METRO Conference 2017

Today I’m at the Kimmel Center at NYU attending the METRO Conference. I attended this conference last year and loved how cozy it was, the NYC librarian community is a great network! The day kicked off with a keynote from Marie Østergård, Head of Community Engagement, Partnerships, and Communications at Dokk1 in Denmark. Dokk1 is a new library and civil center in Aarhus, Denmark’s new waterfront area. The waterfront area was part of a revitalization effort that also serves to safeguard the city center against rising waters due to climate change. The city was very focused on making this a space for people to meet and interact across social barriers. For this reason, the focus of the library is curating people rather than collections. This is reflected in their staffing model, which avoids the word librarian to attract a diverse team from different disciplines.

Dokk1 also moved to a new user engagement strategy in which power over spaces is delegated to citizens and partnerships. They effectively changed their audience into co-collaborators, which is fantastic and reminds me of the keynote from METRO last year. I love the idea of giving users control of spaces and programming, but can this work outside Scandinavia? I’d be interested to see what it would take to get this level of library engagement and participation in the US.

Next I attended Empire State Digital Network: Updates on New York State’s Service Hub for DPLA with Kerri Willette, John Mignault, and Chris Stanton from METRO. They talked about the Empire State Digital Network which is a service hub for the Digital Public Library of America. The effort helped New York State institutions easily add their digital archives to the DPLA.

The next session I attended was The IDS Project 2016: Interlibrary Loan Staff Development and Automation with Beth Posner Head of Library Resource Sharing at the CUNY Graduate Center Library and SUNY’s own Bill Jones who is the IDS Project Creative Technologist at Geneseo. IDS is a SUNY-built project for resource sharing. IDS members (Stony Brook is one!) don’t only share materials, they also share staff expertise, software development, professional development, and other types of resources. Bill talked about some exciting automation activities that IDS is working on, including auto-correction of requests using the OCLC database and price checking for copyright clearance.

After lunch, I attended a combined session about the D4L program with Arden Kirkland and an information literacy session called Teaching MLA Skills to College Students with America’s Next Top Citation with Katelyn Angell from LIU Brooklyn.

The last session I attended was Hack the Stacks with Jennifer Cwiok, Rebecca Morgan, Iris Lee, Stacy Schiff, and Michael Caprio all from the American Museum of Natural History. They talked about the hackathon that they have been running for the last three years as part of the BridgeUp: STEM program. This year their hackathon focused on the AMNH library. The projects produced by this hackathon are all stored on Github.