Research at the ISNM

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January 27, 2010

Prof. Schrader talks about the SmartAssist Project at the 3rd German Congress on Ambient Assisted Living in Berlin.

AAL 2010

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Search Wall

Tangible Library Information System for Children


Prof. Dr. Andreas Schrader

Karen Detken, Carlos Martinez

Information Systems, Pervasive Computing, Tangible Interfaces, RFID

Children tend to rely on spatial and graphical cues rather than on digital applications to find media in libraries. Although some Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs) have been modified to appeal to young users, they are still hardly employed by children. Most of the enhancements in the physical space have been directed to signage systems and labels without much use of graphical and interactive elements.

In this research project, performed within the master theses of Karen Detken, a tangible interface is proposed as an alternative to support children’s browsing activity in a public library. It draws from research in two fields: information interfaces for children, and tangible user interfaces. It is believed that by transferring functionalities of current information interfaces to the physical realm, the experience of young patrons in a public library might be enhanced in several aspects, including informational, social and recreational activities.

The SearchWall prototype has been developed in cooperation with the public libraries of Luebeck and Eutin and tested with children in the Kreisbibliothek Eutin.

More information can be found at:

  • Karen Detken, Carlos Martinez Gomez and Andreas Schrader
    The Search Wall - Tangible Information Searching for Children in Public Libraries
    Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Tangible and Embedded Interaction (TEI 2009), February 16-18, 2009, Cambridge, UK, pp. 289-296.
  • Karen Detken
    Tangible Information Interfaces for Children in Public Libraries
    Master Thesis, ISNM, 2009
    Supervision: Prof. Dr. Andreas Schrader (ISNM), Prof. Dr. Alexandra Mazalek / Prof. Dr. Jay Bolter (Georgia Institute of Technology)