Sunday, May 15, 2016

Connection, Not Collection

Connection, Not Collection By Sydney Eng (Article from American Libraries Magazine)

This was a fascinating article that, in a way, appeared to stray away from what our class has been discussing. But on second thought, it's right on the money. The beginning of the article discussed everything we have said in class so far; libraries exist for the user, library expectations have changed, libraries have to prove themselves worthy, they have to "facilitate the relationship between patrons and resources."

This article was mainly about a new product called the iBeacon. This item is a tool that connects via Bluetooth on a mobile device. When someone entered the library, they would connect to the iBeacon and the beacon would send signals to the patron's smartphone. The signal would send a standard message about where they were in the library and what services they were in proximity to. At the particular library where this product was installed, students were not aware of what the library had to offer. By connecting to patrons using technology, the faculty developed more of a bond than if they were to wait for a student to drop by with a question.

The article concluded with this quote: “Successful libraries look for opportunities to add value for their users by responding to how the patrons find and use information. The beacon system represents a new way for the library to provide and market its resources and services in a way that is consistent with the communications methods being employed by today’s device-enabled users.” What the author of the article is saying is what we have been saying in class all along. Librarians must stay at the edge o new technology and they must know how to use it before the patron comes in with questions. They must learn by observation and come up with solutions to the ever-evolving technology ages. By recognizing the needs of their patrons, they developed a product that speaks in a "language" that this current generation understands.

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