AL IDEAS Rebecca Grabman

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An area – a table? – with a barcode scanner. Scanning a book’s barcode displays a colour, shape and musical snippet based on the numbers. There would be a database in which users could add thoughts, quotes, etc on a book or record voice messages tied to a book. Patrons could either browse the database or jump right to a certain entry by scanning that specific book. Patrons could create visual and audio works by saving “lists” of books (To Read, That I Enjoy, Books About Snails, Things My Boyfriend Would Like, etc - these could be linked to an account by scanning a student ID barcode). They could also “borrow suggestions” from others to make their “book tapestry” richer.

Thoughts and Influences:

It was pointed out that patrons should be able to interact and share the things they find beautiful - be it the words or the barcode created sounds and images the table would produce. Somebody suggested a wall-mounted object for this project, but I think it would be more engaging if it were to take the place of the table in the front of the library: somewhere visible and non-specific where people would not feel overly weird about talking and engaging one another, where they wouldn't have to wear headphones (?) to listen to the sounds created by the device. It's also right next to the new book section, which might encourage people to grab, scan and browse through the news books to see if the data they carry is worthwhile - first to fill the missing pieces in their lists, then to see what the book actually contains.

I think that this would be a nice distraction (as we spoke about in last class): one could either just poke about with it for a bit or become engrossed with creating something broader and deeper than just scanning willy-nilly. If one had to wait to use the computers, if the desk was abandoned, if one was waiting for a friend, a patron could view the library spaces from the table and engage in activity for a while while waiting. It would be flexible and therefore potentially rich enough to warrant multiple and extended use, but also simple enough that one could "finish" playing quickly if they wanted.

The Library Survey says that 30% (the largest chunk) of responding students study visual arts. Another 10% claimed music. Along with the people who likely use the library already for academic reasons (lit 16%, social science 16%) that covers interests of a wide portion of the student body.

37% of the responding students had flash drives - maybe the files / lists you create could be stored, or e-mailed, to yourself. , to share(E-mail appears to be the communication method of choice.) Or, of course, put online!

Additional Thoughts I'm really into the idea of having information displayed via screensavers all over campus. It would be relatively unobtrusive (we already expect there to be motion graphics, after all). They would be pretty, and potentially have words to read... good times.

Rebecca - I like this idea because it's a lot like my idea. And good catch about the VA students. The online element is interesting too, like the Casa Segura interface, where the website would be updated with new "tapestries" and thenwecanprojectitonTHEOUTSIDEOFTHELIBRARYYYY!!!!! - Jess