ACPL Library Camp

Sept 16th is the date and David Lee King is headlining ! ACPL Library Camp. Be there or beware :)

Sept 16th, 2008
Allen County Public Library
Fort Wayne, IN


A great opportunity for some smart library...

... to hire Matt Gullett

When I got an email from Matt Gullet this week saying he was planning on moving to the pacific northwest, I wasn't surprised. Matt's always been a bit of an entrepreneur and risk taker whose bold moves and great ideas seem to always produce success... and I'm betting his pending move to the Seattle area will produce the same results as well.

Pssst... Matt's leap of faith is also a great opportunity for some smart library to nab a great talent, mover & shaker, and overall great guy.

See Matt's announcement on his blog.


Wordle me

I know I'm a bit late in discovering and playing with Wordle, but I just have to say that I'm throughly amused. Here's the wordle that I created by selecting and pasting all the text off my about page.

If you haven't played with Wordle yet, I'll warn you it's addicting.

[signs off to go wordle some more]

Anahem bound

I’m heading off to ALA tomorrow and for the first time in about 6 years, I’m not giving a talk or even participating in a panel discussion. Yes, it actually feels heavenly in a way to attend just as a regular participant.

To be honest, I hadn’t planned on going to ALA this year at all. With so many other great tech events and conferences available to attend this year, I originally thought I’d pass on ALA and allow someone else the opportunity to experience ALA. But plans change with a new job and new responsibilities…

Anyway, I’ll be Anaheim Wednesday PM through Sunday. You will definitely find me at ULC’s ForeSight 2020 conference on Thursday, Movers & Shakers luncheon on Friday and LITA’s award ceremony on Sunday. In between I’m looking forward to meeting up with a few key vendors, catching up with old colleagues and blogging friends and trying to avoid the hype of Disneyland. :)


NTRLS Workshop

I’m a few days delayed in posting my slides from my recent workshop for the North Texas Regional Library System. But since I’m determine to go green (no handouts) with all my workshops and talks these days, I feel a little bad that I didn’t have up on before hand.

Originally at 78Mb and 196 slides, it was a killer to crunch 3 hours of content into something that Slideshare could handle. But I finally succeeded.

Learning 2.0: It's about ...

Thanks Adam, Carolyn, Donna and all the folks from NTRLS. I had a great time and enjoyed the conversation.


23 Things: Impact & Results

One of things I’m often asked whenever I'm doing a talk about Learning 2.0 is what type of post evaluation did I do to measure the success of the program. The answer I usually give is that the post evaluation was built into the program as the 23rd thing and that if you want to see transformation that the program had, all you have to do is read participants blog themselves. For me, their words say so much more than any survey can convey.

Even so, I know there is a lot of merit to the evaluation question that is being asked. That’s why I was so excited to see these research results gathered by Melissa Rethlefsen as part of the Mayo Clinic Libraries Learning 2.0 program. Melissa has shared the results in a great slideshare.

Here's one image from her slides that shows pre & post knowledge:

Thanks Melissa. This research is fantastic!


10 "musts" for innovation

As blogged by Paul Williams over at Think For Change.

This post is sooooooo to the point that I really have nothing to add. Here’s what Paul said..

“I recently had a prospective client ask me, "How can I make my employees just "do" innovation?" took a few back and forth discussions to clarify that statement, but what she was essentially asking was, "How long until my employees innovate without even thinking about it?"

Whew...that's a tough one!

I actually get asked this question a lot when presenting at conferences and other speaking opportunities, so I thought I would give out my Top Ten of Making Innovation Happen Every Day:

  • Innovation MUST be tied to the organizational strategy

  • Innovation MUST be on the leadership agenda and discussed at every leadership meeting

  • Innovation MUST be led by at least one C-Level or SVP-Level person

  • Ideas (from ANY source) MUST have a path/process to follow

  • Customers/Consumer MUST have a voice

  • Resources (People, Money & Time) MUST be made available for innovation

  • A culture of risk taking, fast failure, experimentation and imagination MUST exist and be supported/protected

  • The organization MUST be made up of skilled and diverse individuals who are set "free"

  • The organization MUST seek to be a leader of "next practices" not a follower of "best practices"

  • The organization MUST have the courage to KILL projects, ideas, lines of business, etc. that don't work

Once you have these ten "MUST's" in place, I think you will find that your employees, front-line managers, middle managers and senior leaders will be innovating...everyday...all day...”

