METRO | 599, New York, New York
The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) is the largest of nine regional library councils in New York State, serving all the boroughs of New York City as well as Westchester County. METRO’s membership spans +/-250 libraries, archives, museums, non-profits, and others as organizational members, and also includes students, consultants, and others as individual members. The organization’s mission is to facilitate collaboration, build capacity, support innovation, and enhance resource sharing by connecting the efforts of the diverse membership.
METRO’s studio, 599, is a new facility that opened in April 2017 in midtown Manhattan where we offer librarians, archivists, and other knowledge workers access to tools, space, and resources that help them level up their practice. Studio workstations include Audio Editing and Recording, Digitization, Audio / Video Media Transfer, Media Migration and Recovery, and a Vinyl Decal Plotter. A gallery space, events, classes, meetups, symposia, and coworking animate the space with new faces and new programs almost every day. The facility was designed and built by Marble Fairbanks Architects.
The 4th Floor, Chattanooga, TN
Formerly an abandoned attic, the more than 12,000 square foot 4th Floor of the dowtown library in Chattanooga, Tennessee is now a public laboratory and educational facility with a focus on information, design, technology, and the applied arts. While traditional library spaces support the consumption of knowledge by offering access to media, the 4th floor is unique because it supports the production, connection, and sharing of knowledge by offering access to tools and instruction.
Tools available on the 4th Floor include vinyl cutters, laser cutters, 3d printers, and more. On the 4th Floor, you’ll find library staff solving library service delivery problems right alongside community members solving their own problems. This project was featured in the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s exhibit By The People: Designing a Better America, was featured in Wired magazine, and was recognized internationally as an innovative approach to library service design and delivery.
The Library Lab is an open source, portable, modular solution for content creation in libraries. It was an entry in the Digital Public Library of America's 'beta sprint' design competition in 2010. The collaboration included myself, Noll & Tam Architects, Matthew Williams Design, Wikimedia DC, and others. The full pdf is available here
Scan Jose - mobile local history app
The Scan Jose mobile app took primary source artifacts, mostly historic photographs, from the San Jose Public Library’s California Room and created a mobile experience that allowed users to view the photos out in the community where they were originally taken. Three tours with different narrative themes guided users through San Jose’s historic downtown with live directions between stops on the tour generated by the Google Maps API.
In addition to building out a mobile web app using the then-new HTML5/CSS3 specs along with jQuery mobile and the Google Maps API, I also added all of the content to Layar, an augmented reality platform. This provided another type of browsing experience. By pointing a device’s camera at the landscape, Layar would show the points of interest within the image and act as a window bridging the digital and physical worlds.
The Library Outpost
In 2006, I began a research project at Pratt Institute describing a flexible, scalable storefront library service model using Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood as a target site. This library facility was programmed to have no locally hosted book collection; it was treated like an physical node in a architectural content management system. After two yeard of developing the Library Outpost at Brooklyn Public Library, the project was abandoned during the greater economic troubles in 2008.