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In Case You Missed It...

Tech Talk a University of Minnesota television production that airs on TPT2 is a show that talks about the latest technologies being used in various aspects of business, education, and the home. Last night was a rebroadcast of show focusing on libraries. The theme, "The Changing Face of Libraries", brought in 2 guest speakers, Kit Hadley, Director of Minneapolis Public Libraries, and John Butler, Director of the Digital Libraries Development Lab part of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Libraries. Each discussed new technologies their libraries are using to better serve and engage their patrons and the community.

Kit Hadley talked about the new Minneapolis Public Library building and space. They specifically designed the new building with an open floor plan, no walls, to allow for improvements and changes in technology in the future. Also, staff are equipt with wireless pagers/walkie talkies that allow them to contact another staff member by voice command that saves them time in tracking down people that may be in different rooms or on different levels. It also allows staff to stay mobile and in better contact with their patrons.

John Butler talked about the different technologies being used by University Libraries to connect with patrons outside the libraries with services such as Digital Reference (he highlighted the co-browse feature as a learning moment teaching students how to use the libraries website), Electronic Reserves, which allow students to access selected copyrighted material for their course online, and CourseLib, which is a database driven tool that pulls together the resources used in support specific courses. Each tool is designed with to meet patron's need for easy access online and ease of use. John also highlighted the Assignment Calculator part of the Undergraduate Digital Library as a way for undergrads to gauge the timeframe and steps involved in the research process.

In my next blog entry I will talk more about the Research Project Calculator that was adapted from the U Libraries' Assignment Calculator specifically for the high school student.

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