Innovation @ My Library         August 3, 2012  Springer Summit on Innovation     at Government Libraries         Alexandr...
Innovation @ My LibraryINNOVATE OR DIE         August 3, 2012  Springer Summit on Innovation     at Government Libraries  ...
“I CAN DO IT ALL BY MYSELF: Exploring new roles for libraries and mediating    technologies in addressing the DIY mindset ...
Slide excerpts from: on:“The Innovator’s DNA: Maste...
Semantic Connections Among Scientists                                                                                     ...
   Collections to service   Library as place   Data to answers   Relevance = Risks
Thank You!These slides posted at:                    James King                    James...
2012 Springer Summit Keynote - Innovate or Die
2012 Springer Summit Keynote - Innovate or Die
2012 Springer Summit Keynote - Innovate or Die
2012 Springer Summit Keynote - Innovate or Die
2012 Springer Summit Keynote - Innovate or Die
2012 Springer Summit Keynote - Innovate or Die
2012 Springer Summit Keynote - Innovate or Die
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2012 Springer Summit Keynote - Innovate or Die


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James King, Information Architect at the NIH Library, provided the keynote presentation at the Springer-sponsored Summit on Innovation in Government Libraries on Aug. 3, 2012 at the Sheraton Suites in Old Town Alexandria, VA. Extensive speaker notes are included in the download file.

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  • Thanks for coming and thanks to Springer for inviting me to speak this morning.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 avoid madly taking notes, I have uploaded these slides with speaker notes to SlideShare – link will be at the end of the slide deck.
  • I first have to slip in a photo of my daughter to help me highlight my focus.I recently became a dad to the beautiful little girl pictured here. Even before she can read and write, she can now login to our home laptop and launch her favorite web site -- She can also use my wife’s Nook to ‘read’ her favorite ebooks and play games. She can also use my iPad to stream her favorite cartoons whenever she wants. By all accounts in my home, we are already in the future.If she can do all this before 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 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.“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.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. 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 attention
  • Jack Welch said that when the change on the outside is greater than the change on the inside, the end is near. 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’s no wonder then that the poster child for libraries – the librarian, is getting a bad rap as highlighted by this Forbes article. I will say that I believe the author had traditional libraries in mind and they do still show a growth curve but it should be a challenge to practitioners as well as the library schools to ensure that we are preparing for the future, not for the past.I firmly believe that our future is wrapped up in how well we can innovate our services, primarily through collaborating with our customers.Backup Forbes quote - “Library and information science degree-holders bring in $57,600 mid-career, on average. Common jobs for them are school librarian, library director and reference librarian, and there are expected to be just 8.5% more of them by 2020. The low pay rank and estimated growth rank make library and information science the worst master’s degree for jobs right now.”
  • Now that I’ve 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 know personally that my mix of IT and information professional skills such as organization of information have served me well, allowing me to move to a new job during the height of the recession and even now get unsolicited job offers from libraries and non-libraries. Therefore, I’m optimistic that this can work for other information professionals and the organizations in which they serve.I’d like to spend the remainder of my time bringing the concept of innovation to life by wrapping the talk around a great article called the “Innovator’s DNA” 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 this also reflects many of the things I’ve done over the years that have helped me to be successful.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 -
  • 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 (as is described in the SLA Alignment report) 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”Example of how document delivery at NIH has been changed to fully take advantage of technology to improve the speed and quality of document requestsI also encourage the use of open ended brainstorming sessions – like the one done two years ago to think about the future of the NIH Library
  • SLA worked with Fleishman-Hillard and Outsell over the past 2 years 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. Like the PIDA project for example…
  • Another observation that the library has been leveraging is mobile technology.The industry is estimating that 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) [ ], This chart from Morgan Stanley report [] shows that in 2010, over 80% of all shipping devices were mobile – note that 16 million tablets shipped in 2010 but that has mushroomed to an estimated 62 million tablets shipped in 2011 and the 2013 forecasts estimated shipments breaking 110M tablets. Given that roughly 150M desktop PC shipped in 2010, we are quickly approaching the ‘post-PC’ era.Web site usage through mobile devices is currently a small percentage of overall usage but these purchasing trends and exponential mobile web usage trends point to mobile Web dominating within the next 5-10 years.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 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 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.
  • At NIH, I’d like to highlight a couple areas where I believe we gambled:Bioinformatics – Medha hired, then Lynn to build the program – now offering grad courses, consults, hardware, and softwarePortfolio AnalysisOne of the newest services being developed is in helping the organization to define and defend their value and ROI. Researchdoes not have a direct or short term output or outcome. Increased competition for research funding and a decrease in available research funding Stakeholders calling for more scrutiny over research spendingEncouraging more collaboration across geographic and disciplinary boundaries.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. One example is my efforts as the ‘geek squad’ for the informationist program. I’ve been working with the National Institute on Aging for the past year to develop a research portfolio analysis tool focused on Alzheimer’s. This started off as a simple request to convert a spreadsheet into a basic web site but in working with them, I realized that the tools that we have available to us from Elsevier and Thomson Reuters could do so much more and really help them in ways they had no imagined. This project has now blossomed into a major effort receiving direct attention by the NIA Director and has launched the library into a new space of portfolio analysis.The graphic highlights the Washington University of St. Louis’ Becker Medical Library model [] for libraries to use to assess the impact of research. Though focused on biomedical research, it can easily be applied to any research setting. Starting from the center and applying the logic model of Input – Output – Outcomes - ImpactsInput – ResearchResearch Output – basic measures of how many publications or research productsDiffusion/Outcomes –citations and references to publications, social media buzz, or usage countsImpacts/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 impactedI am striving towards this broad definition of impact but as you can imagine, many of these are hard to pin down and they will not be strictly under the bibliographic control we’re used to. However, I believe this is a growth area for libraries, especially since many of the tools already available from libraries like Web of Science and Scopus can do some level of this analysis already. It simply requires learning how and either teaching customers or doing them on their behalf.Many tools also offer APIs or data purchases to support creation of internal custom tools that the library can lead creation of.The commercial database providers also recognize that there is a market for this so they’ve started to move beyond raw information and started creating products based upon the vast wealth of information they sit on. I believe that every government organization that does any sort of research or content creation should be able to produce a list of publications created by that organization – sadly, many cannot.I recall that even before I came to work at NIH, I heard a speech by Dr. Zerhouni who made it clear that his drive behind the publication deposit mandate was to gather the necessary information to effectively measure and monitor research productivity. Sadly, it has not been until budgets are tight that it is taking on a serious tone.Challenge: Do something new – social or professional – expand your worldBackup: chart from the Elsevier Research Trends article demonstrates the different metrics needs []
  • 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 VIVO.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.Data 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.
  • Thanks!Here’s a link to the slides as well as my email, futurists web site and Twitter handle.
  • 2012 Springer Summit Keynote - Innovate or Die

    1. 1. Innovation @ My Library August 3, 2012 Springer Summit on Innovation at Government Libraries Alexandria, VA James King, NIH Library NIH Office of Research Services
    2. 2. Innovation @ My LibraryINNOVATE OR DIE August 3, 2012 Springer Summit on Innovation at Government Libraries Alexandria, VA James King, NIH Library NIH Office of Research Services
    3. 3. “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.
    4. 4.
    5. 5. Slide excerpts from: on:“The Innovator’s DNA: Mastering the FiveSkills of Disruptive Innovators” by ClaytonChristensen et al.
    6. 6.
    7. 7.
    8. 8. 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
    9. 9.  Collections to service Library as place Data to answers Relevance = Risks
    10. 10. Thank You!These slides posted at: James King #SLAKINF