Wow ... Amen!


Web date ... 1934?

Interesting article in the NYTimes yesterday: The Web Time Forgot

"In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole thing a “rĂ©seau,” which might be translated as “network” — or arguably, “web.”"

Thanks Buckeyebrarian

Patricia Martin on Ren Gen & libraries

I had the pleasure to be part of the team that brought Patricia Martin to my former mpow over a year ago to talk to staff. Her talk about the rise of a new renaissance was fascinating and many of the analogies that she drew made a lot of sense. So I was pleased to hear her talk about Ren Gen again to Sarah Long of the North Suburban Library System as part of Sarah's Longshot podcast series.

Take a listen: Longshots #105 - Patricia Martin and RenGen (26 min)

PS: It's also great background listening while spring cleaning on your inbox :)


20/20 Vision Workshop

Last Friday I had the pleasure to participate in a strategic “visioning workshop” as part of CML’s 20/20 Vision Plan. It was first in what is planned to be several community workshops over the next few months to engage the Columbus community in helping shape CML’s next generation of libraries and services.

The visioning exercises themselves were interesting and really helped participants step into community. For the morning round of exercises we were asked to assume a persona and address different aspects of our personal needs and what elements of a thriving community (education, culture and arts, safety, etc) would look to each personally. On my team Amida, a 36 Somali transplant with a household of seven struggled with maintaining her cultural identity while Richard (my character) a 40 year old architect with family and demanding career struggled to find community connections to the arts & culture scene because of an 80+ work week. It was interesting to try and document the type of transformation that both these characters (and other personas from other teams) would require to address their needs and even more interesting to think about the role that the library could play in assisting these kinds of transformations.

In the afternoon, the tables turned a bit and we focus instead upon the elements of successful businesses and/or enterprises that had also in some way had transformed or evolved perceptions and practices over time. Starbucks, ATMs, even the “slow food” movement offered elements of customer engagement and fulfillment that libraries could incorporate or benefit from.

In the end the greatest take-a-way for me really didn’t come the exercises or the roll playing with personas themselves. Instead it came from my careful listening to community member participants in not only the things that they said, but more importantly what they didn’t.

What I didn’t hear from anyone was nostalgia for libraries and a return to traditional library services of past. Instead what I heard continuously I can only best describe as a passionate affirmation that libraries are not only seen as vital to future health and well being our communities, they are essential.

In order for libraries to continue to grow, everyone seemed to agree on the idea that “i”volution (my play on words) was important. And as one team’s vision (it was one of many great visions shared with all) emerged at the end, the term “i”brary seemed to strike an echo with those that were gathered. Not an “i” as information. But instead “i”brary as in Individual, Innovate, Invigorate and ?? ( oh, someone help me out, what was the other I?) A library designed for individual interpretation, personalized use/innovation and community invigoration. In all another words … it was “i”ssential :) Ok, I know, I’m over-killing the idea a bit. I think you catch my drift.

Anyway, it was the type of day that I wish our time, talent and resources would allow every single community member to attend. But I am grateful for the those that could and from what I saw last Friday in this first of what will be many opportunities to dream, engage and envision… we’re definitely in good hands.

See more images from the Strategic Visioning Workshop

Email Overload

I’ve been struggling with this one for awhile now. In my old job, I remember finding some solace once I developed a routine of only checking my email twice a day (once before noon & and once more before heading home). But the pace of email overload seems to have tripled in the last year and I find that even in taking one day off means with almost 100% certainty that I’ll have 80+ emails to comb through.

In most cases CCs and FYIs make up almost 50% of my Inbox's unread entries and it makes me wish that there were easier protocols to separate the “Need your approval” and direct “to me” messages from those that are merely professional information courtesies meant for later consumption.

An old colleague I know well uses “email free Fridays” to help add some levity to his week. I’m seriously (very seriouuuuusly!) considering adopting this strategy in order making way for some much needed productive office time. But I’m wondering if there may be other options… how about you? How to you cope with email overload? Are there protocols that your organization uses to help make the work week more productive?

Read Lost in E-Mail, Tech Firms Face Self-Made Beast, NYTimes 06.14.08


Back Stories & Social Currency

Libraries have often been associated with newspapers because of their traditional dependence on “pulp” as the delivery mechanism for their services and products. And although it’s easy to recognize the digital shift has changed this dramatically, the connection is still there … looming.

