David Lee King is the Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, where he plans, implements, and experiments with emerging technology trends. I create, write, think, and speak about the social web, emerging trends, and libraries.
My library is in the midst of a bunch of building renovations and updates (which is fun, and also extremely time-consuming!).
We’re trying to capture some of it on video. The trick to that is this: how do you capture construction work and building updates without making a boring “here’s what we’re doing and why” video (yes, we have made one of those, too)?
Well … we decided to play around with time lapse videos. Check out the video embedded in this post for one example of that – it’s a time lapse video that captures laying down a terrazzo tile mosaic in our main entrance to the library.
“The goals are to challenge and motivate traditional and non-traditional leaders by teaching adaptive leadership competencies through information, dialogue and hands-on experience, so participants are better prepared to strengthen and transform our community.”
So what did we do?
We met twice a month for full-day sessions. During those sessions, we learned about different leadership styles – both formal leadership and grassroots, community, volunteer-led leadership.
And we experienced Topeka. We visited a variety of organizations, including: Brown vs. the Board of Education, the county correctional facility, an architectural design firm, the local homeless shelter, the state capitol, the local public housing authority, a private jet company … and the library (’cause we are awesome that way).
We also heard from a variety of Topekans: entrepreneurs – really successful ones, and young entrepreneurs just starting out. We heard from lobbyists. We talked to prisoners and CEOs. We heard from a lot of people living in different parts of Topeka about how to make Topeka a better place.
I also met a bunch of really cool people (my 30-some classmates), took a strengths finder assessment, and discovered a lot about where I live that I didn’t know much about.
Because of this class, I have a better appreciation for Topeka, and have an understanding of ways I can help make it better. And learned some leadership skills that I can use at work and in my community.
So – very successful program!
If your community has a similar local leadership program … by all means, see how you can participate! It’s a great way to learn more about where you live, and how – especially for librarians – we can reach outside of our walls to help improve our community.
5G. It’s short for 5th Generation, and is the newest mobile, cellular network. And it’s apparently going to be here really soon. In fact, in a few communities, it’s being rolled out now.
That’s awesome … but how will 5G affect me?
5G improves on older 4G (LTE) networks in at least 3 ways:
Speed. 5G is FAST. We’ll get speeds anywhere from 50Mbps at a minimum to upwards of 1-10Gbps or more. Translation: a 1gb network for your phone. Wow.
Latency. The latency target for 5G is 1 millisecond. 4G is currently around 20 milliseconds or so. Here’s how CNET describes latency: “Latency is the time it takes to get a response to information sent — for example, the lag between the moment you try to shoot a space invader and the moment the internet server hosting the game tells your app whether you succeeded.” So … lower is better!
Greater capacity to connect devices. 5G antennas can support a lot more devices than the current 4G antennas. This helps to cut down on lag time you might experience, especially in a busy urban area.
So – better speed, better latency, and better connectivity. What should we expect to see in the next 5 years because of 5G?
Things like this:
More phone companies getting in the home internet business. Why get cable or DSL internet when you can go 5G in your home? Verizon 5G Home is already working on this. They are launching in October in Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, and Sacramento. They are offering a pretty good deal, too: speeds over 300Mbps, no caps, throttles, or deprioritization, for about $50 a month for Verizon customers.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices will become much more prolific in the home. Think about your own home for a sec. You might have a couple of computers, smartphones, tablets, TVs, gaming consoles, thermostats, smart lights, smart speakers, etc … all of which need to be connected to your router to work. And all of which suck up bandwidth. 5G will make that easier.
Smart cities will continue to appear, as they can get stable connectivity to help monitor and control streetlights, traffic flow and congestion, irrigation systems, etc.
Smart machines will take advantage of 5G. For example, smart cars will be able to interact with other cars (goal is to improve safety and better manage traffic). We also might start seeing remote controlled vehicles and machinery that take advantage of a robust 5G network.
And of course, your phone. Better streaming capability, new apps and games that take advantage of the strengths of a 5G network.
What’s this mean for libraries? Just some thoughts:
Mobile usage will continue to grow. Make sure your websites and web services work well on mobile devices.
