Monday, 30 March 2015

Video - Prototyping the Library of the Future - Today

With funding for libraries disappearing what is the role of libraries in the future? Annemarie Naylor believes that libraries need to evolve so that they function as trusted and impartial platforms for the production, exchange and consumption of knowledge and know-how in both tangible locations and virtual spaces. 

Annemarie is Director at Common Futures, Associate Director with Locality and is also a member of the Government’s Local Public Data Panel. Her work has involved supporting the acquisition and development of broad-ranging assets in community hands.

She’s also involved with a number of initiatives to transform the future of libraries and has established a national network for community libraries, which has culminated in winning the international OuiShare Award. 

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A MakerSpace on Every Street? — Bromford Lab

Favorite tweet: Millions spent on #digitalinclusion in the UK - wouldn't it be better to have a #makerspace on every street? — Paul Taylor (@PaulBromford) March 24, 2015


Monday, 23 March 2015 – a mobile makerspace for digital empowerment | mozlib

For the last six months or so I have been thinking a lot about digital creativity in low budget libraries. I have been asking myself: how could maker opportunities be facilitated in libraries that lack the resources for a full scale makerspace? A project like Frysklab – the world’s first mobile Fab Lab, is absolutely awesome (and a great source for inspiration!), but what if one can’t afford to buy a bus, a 3D printer or a laser cutter but still wants to try out some smaller makerspace activities in the library? That’s how the idea of an affordable mobile makerspace was born. If you want to read my first outline of the project idea – which I have moulded around Doug Belshaw’s digital literacies framework, and pimped with some Webmaker workshop ideas – don’t hesitate to go to and let me know what you think!


Decolonizing Libraries (extended abstract) · Brian Rosenblum

Extended abstract

Open access (6) is a powerful and much-needed intervention that can help increase access to scholarship and break apart librarianship’s close and often exploitative relationship with for-profit commercial publishers and vendors.

Yet the main goal of OA is not decolonization, and a one-size-fits-all approach to OA may in some respects work against efforts to decolonize scholarly communication. OA focuses largely on issues of access, reuse rights, metrics and research impact, but does little to address, for example, the technical and logistical problems of getting educational materials to communities lacking adequate Internet access (an issue tacked by initiatives such as WiderNet , or the development of publishing infrastructures that can support the production and management of scholarly research in the developing world.

Such infrastructures would allow research communities to attain control of their own research output and encourage greater internal and region-to-region research communication, rather than increasing dependency on the infrastructures—and interests—of the global north and supporting a largely north-to-south research flow.

Efforts to make cultural materials “open” can also be at odds with the interests of indigenous or marginalized groups, opening up their heritage for appropriation and profit by those with access to the means of knowledge production. Traditional Knowledge (TK) licenses are one attempt to address some of the inadequacies of Creative Commons licenses in this regard (Christen 2012; Greenberg 2014; Mann 2012)....

Another significant development is (7) the emergence of massive digital collections like Hathi Trust, Jstor, Internet Archive, Google Books, Europeana and DPLA, and their increasingly central role in information discovery and as providers of research data. What economic and institutional forces are driving these initiatives, and how well do these kinds of collections enable or limit alternative voices or ways of knowing?

Our seemingly “virtual” information infrastructure is dependent upon real power plants, data centers, a network of satellites orbiting the planet and cables on the ocean floor, and generates landfills of toxic e-waste shipped out of site and out of mind, but with real environmental and human consequences (Mattern 2014, 2016; Munoz 2014). What implications does this have for how we think about and practice information sharing and distribution? What does it mean to decolonize knowledge in an age in which the infrastructure for the production and distribution of information is controlled by a network of little understood corporate and governmental entities? Read the whole article at


NOD_JobsChallengeReport_0203_RB.pdf - Google Drive

Challenges people face in getting better jobs - views from employees and employers. If libraries mapped the open data supplied and looked at the challenges listed can we come up with a solution to help? Find out what the challenges are here The Nesta Open Data Jobs challenge closes for entries on 30 March.


Sunday, 22 March 2015

Known: create a single website for all your content

Tell your story any way you'd like. Known is a simple platform for publishing words, pictures, podcasts and more to a site that you control. Choose to share it on networks like Twitter and Facebook,…


Saturday, 21 March 2015

Libraries Meet the Second Machine Age – Library Hat

A presentation from Bohyun Kim of Library Hat:

1. What is Technology to Us?

If you would indulge me for a minute, I would like to play this short video. This video shows Tomatan, a wearable robot that sits on your shoulder and feeds you nutritious tomatoes while you are running so that you can defeat fatigue. As you can see from this Japanese invention, technology is evolving in a way that we have not fully anticipated before. What is technology to us today?

This article in Harvard Business Review talks about a study of how self-service kiosks at chain restaurants such as Taco Bell or McDonald’s change customer behavior. This study found that when people are ordering their food with these self-service kiosks or in-house apps, they tend to spend about 30% more on food than when they order with a human server.

2. Today’s Libraries as Technology Hubs Libraries are really shaking off the traditional image as a quiet reading room with stacks of books. More and more media coverage of libraries today focuses on the innovative technology being introduced at libraries for library patrons to utilize and try it out. Take Google Glass for example. I know it has been phased out by Google for a while now for various reasons. But when it was a coveted cutting-edge technology item, it was libraries that acquired these items and started lending them to library patrons, so that the public can try it out, feel what it is like to wear a pair of Google Glasses, and experience what is like to live in the future. MacPhaidin Library at Stonehill College is one of those libraries that lends Google Glass.

Similarly, University of Michigan Library’s 3D Lab offers equipment and services for 3d printing, advanced visualization, rapid prototyping, 3d scanning, and motion capture. Chicago public library has the Maker Lab, where library patrons can learn how to design a 3D model and 3D-print the digital models they made at the library. Stacie Library at York University held a Hackfest.

People no longer come to libraries just to borrow books. They come to libraries to rent tools, try and learn new technologies, participate in a hackathon, practice and record a video presentation, hold online conference meetings, and group study in libraries’ many technology-enabled spaces such as these equipped with a large LCD screen that can mirror the small computer screen. And we have taken up all of these new things while continuing the traditional library services, such as bibliographic instruction, reference, cataloging, circulation, serials management, and systems. Many of us also revamped our library websites, OPACs, and other patron-facing online systems, so that our patrons can have excellent user experience.

Many of us try to provide uniform and consistent user experience between the library’s online and physical space. Due to our strong interests in improving library patrons’ user experience, UX has become a common term widely used among librarians nowadays. Considering these, it seems that libraries emerged as a sure winner of the digital revolution. We offer what the public wants the way they want as much as we can. The mass media sure seem to have noticed it. This article in the Huffington Post, for example, calls libraries ‘hubs of technology.’ But is there something we are missing in this picture or something we can do better? Libraries advocate technology and innovation. But so do many other institutions. How are libraries different?

Today, I would like to talk about information and libraries in the second machine age. Two things may strike you odd. First, what is the second machine age? Second, why does it matter to information and libraries? I will explain what the second machine age is in a moment. But I want to also tell you that I bring up this concept of the second machine age because I think it provides an important context for the role that information and technology play in our library patrons’ daily lives.

Excited? read the whole transcript, watch the video and view the slides at