How Can Public Libraries Compete Leicestershire June 2008

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Public libraries face increasing competition from free and low cost web based 'library' services that deliver a user experience that surpasses conventionla OPACs and a range of fulfilment options.

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  • How Can Public Libraries Compete Leicestershire June 2008

    1. 1. how can public libraries compete? Digital Futures Leicestershire Libraries Staff Conference June 2008 Ken Chad Director Ken Chad Consulting Ltd [email_address] Te: +44 (0)7788 727 845 www.kenchadconsulting.com kenchad consulting
    2. 2. compete with what? kenchad consulting
    3. 3. let’s try to see the wood before we look at the trees kenchad consulting
    4. 4. Something big is going on.. and (as in so many times in the past) technology is a major driving force for change….. kenchad consulting
    5. 5. ‘ For more than 150 years, modern complex democracies have depended in large measure on an industrial information economy…….In the past decade and a half we have begun to see a radical change in the organisation of information production. Enabled by technological change , we are beginning to see a series of economic, social and cultural adaptations that make possible a radical transformation of how we make the information environment….’ Yochai Benkler a Professor of Law at Yale Law School kenchad consulting
    6. 6. ‘ ..organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful..’ Google’s mission statement the library function is big business kenchad consulting
    7. 7. <ul><li>‘ Google generation’ ….. ‘ a shorthand way of referring to a generation whose first port of call for knowledge is the internet and a search engine, Google being the most popular one. This is in distinction to previous generations …… whose source of knowledge was through books and conventional libraries . </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul>kenchad consulting
    8. 8. removing barriers ‘ .. technology is unleashing a capacity for speaking that before was suppressed by economic constraint . Now people can speak in lots of ways they never before could have, because the economic opportunity was denied to them’ Mother Jones Magazine (website) Interview with Lawrence Lessig: Stanford Law School Professor, Creative Commons Chair June 29, 2007   http://www.motherjones.com/interview/2007/07/lawrence_lessig.html kenchad consulting
    9. 9. disruption <ul><li>‘ We-Think changes how we access and organise information and so is bound to disrupt libraries and librarians’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ The library of the future will be a platform for participation and collaboration with users increasingly sharing information amongst themselves as well as drawing on the library’s resources’ </li></ul><ul><li>Charles Leadbeater. ‘We Think. The future is us’ Profile Books Ltd. 2008 </li></ul>kenchad consulting
    10. 10. as well as new services there are new business models kenchad consulting
    11. 11. ‘ Open access is a practical, efficient and sustainable model to unlock the potential of the web for disseminating the results of publicly funded research’ kenchad consulting
    12. 12. ‘ Convinced that changes in the industry and the spread of digital piracy have made it ever more difficult to make money from selling records, the Crimea plan to turn the economics on their head by giving away downloads of their self-financed second album, Secret of the Witching Hour’. Owen Gibson, media correspondent Monday April 30, 2007 kenchad consulting Davey MacManus of the Crimea. Photograph: Gareth Davies/Getty
    13. 13. you decide what to pay….
    14. 14. technology has enabled web based global providers to deliver free or low cost ‘library’ services direct to users without the need for library buildings or (in the main) librarians kenchad consulting
    15. 15. so what’s the competition? kenchad consulting
    16. 16. here are some competitors.. <ul><li>Google : c£ 5,000,000,000 revenues, over 1m digitised books </li></ul><ul><li>Amazon : ‘we seek to be the earth’s most customer centric company where customers can find and discover anything they want to buy online’ </li></ul><ul><li>AbeBooks : > 100 million titles, over 18,000 ‘branches’. </li></ul><ul><li>LibraryThing :over 300,000 members.Over 20m books catalogued. Over 150K works reviewed </li></ul>kenchad consulting
    17. 17. This too..
    18. 18. So commercial = chargeable and public sector = free? Really? kenchad consulting
    19. 19. <ul><li>Free? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>charges for non book loans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>charges for some services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fines if items returned late? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>so what does it cost to borrow a book? </li></ul><ul><li>(the RAC puts the all-inclusive cost of driving a typical three-year-old 1.8 litre family saloon at 53.6p per mile) </li></ul>kenchad consulting a free public library service?
    20. 20. libraries are inefficient and expensive in providing resources kenchad consulting
    21. 21. libraries are inefficient and expensive in providing resources kenchad consulting
    22. 22. <ul><li>cost to put a book on a shelf (prior to London Libraries Consortium) £5.46 </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Anne Rennie. Havering Libraries 2007 NAG Conference </li></ul>libraries are inefficient and expensive in providing resources kenchad consulting
    23. 23. libraries are inefficient and expensive in providing resources
    24. 25. In 2005 Library staff at the University of Wales in Bangor were threatened with job cuts, the university consultation paper making the case for the cuts stated: ‘Librarians do not deliver “value for money” when compared to the internet.’
