Libraries host exhibitions and speaker events to promote collections and engage communities. The UF Libraries deployed innovative technologies to connect with and patrons through exhibits and speakers to enhance research, learning, and communication. Previously, patrons attending an exhibit or presentation benefited from the experience. However, they often did not have an opportunity to ask questions, share comments, request more information, or be further engaged. In 2015, UF developed the new open source Community Engagement Engine (CEE) for iPads (handheld and kiosks) for use in exhibit and presentation spaces. Now, visitors may submit questions and comments in an unmediated and unfiltered process. This interaction allows the visitor to receive, by automated, graphic-intense email, additional relevant materials, such as speaker slides, digitized primary source documents, or readings and multimedia files, which are selected by the exhibit curator or speaker to increase the learning impact and further engagement with the library. Additionally, visitors may register to receive updates about the subject area of interest; for example announcements of new acquisitions, or notices of future speaker events or exhibits. Importantly, CEE allows libraries to aggregate and organize patron contact information collected through these exchanges to develop specific communities of interest which can be oriented by geography, subject matter, etc. This enables targeted outreach, development, and assessment. This presentation will serve as a case study of innovation for community engagement, and will include discussion for other institutions that may be interested in deploying CEE or a similar system of their own.
This is being presented by Brian W. Keith, Lourdes Santamaria-Wheeler, and Laurie Taylor.