Thought on Participatory Service

The lecture related to this topic is very practical and connected to the ground of our library service.  One thing that Dr. Stephens has pointed out is how effective hands on participation is towards interactive learning practice in a library setting.

It all comes to the basic needs – touch / feel / visual sense/ communication. The hands on activities with colorful objects and seeing the creation of one’s own in an enjoyable / interactive environment will definitely fit these types of needs.  If we naturally pay attention to these needs, the results of students’ enthusiastically engaging with libraries will be much easier developed.

The challenge is -  what kind of effective participatory services we can provide with limited budgets; how to balance the consistent theme—“gaps between faculty/librarian expectations and student abilities” (Hadro, 2011); how to present this service relaxingly / communicatively in both big and small library setting, etc… How often and how big?  — when this service module is applied to international events such as Finding the Future in NYPL, the issues of technology, time, skill level, the attitude of participation and organization/management will become big considerations.

It is very interesting to read the article Finding the Future by Danforth, L. (2011) – it is a great example related to the participatory service:

Since I haven’t heard about this activity before, I did some research.  Here is more information I found about the final result of 500 people who came form all over the world to participate in the big Finding the Future event (game) in the New York Public Library on May 20, 2011 and like to share with you—

Unlocking the Future at the New York Public Library May 26, 2011 • By Michael Andersen; Web-link::

“The Write All Night event invited 500 players to experience an intensely collaborative version of the Find the Future game. Players were selected from a pool of 5,000 entrants who explained what they would accomplish by the year 2021. The goal for the night was to create a 600-page book collecting player responses to each artifact prompt between 7PM on May 20th and 5AM on May 21st: in turn, the library promised to preserve and protect the book as long as New York City exists” (Andersen, 2011).

…… “By the end of the night, the book remained unbound. Technical difficulties delayed the submission of many early entries, preventing the publishing team from starting the bookbinding process until relatively late in the process. Still, over the course of the night players managed to locate all of the QR codes associated with each artifact and provided the editorial team with multiple submissions for each writing prompt. Based on the online submissions accessible at the Find the Future website, the resulting book will be an eclectic mix of typewritten responses, photographs, and drawings that provide mostly hopeful glimpses of the future” (Andersen, 2011).

Related Videos:

The New York Public Library came out with a video synopsis Find the Future at NYPL: The Ga Uploaded by New York Public Library on May 23, 2011

Find the Future 2011 NYPL by Michael Andersen on May 26th, 2011 6:26 pm

Find the Future (May 20-21, 2011) The following Images are screen grab  from YouTube videos (above) by and by Michael Andersen 



Hope we have more similar participatory service provide by library like NYPL. Our local patrons do come from all over the world; we just need to give them new face of our library, attracting them to come and hunting their future there.

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