    25. 26. libraries aren’t being singled out…… kenchad consulting
    26. 27. ‘ in the past month I’ve bought 15-20 books. They’ve cost what would you say? £150? £180? Actually, it’s somewhere in in the region of £12’ kenchad consulting
    27. 28. ‘ Until recent years most charity shops were &quot;low-key&quot; shops, let often at a peppercorn rent in order to keep the premises occupied : this is no longer true. Many charity shops are now professionally refitted and wish to be sited on the main street in town centres : charity shops are seen as a &quot;risk-free&quot; tenant by landlords, much the same as estate agents or building societies, and are now often paying premium rents’. &quot;Oxfam specialist bookshops will be a shock to people expecting the clichéd image of dark, dusty second-hand bookshops selling scruffy paperbacks,&quot; said [Murray] Winters. &quot;The shops are bright, light and well-designed, and offer a vast array of books, including many specialist, rare, antique and unusual titles. Many books on offer are no longer available from mainstream book retailers. Customers appreciate that diversity of choice.&quot; http://www.inprint.co.uk/thebookguide/shops/oxfam.shtml competition on the high street kenchad consulting
    28. 29. high street bookshops could soon be killed off ? kenchad consulting
    29. 30. ‘ I, along with almost everybody I know, stopped buying in bookshops years ago. Why bother? Online, Amazon and AbeBooks have everything I need; in fact, they have everything anybody could ever need, and AbeBooks, especially, is absurdly cheap’. kenchad consulting
    30. 31. let’s compare……. public libraries vs. commercial ‘library’ services kenchad consulting
    31. 32. search: the library (OPAC) experience
    32. 33. information provided and options for action <ul><li>a title search goes straight to:- </li></ul><ul><li>bibliographical inc summary information </li></ul><ul><li>holdings (locations) </li></ul><ul><li>availability </li></ul><ul><li>context search (by author and subject) </li></ul><ul><li>request </li></ul>kenchad consulting this is fine……..as far as it goes..
    33. 34. search: the Google Book Search experience
    34. 35. Does your OPAC do this?
    35. 36. kenchad consulting
    36. 37. kenchad consulting
    37. 38. kenchad consulting
    38. 39. kenchad consulting
    39. 40. kenchad consulting
    40. 42. kenchad consulting
    41. 43. The ‘default’ Google link to library holding is via OCLC WorldCat
    42. 44. kenchad consulting why isn’t your library on this list?
    43. 45. The OCLC WorldCat ‘platform’ links through to the local OPAC Other ways of linking (e.g. through Talis) are available but OCLC remains the Google default
    44. 46. let’s try another search…… kenchad consulting
    45. 48. The book is not in the library catalogue and no alternatives are offered. There is a ‘place request’ option but this presents a another set of ‘barrier’ Why is it made so hard?
    46. 49. What does this mean? Where do I go from here? Here’s an example from another library catalogue
    47. 50. compared to this…
    48. 51. The same search on Amazon
    49. 52. One click to fulfilment….
    50. 53. Also … genuinely helpful suggestions
    51. 54. Other helpful information too…..
    52. 57. a random selection of requests in May <ul><li>Prescott, John ‘Prezza – pulling no punches’ </li></ul><ul><li>Blair, Cherie ‘Speaking for Myself’ </li></ul><ul><li>McFadyen, Cody ‘The Darker Side’ </li></ul><ul><li>Gardner, Lisa ‘Say Goodbye’ </li></ul><ul><li>Clevely, A.M. ‘The Allotment Seasonal Planner and Cookbook’ </li></ul><ul><li>Abnett, Dan ‘Everyone Says Hello’ </li></ul><ul><li>Cabot, Meg ‘To the Nines’ </li></ul><ul><li>Coben, Harlan ‘Hold Tight’ </li></ul><ul><li>Jardine, Quentin ‘Wearing Purple’ </li></ul><ul><li>Kamen, Henry ‘Spain’s Road to Empire’ </li></ul>all are available on Amazon
    53. 58. these were found on the Leicestershire catalogue <ul><li>Abnett, Dan ‘Everyone Says Hello’ </li></ul><ul><li>Coben, Harlan ‘Hold Tight’ </li></ul><ul><li>Kamen, Henry ‘Spain’s Road to Empire’ </li></ul>
    54. 59. 25 items found on Amazon, lowest price 3.94 + 2.75 p&p Kamen, Henry ‘Spain’s Road to Empire’ 1 item found on Leicestershire Library Catalogue, 2 copies/1 available at OADBY SO So from Loughborough that’s a 30 mile round trip at £0.53.6 per mile….and what does that ‘SO’ mean anyway? fulfilment alternatives
    55. 60. engaging people with books..a key public library mission.. what does the competition look like?
