Thanks for coming and thanks to Springer for inviting me to speak this morning.I should clarify that I work at the National Institutes of Health Library, the internal research library serving the 20k people that work at NIH versus the National Library of Medicine that focuses on U.S. Public Health.Today, I will focus on innovation but to put some urgency to this message, I’ve decided to change the title.
Innovation is no longer a nice thing to have or something only for the elite and those born with the ‘innovation gene’, it is a critical skill that all of us need to learn or risk obsolescence.I should also note that to help you out, I have uploaded these slides with extensive speaker notes, including links and references, to SlideShare – link will be at the end of the slide deck.
Here’s my motivation and my focus – my 4 year old daughter Sarah.Even before she can read and write, she can now login to our home laptop and launch her online preschool -- ABCmouse.com. She also uses our tablet computers to ‘read’ her interactive ebooks, play games and even stream her favorite PBS and Disney cartoons.If she is this media rich and independent by the age of four – what are the young adults and older adults that need information services expecting from a 21st century library?
To illustrate what adults want from libraries today, I first wanted to highlight an interesting three-part presentation from ALA Annual this year. It’s probably also an interesting side note in that I did not attend the conference but downloaded the slides from SlideShare. The speakers demonstrate that the world has already changed – our customers wholeheartedly embrace the “Do It Yourself” world and traditional libraries are being left behind.This chart illustrates that “Unless current patterns change, by 2020 university libraries will no longer have circulation desks.” - Kurt, Will. 2012. “The End of Academic Library Circulation?” ACRL TechConnect. http://acrl.ala.org/techconnect/?p=233“According to the ARL statistics, the number of reference transactions went down by more than 50-60 % since 1995.” - Anderson, Rick. 2011. “The Crisis in Research Librarianship.” Journal of Academic Librarianship 37 (4): 289-290.NIH Library numbers – circulation has dropped from a high of 35k in 1995 and is now projected to be 8k this year – nearly 80% drop. In addition, the library ran a photocopy service which pulled 75k journal issues for copying in 2000 – 12 years later, the service is gone due to lack of use.Self service shift -- tax preparation, printing photos, and travel agentsThose we serve WANT TO AND are able to do it themselves but the library message has remained unchanged: Ask a Librarian, Reference Desk, Classroom instruction, Literature search, Let us help you – gatekeeper mentalityWhat is scarce now is not information but time and attentionhttp://www.slideshare.net/bohyunkim/i-can-do-it-all-by-mysef-exploring-new-roles-for-libraries-and-mediating-technologies-in-addressing-the-diy-mindset-of-library-patrons
Change is very hard, especially when forced upon you.Jack Welch said that “when the change on the outside is greater than the change on the inside, the end is near”. So I believe it is critically important to get in front of a change in our environment and lead it.I’ve long respected John Kotter’s book on Leading Change and I believe it contains useful wisdom and ideas on how to manage a change process.I encourage you to check into this further so I won’t go into this in any great detail but just wanted to reinforce how I believe you and many libraries are in at least in the first wave of this process – creating a climate for change which includes demonstrating urgency, building a powerful change coalition, and creating a clear vision for change.If we don’t manage the change or get out in front of it, we run some serious risks…I. Acting With, or Creating, UrgencyII. Form a Powerful CoalitionIII. Develop and/or Create a Vision for ChangeIV. Communicate the VisionV. Remove Obstacles to Empower Broad-based ActionsVI. Generate Short-Term WinsVII. Build on Changes and Gain MomentumVIII. Anchor the Changes in Corporate CultureDerived from Dr. John Kotter’s website, http://www.kotterinternational.com/kotterprinciples.
Earlier this year, Forbes Magazine declared that the MLS was the worst Masters degree to pursue at this time. Though I believe the Forbes article author had traditional libraries in mind, it should still serve as a challenge and wake up call to ensure that we are preparing for the future, not for the past.Tom Friedman has stated in his books “The World is Flat” and in his many presentations, including the 2011 SLA Annual Keynote, that average is dead. Based upon his interviews with key leaders from across the spectrum, he said that those people that are surviving and thriving in today’s down economy are those who applied critical thinking to their jobs and didn’t simply push widgets or paper back up the chain.It makes me think about other professions like engineers. During the time of the U.S. Civil War, engineers were the top two graduates of West Point and devised coastal defenses, redirected rivers, and created topographical maps using crude instruments of the period. Today, engineering continues to be a sought-after profession but their tools have evolved to use things like GPS and CAD.Futurist Alvin Toffler says that in the future “illiteracy will not be defined by those who cannot read and write, but by those who cannot learn and relearn.” Combined, these great thinkers tell me that we need to reimage our profession and I would argue that it should be one that uses innovation.
Now that I’ve potentially depressed you, I want to stress that I’m an optimist and I believe that the skills that librarians and information professionals bring to the table are more valuable than ever. I’ll reinforce that I firmly believe that our future is wrapped up in how well we can collaboratively serve our customers with innovative and targeted services.I’d like to spend the remainder of my time bringing the concept of innovation to life by using the framework of the “Innovator’s DNA” article written by the Harvard Business Review in 2009. They reported on a six year study of people behind some of the most innovative and disruptive business strategies in the world (like Amazon, Apple, and Facebook) to see what made those leader tick. What they found were five skills THAT CAN BE LEARNED and serve as a model for us to survive and thrive in the digital era. While studying these five skills, I realized that I’ve seen these in action in the successful people in my life.I’ll also point out that this slide and the yellow slides coming up are from the “Slides that Rock” presentation – they did a great job highlighting the five traits that I wanted to give them credit.“The Innovator’s DNA” (Dyer, Gregersen, and Christensen; Harvard Business Review, December 2009 - http://hbr.org/product/the-innovator-s-dna/an/R0912E-PDF-ENG)
The first skill of an Innovator is that of questioning.Peter Drucker, famous management thought leader, said “The important and difficult job is never to find the right answers, it is to find the right question.”Questioning often reveals sacred cows and entrenched traditions that are holding us back from improved ways of serving our customers or streamlining our back office operations. Having well-researched facts about how other organizations operate and how executives view our profession I can be better prepared to ask questions about why certain practices or processes are still being observed in my organization.In the IT world, systems analysis studies processes to look for efficiencies – every process in the library is a “system”Reviewed ILL and check-in processes at NRLA good and central strategic plan can help a lot - Rebecca Jones and Jim Morgenstern wrote an excellent article in the latest issue of the CLA Feliciter asking whether our strategic plans were more like the voyage of the Starship Enterprise or the Spruce Goose. Often plans are made and shelved, not integrated and used. They called for courageous strategic plans that challenge the status quo and include honest SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysesDC Chapter strategic plan, NIH strategic plan, NRL strategic plan
The Special Libraries Association (SLA) worked with Fleishman-Hillard and Outsell to perform primary and secondary research to ‘help librarians and information professionals align their skills, knowledge and experience with the organizations of tomorrow’. This included existing data from Outsell and SLA, leadership roundtable discussions, member focus groups, a survey that spanned four countries across the globe, and language exploration session with key influencers in Washington, DC and Toronto, Canada. One of the big conclusions of this report was that the terms libraries, librarians, and special libraries may give a warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia but did not connect with today’s information world, resulting in misunderstandings like the Forbes article.The point of this alignment effort was to highlight the disconnect so that we as a profession can work towards bridging the gap by changing our image, changing our services and changing our focus to match those that the stakeholders and decision makers have.
The second skill in the Innovator’s DNA is observing.By observing and studying our customers and other organizations around us, we can learn many valuable lessons and change our services for the better. Participating in library conferences, scientific conferences that your customers attend, reading articles and posts from a broad range of sources can all help us to monitor the rapidly-changing information industry.Most of all, we cannot work in isolation! Survey’s can help but we must get out and understand what the world looks like to our customers – not just those that still wander into the library. A great way that the NIH Library observes is through the Informationist program. Started 10 years ago, the NIH Library informationists focus on saving time and improving the quality of research. 15 informationists - 75% of time embedded - over 40 groups in 16 institutes/centers across NIH and HHS. Must first be technically qualified (course work and training) - speak the language and be accepted. As a member of the group, they should be observing to develop an understanding of the information needs of the group and provide that information, often anticipating their needs. The PIDA project is another example that started as a cataloging effort…
We have to be very careful to observe outside our immediate space. I personally think that many libraries have been too narrowly focused and not watching broader trends that can impact them.A great example of a non-library trend affecting us is the growth of mobile computing.This chart from Morgan Stanley report [http://www.morganstanley.com/views/perspectives/tablets_demand.pdf] shows that in 2010, over 80% of all shipping devices were mobileNote that the sliver of pink represents 16 million tablets shipped in 2010 (iPad – Apr. 2010) est. 62 million tablets in 2011 and the 2013 forecasts 110M tablets. Smartphones put the PERSONAL in PC – how likely are you to loan a smart phone to someone? Est. 1B smartphones will be activated between 1997-2012. In comparison, only 800M PC’s were shipped in the 20 years following the IBM PC release (1981-2000) [http://getintoandroid.com/blog/2012/01/mobile-computing-adoption-rate-faster-than-pcs/ ], ~150M desktop PC shipped in 2010 - approaching the ‘post-PC’ era.Web site usage through mobile devices currently a small % of overall but trends point to mobile Web dominating by 2020.Are the services being offered by libraries able to interact smartly in this environment? Are libraries moving towards “mobile first” and “responsive design” when designing their next web site? Are they usable?
The third skill of an innovator is a willingness to experimentThomas Edison said ”I haven’t failed.. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that do not work.”Experimenting, which is risky, is a critical trait of an innovative person. The innovative companies didn’t stop because the ideas sounded crazy under conventional wisdom – after all, who would have thought that selling books online would nearly kill the bookstores, and that selling shoes online without trying them on would be so profitable, and selling songs for 99 cents would reshape the music industry. The innovative companies took a gamble that their ideas could succeed. Not all gambles work – remember pets.com sock puppet and the many other dot coms that disappeared when the tech bubble burst.I’ll also say that participation in professional associations like SLA or CLA can provide a “safe haven” for experimentation since it doesn’t directly risk to your pay or benefits. I’ve expanded my skill set to include proficiency in webinars and WordPress Web site management directly through participation in SLA.
The graphic highlights the first area of experimentation that I believe libraries can explore. The WUSTL Becker Medical Library model [http://becker.wustl.edu/impact/assessment/index.html] highlights ways to assess the impact of research. Research assessment is multi-dimensional and means something different depending upon where you sit. A bench scientist will want to use these tools to justify own work for promotions while an institution will want to compare strengths with peer organizations and evaluate collaboration levels nationally and globally. Research Output – basic measures of how many publications or research productsDiffusion/Outcomes –citations and references to publications, social media buzz, or usageImpacts/Adoption:Advancement of Knowledge – how were research products usedClinical Implementation – translation to practice, used in patent, protocol, etc.Legislation and Policy – influence law or policy, regulationsEconomic Benefit – results produced and/or efficiency, effectiveness improvedCommunity Benefit – community health enhanced, quality of life impactedSome additional experimentation ideas are:Bioinformatics – started in 2009 – now offering grad courses, consults, hardware, and softwarePortfolio Analysis – using existing tools and doing consulting for major efforts – IADRP (Int’l ALZ Disease Res. Portfolio) – one of the “custom projects”Researcher Profiles – VIVO, Harvard Profiles, SciVal, TR Research in View, etc.API support – understanding options, limitations and leveraging existing licenses to support data from commercial and government sourcesChallenge: Do something new – social or professional – expand your world
The fourth skill of innovative people is networking.The author of the Innovators DNA said that “People who think outside the box often talk to people who play in a different box to get new ideas.”Networking is probably one of the hallmarks of participation in conferences or attending local chapter events. It is the opportunity to build relationships with peers, find mentors, friends, or even a future job prospect. The digital world and social networking have also allowed us to better maintain those initial contacts and develop those relationships.Network broadly and globally if at all possible. I recalled that when I traveled to Peru a couple years ago, my eyes were opened to the number of assumptions I make about ‘normal’ – even simple things like car horns are different outside the US. Working and networking globally help you to break out of the small box that we all live in and start to look more broadly. This is another area where I appreciate global professional associations like SLA – it facilitates and encourages networking broadly.
