INF506: OLJ Task 6 – Embracing a Library 2.0 ethos

The three key points I took from Laura Cole’s talk on the ‘The Reimagined Library’ were:

Considering information accessibility

Focusing on the needs of all users was a very powerful message in Laura’s talk. She used the example of someone who was blind and someone who was in prison to discuss how a library may transform in order to be able to serve the full community, not just those fortunate enough to be able to visit a physical library and have the capacity to read. In an organisation this type of accessibility would involve ensuring your content met Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and that you surveyed the organisation employees to find out if they were able to access content.

Different presence

The library is no longer the destination, the patron is the destination

Digital transformation means that there is a shift in the consumption of content. People no longer have to come to a library to view content and therefore, libraries and librarians need to rethink where they can add value. My work in the public service has similarly issues with more communications moving to the online space with colleagues. Holding online events like “Ask my team anything” and having an active social media presence are an important way of staying present in people’s minds and therefore staying part of conversations and being able to guide people in the right direction.

The Baroque Library of the Admont Abbey I wonder what libraries in the mansions of the future will look like?
hl_1001 via Compfight

Curation will require adapted skills

During my under-graduate degree, I would only go in to a library to study or if a lecturer mandated the use of a certain book. Now depending on how you look at this, it either means that librarians were not doing a good job of engaging me or they were doing such a good job that I didn’t have to go in to the library to find what I needed. Ensuring that as much content is available online and that content is appropriately cataloged is a vital skill for current and future librarians. Understanding concepts like the semantic web and what html tags to use so that a document can be correctly ingested by plugins such as Zotero and EndNote were things that made the library so valuable to me, even though I didn’t realise it at the time.



Is Ingress Accessible and Inclusive?

I have been experimenting with playing Ingress as part of INF541. Although the game play is very interesting that are worthy of a blog post, I wanted to write about a few things that immediately stuck me about Ingress and started me thinking about whether the game’s accessibility and inclusivity.

Ingress is a location-based, augmented-reality mobile game. The concept is basically that you pick one of two sides and you battle for control of “portals” that are located around your town or city.

To start the game you must login using a google account. Once you have logged in, it will tell you the nearest “portal”.

The game is owned by Google and so requiring a Google sign-in is understandable but it immediately stops people from playing the game if they are in a country where Google is banned (e.g. China) or people who feel uncomfortable with sharing information with Google due to privacy concerns.

The concerns about Google are fairly minor, my major concern with the game is the accessibility of the portals. I live in a fairly major city but my nearest portal is over a kilometer away. Most off the portals around my area are not close to public transport.

I found the following discussion about making Ingress accessible to vision impaired players:

I feel Scott makes a really good point in his post, for a fairly small amount of effort the needs of a diverse range of the community can be included.

As augmented reality games become more popular, they should take in to consideration a broad a range of society as possible in their development. Whether that be people who are concerned with privacy, people who don’t have access to transport or people with a disability.