I guess that's why, I find this recent research study released by the Associated Press so intriguing. From my quick read through the 71 page report (it’s an easy read. Good job AP) two distinct points resonated with me.

  1. Need for in-depth back stories

    ”Participants in this study did show signs of largely shallow and erratic news consumption, however the study also suggested that people wanted more depth and were trying to find it…”

    ”Participants in the study consistently mentioned the importance of sports and entertainment news in their lives. People enjoyed their sports and entertainment
    news regardless of format, and it is worth noting that sports and entertainment news on TV borrow heavily from oldschool broadcast journalism formulas. Audiences get a series of updates and headlines balanced with in-depth back story, future story and editorializing.”

  2. News as social currency

    “Consumers are using news as social currency in a variety of ways: to stay connected with loved ones, to be the hub in their circle of friends, to advance in their careers and to engage with others they don’t know. Current technologies and globalization have led to changes in the value chain for news. Is it the news industry or consumers of news who produce social currency from news? Today, it is both. News is no longer simply delivered, in a one-way transaction, from producer to consumer. Communications are twoway, and news is widely shared among consumers themselves. Understanding the dynamics of this new environment and creating mechanisms to enable better search and sharing of news will harness the power of this emerging social currency system…"

These have me thinking a lot about ways libraries can help satisfy these information needs for our customers. Heaven knows we have volumes, tomes and even access to hundreds of exabytes of potential back story files. But are our current organizational structures (Dewey, MARC etc.) and search tool interfaces optimizable in their current formats to support these news and information needs? More directly stated… how can we help our customers fulfill their back story needs which in turn allow them to turn information into “social currency”?

Read the full report, A New Model for News: Studying the Deep Structure of Young-Adult News Consumption (pdf)


An ACPL Conversation

Back in April I had the pleasure to visit with the great staff at Allen County Public Library. After a day of giving two back-to-back talks, Sean and Kay stuck me both in front of camera and under bright lights. Here is the result of all their weeks of editing:

Thanks Sean & Kay. Despite feeling nervous at first, I think you managed to skillfully edit out my bloopers :)

Other ACPL Conversations: Michael Stephens, Stephen Abram & Jeff Krull

7 Steps to Innovation

Inc. magazine includes a great article this month which summarizes a seven step innovation process outlined in the new book The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth With Innovation (which btw came out this week)

Seven steps to ensure that your company innovates repeatedly and reliably:

1) Select the Strategy (Look for an underserved market)
2) Connect to Customers (Social Network an idea collector)
3) Generate Ideas (Brainstorming done right)
4) Select an Idea (Time to separate good from great)
5) Prototype and test (bring on the customers)
6) Go to Market (cookies vs cookie dough)
7) Adjust for Growth (The process evolves)

What I find interesting about this approach to innovation, is that is also (at a much higher level) seems strikingly similar to the strategic planning approach we’re currently undertaking this year at MPOW. Although the end results are different (a tactical plan vs. a marketable product) the steps were taking are basically the same to get to the end result. For me, step number seven is perhaps the most significant, for it iterates the importance of evolution both in planning and innovation... even when you think you have the process down, something changes and there's always room for growth. :)

Read the full article here: Innovation: Making Inspiration Routine.


Breaking stereotypes

I am loving these images of librarians found on CML’s Teen Summer Reading pages:

Who wouldn’t want to hang out with these fun people? They definitely cast a different light to those "shhh-ing" stereotypes of librarians of the past.


Social Media Thoughts

This caught my attention tonight, so I thought I'd share. Some good thoughts in here...


Libraries are about Stories

I totally love this thought from Matt Gullet on libraries, individuals and their relationship to stories.
"Traditionally, people have come to the library to find things that fit into the stories of their lives," says Matt Gullett, the Charlotte library's director of emerging technologies. "When toddlers come in to learn how to read, it fits the story of how they are growing in life. When adults come in, and they love checking out mysteries or romance novels, it fits the story of those individuals. What we are trying to do now is to give people the ability to tell their own stories. We're equipping people to use digital cameras, sound equipment and software. It appears to be entertainment in some ways, but at the same time, they're learning how to interact with this world we're creating with digital media and the culture that results from that media. That's a big thing."

Libraries has always been about stories. Only now not only are the stories within our stacks matched to meet an individual's needs... stories can be cultivated, explored and shared within the community and each individual has the power to be both a creator and participant. That's huge!

