The Doors of Knowledge are Always Open

20 Feb

Can one access the library when the building is closed?

 KCLS system maintains an extensive website, providing a virtual library presence even when the Libraries are closed.  Kenmore Library is always closed on Sundays and is closed Monday this week for the Presidents Day Holiday.  Since the library wasn’t open for two days in a row,  I decided to focus my research this week on the library website.   KCLS websites receive many more visits than the actual libraries and are a rich source of information.

At first glance the KCLS website can be overwhelming. I chose to begin by looking up “how to get a library card.”   The forms to apply are available both online and at the library branches. The online forms come in 8 languages and can be completed and returned online.  In order to get a card, one needs to provide both picture ID and proof of address.  The proof of address can be a utility bill or something that shows residency in the KCLS service area.  The most important part of the library card is the number, because the number plus a 4 digit PIN is what enables access to both the physical and virtual library.

A library card enables online access to digital materials, such as e-books, audio, and video media. I thought it would be interesting to try to “check out” digital materials without actually going to the physical library.  The library system supports a number of e readers, but generally the first step is to download the material to a pc and then transfer to the desired device. 

Overdrive Media is the platform used by KCLS for digital content.  I decided to try to check out a movie. Overdrive doesn’t give you access to the whole library catalogue, just a limited selection.  My guess the small selection has to do with copyright in the digital format.  I found a biography on Andrew Carnegie. I thought he would be interesting because he was known as a philanthropist who gave libraries to communities. The hardest part about downloading the movie was I needed to update my windows media player to version 2.051 from 2.05 because of the security rights needed.  After a few clicks and a trip to the Microsoft website I was able to download the movie and view it on my laptop. The other item I checked out was an audio book.  Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Again once I had the Overdrive Media Platform in place with the security upgrade it was quite simple.  I didn’t  try moving the audio file to another device, but it looked like it was a possibility.

The most interesting thing to me about  checking out digital media is you never have to worry about returning it to the physical library.  The item automatically disappears 5 minutes before it is due and it doesn’t matter if the library is open or closed.  

Blog-week 8 Interventions

Walking in the City by Michel De Certeau, described walking as a form of speech. He opened the article with looking down on the pedestrian masses from the World Trade Center in New York City.  I was so shocked by thinking about 9/11 and the fact the building is gone along with over three thousand lives it took me a while to focus on the content of the article.

One of the interventions in Place In Place Of: Alexandria was to alter pedestrian patterns by placing black tape at random intervals on the sidewalk to see if people changed their walking patterns.  The students also spray painted on the sidewalk an arrow where an accident took place. It reminded me of the signs along roads with “in memory of…..” .  No one was hurt in the accident in Alexandria.

The excerpt from the Situational Manifesto seemed to be a statement changing the traditional idea of artist to a more interactive/producer/consumer of art.  Place Hacking combined the art of adventure and photography in exploring the underground drains, tubes, and abandon buildings.  From the interviews it seemed like it was both the adrenaline and need for adventure, but also a  genuine interest in seeing things that were somewhat hidden and not easily accessed without taking a calculated risk.

Robert Smithson, in A tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey, gave new focus on modern day monuments. Borrowing from the Roman idea of palimpsest, a layering of the new over the old. Pipes, sandboxes and even empty spaces all “became” monuments when recorded with his instamatic camera.

Art in floor of Kenmore Library

Public art-one of several installations below the library floor

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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


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