    56. 67. how is the library domain responding? kenchad consulting
    57. 68. a national aggregation: search across the whole of Wales – ‘Cat Cymru’ why not the whole of the UK?
    58. 69. A response from Huddersfield (the university. Dave Pattern) <ul><li>(Embedding the library in other people’s services) </li></ul>
    59. 70. borrowing suggestions Huddersfield Uni had details of over 2,000,000 checkouts spanning 10 years stored in the library management system and gathering virtual dust
    60. 71. ratings and comments Huddersfield: Dave Pattern again..
    61. 72. ‘ chat’ with an expert…California State University
    62. 74. AquaBrowser from Media Labs showing a ‘tag cloud’
    63. 75. Boston College (US) using (ExLibris) Primo
    64. 76. adding user content to WorldCat
    65. 77. but..barriers? you have to log in, register and adhere to these content guidelines
    66. 78. are you interested???
    67. 79. thinking about business models… kenchad consulting
    68. 80. (some) elements of the business model kenchad consulting <ul><li>value proposition </li></ul><ul><li>market segment </li></ul><ul><li>value chain </li></ul><ul><li>value network </li></ul><ul><li>competitive strategy </li></ul>
    69. 81. <ul><li>‘ Another aspect of the challenge for .. competing in the commercial network economy is that there is a strong set of mission-based reasons for why not-for-profit [resources] should be available to all potential users without charge. </li></ul><ul><li>This ethos has been reinforced by the rise of free-to-use sites operating in the commercial environment , many of which are generating revenue primarily, if not exclusively, through advertising’. </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability and revenue models for online academic resources </li></ul><ul><li>Draft March 31, 2008. By Kevin Guthrie, Rebecca Griffiths, Nancy Maron. Ithaka </li></ul>commercial services can be free too…. kenchad consulting
    70. 82. <ul><li>To maximize the likelihood of success….. </li></ul><ul><li>• Clearly define the mission </li></ul><ul><li>• Hire a great leader, often from outside the organization </li></ul><ul><li>• Establish an advisory or governance board with outsiders </li></ul><ul><li>• Allow the leader the flexibility to adjust </li></ul><ul><li>• Develop a viable economic model, matching value generated to sources of support </li></ul><ul><li>• Communicate effectively and aggressively the value of the enterprise to constituents and stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>(adapted from) </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability and revenue models for online academic resources </li></ul><ul><li>Draft March 31, 2008. By Kevin Guthrie, Rebecca Griffiths, Nancy Maron. Ithaka </li></ul>kenchad consulting
    71. 83. what’s distinctive about libraries? <ul><li>‘ A library’s competitive advantage lies in its user intelligence – this enables it to tailor services to meet genuine needs, to present them attractively, to innovate effectively and to achieve real impact.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Brophy, P. (2007) The Library in the Twenty-First Century. 2 nd ed. Facet. </li></ul>User universe User population Information universe Information population Library as intermediary User intelligence Information intelligence User interface Source interface
    72. 84. (potential) library assets <ul><li>unique collections </li></ul><ul><li>welcoming spaces and people </li></ul><ul><li>in the community </li></ul><ul><li>staff expertise </li></ul><ul><li>trust </li></ul><ul><li>user clickstreams & context </li></ul><ul><li>vertical ‘business’ context </li></ul><ul><li>collective critical mass? </li></ul>
    73. 85. A few concluding remarks kenchad consulting
    74. 86. <ul><li>technology, cost and complexity barriers are coming down </li></ul><ul><ul><li>enabling more participants (not everyone likes this!) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘ Pro-Ams’ in the library sector </li></ul><ul><li>an increasing contribution from non ‘traditional’ library businesses </li></ul><ul><li>new biz models will emerge </li></ul>kenchad consulting
    75. 87. <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>libraries at the heart of the wider culture and technology debate? </li></ul>kenchad consulting
    76. 88. ‘ It is the feasibility of producing information, knowledge and culture through social, rather than market and proprietary relations - through cooperative peer production- that creates the opportunities for greater autonomous action, a more critical culture, a more discursively engaged and better informed republic, and perhaps a more equitable global community’ Yochai Benkler a Professor of Law at Yale Law School kenchad consulting
    77. 89. Thank You… kenchad consulting
    78. 90. www.kenchadconsulting.com
    79. 91. how can public libraries compete? Digital Futures Leicestershire Libraries Staff Conference June 2008 Ken Chad Director Ken Chad Consulting Ltd [email_address] Te: +44 (0)7788 727 845 www.kenchadconsulting.com kenchad consulting

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