Daviess County Public Library, Owensboro, KY
BFA, Theater, Kentucky Wesleyan College, 2006
Community theater actor/director, recently directed production of Noises Off
Information Technology Manager Daviess County Public Library, Owensboro, KY
BA, Art Studio, University of Kentucky, 1996; currently enrolled University of Kentucky SLIS program
Photos by Courtney Hatley,
© Daviess County Public Library
Soon after Kevin Clark and Brian Lashbrook started working together at Daviess County Public Library (DCPL) in 2012, they learned about a smartphone app that would make the library an innovator in using interactive technology to attract patrons. “Why not give people something fun and entertaining they can do at their library without having to remove their devices from their hands?” says library associate Clark (top). “It makes the library more relevant.”
With the encouragement of library director Jim Blanton, Clark and Lashbrook used the augmented reality Aurasma app to promote the library at a local street art contest. “We showed passersby how to use their smartphones to make the drawing come to life and give them more information about our programs,” says Lashbrook, DCPL IT manager.
While DCPL does not have much physical space for exhibits, the technology allowed it to create a virtual art gallery, “Frame Your Imagination (FYI),” featuring frames holding teaser posters designed by Lashbrook, who holds a BA in art studio. When patrons used the free DCPL FYI app to scan the posters, the work of local artists would appear on their screens. FYI has caught the attention of local media and the Library as Incubator Project (see also Movers & Shakers Erinn Batykefer and Laura Damon-Moore).
Clark, who has a BFA in theater, has been instrumental in connecting the library with community partners, such as art galleries, theater groups, filmmakers, and publishers. The duo also created an interactive scavenger hunt, enlisting actors from a local production of Dracula. Visitors could scan images of Dracula at the library to view video clues. “Without exception, every contact Kevin has brought to the library has resulted in dynamic programs and initiatives,” says Blanton. With his graphic design skills, Lashbrook customized the DCPL FYI app to brand it with the library’s logos and colors, using a free nonprofit feature offered by Aurasma.
These innovations brought an increase in library program attendance of almost 50 percent combined for children and adults in the duo’s first year. Blanton attributes the increased patronage to marketing efforts. “What’s truly rewarding,” he says, “is to hear the feedback from patrons who have come into the library for the first time.”