Today, the American Library Association (ALA) recognized four libraries for offering cutting-edge technologies in library services, honoring programs in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; Bridgewater, New Jersey; Raleigh, North Carolina; and University Park, Pennsylvania.
The recognition, which is presented by the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy and the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA), showcases libraries that are serving their communities using novel and innovative methods. Libraries or library service areas selected will be highlighted through various ALA publications and featured in a program at the ALA Annual Conference 2014 in Las Vegas, June 26-July 1, 2014.
“This was a very competitive year for cutting-edge applicants. Those recognized today stood out in the ways they creatively solved problems, engaged library patrons, and strengthened library services and visibility,” said Marc Gartler of Madison Public Library (WI), who chaired the selection subcommittee. “We are excited to recognize these four projects, several of which already have proven their potential to be successfully replicated by libraries around the globe.”
*Cut-rate Digital Signboards, Somerset County Library System, Bridgewater, NJ.
Somerset County Library System developed a more dynamic and cost-effective way to promote programs and resources in high-traffic areas of the library. The creative solution brings together a Raspberry Pi computer, large-screen monitors, WiFi, and Google Docs Presentations to reduce digital signboard costs by almost $1,000 per display. The project also reduced poster printing costs and actually made it easier for staff to remotely update and push new content to their customers.
*“Me Card,” Edmonton Public Library, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Edmonton Public Library’s Me Card technology allows customers with a library card from one library to create an account with and access collections at another library with no staff intervention or additional library cards. The Me Card can work with any integrated library system (ILS) and does not require a shared ILS among participating libraries. More than 1,500 customers accessed the web-based service and registered for membership in the first two months of operation.
*My #HuntLibrary, North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, NC.
NCSU ensured that the story of their new library’s opening would be told through the words and images of the people that use it every day. The NCSU Libraries used Instagram’s API to develop an app that captured photos tagged with #HuntLibrary and displayed them online and in the library. Both a user engagement tool and digital preservation effort, the library received more than 3,200 images from more than 1,300 different users and recorded more than 235,000 page views.
*One Button Studio, Penn State University Libraries, University Park, PA
Penn State University Libraries, in partnership with Information Technology Services, enabled easy video creation for faculty and students across Penn State campuses. With only a flash drive and the push of a single button, users can activate a video camera, microphone and lights to begin recording. In its first year of use, 4,200 people created more than 270 hours of video. The app also reduces production costs due to changes in the type of equipment, as well as the number of staff needed.
Additional information is available at http://www.ala.org/offices/
About the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP)
The Office for Information Technology Policy advances ALA’s public policy activities by helping secure information technology policies that support and encourage efforts of libraries to ensure access to electronic information resources as a means of upholding the public’s right to a free and open information society. For more information, visit www.ala.org/oitp.