I am thinking at the moment about the challenge of providing interesting contextual experiences with digital technology in the library. A lot of time and effort goes into thought around the remote user experience these days due to the larger potential audience for online technology and the push by libraries to offer more and more services outside their doors. As such, to some degree, spending a lot of time and effort on in-house digital experiences is not very vogue. Yet, we still have plenty of physical spaces and we still need to try and make the user experience in these exciting, engaging and interesting. Since Thursday we have had Matthew Finch staying with us, while he finds accommodation and begins his 6 month stint in New Zealand working with me and colleagues at Auckland Libraries. We have had many interesting conversations and he has been spurring my thoughts in this area. For the past two weeks have been wondering what we can do with RFID technology and reading a book title and pulling in contextual content about it from the web. I am sure we could do something interesting, but what? Would it be enough to create an environment where someone walks through an arch and is presented with information about what they are holding. Could this be a way of helping people choose content to read or become aware of other content about what they are going to read?
What can we do with our historical digitised content? I spent Weds evening with Jon Voss from History Pin and I felt stimulated by the conversations we had and the people I met along the way like Adrian Kingston. This is started me wondering what I can do to expose the amazing content Auckland Libraries has (over 100,000 images) to our customers when they use our libraries and maybe at targeted events. How then can we use things like HistoryPin to both create better access points for our content and contextual ones at that. How can we contribute to the global knowledge by sharing our content with a wider audience, allowing people to experience it in space and time?