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Wednesday, November 20 • 11:30am - 11:55am
Table top seduction? How a small local library sought to implement an expensive digital tool, and not stuff it up

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For almost a decade now Upper Hutt City Libraries has been experimenting with ways of more effectively encouraging community use of and collaborative engagement with our Heritage Collections. Initially this led to us establishing a successful interactive online presence through our Recollect website. Later, we complemented this with non-digital forms of outreach, such as ‘pop-up museums’, that took place in community locations outside of our Library but which were designed in ways intended to build upon and feed back into our digital Recollect content. While we’ve been very pleased with the results of these initiatives we’ve recently identified a gap in our approach: namely, a lack of engaging ways for users to interact with our digitized heritage content within our Library itself. To overcome this we recently purchased a 47” Solus interactive touchscreen surface table with the idea that it would provide our library visitors with a novel means of exploring various kinds of curated digital heritage content. While devices like this are now fairly common in larger GLAM institutions they remain a relatively rare presence in small local libraries like ours. This raised concerns that we might be falling into the trap of letting ourselves be seduced into purchasing shiny new technology that, in the end, we lacked the resources and expertise to utilise effectively. To guard against this we invited a broad range of colleagues and community members to share ownership of this project with us. For example, we sought technical assistance from our Council’s GIS team, and help with developing content for the table from local heritage organisations. This paper offers a brief but honest account of our collaborative effort to implement this new tool and is intended to provide advice and cautions to other small GLAM institutions considering following a similar path.


Reid Perkins

Upper Hutt City Libraries

Wendy Horne

Upper Hutt City Libraries

Wednesday November 20, 2019 11:30am - 11:55am NZDT
Angus - Breakout Room Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand