The Indispensable
Librarian: Communicating
Our Value
AGLIN 2013 Forum
30 July, 2013
Mary Ellen Bates
BatesInfo.com
Tweeting this?
@mebs
#AGFor13
Slide deck available at
BatesInfo.com/extras
"Information wants to be free"
3BatesInfo.com
Information wants to be free because
it has become so cheap to
distribute, copy, and recombine –
too cheap to meter.
It wa...
Do you know what's "immeasurably
valuable" to your clients?
Are you sure?
5BatesInfo.com
Learning what's really valued
Follow up on "I don't know if you do
this, but ..."
Solicit input
"If I could change one thi...
The informational interview
What are clients' info pain points?
Ask open-ended questions
in non-info lingo
No talking abou...
“When you need to make an
important decision, what info do
you use? What are you missing?”
“What do you do after you've
Go...
The informational interview
“How do you stay on top of what you
need to know about?”
“How can we make our information
and ...
TALKING ABOUT VALUE
BatesInfo.com 10
“So, what do you do?"
I'm a librarian
I help people find information
I provide high-end information services
I enable the ...
Dull-thud messages
We save you time/money
...to do what???
We have authoritative sources
Isn’t that a given???
We provide ...
Promote, don't defend!
“The web doesn’t have everything”
“The web isn't reliable”
“We give you insight, not just a
search ...
When you describe yourself...
Is it a WHAT or HOW?
or is it a WHY?
"We search premium databases" or
"We provide insights f...
HOW or WHY?
"We provide research services" or
"We help staff make better decisions"
"We are experts in finding and
organiz...
Emulate the pros
See how info companies describe
their value
Benefit from their investment!
16
Dialog helps organizations across
the globe seek competitive
advantage.
LexisNexis enables you to attract
more, higher qua...
Whatever words you use…
BatesInfo.com
It's not all about you
Benefits, not features
Results, not activity
18
Spread the word...
Mary Ellen can be reached at
mbates@BatesInfo.com
Web: BatesInfo.com
Blog: Librarian of Fortune.com
Twitter: mebs
20
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The Indispensible Librarian: Communicating Our Value

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Mary Ellen offers insights and ideas to ensure that your library or information center is seen as the valuable and mission-critical asset that it is. This keynote at the AGLIN Forum 2013 was presented on July 30, 2013 and sponsored by the Australian Government Libraries Information Network.

Published in: Education, Technology
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The Indispensible Librarian: Communicating Our Value

  1. 1. The Indispensable Librarian: Communicating Our Value AGLIN 2013 Forum 30 July, 2013 Mary Ellen Bates BatesInfo.com
  2. 2. Tweeting this? @mebs #AGFor13 Slide deck available at BatesInfo.com/extras
  3. 3. "Information wants to be free" 3BatesInfo.com
  4. 4. Information wants to be free because it has become so cheap to distribute, copy, and recombine – too cheap to meter. It wants to be expensive because it can be immeasurably valuable to the recipient. 4Stewart Brand, 1985
  5. 5. Do you know what's "immeasurably valuable" to your clients? Are you sure? 5BatesInfo.com
  6. 6. Learning what's really valued Follow up on "I don't know if you do this, but ..." Solicit input "If I could change one thing about the agency’s library, it would be _____________" BatesInfo.com 6
  7. 7. The informational interview What are clients' info pain points? Ask open-ended questions in non-info lingo No talking about your services! batesinfo.com/interview 7BatesInfo.com
  8. 8. “When you need to make an important decision, what info do you use? What are you missing?” “What do you do after you've Googled something?” BatesInfo.com The informational interview 8
  9. 9. The informational interview “How do you stay on top of what you need to know about?” “How can we make our information and services more useful to you?” “How can we help you accomplish your professional goals?” BatesInfo.com 9
  10. 10. TALKING ABOUT VALUE BatesInfo.com 10
  11. 11. “So, what do you do?" I'm a librarian I help people find information I provide high-end information services I enable the discovery of new knowledge. BatesInfo.com 11
  12. 12. Dull-thud messages We save you time/money ...to do what??? We have authoritative sources Isn’t that a given??? We provide information research Blah, blah, blah 12
  13. 13. Promote, don't defend! “The web doesn’t have everything” “The web isn't reliable” “We give you insight, not just a search result.” 13
  14. 14. When you describe yourself... Is it a WHAT or HOW? or is it a WHY? "We search premium databases" or "We provide insights from the outside" BatesInfo.com 14
  15. 15. HOW or WHY? "We provide research services" or "We help staff make better decisions" "We are experts in finding and organizing information" or "We make critical research findable" BatesInfo.com 15
  16. 16. Emulate the pros See how info companies describe their value Benefit from their investment! 16
  17. 17. Dialog helps organizations across the globe seek competitive advantage. LexisNexis enables you to attract more, higher quality clients. Elsevier helps customers advance science and health by providing world-class information. 17
  18. 18. Whatever words you use… BatesInfo.com It's not all about you Benefits, not features Results, not activity 18
  19. 19. Spread the word...
  20. 20. Mary Ellen can be reached at mbates@BatesInfo.com Web: BatesInfo.com Blog: Librarian of Fortune.com Twitter: mebs 20
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