While a few of our lending library items are very popular within the public library sphere, the items are not often borrowed by academic librarians. Perhaps because academic libraries have larger budgets to purchase their own technologies, or perhaps because some of the technologies are seen to be geared towards children and youth. Regardless, in keeping with the cross-sectional nature of OLITA’s mandate, we thought it would be worth bringing the lending library to the OCULA Spring Conference to increase its visibility and perhaps spark some ideas for future use.
OCULA Conference Planners embrace the Lending Library
Initially, I had planned to bring the lending library, set it up at a table, demonstrate how the technologies worked and allow others to try for themselves. However, the OCULA Conference Planners were inspired by the lending library and decided to take it a step further by integrating it into the day’s’ activities.
Shortly after lunch, OCULA Conference Planner Jack Young gave a presentation on each of the items in the lending library, providing a description with real-world examples of how each technology can be applied. For example, this short video was played that illustrates how you could use a Rasberry Pi.
Following this overview, conference attendees were asked to divide up into small groups and decide on a problem in their libraries that needs solving. Next try to imagine how the tech lending library items could be used to solve the problem.
Within my group the problem we decided on was students struggle with library research but are reluctant to ask for help. Our solution to the problem was to develop the Super Smart Study Carrel. The smart study carrel came equipped with sensors in the chair that could pick up on the stress levels experienced by the individual sitting in it. Without knowing exactly how this would all work, and if it’s even possible, in our study carrel the lending library’s Rasberry Pi would be programmed to send a distress signal to the librarian at the desk. Other groups came up with similar devices, chair seat sensors was a recurring theme. While somewhat fantastical, the conference attendees seemed to have fun with the activity and it was a great way to reinforce everyone’s understanding of the potential of OLITA’s Lending Library technologies.
Thanks to the OCULA Spring Conference planners for their support!
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