It’s funny how once you delve into a topic you start to see signs of it everywhere you look. I am fortunate to be the Library Coordinator of an organization that has creating a Native American Research Library as one of its many projects. In the past several weeks, the library project has become part of a proposed museum and research institute that is on its way to obtaining a provisional charter from NY State, and I have become a founding Trustee of the museum as well as the Acting Digital Library Director. Things are going to start moving fast and I have been thinking a great deal about the user experience and Community Engagement & Participation. What will our digital space look like? design wise? content wise? Where to start and still leave room for the growth of the digital collection. What software to use? How does the digital research collection connect to the museum collection? How do we get our future patrons involved? So I have been researching. Following links here and there. Everywhere I look I see UX and Community Engagement & Participation being discussed. These are some of my finds just today:
I went with my family and some friends to the Maker Faire in Queens, NY this past October and subscribed to Make: magazine while there. My first issue arrived in my mailbox today. It is full of thing to create. From 3D printed fashion to pole dancing robots to making a desktop foundry these projects encourage users to engage with technology and create new tools that allow the user to interact with their environment and each other.
My eldest daughter was home from college for Thanksgiving. She brought her roommate with her. Because I have been thinking so much about community engagement and participation I took advantage of them being here (they are gamers and future engineers) and spent sometime observing their digital engagement and participation. It amazed me how they had multiple environments open on their computers (Facebook, Skype, and a browser in one instance) and were connecting ideas from all three interfaces as they worked. While they game online they have a group chat going on in Skype; so not only are they playing the game together they are discussing game strategies and engaging in conversation with each other about common interests.
We need to figure out how to bring these types of interactions to our libraries in new and interesting ways. We saw the Idea Box in the MOOC coursework which exemplifies this. I think the trick will be to keep it evolving one step ahead so that we are constantly involving our users and keeping one step ahead. What do you think?