University of Oulu

Johanna Ylipulli and Aale Luusua. 2019. Without libraries what have we? Public libraries as nodes for technological empowerment in the era of smart cities, AI and big data. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Communities & Technologies - Transforming Communities (C&T ’19). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 92–101. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3328320.3328387

“Without libraries what have we?” Public libraries as nodes for technological empowerment in the era of smart cities, AI and big data

Saved in:
Author: Ylipulli, Johanna1; Luusua, Aale2
Organizations: 1Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies, Urbaria University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2INTERACT Research Group ITEE, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.8 MB)
Persistent link: http://urn.fi/urn:nbn:fi-fe202001131826
Language: English
Published: Association for Computing Machinery, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-01-13
Description:

Abstract

Since 2014, a growing body of critical research has pointed out flaws in smart city development. It has been described as too technology-led and business-oriented, diminishing citizens’ agency and causing digital divides. As the agenda keeps spreading, there is an urgent need to develop more participatory, inclusive and bottom-up approaches to balance interests of those currently in strong power positions, such as large corporations. Participatory design (PD) and participatory approaches in general have been suggested as a remedy, but they often tend to be local, small-scale and short-term. Therefore, their impacts are often modest as well. We suggest that we need to start thinking about ways to create scalable approaches that would grow the temporal and spatial impact of actions and practices that intend to increase citizens’ understanding and control over new technologies, i.e. their technological agency. Without making sure that more people have adequate knowledge and sufficient control and mastery of technologies, societal discussion and ultimately, political decisions, are left to few experts. We explore the potential of public libraries to act as an ally and cooperation partner in participatory design and technology education in general, with a significant potential to broaden micro-level actions’ impact.

The paper consists of a broad literature review mapping the central challenges of current smart city development; this is followed with an introduction to the Finnish library system as a democratic project; finally, we present three examples of how libraries are carrying out technological education connected to emerging technologies, particularly to 3D printing, robotics and virtual reality. Our central argument is that there is a need to bridge micro-level actions, such as those connected to participatory design projects, with the macro-level technopolitical development by collaborating with meso-level actors and networks.

see all

ISBN Print: 978-1-4503-7162-9
Pages: 92 - 101
DOI: 10.1145/3328320.3328387
OADOI: https://oadoi.org/10.1145/3328320.3328387
Host publication: Proceeding C&T '19 Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Communities & Technologies - Transforming Communities
Conference: International Conference on Communities & Technologies
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Subjects:
Funding: Dr Luusua gratefully acknowledges the grant from the Academy of Finland (# 316136 AICity). Dr Ylipulli wishes to thank the City of Helsinki, the City of Espoo and the City of Vantaa for financial support.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 316136
Detailed Information: 316136 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 Association for Computing Machinery. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in Proceeding C&T '19 Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Communities & Technologies - Transforming Communities, https://doi.org/10.1145/3328320.3328387.