Transforming Libraries

A Passion for Coding

Technology is eating the world. Like a hungry dragon seeking out new villages to pillage, the tech world continues to find new markets to disrupt. And, like some mythical beast of apocalyptic proportions, technology is just as unstoppable. Good? Evil? Technology is code and that is all that matters. Some use it for good, and some for not so good. The point is that many others are out there using it. Where are libraries?

Kindergartners Go to College

The Second Phase of Technological Disruption

I’ve been thinking about a book called Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoğlu and James Robinson. To (over)summarize, the coauthors say that nations fail because they resist, and try to stifle, the disruption that follows technological breakthroughs.

Technological disruption challenges prevailing power. Naturally, those established institutions try to fight back. But they rarely win. Disruption tends to release a dam of pent-up and democratic energy. Eventually, it overwhelms or transforms the established order.

LITA President’s Program Presents the Girl Scouts of Technology

I am not a tech head. Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet, my smartphone, and gifs, but I know very little about the computer science behind the technology I use. Yet the increasing power of technology and the role it plays in our daily lives cannot be understated. Computer science is currently the fastest-growing, highest-paying profession in our economy, but the United States can only fill 30% of the available jobs. With such a rich and open field, one might assume that men and women would be flocking to this career path equally. However that is not the case.

Connected Learning and Libraries: Three Case Studies

Libraries are at the center of a new education methodology: connected learning. Kylie Peppler, assistant professor of learning sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington, presented the program “Connected Learning and Libraries: At the Intersection of the Arts, Media, New Technologies, and Informal Learning.” The session, part of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies’ President’s Program, highlighted the pivotal role that libraries play in helping young people recognize and pursue interests in a way that helps them develop real-world skills.

Resetting the Possibilities

On Friday afternoon, ALA President Barbara Stripling kicked off the 2014 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition at the Opening General Session, where she recapped many of the big events from her presidential year.

A Conversation about the Future

On Saturday morning, ALA President Barbara K. Stripling convened a panel to stimulate thinking about the future and the place libraries will have in it. The conversation was a follow-up to the national Summit on the Future of Libraries held May 2­–3 at the Library of Congress. Stripling said that “Each one of us will have a different future library. We have the power to envision our future communities and make a difference right now.”

Reforma President’s Program on Climate Change

Isabel Espinal, president of Reforma: the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking, and Omar Poler, of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, copresented the Reforma President’s Program, “Library Power to the People: Facing Up to the Climate Crisis with Information and Action.” The program was cosponsored by the American Indian Library Association and the newly formed ALA Sustainability Round Table.

Libraries and the “Internet of Things”

Prior to the official kick-off of the 2014 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas, OCLC hosted a symposium on Friday, June 27, focusing on the “internet of things” (IOT)—the trend in technology moving toward automation and digitally connecting analog items.

Lisa Carlucci Thomas, director and founder of Design Think Do, gave an introduction to IOT and to the symposium’s featured speaker, Daniel Obodovski, coauthor of The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things.

Connecting Youth: Teen Learning in 21st Century Spaces

There is more to connecting youth than text messaging, it was clear in “Connecting Youth: Key Findings from the Learning Labs in Libraries and Museums Projects” program on Friday morning, sponsored by the Urban Libraries Council. Connecting youth is about engaging teens through subjects that interest them. The Learning Labs Initiative, started in 2012, helps teens connect activities and interests that they pursue in the library with skills that can help them at school or in a future career. Today, there are 27 Learning Labs and YOUMedia sites across the United States.

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