Monthly Archives: April 2011

Mobile Devices and how people use them

This is a great snapshot of mobile devices usage at UW–I believe the stats are campus-wide, not just in the library.

If you go to the URL on your smartphone, you’ll see that we’ve got the beginnings of a mobile site.  In thinking about developing the new mobile site, we need to think about library things that people are likely to do on their phone (as opposed to on their laptop, in person, etc).  That means knowing the sorts of things that people already do on their phones (or tablets).

I see tablets and smartphones (as well as laptops and regular cell phones) as a part of student workspaces in the library all of the time.

Like this:


Do you use your smartphone to Google things?  What kinds of things?  What kinds of work do you do on your tablet (iPad, or other)?  Is it different from work you do on other kinds of computers (laptops, desktops)?  Are you Macs or PCs, and what difference does that make in the kinds of work you can do in the library and/or with library digital resources?

An Anthropologist in the Libraries of LA

No, not me.  No field trips for me, yet.

But I was sent this link to a great interview of the new head of the Library Foundation in LA–this gentleman is a trained anthropologist who did fieldwork in the Amazon, as well as many other non-library related jobs (among them, running the Sundance Institute, and while he did that, starting the documentary division of that film institute).

He clearly sees the LA libraries as community resources, not just (as if they ever were) dusty book repositories.  He describes libraries as “21st century spaces.”

So do we, here at Atkins.  More and more of our collections are digital, in part because that is one of the best and most effective ways we can increase our patron access to world-class collections.  In thinking about space, we are thinking about the work you need to do, which includes the need to use books but also includes computers, digital materials, and eventually, information formatted in ways we haven’t even imagined yet.

What does your library mean to you?  Is Atkins “your library?”  Or is it the public library back home?  Or in your neighborhood here in Charlotte?  Where are you when you are “in the library?”  Are you here in the building?  Or at home, “in” our website?

A Google A Day–Trivia Questions to help investigate how people use google to search for information

So Google has a self-described “anthropologist of search,” and his blog describes his new “A Google a Day” trivia game.

The game itself appears to be the point of much of the coverage–although at least one journalist sees the game as a potential search tool in and of itself.  Hardly anyone points out that what this game will actually do is allow Google to gather information on how people do search.  (this is not a secret–Google says that’s what they’re doing) I wonder if they will share with the rest of us what they learn, or just plow their knowledge back into Google.  I wonder if we could ever do something similar with the way that people search for information in our library.

People who know far more about search technology than I do doubtless have much to say about Google’s efforts.  What do you think about their using a trivia game to gather information?

A North Entrance??

Yep, it’s true.  We’re getting a New Entrance to Atkins.  It will be on the North Side of the building, facing the Prospector, Burson, Smith, and the CHHS buildings.

This will mean big changes for the ground floor space–there will be more of it, for one thing.  What are the sorts of things that you want or need to do when you enter the library?  What sorts of things do you need to do after you enter?  What kinds of things do you need just before you leave?

What do you think that should mean, in terms of what we put in that space?
Let us know.
The easels are up again!  And if you don’t write on them (or post in the comments below, or email me, or talk to someone at the Info desk….) we can’t know what you’re thinking about this.

So, get writing!