AL IDEAS Jess Funston

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Revisiting my idea.

My idea stems from my personal relationship with browsing. I love it. It also is inspired by the idea of personalized recommendations.
Small stations would be present, at least one on each floor. When you find a book that is very interesting to you, you can scan it's barcode along with your brand spankin' new RFID library card and it will be entered into a database. This database will remember your area(s) of concentration and then list that book under that(those) discipline(s). You also have the option of leaving a brief note describing what was of interest to you about this book. These lists can be brought up at any time by simply walking by the giant LCD touch screen display near the entrance of the library. An RFID reader will recognize your discipline and will bring up the list of books that has been recommended for you. It will also be possible to scan through the disciplines by touching the screen.
There would also be a feature that would enable cross referencing, for example if I am an art and computing student, I can list a book under both of those disciplines, and then somebody who is an art student might be interested in finding out about how art and computing can go together.
I also thought about having an option to recommend a book to someone personally, however this starts to bring up privacy issues.

After going through the comments, something that came up a lot was the idea of social networking, namely Facebook. While this was upsetting to me at first, I say why not? So one evolution of this idea is a Facebook application (Tada!). Would it have to just be accessible through the computers at the library because of the need for barcode scanners? Would people use it if it were only accessible from the library? This was another common thread in the comments: People won't bother with it, or they'll use it a couple times and get bored. Maybe. I like to think that the display screen in the lobby and the excitement of being recommended that perfect book would draw people in. Over the summer I worked at a company called Finetune.com which is like online radio (like Pandora) but is also like an online library of music. You create a profile and then you are free to browse the database and add songs to the playlists you have set up in your profile. You can then stream this music for free from the site. It's really cool, you should all try it. One really neat feature is the "I'm Lazy" button, which will complete any playlist you don't have the time or patience to finish (each playlist has to be at least 45 songs). It uses a sort of tagging system which is done by someone within the company that matches your musical taste to things you might not have heard before. I found out about so much good music this way over the summer. The idea I'm proposing for the library is almost exactly like this, but the patrons create the tags themselves.
I think I do need a little help with how to physically implement this in the space. I'm stuck on the idea of these stations, which I'll admit are a little lackluster. Any other ideas?


Now to pick favorites...

I think my two favorite ideas are Hannah's and Jason's. They are both things I can see being implemented straight away and with great success.
Hannah's idea speaks to what Fiona Raby was talking about, about what is precious, what needs to be preserved? What immediately came to mind for me is our Bennington history. What you can't find in the guide book.
Jason's idea addresses the fact that not everybody who we want to attract to the library even comes in to the library. The idea of putting displays around campus is great. These displays could be used to transport information from a number of the class's ideas. Also, the idea of remote check-out is just plain convenient.