QR Codes

Quick Reference Codes, better known as QR codes, are similar to bar codes. However, QR Codes contain more data than traditional bar codes. QR Codes have steadily been gaining popularity with smartphone users. Users can employ an application that utilizes the smartphone camera to scan the code and can be automatically directed to a website or a specific application. The majority of QR codes link to websites; however, they can also link to other information. (“QR Code”, 2014)  Hands on experience in using and designing QR codes is the fastest way to gain understanding of QR Codes.  Incorporation of QR Codes can be incorporated in my future workplace by assisting patrons with location information.

There are many ways libraries can utilize QR Codes. For example, libraries can add QR Codes to flyers that advertise events. Patrons can scan the codes and be directed to the event registration page on the library website.  Libraries can also develop QR Codes to create an online scavenger hunt.  Porter and King (2013) describe an example of a library using a QR Code. One of the authors, David King, works for the Topeka & Shawnee Count Public Library (TSCPL).  As part of The Big Read initiative, TSCPL chose The Maltese Falcon as the focus of this program. They created a community-wide scavenger hunt. Patrons visited various businesses where QR Codes were hidden within the community. Patrons scanned QR Codes which directed them to questions about The Maltese Falcon.  Once the questions were completed, they were entered into a prize drawing.  For the purpose of engaging library patrons, this community endeavor was a very creative way to utilize QR Codes. The authors state that over 300 patrons started the scavenger hunt but it was completed by eight. However, they consider it to be a success because they learned “….something, and can adapt and grow from that information.”  (Porter and King, 2013, Para. 7)

Porter, M., & King, D. (2013, April 29). QR Codes in Libraries: Some Examples. Retrieved February 23, 2016, from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2013/04/qr-codes-in-libraries-some-examples/

QR Codes. (2014, July 23). Retrieved February 23, 2016, from http://www.libsuccess.org/index.php?title=QR_Codes

QR Codes

Social Media

Social Media plays a large part in the current world of technology.  Social media are websites and/or applications designed to allow users to share content. Other users can comment on posted contents creating an interactive element.  Social media has a vast relevance to library work. Many libraries utilize social media for a variety of purposes.  For example, libraries have Facebook pages where they can share upcoming events, book reviews, and alert patrons to library closings due to inclement weather.  Libraries have created Pintrest pages to share book suggestions, and parents can utilize learning activities with children.  Research has been helpful in promulgating social media use within libraries. Through research, librarians can acquire knowledge of social media utilization in other libraries and appropriately adapt these techniques for their workplace.  In addition to research, librarians can visit social media pages to observe application in other libraries.   This assignment has been most advantageous and will assist me when producing creative social media posts in the future.

King (2015) shared a list of social media and general examples of how libraries can utilize these websites and applications. He also shared examples of interesting ways that specific libraries are utilizing social media.  The author specifically mentioned the Darien Library use of Tumblr.  The Tumblr website is a blogging website that users can share text posts, videos, and photos.  According to King (2015), Darien Library utilizes Tumblr to connect to its young adult patrons.  This library shares “…content like recipes submitted by staff, a video of a rabbit that discovered the library’s garden, and fun book reviews, among other things.”  (King, 2015, pg. 14)  The Darien Library has employed this social media platform in an effort to engage a specific patron population.

Social Media

E-books

E-books are electronic versions of print books that can be read on computers or handheld devices such as Kindles and Nooks.  E-books are a very popular alternative to print books. Libraries have a variety of retailers where e-books can be purchased. Services such as Overdrive enables the library to purchase e-books from several vendors rather than directly from multiple publishers.  The library, where I am employed, offers a wide selection of e-books that I download frequently. Therefore, I have been afforded hands on experience utilizing e-books. Additionally, since I often teach patrons how to download e-books, additional knowledge acquired will be helpful when instructing these individuals. Previously, I was not familiar with various publishers and the procedures utilized to purchase e-books within a library setting; however research has familiarized me with this process. .

