It Was a Good Dream After All by Heidi Bamford

April 17th, 2015

On Wednesday, April 15, WNYLRC hosted the workshop, “Libraries and Digital Collections: Keeping the Dream from Becoming a Nightmare” with guest presenter Stephanie Cole Adams. Ms. Adams currently serves as General Counsel for Niagara University and is an expert in copyright law. She also works pro bono for the WNY Arts Services Initiative and is involved in several other local endeavors. This is the second time that Ms. Adams has presented at WNYLRC; she was part of the 2012 Preservation Institute “Born Digital” where she facilitated a session on copyright law in the electronic records age.

The attendees were guided through a deeper, more meaningful understanding of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries along with the most recent legal case studies and issues in relation to copyright law for libraries and archives.The presentation addressed the specific provisions of the code as well as the more specific concerns of attendees relative to ADA compliance, preservation, photo collections, oral histories, published and unpublished works, metadata, databases, virtual displays and so on. Public, academic, school and special library members’ interest were represented and addressed in the course of this tremendously informative session!

Ms. Adams’ easy and informal style of presentation, along with her incredibly broad knowledge and expertise – and a definite passion for her subject, made this a truly engaging and rewarding opportunity to learn new material that we can all take back and apply in our library environments!

Your Public Library As Your Book’s Marketer

April 8th, 2015

You used to need an agent.  You used to sit and wait for rejection letters.  Now your agent is your public library and there’s not much need to accept rejection because you are a self-published author and your public library’s platform is your advertising vehicle.  Library Journal and BiblioBoard have created SELF-e as a collaborative tool to enable libraries to be the agent for local authors to “get the word out” about their ebooks and there really is not another more logical place to get your product out to your community and build momentum.  As one of the successful authors has aptly stated,” Librarians can be a powerful marketing force for emerging authors, especially if they can promote the books without fear of success. The SELF-e approach to curation combined with simultaneous user-access will encourage books to be discovered and even go viral.”

There is an opportunity for a free trial and this looks like it could be a definitive step in the “library as publisher” walk.  Read.

Simple Handbook Teaches “How-To” of Being an Advocate

April 1st, 2015

No matter how close we may become to our current legislators because of the experience library staff has earned due to necessity, it does not hurt to renew those skills.  Legislators change frequently and our job is to keep abreast of the nuances of the new members and to make sure we engage them in our continual budget quests.  This guide is simple, straightforward and would make for a perfect vehicle to engage your patrons to jump on the bandwagon because, as it says inside of it, “it’s our job to make them (legislators) care”.

Launching a New Facility by Jaclyn McKewan

March 30th, 2015

In the last few years, the Central Library at BECPL has been implementing a number of new services to meet patrons’ technology needs. They began offering “Book a Technology Trainer” in 2013, which allows patrons to make an appointment for one-on-one help with using email, searching the web, basic software, and mobile devices. Last year, the computer training lab was rebranded the “TechKnow Lab,” and has been offering computer classes as well as a YouTube Channel of video tutorials.

The Launchpad

The Launchpad

And now they have The Launch Pad. This is a MakerSpace, which if you’ve been reading our blog, you know is a space allowing patrons to work on creative projects and try out new technology. This week I went to the Launch Pad during the open house held this week, and spoke to librarians Dan Caufield, Kara Stock and Andrew Maines, who showed me around.

Like something out of Minority Report (sort of), the Leap Motion really amazed me. When I asked Dan if the laptop he was showing me was a touchscreen, he informed me that it was actually “touchless!” And he proceeded to demonstrate a few different games that work only by gestures, not touch. The Leap Motion has a sensor that detects your hand movements and displays them on the screen. I think this will take a while for me to get the hang of.

Leap Motion

Leap Motion

Then there’s the sound egg. Patrons can sign up to use this special seat for an hour while they listen to music or watch a movie. A plug simply connects to their own phone, laptop or tablet, playing the sound through speakers in the egg. I tested it out by playing some music on my phone at a normal level, and almost didn’t believe Dan when he said he couldn’t hear it outside the egg. I got out and checked, and sure enough, no music.





Something that young patrons will enjoy are the 3D books. These are books that have a companion app available for Android and iOS. With tablets provided by the library, you can make use of the books’ augmented reality features. With the app running, hold the device over the book to see additional images, information, and videos.




And what MakerSpace would be complete without a 3D printer? Patrons can use the Book a Technology Trainer service to get a one-hour introduction to the machine, as well as how to find templates on the Thingiverse website. The final products take a few hours to print, and the patrons are charged a small fee based on its weight.

Kara told me that the library has additional plans for a media room in the Launch Pad. This will include video editing equipment as well as a green screen. It sounds like the librarians have put a lot of thought and effort into offering a range of activities that the patrons will enjoy and find useful.

For more information and pictures on the Launch Pad, check out the Tumblr site . You can check out the space on the Central Library’s main floor, next to Fables Café.



Urban Libraries Council Produces Informative Brief

March 27th, 2015

As the mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota is quoted as saying “I don’t know how you can be a mayor in the 21st century and not have education as a central tenet of the work you are doing.”  And, if education is your work then I don’t know how you can not consider that libraries are the backbone of any credible plan. Fortunately, many influential people believe that too and in this Urban Libraries Council Leadership Brief, details of the many wonderful initiatives in cities across this country are delineated.