New Library Technology Integration Lab Set to ‘Explore the Future of Library and Library Education’
The Library Technology Integration Lab is a new offering to San José State University School of Information students. The LTI Lab is a “technology library of things” with a vision to “bring students, libraries, and technology together to conduct research and development on how technology can be integrated into library services, programming, and resources.” The LTI Lab’s mission is to “use technology to foster creativity, innovation, leadership, and engagement in library patrons and staff.”
Founded by Dr. Anthony Chow, director of the SJSU School of Information, the LTI Lab’s way of fulfilling its mission is to bring technology and digital literacy resources to “create equitable access for current and future generations.” Chow states that focusing on digital literacy is an important skill for people to build, adding “like reading literacy, digital literacy and technology fluency are very important for children and their future.”
Assisting Chow in setting up the lab were three students: Rosine Bingol, Tyler Levy and Irene Miller. The three students started as interns in the fall 2022 semester. Levy, now an alumnus, continues to conduct research at the LTI Lab. Some of Levy’s responsibilities as an intern were “assisting with web page design, submitting conference proposals, and coordinating a livestream that we performed in conjunction with the Palo Alto City Library last year.” His areas of expertise are AR and VR technologies but notes that students can gain experience in other “emerging technologies,” such as drones, robots, holograms, and augmented reality tools.
Levy encourages students to join the LTI Lab and reap the benefits of “connecting with iSchool faculty” and “library professionals in the proximity of SJSU.” Students enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science program can participate in the LTI Lab via a special studies course.
The physical location of the SJSU School of Information, being in the heart of Silicon Valley, also lends to the creation of the lab. As digital use begins to increase in libraries, there is a need to study the impact that technology can have on literacy, building community and promoting STEM skills in children. The LTI Lab is partnering with two librarians: Jim Westen, head of adult services at the Dover Town Library located in Massachusetts; and Dan Lou, senior librarian at the Palo Alto City Library located in California.
Lou views the partnership between the two institutions as a “significant win-win opportunity.” According to Lou, the SJSU School of Information purchases the technology and the Palo Alto Library makes the technology available to its patrons. This real-world implementation yields data analyzed by the SJSU School of Information researchers, who determine the impact of the technology on the community. Chow notes that the creation of the LTI Lab has fostered a collaborative environment among librarians. “The LTI Lab is serving as a learning community for libraries to share their knowledge and expertise with one another,” he states.
Lou elaborates, “By harnessing the collective expertise and knowledge, we will be able to explore the future of library and library education together. We are deeply honored to be LTI Lab’s inaugural partner and look forward to an exciting journey.”
The LTI Lab is currently looking for interns for the summer and fall 2023 semesters. Interested students can email Chow at email@example.com.