Inspiring Hands On @  Toronto Branch Libraries

Bloor/Gladstone Branch – Celebrating 100 years

Check out their Pinterest Celebration

Multi-award renovation. $1.9 million. A lovely extensively renovated Community Library blending heritage features with modern building materials to provide flexible community spaces. 1911 – closed in 2006 reopened 2009. Clearly well used and a delightful children’s area with marketing promo ” Kidsstop making waves”. Water is the theme with plenty of interactive activities including puppet hole and assorted lenses creating different views. Kids tops are Literacy based play from birth to 6 years.

An example of “daylight harvesting” – letting the light in.

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Fort York Library opened 2014

  • 3D Printer Certification Course
  • Camp Innovate: A week long Camp for Kids using technology

Collection size 35k. Population served 26,514. Huge growth in condominiums which housed young professionals in 3’s but by time the library was built they were having babies! Purpose built with designated innovation hubs and spaces for people to “create learn and innovate”.

It’s an extension to the communities living, working and social space.  Located near to the national historic site of Fort York.

Popular programming – need to register for baby times.  6 week programme. Movie day once a month. Digital hub staffed by DDT’S- Art, design and beyond programmes.

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Scarborough Civic Centre

Toronto 100th Library 2015

STEM Storytime also links to their Maker Series of programmes eg Make it and take it! After school clubs , Lego Club, Intro to Arduino, check it out!

Collection 42000 items, 14500sq foot branch. Features KidsStop early Literacy centre, digital innovation hubs, meeting room, study spaces, green roof and more. Great separate programming room and all mobile furniture. The use of black spruce beams, renewable resource, has to be seen to believed. This unique features adds to the ambience, creates warmth and is pure magic giving the building a special quality and feel.

Focus on “middle childhood matters” campaign 6 to 12 year-olds and Library developed its own framework. Programming a strong focus across all ages and stages. The KidsStop early Literacy is pure delight with imposing and fun  spaces. The teens regularly access the innovation hub.

Retail principles of book display strongly evident with bold use of colour in furnishings. A delight and as our presenter said you love all your children (libraries) equally but this holds a special place.

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Robyn Lees: NDF 2015 highlights

Robyn Lees, library assistant at New Brighton, shares the highlights of her first ever visit to a National Digital Forum, held in Wellington in November last year.

Attending NDF

NDF2015 conference slide

The Digital Forum has many facets and the areas of interest for me at the forum were learning and digital literacy, and how we can encompass it in to our programmes and general abilities of staff. As a part of going to the forum I was able to meet learned colleagues for whom a surprise collaboration with a very real result was achieved (more on that later).

Fun and…

Raspberry Pi computer
Raspberry Pi is an inexpensive computing tool great for learning about programming and coding.

Firstly I attended a pre-conference workshop that was about a very cheap system of computing called Raspberry Pi- to explain, Raspberry Pi is basically a miniature operating system that you can hold in your hand. It is like a motherboard of a computer about 5cms square. It has an operating system and can be plugged in to any existing system or operate independently as needed.

Raspberry Pi
Playing with Raspberry Pi

The trick is that you can learn basic programming and coding with it and it’s cheap. These would be great little tools for our learning spaces as the users can make lights work, make alarms or programme it to make actions. After we were shown some demos we got hands-on with Raspberry Pi and we were allowed to fiddle with them and put some basic programming in to them to make lights flash and set off alarms and other trickery. You can plug anything in to them like keyboards and USBs and screens so they are an appealing way of introducing some fun and coding to people with limited resources.

…Games

Screenshot of #OneThread tweet
A Twitter clue in the #OneThread game

I was interested to learn about how organisations other than Libraries are engaging with new technology and using it to engage with their customers. Auckland Museum did a presentation about a Twitter campaign they ran where they used objects from their collection to convey clues accompanied by questions for users to answer. They ran a new quiz each week to keep users interested and tied it in with displays and events they were holding. It was hugely successful. This has inspired the team on to new ideas and new social media plans.

Baruk Fedderborn

Here is a clip from Auckland’s outreach librarian – Baruk Fedderborn. In general he is talking about Digital Literacy or as he terms it Post Literacy and engaging with Makerspaces in terms of Māori and Pasifika communities and how we can use our technologies to cross the digital divide and provide useful collaboration with these communities by way of language. It is best to let him explain.

Free Range

Slide from Claire Amos' keynote

In line with my interest in ways of learning I saw a keynote address that began with Disrupt, Connect and Co-Construct. These are the go words of Clare Amos who is deputy principal at Hobsonville Point School where the style of learning is much different than how we were educated. The focus is on how to work with digital natives and support their different ways of learning. Recently I had a customer whose 2 year old son was fidgeting while I was signing him up. I gave him a toy plane to play with and he was not interested in it. So what does this mean for us?