How is your library encouraging, cultivating, and collaborating to allow individuals to create and share their stories?

From Revolution on the Stacks, Governing Libraries June 08


More thoughts on how libraries and information are changing …

From The Library in the New Age via Ed

“Information has never been stable. That may be a truism, but it bears pondering. It could serve as a corrective to the belief that the speedup in technological change has catapulted us into a new age, in which information has spun completely out of control. I would argue that the new information technology should force us to rethink the notion of information itself. It should not be understood as if it took the form of hard facts or nuggets of reality ready to be quarried out of newspapers, archives, and libraries, but rather as messages that are constantly being reshaped in the process of transmission. Instead of firmly fixed documents, we must deal with multiple, mutable texts. By studying them skeptically on our computer screens, we can learn how to read our daily newspaper more effectively—and even how to appreciate old books.”

Thanks Ed! :)

Education: Learning to Change

Some interesting thoughts from this video, Learning to Change, Changing to Learn

2:26 “We’ve got a classroom system, when we could have a community system

4:06 “ So the coin of the realm is not memorizing the facts that they’re going to need to know for thr rest of their lives. The coin of the realm will be that you:

  • know how to find information,
  • know how to validate it,
  • know how to synthesize it,
  • know how to leverage it,
  • know how to communicate it,
  • know how to collaborate with it,
  • know to problem solve with it.
That’s the 21st century set of literacies.”

The second thought stream is the one that has really got me thinking. With libraries and our education system both so closely tied to literacy and new parameters of “literacies” unfolding, I wonder how comfortable either organization is in helping students work through the seven “know hows” listed above?

I know that many a reference desk prides itself on being able to help people “find information” and “validate it.” But in a information rich culture our competencies need to go beyond these first two items. It's got me thinking how can libraries, in addition to our education system, support these as well?

Anyone have thoughts?


Hyperconnected – a reflection & new study

Hyperconnected ReportIt seems ironic that I read this white paper in a printed hardcopy form. For by the definition laid out in the paper, I am certainly among the 16% of the workforce population that is “hyperconnected.”

For the last three weeks I’ve decided to “unconnect” over the weekends and have found the change to be quite refreshing. No checking emails, no facebook updates, no blogging, no twitter, no skyping, no laptop, no blackberry, etc. It’s felt good and is a practice I plan to continue throughout the summer. But even so, when I look at my communication habits during the week day, I am definitely among the hyperconnected.

Here’s a few thoughts from the executive summary:

  • Based on the number of respondents in certain clusters and then factoring in the rate of workers entering the workforce and retiring and likely adoption rates – we estimate that the 16% of the total information workforce currently “hyperconnected” may soon increase to 40%.

  • The hyperconnected depend on the devices and applications that make them hyperconnected – 47% said a network outage at work would have an extreme impact on them. Technology supporting the hyperconnected has become mission critical!

  • The boundary between work and personal connectivity for the hyperconnected is almost nonexistent. Two-thirds use text or instant messaging for both work and personal use. More than a third use social networking for both. The freedom to conduct work during personal time will force changes to personal use policies, business practices, training curricula, and IT support policies.

  • The migration to Hyperconnectivity will create a profusion of devices, applications, and new business processes. Already, the average hyperconnected individual uses at least seven devices to access the network and nine connectivity applications. This profusion will create the need for a strategy and architecture for unified communications across the enterprise if an orderly migration is to occur.

  • As baby boomers retire, businesses will find themselves competing within today’s hyperconnected base of talent. Is your company ready to compete in the emerging war for talent? Tomorrow’s workforce will increasingly expect to work in a hyperconnected communications environment and many will consider this a condition of employment.

  • Connectivity tools in the hands of employees may increase productivity, but they also increase the risk of the release of sensitive information to the outside world. Already a fourth of hyperconnected respondent companies use blogs and wikis to communicate with customers and other outsiders. Obtaining the benefits and avoiding the risks of Hyperconnectivity will require unprecedented cooperation between CIOs and their business counterparts.

There’s a lot to think about within the paper’s full 16 pages. And as the “Increasingly Connected” (which BTW according to the study is 36%) migrate to “hyperconnected” status, we’re in for some profound changes.

Download your copy of the paper here: The Hyperconnected: Here They Come

PS: Thanks Chuck C. for bringing my attention to this study... very interesting and well worth getting "unconnected" to digest and read :)