November 23, 2020

Orlando: “The Internet of Things Plan To Make Libraries and Museums Awesomer”

From Fast Company:

In November, the library [Orange County Public Library System in the Orlando] implemented BluuBeam, an Orlando-based service that uses iBeacon technology to send location-triggered information to patrons. Visitors who download the app get an alert about library offers and events. So, for example, if you’re searching the third floor stacks for a Julia Child cookbook, you’ll receive a message about the library’s Cuisine Corner program that features cooking demos by local chefs.

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BluuBeam’s technology includes beams—lightweight, hockey puck-sized iBeacons—that libraries strategically place in different locations. The Orange County Public Library System has 25 beams throughout three branches. [Chris] Zabaleta [BluuBeam’s founder] says 30 libraries are using the technology to enhance their current offerings. One library used a beam to trigger an alert of new movie releases for that day. Others have advertised free computer workshops and book sales. The service is completely anonymous and doesn’t collect users’ personal information, though BluuBeam does track how many times a beacon has pushed a message, Zabaleta says.

Along with BluuBeam, Capira Technologies (a pilot began last month with 100 libraries) and Spotzer are discussed in the article.

Read the Complete Article

Note From Gary Price, infoDOCKET Editor:

Don’t misunderstand me. This tech sounds very cool and potentially useful.

However, we do hope that libraries are taking an in-depth look at potential privacy and security issues when considering acquisition of this type of tech and if/when they do acquire it they’re vigilant in making sure the technology is secure, updated in a timely manner and all staff is trained and understand how it operate. We also hope that those responsible for the technology (both library and vendor) are constantly on the lookout for policy concerns that might develop as the technology matures and new features are added.

Libraries must also be transparent and clear about how and why the technology is being used and potential issue that could take place. This means having a clearly written policy that’s easily visible in the library and on the library web site. 

Some of these needs are also discussed in a report the released yesterday by ALA on policy issues involving 3D printing in the library.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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