October 17-19 Monterey Marriott
Monterey, California
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A302 - Libraries: Innovative Spaces to Dream, Think, & Create

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Chad Mairn, Librarian, Innovation Lab Manager, St. Petersburg College
Kelvin Watson, Chief Innovation & Technology Officer, Queens Library

Libraries are more than a storage house for books; they are friendly places for discovery where creativity and learning are nurtured! The do it yourself (DIY) culture has permeated into libraries, giving patrons of all ages a chance to dream, think, and create interesting things. These collaborative learning environments, sometimes called makerspaces, create spaces where people can share innovative ideas and learn new skills and are a perfect fit in libraries primarily because they help enhance a library’s mission of encouraging lifelong learning. Mairn shares the process/resources used for the creation of St. Petersburg College’s Innovation Lab, programming ideas (e.g., Maker Boot Camp) to help foster creativity and learning, and how to help others splice the unknown with the known by sharing valuable experiences while giving patrons access to bleeding-edge technologies, people, organizations, and information so that they can take it to unknown territories. In line with a recent study by the Center for an Urban Future that argues libraries must extend their reach both into the digital sphere and into people’s homes, Queens is developing a Virtual Library System, a best-of-breed solution for accessing e-resources for all patrons. It allows seamless access to digital materials within Queens Library’s web and mobile interfaces and reaches beyond the confines of its physical locations, extending its presence into people’s homes by providing devices that let patrons interact more deeply with the library’s offerings, thereby shifting the balance of power from publishers to readers. Hear from Watson about the library’s progress toward playing a central role in modern life, a portal into American society for immigrants, and a starting point for small businesses while providing digital content in ways that work for all patrons.

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