ALA on Augmented Reality

My great concern with technology has always been for people with literacy difficulties.  Navigating through the internet to find information, identifying authoritative information, and avoiding scams all concern me.  For some, even sending an email can be difficult.

The ALA has posted an article on the use of smart phones and geo- spatial technology and how they can be used in libraries – enabling additional information to be scanned into your phone augmenting the existing information and, with the use of geo-spatial technology and RFID tags, enabling the user to find materials on the shelf.   I am hoping the next step will allow users to listen to the additional information rather than read it on their screen.  This would enable those with reading difficulties to function more effectively in a technological world.  It would be empowering for those with literacy difficulties and it may make them more comfortable in a library – a place traditionally associated with books.  See the ALA’s article linked here:

http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/columns/practice/your-reality-augmented

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2 comments so far

  1. Amanda Halfpenny on

    As you mention, for some people, sending an email can be a huge challenge. I am constantly helping patrons add attachments to their emails, print off web pages, and even navigate basic Microsoft Word functions. I can’t help but wonder if libraries are so preoccupied with integrating high-tech projects when we should be dedicating more resources to bridging the digital divide that seems to be getting wider and wider as new technology becomes available and those who are still struggling with basic computer skills are left behind.

  2. youthadvocate on

    Yes Amanda. I agree. For those of us who use computers on a daily basis it is hard to believe there are others who struggle with what we think of as basic functions. If QR codes can be connected to audio instructions (and I don’t see why they couldn’t be), one step towards a resolution would have been taken. In other words, the solution may be in the technology itself. There is still, of course, the issue of affordability. I think at the time of writing that while there are many people who are embracing smart technology there are an even greater number of people who just can’t afford it.


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