making sense of the digital world

Multimedia Project

St. Louis Public Library (downtown) fountain.



Books are boring. Where’s the good stuff?

What’s a library’s purpose? Why do people go there?

Most go to read, some go to get away, and others go because they need a computer for their specific needs.

Libraries aren’t what they used to be. Even in the educational sector.

They have more than books. It’s not the 1800s anymore.

They have computers, movies, 3-D printers, fax/copiers, free WiFi, etc.

They’re an information resource center.

For Jennifer Ilardi, a youth librarian at the St. Louis County Library, makes it clear the library isn’t just about books. It’s a central location for everyone.

In the video, I made it clear I had no permission to film the inside of the building except for the interview and the walk leading up the room.

If you want to see how the St. Louis County Library operates, take a look at their Flickr page. Their albums should be a good place to start.

NOTE: Apologies for the technical errors. This blog post explains what happened. The semi-unedited full interview should be free of audio glitches. 

For the full interview, click here.

Rebecca Buckley worked as a librarian for McCluer High School in Florrisant, Mo. After 18 years, she resigned in 2015 and moved towards west county.

Now living the simple life, Buckley reflects her time working at the high school

I interviewed her and asked these simple questions:

1. How long did you work at McCluer as a librarian?

2. Before Joseph Hosea took over your job in 2015, what kind of tech did you guys use in the library?

3. Did the kids go there to read or to play on the computer?

4. Do you think libraries are becoming too reliant on tech?

5. What are your thoughts on ebooks? Like em? Hate em? Why?

Listen to the interview below.

Audio interview with former librarian Rebecca Buckley.  

The most interesting study Buckley pointed out was people were reading more books than eBooks. 

While she likes to read eBooks, the former librarian considers a physical book to be more personal.

Librarians have a deep love for physical books. Can’t say I’m surprised.

Hello Microsoft, meet your worst nightmare: Google. 

In the educational sector, desktops have dominated the space.

Microsoft had a huge lead in OS market-share for years, Apple was playing catch-up, and Google was twiddling it’s fingers while working on what is considered K-12’s most popular operating system of choice: Chrome OS. 

Believe me when I say this: Chrome OS wasn’t popular when it first launched half a decade ago.

Chrome OS laptops, known as Chromebooks, typically had low-end hardware and required an always-on connection.

They still have sub-par hardware and require an always-on connection, but the OS is much more functional than its first iteration.

Back then, there was no task-bar, no apps, just a full screen browser window. Google expected everything should be done in the web browser.

Caving in to users who wanted a more traditional feel, Google added other UI (user-interface) elements to the operating system. The most important change was the addition of a task bar.

You can close the browser, launch apps, etc. Just like any other OS.

Chrome OS felt like Windows. That similarity made people feel more comfortable in using the system.

What makes Chrome OS so special to the educational market? 

1.) They’re easier to maintain. And it’s secure.

Chrome OS is based on the Linux operating system. Linux primarily dominates the server market and phone market (Android.)

Since Linux has a low market share in the desktop market, hackers are less prone to making viruses for the OS. They have little incentive to do so.

If they did, they wouldn’t be able to infect a Linux-based operating system. You need to grant root privileges for the malware to do any damage.

In Chrome OS, root is disabled by default. In fact, a lot of Linux components are disabled to make it easier on the user.

When you turn on a Chromebook, login with your Gmail account. You are presented with a desktop and the Chrome browser. You practically browse the web. That’s it.

I’m serious.

A user couldn’t mess it up if they tried.

Also, you don’t have to worry about updating, either.

It updates itself. When you reboot, the machine applies a fresh update, giving you the latest features while protecting you from threats.

2.) Google Apps for Education.

According to Joseph Hosea, the current librarian at McCluer High School, the K-12 sector uses the Google Apps to collaborate on homework and Chromebooks make it easy for them to work together.

3.) Chromebooks are cheap.

I mean dirt cheap. They don’t have to pay to upgrade the operating system. It’s free. The Chromebooks overall cost are worth it in the end and will save them money down the road.

Look at the second block to compare Chrome OS’ market-share with the rest. Feel free to look at the other graphics, too.


Everybody loves slideshows.

Now that we’ve reached the end, I have photos to show you.

This slideshow contains photos from the McCluer High School library and photos from the St. Louis Public Library, downtown STL.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bet you liked the recording room, eh? I did. Guess what? It’s free to use if you live in the city and register for a library card (which is also free.)

What are you waiting for? Stop reading this and go visit your local library now.

If they’re closed, go there tomorrow.

You won’t regret it.




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