For immediate release | January 5, 2011

ALA recognizes four library programs as top cutting-edge services in second annual contest

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) has selected programs at Creekview High School in Canton, Ga.; Orange County Library System in Orlando, Fla.; North Carolina State University Libraries in Raleigh, N.C.; and OhioLINK in Columbus, Ohio, as the winners of the association’s second contest to honor cutting-edge technologies in library services.

In October 2010, OITP and the subcommittee for its Program on America’s Libraries for the 21st Century (AL21C) issued its call for nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology to showcase libraries that are serving their communities with novel and innovative methods. Last year, three libraries were cited for their outstanding work.

“This year’s winners represent thoughtful and creative engagement with technology trends, including smartphone applications, user-centered Web design, cloud-computing and digital repositories,” said Christine Lind Hage, director, Rochester Hills Public Library, who chaired the selection committee and chairs the AL21C subcommittee.

“The selection committee reviewed many submissions, but these four projects stood out because they could be replicated by other libraries.”

About the Winners:

• The Unquiet Library, Creekview High School Media Center in Canton, Ga.

The school librarian and sophomore English teacher at Creekview High School collaborated to create a semester-long participatory learning experience using social media and cloud computing to cultivate collective knowledge building and inquiry. Using tools ranging from Netvibes to Evernote to Google Sites, students blogged, contributed to group wikis, used social bookmarking, developed learning/research portfolios and presented learnings in ways that demonstrated an ethical use of information and licensed media. The program also was evaluated in terms of meeting Georgia Performance Standards and the American Association of School Librarian’s Standards for 21st Century Learners. For more information:

• OCLS Shake It! Mobile App, Orange County Library System in Orlando, Fla.

OCLS Shake It! is an innovative native app for finding materials on the go. This free downloadable app (available through iTunes for iPhone and iPod touch) was developed by the Orange County Library System’s (OCLS) Digital Content Team. Using a randomized “shake” feature, the user can receive material recommendations for books, audiobooks and DVDs. For the library patron who doesn’t know what material they want, this tool acts as a virtual treasure hunt. Users can then access the title in the library’s mobile catalog, view availability and ratings and place a hold on the title. For more information:

• Web Design Project, North Carolina State University Libraries in Raleigh, N.C.

In 2010 the North Carolina State University Libraries undertook a thorough rethinking and implementation of its website based on two principles: 1) the library would militantly craft the new site based on the user-centered design practices that have long been a central practice of the best commercial sites; and 2) the library would take very seriously the fact that students and faculty live in a blended world where the distinction between physical space and virtual space is fluid. The result has been a substantial increase in the usage of an already busy site, the unleashing of a powerful search engine and a solid increase in the use of the collection of digital tools that support NCSU library services. For more information:

• Digital Resource Commons, OhioLINK in Columbus, Ohio

The Digital Resource Commons (DRC) is a first-of-its-kind service—a federation of centrally hosted individual repositories, branded to match each member organization's main website, and administered remotely by liaisons from each institution. The DRC statewide platform facilitates saving, discovering and sharing the unique academic materials produced by the University System of Ohio and Ohio’s private colleges. The DRC model demonstrates that libraries and consortia can easily and affordably create their own cloud-computing environments to meet their needs, whether to support open-source applications or expand and contract infrastructure needs at a moment’s notice. The DRC stores more than 250,000 items from 17 institutions. For more information:

AL21C Associate Director Larra Clark said ALA OITP will host a program about these four services during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans (June 23-28) and will make detailed descriptions of each available online in order to share successful models for delivering quality library service in new ways.



Jennifer Terry