The end bits

Some of my key notes are that there was a lot of conversation around how we get all our colleagues to invest and engage in the new technologies as we dive deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole. You don’t need to be 5 to understand it all –but it helps as our “digital natives” way of life changes how we offer our services. This leads on to us running programmes and designing our physical and digital spaces to fit what is happening now for customer needs and looking to build quickly in response to the fast paced changes in our society. Mostly it’s about being relevant and timely with our actions and training for Digital Literacy.

Which leads on to our most important function of customer service and making sure we are actually responding to what is needed and a small example of that is helping with CVs – it may not be glamorous but it’s important to the customers and we can use those sessions to promote all our fabulous services!

Glams 101

Baruk Fedderborn from the earlier conversation about Makerspaces and I found out that a lot of the forum attendees were keen to be able to communicate professionally with each other across the organisations there. These were Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. We discussed planned and collaborated to create a platform for colleagues to do this and settled on Facebook as a suitable platform after discovering that it is frequently used by professional groups. We started a closed group called GLAMS 101 and have since grown the membership to over 120 colleagues and counting. They are located throughout NZ and range from management to customer facing colleagues. It has proved to be a very worthwhile and unexpected learning opportunity from the NDF 2015 Forum event.

The future

The two biggest stand outs for me for the future from the forum were:

  1. That people in these organisations want to share information and collaborate.  Sharing of project information, expertise, resources etc are very possible for the future using social media platforms in addition to traditional methods.
  2. Everybody at the Forum was really excited about what will be coming in the future technology wise and how we can start to shift our mindsets to fully engage with such technologies like 3D printing and Robots which we have started to do, and think about the new ones coming like Virtual Reality and Nano Technology among many others.

Attending the Forum was a valuable experience and I recommend it to others for helping colleagues to learn and grow.

Tweetapalooza at the LIANZA Conference 2015

The LIANZA Conference 2015 was brilliant – loud, proud, full of ideas. And the rowdiness wasn’t just in the building – it was online. I’ve never been to an event where so many people were tweeting, taking pics, and typing on devices. I got to meet plenty of the wonderful library people I connect with on Twitter.

It was a veritable Tweetapalooza – the hashtag #shout15 was even trending on NZ Twitter at various times.

I’ve pulled together a bunch of conference tweets using Storify. It is a good way to get the flavour of Shout! Karanga Rā:

Stuart Palmer  @s_palm did some great analysis of how many #shout15 tweets were published, how they connected, etc.  9561 tweets recorded as at 12 November.

The hashtag #shout15 still has legs, as keynote speaker Ned Potter has shared this frank and wonderful post on what it means to come all the way to Aotearoa for a conference.

I’ve been thinking of another thing to consider about tweeting from a conference – should you tweet as your institution, or as yourself? I made the call to do it as the library. There are pros and cons to that – tweeting as Christchurch City Libraries meant we showed we were in amongst it. But it also meant people who follow @ChristchurchLib got a lot more insider library stuff than usual. It’s open to debate.

Why is Twitter so useful at a library conference?:

  1. A tweet shows ideas that hit the mark, provoked, excited, challenged, surprised. It is like an exclamation marking saying “This!”
  2. You can get a glimpse into the sessions you didn’t go to. Your envy might be mollified (or enhanced) by the way someone tweets about it.
  3. It is a handy aide–mémoire for recalling the ideas that you found most interesting. Makes writing up your notes much easier! You’ve already used the highlighter by tweeting something.
  4. It allows anyone who is not at conference to see what people are shouting about.
  5. You can use the hashtag to hunt out other people’s splendid thoughts. And share them, passionately.

Finally, I’d like to do a shoutout for @leerowe who did something that combined Twitter (digital) and analogue in a deeply appealing way – it is proof that the way you use Twitter at a conference can be idiosyncratic, personal, and filled with character.

New professional reading

Those of you who are doing study towards a library qualification, or just interested in Library and Infomation studies might be interested in these new books that have been ordered for the Library Network.

Cataloguing

Collections

Digital,Tech, and Web

Library profession, professional development, and study

Planning and buildings

Programmes

Social Media

Readers’ advisory gets Pickled

We are trying something new. Staff Pickles is an initiative to boost our readers’ advisory online in a way that’s quirky, individual, and fun.

Moata

Getting pickled

Bronwyn spotted a great example of how staff picks can work online. Edmonton Public Library in Canada has a Great Stuff crew:

We corralled a small group of likely candidates in order to make the project manageable. This initial team of pickers had a workshop to figure out how it might work. The name “Staff Pickles” is courtesy of Malcolm.

Simone made some fab graphics that have a Christchurchy flavour. If you are a fan of local street art, you’ll recognise some of the backgrounds.

Joyce

Pickle pages

Each Staff Pickles page introduces the person and their reading interests, and includes:

  • Blog posts
  • Booklists
  • Bookshelves
  • Favourite books
  • Recommendations.

The page includes a Readers Advisory form so customers can contact the Pickles for advice or ideas.

Dan

Pickles in action

We will be making and sharing booklists, writing book reviews, offering reading tips, looking at hot stuff coming up.

Follow StaffPickles on our BiblioCommons catalogue

Follow

Check, check, check it out:

Masha