2017 PLP Innovation and Technology Opportunity Grant Recipients

To connect with any of the below Innovation and Technology grant recipients please email info@plpinfo.org

Contra Costa County Library will install and maintain one Power Tower station in the main lobby of the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCCRMC) in downtown Martinez. A Power Tower is a combination of a fast charging station for mobile devices and a portal to access the Library’s online services. In addition to being able to simultaneously charge up to 24 devices 30% faster than a regular charging station, it also has a 50 inch interactive touch screen that will promote library services and events, allow users to sign up for library cards and give them access the Library’s downloadable collection. Users will be able to download items from the Library’s e-collection directly to their device from the Power Tower.

Monterey County Free Libraries
Librarians Unleashed Program

“Librarians Unleashed” will utilize wireless technology with Wi-Fi enabled iPads (or similar tablets) and wireless barcode scanners to allow staff to help users anywhere in the library facility with questions, checkout, and library card issues or registration. Along with a Wi-Fi enabled hotspot, iPads/tablets and wireless barcode scanners can be taken to public meetings, schools and outreach events, bringing the library to the people. The project will enable staff to deliver point of contact service in the “stacks” and into the community on the streets, thus improving the delivery and quality of services to the patrons. In addition, the project will streamline work efficiency by enabling staff to inventory the collection right where items are shelved rather than having to transport them to a physical workstation elsewhere in the library facility, a time-consuming and labor-intensive process.

Monterey County Free Libraries
Wi-Fi to Go, Wi-Fi Hotspot Lending Program

“Wi-Fi to Go” project provides wireless access to the internet to patrons from rural areas in Monterey County from home through the initiation of a Wi-Fi hotspot lending program. The plan is to circulate Wi-Fi hotspots with unlimited data plans in most of the libraries throughout our service area. A recent survey done by our south county branches disclosed that most people do not have an internet service in their homes and mainly access the internet through a limited data plan on their cell phones. Circulating Wi-Fi hotspots would allow people unlimited access to job applications, homework assignment and other data from their homes when the library is closed.

Digital Discovery Through Touchscreen Kiosks replicates Burlingame Public Library’s 2014 “Tap, Swipe, Discover” project. Mountain View Public Library will be remodeled during the 2017/2018 fiscal year, and many of our collections will be changing locations and services will be improved. Due to these changes library signage will also be updated. The Library would like to incorporate more digital signage, including three touchscreen kiosks with StackMap wayfinding software, into our signage plans. We believe that adding touchscreen kiosks will allow Library users to quickly and easily find the new locations of collections, register for programs, and learn about library resources. The Library will also be able to cut down on the use of paper, and have a greener footprint in accordance with Mountain View’s City Council goals.

To better support patrons’ varying needs for privacy and working in quiet environments we propose to create a drop‐in “Zenbooth.” Zenbooths are portable phone‐booth like structures that can be assembled in an hour, disassembled in 30 minutes, moved around as needed, and are ADA compliant. Zenbooth would not only support private conversations with video phones and Skype options for extended services patrons, but would also allow us to provide other innovative services, such as coordinated story times with incarcerated parents, online language learning practice, remote volunteer lawyer and social services consultations, and quiet spaces for private phone calls. Remote and co‐working patrons need private spaces to converse and this reservable space would be a free option for such patrons.

Palo Alto City Library
RE:Maker Fair

“The RE:Maker Faire” is designed after the Maker Faire movement, which celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science and DIY mindsets. This all-day event will feature cutting-edge environmental technology, through presentations and interactive activities, as well as provide workshops on sustainable home life. However, the RE:Maker Faire will specifically incorporate the same activities that have a real focus on preservation, sustainability, reusability and resource-sharing.

Pleasanton Public Library
Community Creativity Center (Category B)

We would like to renovate an existing small group study room into a Community Creativity Center. The renovation of this room would allow us to create a new programmed public space that fosters the exploration and use of state of the art technology, including: virtual reality, audio and visual recording equipment and SMART board tools. This renovation would also provide the community with an upgraded conference (meeting) and workshop space with modern, mobile furnishings and equipment that meet the needs of twenty-first century clientele.

Redwood City Public Library
Preschool STEM Discovery

Preschool STEM Discovery seeks to provide young children an introductory experience with scientific concepts and to nurture an exploratory mindset through stories, song and hands-on learning. The first component will be an extended storytime program focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics. The second component of the program will extend the learning opportunities beyond the storytime experience. Preschool STEM Discovery Kits will be created and made available for circulation. These curated themed kits will include books, materials, equipment and instructions necessary to explore a scientific concept in the home environment. The Preschool STEM Discovery Kits will be available in both English and Spanish.

Salinas Public Library
Tech for Teens

This summer the Salinas Public Library collaborated with a design thinking class that sought to solve the riddle around why so many students after middle school stop returning to the Library to create a concept app that brings together several key motivations that could inspire teens to return to the Library and remain regular users. The Salinas Public Library would like to apply PLP’s Innovation grant to its proposed program, Tech for Teens. The Library would hire an instructor to build out the concept for the app by teaching teens how to develop it. If successful, the app could be used by other libraries to attract teens to their library; and the Salinas Public Library seeks to also build a toolkit for other libraries on teaching teens how to develop apps (particularly apps that serve literacy and library use.)

This project will make it possible for people who are blind or visually impaired to more independently use all of the resources of San Francisco’s Main Library. Individuals will check out for use within the building wearable devices / smart glasses, such as Google Glass or Vuzix along with iPod Touch devices through which they will connect with trained navigation agents. Those agents, who use an augmented reality dashboard that allows them to see what the blind person sees in real time, will serve as visual interpreters to help library users find their way throughout the building, read print in the environment, and enjoy activities such as participating in crafts programs and exploring library exhibitions.

Robots and Inspiring Summers will enable San Mateo County Libraries to enhance the STEM curriculum for its Big Lift Inspiring Summers program by adding robotics lessons. Inspiring Summers is a full-day, five-week camp program serving low-income rising Kindergarten through 3rd graders, with San Mateo County Libraries providing project-based, hands-on STEM learning activities; healthy meals; exciting field trips; and, books to fill home libraries. Robotics will join these and other curriculum units. The equipment purchased for this program will be able to be used in library programming during the school year as well.

Santa Clara City Library would like to invite our community to create virtual reality content by equipping them with 360 cameras that plug directly into their smartphones. The Library will introduce themes that ask our patrons to: explore our beautiful state, capture content with cameras, and share their 360 their experiences with the Library, and upload their videos to our new California 360 collection that will be archived on youtube.com. The community will then be able to experience all of these journeys using our various virtual reality equipment.

Santa Clara City Library
Teen Digital Media Lab

With the creation of a Digital Media Lab, we will be able to provide instruction on current digital literacy skills to Teens, building upon our current technology curriculum to support pathways to careers within the STEM economy.