Smaller libraries that need better broadband/wifi might just make the move to a 5G setup.
Smart Cities – Not really connected with 5G, but a good possibility. As cities start thinking about becoming “smart cities” and using newer technology (like 5G), it’s the perfect opportunity for the library step in and take a leadership role in planning your community’s future. That is, if you understand something about emerging technology trends and how they might be used locally.
It will be a few more years before 5G really takes off … and it will certainly be fun to watch!
As you can see, there are a LOT of options out there! This list doesn’t include mobile video editing apps (there are quite a few of those, as well). Some of these (both paid and free options) are simple, beginner software (iMovie and Blender), and some are much more complex (Final Cut, Premier Pro, and DaVinci Resolve).
So try a couple video editing software options out, see what works for you, and start editing those videos!
Connect with Images (here’s my slidedeck that no one saw. During the actual presentation, my computer and the LCD projector didn’t get along, so I gave a presentation on using images … without actually showing anything on the screen. Fun time!).
UX Design for Customer Engagement (workshop with Jeff Wisniewski, slides not yet posted)
Website Design Winners and Losers – fun presentation, no slides from me. I critiqued a couple of library websites.
On Wednesday, I moderated the Artificial Intelligence track, and learned a lot!
About a week ago, someone at the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) got fired. Why? Because they sent a grumpy tweet about our current president … using one of KDOT’s official Twitter accounts.
The tweet was deleted pretty fast, the governor’s office had to send a statement to the press saying the tweet was “absolutely unacceptable,” and it hit multiple news outlets. Here’s an article about it from the Kansas City Star.
Just a guess on my part, but I’ll bet it was an accident. Very possibly, the state employee uses Twitter for work and for personal use, and forgot to switch back over to their personal account before sending the tweet.
And guess what? That can happen to us, too! In fact, it’s happened to me. A few years ago, I made a quick little video of snow coming down while walking in to work. I accidentally posted it to one of the library’s social media accounts (Facebook or Twitter, I think).
In my case, the video was pretty innocuous – just me saying “cool! Look at the snow!” Whew!
Don’t want that to happen to you? Here are some tips to keep work and personal social media accounts separate:
Be nice on the Internet. Not really a tip about separating work and personal accounts. But it is one that will keep you out of hot water if/when you make one of those accidental posts.
Log out after the post. Keep your default social media account your personal one. When it’s time to post as your library, log in, make your post, then log back out.
Use different apps. Sometimes, you might be able to use different apps for work and personal. Not always the case, but it’s worth a try.
Use separate devices. See if you can get a dedicated work phone or tablet, and only post work stuff from that device.
Use different browsers. On a desktop, use different browsers for work and personal. For example, I use Chrome for personal stuff, and Firefox for library logins.
Go back and repeat #1.
If you DO have both work and personal social media tools on your personal phone (i.e., I use one Instagram account for both work and personal, one Tweetbot account for both, etc), double check where you are posting BEFORE you post.
I know … sounds pretty simple. But accidents happen. A little review never hurt anyone … and it might help you keep that job.
I’m teaching a workshop all about making and using videos in libraries. Here’s a blurb about it (totally swiped from ALA’s press release):
ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions announces an exciting new workshop, Creating and Using Video Content in the Library with David Lee King. This workshop will consist of two 90-minute sessions and take place at 2:30pm Eastern/1:30 Central/12:30 Mountain/11:30am Pacific on Thursdays, April 11 and 18, 2019.
Creating video content is easier today than it’s ever been. The equipment is everywhere—you can make a high-quality video with the average smartphone, edit it with simple-to-use software, and post it to a website or social network seamlessly. The proliferation of video content on the web has wonderful implications for library services. If you aren’t using video on your library’s website or social media channels, it’s time to get started.
In this new two-part workshop, library technology and digital librarianship expert David Lee King shows you how to start incorporating video. David explains how you can use video for outreach through a variety of case studies, shares tips on what types of content works best, and describes what to consider when planning for and implementing a video presence at your library.
Registration for this ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions Workshop is available on the ALA Store. You can purchase registration at both individual and group rates.
