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October 7, 2009

A Future Library Service?

This would be pretty cool, which is good since we’re headed in this direction already.

Take this story: Entire Cities Recreated Using Thousands of Flickr Photos

“A group of researchers with University of Washington’s graphics and imaging laboratory (GRAIL) wanted to see if they could build a piece of software that would search the web for images of a particular place and recreate that place in 3D in under a day.

They succeeded, and the team, lead by Sameer Agarwal, created a simulation of Rome using 150,000 images harvested from photo-sharing website Flickr, and build a virtual model within a day.

The team also tested the software on the Croatian city of Dubrovnic and were able to recreate the entire old city, including all the buildings and streets, within 22 hours.”>

Mix in local, digitized history from the library and archives, the way DOK does with their Surface table app that reads your library card and retrieves historical images of your neighborhood.


Multitouch Microsoft Surface: Cultural Heritage Browser from Jaap van de Geer on Vimeo.

Top off with the coming wave of augmented reality apps for mobile devices, led by the “it’s already here” Yelp app for local reviews.

“Yelp’s new iPhone app is now the first iPhone App with Augmented Reality. It takes Yelp information and overlays it into the real-world. It’s actually a secret easter egg (discovered by Robert Scoble), which may be why Apple didn’t reject Yelp’s augmented reality app. We have screenshots and a demo video to show you what this is all about.” [Mashable]

And you get a glimpse of where virtual worlds, ubiquitous information, and mobile broadband access will converge. I can imagine walking through Chicago neighborhoods (like Pullman), around the Mall in Washington DC, and other places where libraries can add value to this type of experience.

If you feel information overload now, just wait until that information flow magically appears all around you in the real world and not just on a screen. Can librarians become part of users’ networks and help filter out some of the noise? Will libraries make their archives open and available for these types of uses?


5:50 am Comments (3)

July 12, 2009

Innovation at DOK

Shanachies Erik, Jaap, and Geert talk about the DOK Library

Jaap is the “head of innovation” at DOK – love that title

DOK = Library Concept Center

video of library manager Eppo touring DOK
– showed Bluetooth download station
– music pods
– video games (“The library can’t be without games.”)

it’s all about people – share the stories to tell and make the stories

DOK sits on one side of “culture square” – they named it that because they’re across from a movie and theater
there’s a lot of color in DOK because they believe this is important to lift people up, help motivate them to share their stories
the staff offices on the top floor are totally open – not just open source, but open access to staff 🙂
have a “reading cafe” with the magazines
they put the timely reading materials right near the food and coffee/cafe
the building is a converted supermarket – it’s concrete but made attractive

the bookshelves don’t have a top shelf, so they seem more open
not collecting dust
shelf along the bottom to display the books but can also use it to step up and reach the top shelf
Geert does the signage – it’s attractive and uses everyday language
the library has a very luxurious look but the bookcases are made of NDF (?)
spend the money on services, rather than bookcases
the children’s collection is on bookshelves that are on wheels, so movable; allows them to move the collection for programming
all of the children’s bookshelves are green so easy to identify
the kids can stand on the bookshelves and it’s okay
one sign in the adult collection uses an image from Psycho :-p

their electronic signage runs on Nintendo Wiis because it’s cheap! 🙂
cost about a quarter of the price, plus can use the Wiis for game tournaments

the floor has a rubber texture so playful

an area where people can learn languages
it’s a quiet area and an open study room

snoic chairs (music pods)
an enriching experience that goes beyond just lending out CDs
can sit in the chairs and listen to music that only you hear
the touchscreens are hooked up to the library’s network, so can watch movies

the “romance room” is completely red
kids like to come study in this room and use the library’s wifi

they dim the lights to make people look better (rather than harsh, bright lights)

people can take food and drink from the cafe anywhere in the building

offer an art collection for checkout, with paintings out for display
have a catalog online where residents can reserve paintings

projects they’re working on now:
started a new “science and innovation” department to look at different ways to bring people together around data

1. hacked a Microsoft Surface table
worked with Technical University in Delft
developed two applications for it, one of which is finished
second one, still working on, will be a news quiz – users will work together using the table
brings people together around topics of interest

first application uses special barcodes on the library card
put your card on the table and it reads your address, shows you historical images for your address
totally freaking cool video of how this works, narrated by the student who developed the software

can also use a map application to find images from any street
also includes video
can sort images

because the table can detect objects, it can detect shapes, so there’s a ring you can place on top that acts as a magnifier

2. DOK Agora “Storyboard of your life”
works with material from the Delft Archive
idea is to get people to share their stories
a collection of storytelling tools for people visiting the library
let you see, hear, and watch other peoples’ stories, as well as tell your own
includes maps, paintings, etc.
the library is a collection of stories and culture – how can we get the community’s stories into the library?

huge screen with small stories on it that you can make larger
national archive, local archive
they pick a story, scan their library pass, the story is linked to it, go down one level to the storytelling area
this is where anyone in the community can add a picture, audio, video, etc. to the archive
when the archive has grown, they have a launch party for it (for specific topics)


4:14 pm Comments (8)