When you think of a library, most people think of a quiet place to study. If you want to get work done and spread out, you go to a coffee shop. Newer libraries offer the same amenities as coffee shops, and sometimes even more.
"WESTPORT, Conn.—They have blinking eyes and an unnerving way of looking quizzically in the direction of whoever is speaking. They walk, dance and can talk in 19 different languages. About the height of a toddler, they look like bigger, better-dressed cousins of Buzz Lightyear.
And soon, "Vincent" and "Nancy" will be buzzing around the Westport Library, where officials next week will announce the recent acquisition of the pair of humanoid "NAO Evolution" robots. Their primary purpose: to teach the kind of coding and computer-programming skills required to animate such machines.
While it isn't unusual for public libraries to offer instruction in programming or robotics, Westport is the first in the nation to do it with sophisticated humanoid bots made by the French robotics firm Aldebaran. In a brief demonstration last week, Alex Giannini, the library's digital-experience manager, had Vincent kicking a small soccer ball, doing tai chi and taking bows."
At California’s Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD), we have discovered that 48 percent of patrons prefer finding information themselves rather than asking staff members for help. This led us to examine our user experience of signage, particularly for computer use. We wanted to place signage in the exact place where patrons need help and ensure it was meaningful in guiding them in their independent use of the library.
Minecraft explorers worldwide excavate sand to smelt into glass, diamonds to hone into swords and redstone to power millions of digital creations.
Amber Palmer’s fifth-graders visit the Minecraft universe to dig into U.S. history.
At the beginning of the school year, the Bennion Elementary students learned about explorers and land charters, which they had to request from Queen Palmer to begin their virtual building on iPads. (Later, the queen’s stiff taxes provoked a revolt.)
Students formed their own states, debated whether to have slaves, moved westward, endured insect infestations, fires and other natural disasters, and built factories at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
By the time they were creating Minecraft houses with cubes representing gold and diamonds, as they studied the "roaring" 1920s, they knew the decadence could not last.
"They have had enough experience," Palmer says, "to know that there are ups and downs throughout history."
Her savvy in using programs such as Minecraft, Tellagamis, iMovie, MadLips, and S’Cool earned her one of five KUED-The Salt Lake Tribune Teacher Innovation Awards. She and the others will be profiled in a half-hour program Thursday at 7 p.m. on KUED.
Minecraft, she says, is a great tool for creativity and collaboration as she teaches social studies and language arts at the Taylorsville school.
"It’s a way for students to process understanding," she says. "They are the programmer. Their game is only as smart as they are."
Click headline to read more, view pix gallery and watch video clips--
By Phil Spirito, Monroe Library Managing Librarian
"Stop by the Monroe Library branch of the Sno-Isle Library System any day of the week and you will often see a staff person working in a one-on one session with a customer. Although everyone in the library is strongly encouraged to approach staff and ask for help, these customers have scheduled an appointment to meet with a staff person to get individual help on a wide range of topics.
Do you need help downloading an e-book? Are you starting a difficult research project? Do you want individual coaching on basic computer skills? Are you stumped by your new smart phone? Do you need someone to review your resume? If you need help, you can make an appointment with a staff person to get help on almost any topic at the time that works best for you."
Makerspaces are a big trend in libraries right now. That’s a good thing because they do offer new ways of supporting critical 21st century skills (e.g. critical thinking, problem solving, digital literacy, design thinking).
One of the things I missed in my early days in America was the European style cafe. Not for the coffee, but the community spirit. I soon discovered a place that filled that void: the local library. It offered a sense of a community center plus a broad selection of books [...]
Children's librarian Lindsey Patrick recounts how Nashville Public Library redesigned its summer reading program into a flexible model that addressed the drop in participants and transformed the usual stress of summer into an exciting challenge for patrons and staff.