Roslyn P. Dean | Movers & Shakers 2020–Digital Developers

Roslyn Dean’s team at Broward County Library (BCL) needed an innovative way to bridge the language barrier between staff and the vast number of non-English- and limited English-speaking customers BCL serves, so she turned to a popular device, Amazon’s Echo Dot. Utilizing voice assistance apps and devices, BCL installed Echo Dots at service points in each of its 36 branches, enabling a quick, easy, and cost-effective option to assist staff with translation. 

Sidsel Bech-Petersen

CURRENT POSITION

Community Engagement Manager, Broward County Library, FL 

DEGREE

EdD., Capella University, 2017; MSIS, Florida State University, due December 2020

AWARDS

Library Services and Technology Act Grant (LSTA), $48,678, 2019

FOLLOW

broward.org/library

Photo by Ari Rothenberg

Software Savvy

Roslyn Dean’s team at Broward County Library (BCL) needed an innovative way to bridge the language barrier between staff and the vast number of non-English- and limited English-speaking customers BCL serves, so she turned to a popular device, Amazon’s Echo Dot. Utilizing voice assistance apps and devices, BCL installed Echo Dots at service points in each of its 36 branches, enabling a quick, easy, and cost-effective option to assist staff with translation. The devices now facilitate 3,500 interactions per month.

Dean’s knowledge of software and passion for public service stem from her career as a teacher, child advocate, outreach coordinator, and longtime software trainer for library vendor SirsiDynix. She joined BCL as community engagement manager in 2018. Since then, Dean has made Merge augmented reality (AR) gear available for free. Users can access kid-safe VR and 360° video experiences from NASA, National Geographic, Disney Google, and smartphones for use with headsets available at nine branches. All branches have Merge Cubes, which work with smartphone AR apps to create handheld 3-D holographic objects, engaging all ages in math, science, engineering, and art lessons.

Another project Dean conceived led to an LSTA grant (see box) to make access widely available to BCL’s African American Research Library and Cultural Center’s (AARLCC) Special Collections through use of 3-D modeling and augmented reality. "I am so excited," says Dean, "as this is the first LSTA grant-funded 3-D modeling project for a public library in the state of Florida."

Initially, 20 West African artifacts from the collection were 3-D scanned and prepped for the website. Next, the scans were added to the website, and it was built out.

"The site will be the source for virtual tours, free [3-D] downloads of the models, and more, for individuals interested in learning about the artifacts," says Dean. Launch is on track for mid-May, she says cautiously, because of possible COVID-19 delays.

Dean is full of ideas for other initiatives going forward. They include educating the community on the role artificial intelligence can play in libraries, utilizing voice assistance in curating special collections, and employing opt-in facial recognition for grab-and-go checkout.

"I’m just a regular girl born and raised in Detroit," she says. "Traveled the world training librarians on software and ended up becoming a librarian. It’s funny the journey life will take you on." 

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 8000+ annual reviews of books, ebooks, and more

As low as $13.50/month