Libraries consider makerspace, streaming content

Sam Chada
Jul 3, 2013

 

Over the weekend I had the opportunity along with other Sandusky Library staff members to attend the American Library Association’s annual conference. This year, the conference was hosted in Chicago, and more than 26,000 librarians, library staff members, library supporters and vendors from all areas of the profession attended. The theme for this year’s conference was “Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves,” which helped set the tone for the conference and reassured the profession that transformation is good, and needed.

Naturally, I was on the hunt to discover the emerging technology trends in the field and what I found was very exciting. As I attended informational sessions and met new librarians I noticed a common keyword - hackerspaces. According to Wikipedia, “a hackerspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace, or creative space) is a location where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, digital arts or electronic art, can meet, socialize, and/or collaborate”. Many libraries have started to carve out space within their facilities to create their own makerspace like Allen County Public Library and Chicago Public Library. These libraries along with many others have invested in 3D printers, laser cutters, milling machines, and work tools, just to name a few, and invite their patrons to come into the library space to create things. Makerspaces are incredibly resourceful because they allow patrons to not only obtain information that they are interested in but to also create it before they leave.

Another topic of discussion for librarians is the concept of streaming content. Many of us may already be familiar with streaming content services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and Amazon Prime, where we can instantly watch movies or TV shows on an internet connected device without downloading the file first. With the services mentioned, you must pay a subscription fee in order to access the content. But what if I told you that a service similar to these may be available and all you need is a library card in order to enjoy streaming audiobooks, music, and videos? Pretty neat, huh? Here is one example of a streaming service, Hoopla that is helping libraries make this vision a reality.

The third major tech trend that was buzzed about, which is not new but is often talked about, is patron privacy. With the recent National Security Agency allegations, librarians ramped up the conversation on patron privacy and how we can continue protecting patron’s privacy when it comes to library account information. I think the library and CLEVNET does a fantastic job of protecting your information, but it’s helpful to be mindful of potential issues and pitfalls.

All in all it was a fabulous conference that generated a lot of great ideas that I’m hoping to bring back to our library.

Have you noticed emerging technology trends that you think the library should know about? Share in the comments below!

Comments

Ehovemom

The Sandusky Library is a wonderful facility. If you are not visiting the library regularly - you are missing out on some great resources, books, movies, music and wonderful programs.

Blues

Any library hooked to CLEVNET is in that category, Ehovemom.

Sandusksquach

Not Bellevue!

Blues
Sandusksquach

Every library hooked up to CLEVENET is not in the category of "wonderful facility".

Blues

Explain why.

Sam Chada

Bellevue Public Library, along with Huron Public Library, Norwalk Public Library, Milan-Berlin Public Library, and Ritter Public Library all belong to CLEVNET. Here's a round up of all CLEVNET member libraries: http://www.clevnet.org/participa....

Sam Chada

Thanks, Ehovemom! We appreciate the feedback.

Sandusksquach

It's not tech but how about shifting some of the weekday hours to the weekend?

Sam Chada

Great suggestion, Sandusksquach. I'll be sure to pass it along. Remember our virtual branch, www.sandusky.lib.oh.us, is available 24/7!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thanks for the heads-up. A space like the one you mentioned is important as would be a netcast lab. Would love to work with you on the details for either to implement in the area! Sorry you had to put up with Chicago traffic, but it sounds like it was worth it.

Sam Chada

Hey, Hero Zone! I'm not too familiar with a Netcast Lab, but would love to learn more about it. I'll stop by your shop to introduce myself and we can go from there.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thanks, I can go very in-depth with you about it! Stop by any time.