printer - Sheridan Library

Koelbel Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
3D printer - Koelbel Library

Southglenn Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
3D printer - Southglenn Library

Castlewood Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
makerspace - Castlewood Library

Smokey Hills Library, Arapahoe District Libraries
3D printer - Smoky Hill Library

The above libraries are all part of the Arapahoe Library District, and they are impressive.

Other libraries take a different approach.

Library 21C has a maker space (see below image) , which includes a 3D printer.  They have a floor of making including a large auditorium which is also a high quality recording space.  This is an amazing library, which will have a separate post later on with more information.
this space included 3D printers - Library 21C, CO
Burton Barr, the central Phoenix Public Library has refurbished a large space for a range of making, it is staffed, with long hours.  This space includes 3D printers (see below). This will also have a separate blog post. This was a very impressive space, and impressive in terms of staffing too.
3D printing, Mach - ​Burton Barr Central Library
Anthink Brighton (below) as The studio with a range of maker tools including sewing machines and 3D printing. This is not an open space, but is available for making one and a half hours a week.  For the rest of the time the space is used for a range of other purposes.  This seemed short access to these tools, but local decisions had to be made about staffing.
3d printers in the studio - Anythink Brighton

Hatch from Watertown Public Library is in the mall rather than the library, and it also has a 3D printer.

Hatch, by Watertown Free Public Library

Monday, August 17, 2015

experiments with Flickr uploadr

In late May I experimented with Flickr uploader as another way to back up my digital photographs.  I already have two portable hard drives as back up and thought a cloud based solution could be interesting to try.  It was. It took a few days for the photographs to upload as there are lots.  It was impressive, they were just being vacuumed off the hard drive, and yes, it was scary too for exactly the same reasons.  When new images were added, from different devices, they were uploaded too, and they continue to be.  The default is for private, and most of these images will not be made public.  It made it very easy for me to make image public if I chose to (for example the photographs of libraries I take in my own time).  Creating sets, adding tags and so on worked the same as when I was previously uploading the images.

The extra storage is handy.  There are lots of options for looking at them.  I would like the option to clearly sort by public and private, but that may happen.  I really enjoy the option to refine by colour in search.  I would like easy rearrangement of sets - it may simply be that I have to invest time in the rearrangement, and will have to investigate this further. I have renamed some of the sets so that it is clear to me when I am logged in what is public and what is not.  There is still some work to do on this, and does help account for some of the strange set names which appear (in public).

There is a "magic view" of images which sorts by what it thinks the image is about (this did have problems early on but these seem sorted).  This is a fun way of looking at images as it brings supposedly like together, but as it is computer sorted there are some foibles like arches in rock in a national park being linked to arches in a building. I am still exploring this, but it is encouraging me to look at some of my photographs differently.

I am also enjoying the updated statistics feature in Flickr.

Overall it is going well for my purposes.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sydney mini maker faire 2015

This was the second year I have been to this.  It was great.  I was sorry to not see the Embroidery Guild represented this year, but there were will many amazing things to look at at play with.  I also had some people very keen to explain what maker spaces were to me.  You can read about the different people/organisations and products here.

Some of the interesting things were:

the robotic pacman was lovely, and popular,
Sydney mini maker faire

a laptop with a default 3D scanning webcam (this was wonderful)Sydney mini maker faire
a 3D scanner the size of a can of soft drink
Sydney mini maker faire 2015
scale armour - which rippled
Sydney mini maker faire

a sand pit (yes, with real sand) where when you change the topography, the colours mapping the topography adjust to the new layout (this was great)

Sydney mini maker faire

the origami Yoda was only some of the origami on display - and lots of people were creating with origami
Sydney mini maker faire

You can see all my photographs from it here 


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Libraries and bees

I first saw bee hives at Salt Lake City where they were/are on the roof top of the library, but visible inside.

Library bees - Salt Lake City Public Library, Main Library, Utah

I have also seen them at Anythink Perl Mack as part of the community garden,

bees - Anythink Perl Mack
Anythink Wright Farms, also as part of the community garden

bees - Anythink Wright Farms

and Robbins Library, on a closed balcony.

bee hives - Robbins Library, Arlington MA
They also had a display downstairs, about the bees, and the partnership with the local bee keepers.
Robbins Library, Arlington MA
Cornell Library has digitised some important work about bees.

There are probably many more libraries with bees.  I really like this development, as it has an educative and environmental approach.  It would be lovely to see more libraries with bees.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

American Textile History Museum

This part of the museum was encouraging children to explore the traits which made changes in the mill industry and gave examples from individuals.

interactive area for children at American Textile History Museum
interactive area for children at American Textile History MuseumThey also could do a video to pitch their idea.

You can see more images here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Watertown Free Public Library

This has a nice cafe run by the friends of the library

cafe and book sale - Watertown Free Public Library
categories, children's space - Watertown Free Public LibraryThey also used interesting categories for the children's collections

You can see some more photographs of the library here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Artisans Asylum, MA

This is a maker space, which also seems to be for small business units as well.

Artisan's Asylum
You can see more photographs here.

My review of Global megatrends

Global Megatrends: Seven Patterns of Change Shaping Our FutureGlobal Megatrends: Seven Patterns of Change Shaping Our Future by Stefan Hajkowicz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an excellent book bringing together global trends. It shows there is hope for changes, but that changes have to happen soon, or the outcome will have no hope. Interesting reading this non-fiction when have inadvertently been reading a lot of catastrophic fiction, A helpful contrast. It is a highly readable book. This builds on earlier research done at CSIRO by the author and others. This is acknowledged in this book.

The megatrends are factors to consider when planning, scenarios of possibilities which you can choose to take action on, hopefully seeking positive outcomes for many people. This is a useful books to read for simply thinking about your own life, but it is also very valuable for thinking about change in your workplace and community.

It brings together some persuasive data, and ideas.

To quote from the book
"My philosophy is that wiser choices begin with imagination. We can seldom look at the future and tell someone the best thing to do. But we can explore, describe and imagine. And thereby create a pathway to better decision making."

"The authors observe that reduced death rate achieved by volunteering was almost as effective as other preventative health measures such as topping smoking"

"The future we create tomorrow hinges on the decisions and actions we take today. What we want is for people to make rational decisions and wide choices. We want people to understand change, set objectives and choose wisely. Moments of freefall happen to you, your company, your society and the world. That's assured. It's not whether change will happen, but when and how you respond."

Reading this book also, yet again, reinforced the huge value of the research done by CSIRO, and the problems caused, or not solved, by the continued cuts to this organisation.

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