As part of the American Library Association State of the Library 2015 post, they shared information pertaining to changes concerning e-book lending.  As of March 2015, HarperCollins, a major publishing company, updated their policy concerning e-book lending in libraries. This update states that a library can lend an individual e-book twenty-six times prior to purchasing a new license. Many librarians objected to this policy modification, since it added an additional financial burden on already limited budgets. The ALA quoted Audra Caplan, president of the Public Library Association, who stated, “When we purchase a print copy, we get to keep it for as long as we want. It may eventually wear out or not circulate, but that’s our choice.”  (…But a Big Publisher Steps on the Breaks, 2015, para. 8)  The purchase of e-books is especially relevant to libraries, since they can have an effect on e-book circulation.

E-books

3-D Printing

3-D printers function much like regular printers.  However, instead of flat paper 2-D images, these printers can print 3-D models.  Some people have used it to print a variety of items, ranging from small toys to a miniature wheel chair for a small disabled dog; the possibilities are endless. The library where I am employed plans to purchase a 3-D printer this year.  Hopefully I will be afforded the opportunity to use this printer.  A hands on experience is a valuable utilization tool to assist with 3-D printer comprehensive learning.  A neighboring town library currently has a 3-D printer; I plan to visit the library to utilize this equipment in the future.  As an employee who assists individuals with technology at the library, any attained knowledge will help me enlighten and educate patrons on 3-D printing.

Within my librarian Facebook group, an article was recently posted about an excellent use of 3-D printers. The article shared was written about two librarians from Jacksonville, Florida who used a 3-D printer to create a miniature model of the library bathroom. The 3-D model assists blind patrons with bathroom navigation, alleviating contact with unsanitary surfaces.  Chris Eaton, one of the two librarians involved in this project said, “We’d like to see it happen all over our public buildings. The applications for 3-D printing are limitless.”  He also stated, “This is a good start and this should be something the city wishes to pursue as part of our commitment to ADA accessibility in public buildings.”  (Corrum, 2016, para. 10).  Since libraries utilize these printers to teach STEAM concepts, 3-D printing is extremely relevant, especially for younger patrons.  However, 3-D printers can also be utilized in a variety of circumstances and can be extremely beneficial for the community.

Corrum, M. (2016, February 4). 3-D Model Helps Blind Jax Library Patrons Avoid Bathroom Yuck Factor. Retrieved February 09, 2016, from http://news.wjct.org/post/3-d-model-helps-blind-jax-library-patrons-avoid-bathroom-yuck-factor

3-D Printing

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has become increasingly popular over the years.  In a recent article, Praveena and Sankaranarayanan define cloud computing as “A definition for cloud computing can be given as an emerging computer paradigm where data and services reside in massively scalable data centers in the cloud and can be accessed from any connected devices over the internet.” (Praveena and Sankaranarayanan, 2014, pg. 265)  The term “The cloud” has been increasingly popular over the years.  Libraries are beginning to develop techniques to utilize the cloud. Traditional physical servers have been replaced by cloud based computing, since it is an easier way to share and store information.

A major cloud based service, which I have utilized, is Google Docs.  Users are able to upload and share documents with other individuals. Google Docs has been beneficial in various classes at VSU when working on group projects. Utilizing additional cloud based services has afforded me the opportunity to further expand my knowledge with cloud computing. Praveena and Sankaranarayanan mention in their article that deeper knowledge of cloud based computing is necessary because each cloud based service encompasses unique procedures for utilization. According to the authors, ILS systems, services such as Polaris and Exlibris, are utilized by various libraries and employ cloud based technology. My town library, where I am employed, does not utilize these systems   However, going forward I hope to be afforded the opportunity to encounter these systems to gain additional knowledge on cloud based technology.  Libraries can potentially avail themselves of such technology such as cloud based archives for storing digital information.  If the library only pays for needed storage, monetary constraints can be met.  Cloud computing requires little to no maintenance and offers greater flexibility compared to traditional storage on a physical server, since libraries can add more storage at any time. Cloud computing can more easily share information that can be accessed anywhere for both staff and patrons. A library server computer connection is not required to access this information.

 

Reference: Praveena, K. p., & Sankaranarayanan, D. (2014). Cloud Computing and its Applications in Libraries. Indian Journal Of Library & Information Science, 8(3), 265-270.

 

Cloud Computing

First post

My name is Meghan Scopelliti and I am in my third semester of my MLIS at Valdosta State University. I have created this blog to use in one of my classes, Essential Technologies for Libraries. In this class we will explore various technologies and their applicable use in libraries. I look forward to sharing more as the semester progresses!

First post