Interested in making and sharing videos about your library? If so, hope to see you at the workshop!
I recently bought a new bass guitar from Sweetwater Sound, and loved the customer experience they provide.
I’ll walk you through some of the stuff they did to make my buying experience a good one, then share something fun that could work well for libraries.
Here are some of the things they do to make sure my experience buying stuff from them is a good one:
When I sign up for an account, I’m assigned a specific “sales engineer.” That person calls after I buy something to make sure everything’s ok.
My bass guitar was backordered, so Randy (the sales dude) called to let me know what was going on, and to share when my bass guitar would ship.
Sweetwater does a 55-point inspection on all their guitars, from the pricey ones to some of the cheaper ones too (mine was a cheap one). Most online music stores don’t do that.
They warned me to not open the box for 24 hours (via a sticker on the box), so the instrument could slowly acclimate to a warmer temperature (musical instruments can be picky that way).
See the image with this post? When I opened the box, I was thanked for buying something, given a bag of candy, and provided with a hashtag to share what I bought on social media.
I’ve bought a TON of stuff online – probably you have too. This level of service is not normal, at least for a “big box” online music store. So … very nice customer experience!
How does this relate to libraries?
How often do we thank people for using our services? For checking stuff out …. For asking a question … for using one of our databases … for attending a class or event at the library?
Yes, mine was an online experience, so it’s easy enough to stuff something in a box before you ship it. But we have the opportunity to thank people in person, which can have a much greater impact than stuff tossed into a box (though the candy was … sweet!).
And I LOVE the idea of the #newgearday hashtag. That’s certainly something we can do. Does your library have a hashtag? If so … print out a bookmark or postcard that encourages people to share their #nextread or something like that.
And then share those photos on your website (here’s how Sweetwater shares some of the #newgearday images). Use them in promotions (and yes, get permission). It’s a really simple way to connect with your customers, and to let them share their joy of reading with your community (and a sneaky way to share them with you, too).
Mobility – mobile access, mobile devices, great wifi, etc. … believe it or not, this is still an emerging trend for libraries. So let’s discuss it a bit!
I just checked my library’s website analytics – right now, about 45% of people visiting the library’s website are using some type of mobile device. Your library’s customers are using smartphones and tablets to do stuff on your website.
What do these customers need? A mobile-friendly website, a variety of apps, easy access to great wifi when they are in your building, and easy access to power, so they can recharge.
Can your library meet those needs? Not all libraries can. Here’s what I mean:
Websites: Some websites use responsive or adaptive design, so it adjusts for different screen sizes. But in the library world, many websites aren’t there yet. Some have mobile apps, but those don’t necessarily access everything that lives on the website. If your website isn’t here yet, that’s something to fix.
Mobile apps: Most likely, you have access to some mobile apps already. For example, if your library offers Overdrive or Hoopla, you have mobile apps. You might have a mobile app for easier access to your catalog or library events. You might even have a mobile app version of your website. If you have any of these things, you at least need a page on your website that points to all your mobile apps, and to the app stores so they can be easily downloaded.
Great wifi: Notice I said “great” wifi. “Robust” is another good word here. There are some libraries that don’t offer great wifi. When a lot of people use it, it slows down, or stops working. Or maybe there isn’t great coverage throughout the building. I’ve even seen at least one library that only allows wifi access through the library card. If you don’t have a library card, you are out of luck (not the friendliest way to do it, in my opinion). These are definitely things that can be improved!
Power outlets: You have them, and your customers are using them.. Do they have to move furniture or unplug lamps to access them? And yes, I’m saying this because I’ve seen students moving tables and chairs, or sitting on the floor. I’ve seen customers unplug lamps to access the power outlet at my library. If any of these things are happening, think about rearranging things so your power outlets are easier to get to. If that won’t work, maybe get some type of power charging station or recharging devices that can be borrowed. Also think about keeping a box of mobile device cables behind the desk, for people who need to recharge but forgot their cable.
Most important thing is this (especially for your wifi signal): this stuff is always changing, so it’s not something you can budget once and be done with. It’s an every year thing. Check usage and up your bandwidth accordingly, before it becomes a problem.