January 22, 2013 By News Staff
On Jan. 22, 2013, the American Library Association (ALA), recognized five libraries for offering cutting-edge technologies in library services, such as mobile digital learning tools and digital content.
The recognition, presented by the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy and the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA), showcases libraries that are serving their communities using novel and innovative methods, according to a press release.
“This year’s winners represent creative and cost-effective engagement with technology trends including BYOD [bring your own device], augmented reality, e-government, crowd-sourcing, and online learning,” said Marc Gartler, branch manager of the Madison Public Library in the press release. Gartler also chaired the selection subcommittee. “We are excited to recognize these fantastic projects and believe they have the potential to be replicated by many libraries across the country.”
1. In Boston, Boston College High School’s Corcoran Library's mobile initiative is designed to showcase the library’s online resources through mobile sites and apps optimized for mobile searching. Boston College High's new cell phone policy allows students to use their cell phones for research purposes in the library, and librarians orient students to the new mobile resources through the school iPads and the students’ smart phones. The goal is to foster an understanding of how these digital learning tools can enhance student information literacy experiences.
2. In New York City, the Goethe-Institut New York Library partnered with the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science to develop German Traces NYC -- a "mobile experience that uses an augmented reality app to allow learners to explore German cultural heritage in New York City," according to the ALA. After downloading the app, users hold up their mobile phones and view archival photos layered on top of the images visible through the phone’s camera. The mobile experience also features archival documents, photographs, and multimedia narratives. It also allows users to create a custom walking tour via GPS and access multimedia content.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.