As an example of how technology is influencing networking, I’d like to touch on Research Profile systems. VIVO and Harvard Profiles both are open source tools that harvest from authoritative sources to dynamically create rich CVs of all researchers at an organization. They store all of that information in sematic web “triples” (or relationships of subject-predicate-object) so that relationships like the ones displayed are machine-readable. To me, transforming content into semantic relationships has the strongest chance for the library to encourage collaboration amongst researchers and has the best chance of success. Tied to this is a growing movement called Open Linked Data is encouraging organizations to make data sets available online and make them easy to use by other applications – Governments sit on a LOT of data – Data.gov just the beginningData that can be harvested is not limited to publications but can also include anything relevant including professional memberships, awards, grants received, grants managed, clinical trials, facilities/equipment, patents/inventions, training/certifications, videos/presentations, teaching positions, and protocols authored. This really has the power to highlight true expertise since someone who has managed millions of dollars in a particular disease grant but never published a paper could be an expert in the space.This is also a space ripe for library leadership since skills like cataloging, data transformation, and taxonomy development are required for these types of efforts.Tools like VIVO take us beyond the social web of Web 2.0 and into the Web originally envisioned by Tim Berners Lee, a semantic web of relationships.
The final skill of Innovators DNA pulls together the four actions (questioning, observing, experimenting, and networking) to create new connections. Those mental connections are the spark of innovation and have spawned new business processes and changed the world. Though this is ultimately a personal exercise, learning from others who have made unconventional associations to create new services for our customers will help and encourage us to do likewise.Building a culture that allows and encourages these innovative traits at both the manager level and employee level will challenge traditional leadership and traditional librarianship but will result in a more relevant and innovative organization.
I think a perfect example of this is the SLA Loyalty project that I’ve worked with for the past couple of years. I and my chapter have been working with Jim Kane to explore organizational loyalty. He merges business, neuroscience, and behavioral psychology to show how loyalty affects every area of our lives, including our organizations and professions.I’ve found that this concept of loyalty can be applied to any group of people that you associate with – at work, home, education setting, or a faith setting.
How “loyal” are the people that you serve? How about the people that work for you? What difference does it make? What does loyalty REALLY mean, versus what has been portrayed by companies?Everyone falls into one of these levels for each relationship they have. I will use a grocery store as an example:Antagonistic – hate you, will tell all their friends that they hate you, and will go out of way to avoid you – Shoppers Food and broken cartsTransactional – purchase basic necessity – choosing fruit for daughter – one choice for blueberries, strawberries, etc.Predisposed – prefer a certain brand until the rules change – like an insurance company or wireless phone company - soup – now looking more closely at choicesLoyal – devoted, hard-pressed to change – milk delivery for family, local and fresh – another example is Sheraton in Birmingham, ALNote that the percentages listed are for an average organization – can never get rid of all antagonists and can never fill the place with loyal.Everyone can think of people who are “only there for the paycheck” and may occasionally run into people who seem like they would do the job even if not paid.
The benefitsof a loyal membership include increased engagement, forgiveness for mistakes, advocacy and retention so they are the group that you want as many of as possible.To build loyal people, we need to understand what fosters loyalty:Trust – including competency, character, consistency, and capacityBelonging – including recognition, insight, proactivity, inclusion, and identitySense of Purpose – a compelling and shared vision, fellowship, first place your turn for answersHow loyal are the people that we serve? Do they act as transactional people that are only after the cheapest and quickest way to get what they need or are they fighting on your behalf when cuts come? Dialogs in libraries often focus on and foster transactional or predisposed relationships because we don’t foster trust, belonging and a sense of purpose.How would we change our libraries and our services to foster loyalty?
Thanks!Here’s a link to the slides as well as my email, bio, futurists web site and Twitter handle.
2012 Springer Summit Canada - James King Keynote
Innovation @ My Library October 30, 2012 Springer Summit on Innovation at Canadian Government Libraries Ottawa, Ontario James King, NIH Library NIH Office of Research Services
Innovation @ My LibraryINNOVATE OR DIE October 30, 2012 Springer Summit on Innovation at Canadian Government Libraries Ottawa, Ontario James King, NIH Library NIH Office of Research Services
“I CAN DO IT ALL BY MYSELF: Exploring new roles for libraries and mediating technologies in addressing the DIY mindset of library patrons” American Library Association Annual Conference. Anaheim, CA. 2012. Speakers: Bohyun Kim, Patrick T. Colegrove, Jason Clark.
Semantic Connections Among Scientists David Nelson Biomedical Informatics Inverse relationships are created has position in organization with position for is research area of has research area has position in Clinical Translational featured in Science Institute (CTSI) Mike Conlon organization with position forEd Tech Magazine features Gene Anderson has author author of author of Development of an Observational Instrument to has author Measure Mother-Infant Separation Post Birth http://www.vivoweb.org
James KaneLoyalty Consultanthttp://jameskane.com/