Free Library 2.0 Conference on March 10th

iStudent Blog

Published: March 1, 2019 by Havilah Steinman

Conferences are paramount for information professionals to keep up with current trends, but they can also be costly and time-consuming. As a founding member of Library 2.0, the San José State University iSchool thinks outside the box to bring professional enrichment to not only their students and alum, but to librarians all over the world. The highly-attended mini-conference series, Library 2.019 Emerging Technology, offered attendees fantastic insight, and all of the content is available for free on the Library 2.0 website.

Libraries – Living Laboratories for Emerging Technology

Emerging Technology is a huge topic, and you might wonder how it’s possible to even scratch the surface of such an important aspect of the information profession in three short hours. This is done through the breakout sessions, during which questions are encouraged and answered. I had the opportunity to watch a few and have shared some insights below.

The keynote panelists were an exciting bunch, including Christina Mune, associate dean of innovation and resource management at the University Library at San José State University, Jim Hahn, an associate professor and orientation services and environments librarian at the Undergraduate Library at the University of Illinois, Ida Joiner, senior librarian at the Universal Academy in Texas, and Bohyun Kim, CTO and associate professor at the University of Rhode Island Libraries. Last but not least, our very own Sue Alman, lecturer at San José State University’s iSchool offered the closing keynote. It was a fantastic opportunity to hear from librarians and information professionals all over the country. 

Many technologies, including 3D printing, virtual reality, augmented reality, and even robots, are already being utilized in libraries today. Mune shared in the keynote address, “Libraries are truly living laboratories for emerging technology, constantly improving themselves through its application and providing equalised access and support for all our communities.” Joiner delighted attendees with technology humor, “How many programmers does it take to change a light bulb? None; it’s a hardware problem!” Joiner shared further that robots specifically have great success with children with disabilities. For example, at Westpoint Public Library, children have the opportunity to interact with a robot on a regular basis. But how can library services actually be implemented into these advanced technologies?

Robots in Libraries – The Future is Here

During the Robotics in Libraries breakout session, staff from Roanoke County Public Library and Palo Alto City Library offered insight into the applicability of this advanced technology. Roanoke County Public Library currently has two robots, which meet and greet patrons coming in the library, and host specialized classes such as Read with Misty the Robot, and teach coding classes. Patrons generally have a lot of questions about the robots, and library staff are well equipped to answer ‘why robots?’ Allowing access to this cutting edge technology in the library means that people from all income brackets can access them. This prepares the public for the upcoming artificial intelligence shift, as well as opens the discussion for policy and ethics about robots and the technology they utilize. Robots level the playing field, and give everyone the opportunity to learn about a technology that’s going to affect their future. 

Mark Your Calendar for March 10th!

Still hope to attend one of their events live? Library 2.020 Worldwide Virtual Conference Wholehearted Libraries: Soft Skills for the 21st Century Information Professionals is coming up on March 10th, from 12:00 to 3:00pm, PST. Register for free, here!

I hope you’ve enjoyed experiencing some highlights from the most recent Library 2.0 conference, emerging technologies. If you’re unable to attend the next mini-conference coming up on March 10th, all presentations are recorded and available for free to those who sign up for a Library 2.0 account. Attending in person is absolutely the best way to learn from the speakers, because attendees can ask questions and get to know them in real time. There’s even opportunities to volunteer for the conference, which offers great evidence for competency O of the e-Portfolio, global perspectives. If you’d like more information, check out the posts below about some of their previous mini-conferences. 


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