In this new location the library really wanted to present and give back great stories to the city of Amersfoort. This beautiful new building consists of seven terraces. A multitouch table would be placed on the upper terrace, overlooking the library.
Together with Karin Horst, who works at the Eemland library and has close contact with local writers, we have come up with a concept for an application for the multitouch table. Karin Horst is confident that the concept can be further developed, as many of the local writers she works with are willing to provide their stories to her. This is how it works according to Karin:
“The local writers and I, we help each other out by returning favours. For instance, the library of Eemland had planned a day with a culinary theme in the opening week, and I offered some writers an opportunity to promote their books for which they offered me a lecture and/or some snacks in return. Fortunately for the library, there are writers on all sorts of subjects!”
The Eemland library opted for the multitouch table as a medium for storytelling because the multitouch technique is interactive and it gives users the opportunity to attribute their own stories. For example, stories like ‘Ander Licht’ by Rosita Steenbeek and ‘Meneer Sadek en de anderen’ by Kaweh Modiri are now available to the public.
“In order to emphasize the connection between stories and new media we chose multitouch as the underlying technology. This platform enables new sorts of interactions and makes it easy to add extra content to the stories when needed. We are looking into the possibility to make the application even more interactive in the future by designing a user friendly comment function.”
Fortunately, the multitouch technology is ideal for storytelling. However, the diversity of the stories made it more complicated to develop a cohesive form of presentation. Together with the library of Eemland we decided it would be best to create a new platform for the stories, as it were, where the stories could then be stored, told and shared. In the process, Doklab developed a CMS in which the library could easily create multi-media stories. By using this particular CMS, administrators, editors and/or volunteers can all contribute to the multitouch table’s archive. They can add pictures, texts and video’s, or even maps, quizzes or polls. The opportunities are endless, as the CMS provides structure for the different elements of the stories on the table. The library and Doklab benefit from CMS because stories can be added without interference from us.
Another aspect of the CMS is a direct link to digital image collection of the Eemland Archive. If and when users of the multitouch table want to add images from the City Archive to stories, the users no longer need to download or order the images. Instead, users can search for high resolution images and import them from the City Archive. The multitouch table provides the users with an automatic report on the relation of the image to the Archive and the image’s order number, so that other users can track the image down and order it themselves.
“Stacking the multitouch table with files has become even easier with the the valuable link to the City Archive. I do miss the possibility of linking to the internet and to websites sometimes, even though I realise that the internet can be very distracting and it can send people off track really fast.”
Since a couple of weeks, the application is available to the public in the Eemhuis library. The multitouch table now contains four stories but Karin expects that more stories, like a culinary story by Ilja Gort (Amersfoort Writer) perhaps, will be added in the near future. Additionally, in order to shed more light on the region of Amersfoort, it would be great if some stories were added that took place in Bunschoten/Spakenburg, Baarn, Leusen and Woudenberg.
In the future, Doklab will make an application available with similar possibilities for other libraries and organisations. If you’d wish to know more about this contact us.