I think the one thing this course really made me think about was the point where a person’s virtual life meets their offline life. So, for my contribution to the Virtual Symposium, I decided to create a mixtape.
I was watching the discussion in the Librarians Who Love Music tribe and it struck me how different songs ellicited emotions from the members of the tribe. So, I decided to take the idea of music speaking to us at a higher level and explore it. Each track on this mixtape is supposed to illuminate the core concept I came away with from each module. Also, I think the music is pretty good.
1. The Hyperlinked Library Model & Participatory Service
Boat – Changing of the Guard
The world is changing. The digital and phyical world are becoming increasingly blended. Libraries need to change as well and step up and look at both our organizational structure and the amount of time and energy we spend serving our patrons both virtually and in person. We need to clean up our own back yards and prepare for the future.
2. Hyperlinked Library Communities
Petula Clark – Downtown
The Internet is the new downtown. Work and play happens simultaniously, it never closes, and you can forget all your troubles and cares while watching the newest lolcat gif. This new downtown is getting more and more crowded. If libraries want to be a part of it, they must start working now to recognize and prepare for this new world.
3. Engaging Hyperlinked Communities
The Thermals – Pillar of Salt
Previously, libraries acted as gatekeepers. We were the special, annointed ones who could access that obscure text you needed that one time. It’s time to tear down the walls we created. We need to engage with our patrons in meaningful ways. We need to post information outside of walled gardens. We need to teach real world skills, like how to find credible information in a sea of lies and misinformation for themselves. Unless, of course, we want to be crushed by the iron fist that is Google and Amazon.
4. Planning for Hyperlinked Libraries
So Many Dynamos – How High the Moon
In this hostile, hyperlinked world, we need to choose our tools carefully. If we carry a flashlight, we should be sure to plan well enough to have spare batteries when they are needed. We need just the right amount of technology in our libraries. 3D printers are a perfect fit for some libraries, others might want to invest in a community sewing machine, still others might want to invest their time and energy in teaching information literacy. We need to quash our technofear and temper our technolust to build a responisive learning environment that enhances the community. Every choice we make affects the library, let’s make sure we are creating improvements.
5. Transparency & Privacy
Hall & Oates – Private Eyes
The balance between transparency and privacy is a delicate one. The more transparant libraries can be the greater chance we have for buy-in from our communities and our staff. We need to be less concerned with the potential political fallout from posting our board agendas online, and more concerned that no one cares the library is having a board meeting. But we also need to actively teach our patrons about the reverberations of their online actions. Nothing disappears online; the Internet remembers all. Maybe just making our patrons aware of this irrefutable fact is an accomplishment in itself. I see you, you see me.
6. User Experience
Lou Reed – Perfect Day
Visiting the library, either online or in-person should not be a challenging or trying experience. Everything should just…fit. We should be concious that our policy decisions and placement of furniture is not random, but is design. And we should be designing the best possible experience that we can for our patrons. If we do our job, they leave with a warm, fuzzy feeling and are recharged from the experience, not exasperated and drained. It should be good. We are going to reap just what we sow.
7. Mobile & Geo-social Environments
Frank Black – Fast Man
Our patrons are accessing the Internet, and potentially our virtual services everywhere. If they are on a business trip and need something to read, we need to be there to provide an E-book. If they get lost on the way up to the lake, how great would it be for them to call or text the library for directions? Furthermore, in an age of ubiquitious connectivity, the act of just being somewhere is worthy of a status update. We need to encourage this and use sites like Foursquare and Facebook to encourage and reward library visits and patron loyalty. A tangled web, indeed.
8. Rest & Catch-up Week
SEMINARS – Easy ‘Cause It Is
We all need to take a break once in a while to recharge our batteries. We have been observing and taking many pages of notes and now we are confident in our ability to provide killer library services to our patrons both online and off. It’s easy ’cause it is.
Note: SEMINARS isn’t available on Spotify, you can stream this track here:
9. Creation Culture
DJ Shadow – Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt
Libraries have always been in the business of dispensing knowledge and information. Previously, these were dispensed in containers known as books. By building a culture of creation and lifelong learning in our libraries, we can dispense this knowledge in person. Through hands-on training or by giving our patrons access to costly technology and tools they might not be able to access anywhere else we can give them real world skills and transform lives. Sure, we will see some failures, but many more successes. We are all perpetual students and can always find something else to learn.
10. Learning & New Literacies
Silkworm – Don’t Look Back
Speaking of being perpetual students, all of us in the library world could stand to learn a thing or two. The most important trait of a 21st century library is the ability to learn well. Librarians must be generalists. We must be able to learn a new skill at the drop of a hat. By focusing on learning to learn, we can look to the future and ensure that we are able to meet any challenges that may present themselves.
11. Reflective Practice
Death Cab for Cutie – Soul Meets Body
Ultimately, library service isn’t about circulation numbers or door counts. Our job is to transform lives. If we look at everyone who walks through our door, both staff and patron, as a person instead of a number we can call ourselves successful librarians.
12. Virtual Symposium
The Flaming Lips – The Abandoned Hospital Ship
It took 400 of us 12 weeks to sort through hundreds of articles and blog posts and conversations, but it all seems so simple now. Libraries are about stories; let’s share some great ones!