FrankenLibraries: The Latest TrendsStephen Abram, MLSNew Jersey Library Association, Atlantic City, NJJune 5, 2013
Every Day in every way libraries arethrowing pebbles
It’s simple really, shift happens!Gedoverit
This economy is the new normal• 4 years of economic growth with real GDP growth• 4 years of declining unemployment and increased job creation• Stock market at record levels (S&P doubled in 4 years)• 30% decline in federal deficit but increased debt• BUT . . .• Pressure on taxes and higher state and municipal debt – cash flow• Real declines in personal income (except top 2%)• Reduced tax revenue – especially if property tax dependent• Student debt at record highs affecting a Millennial-based economy• Maxed out on post-secondary student growth• Post-secondary institutions are maxed out on borrowing• Increased global competition and economic restructuring4
• Users & Communities will continue to be diverse in the extreme• Consumer / user expectations around timeliness will increase• We will have a foot in both camps for many, many years to come: digitaland physical - gedoverit• Content will (and is already) be dominated by non-text (gamification, 3D,visual, music, video, audio, etc.)• Search will explode with options and one-step, one box search is fordummies, discovery services require a new frame• The single purpose anchored device is already dead as a target• Devices will focus on social, collaboration, sharing, learning, multimedia,creation and successful library strategies will align with that• Librarians will need to focus primarily on professional service(s) andstrategic alignment (reduced roles in organizing knowledge andstep&fetchit politeness) . . . Service Professionals NOT Servants, Trueeducators not Supplements• E-Learning, collections and metadata will go to the cloud massively
Library MegatrendsIt doesn’t take a genius to see librarianskills and competencies applied to thetrends and issues in library communities invery strategic ways – social, economic,cultural/creative, and research/discoveryimpacts.
Libraries• Recommendations (Bibliocommons, LibraryThingfor Libraries / Book Psychic)• Community Glue: cohesion and stories• Programs on steroids strategic alignment• Repository archipelagos need to end• Bi-directional ‘real’ partnerships• REALLY committing to learning … credits / diplomas• A volatile supplier space• Economic Impact and VALUE studies• Renewed advocacy moves to Influencing and selling
Vital Need for Increased Cooperation• Consortia• CRKN, OCUL, TAL, CULC, Readers First, etc.• Dealing with the small town mindset• DPLA & OCLC Linked Data, RDA and global metadatastrategies• Library Renewal / EveryLibrary Advocacy PAC• 3M e-books (CALIFA / Douglas County initiatives)• Digitization of special collections, dark literature,orphan works, etc.• Cloud initiatives• Library and Consortia Mergers increase
Deer in headlamps slide here.
Libraries core skill is notdelivering informationLibraries improve thequality of the questionand the user experienceLibraries are about learningand building communities
Libraries Have Seasons
SmellyYellowLiquidOrSexAppeal?The Complex Value Proposition
Books, eBooksMagazinesWebsitesBuildings, BranchesRoomsDesksProgramsNouns can be warehousedand ‘cut’ServeAnswerEngageLinkEntertainTell a storyDoAction verbs imply dynamismand impact
Are you locked into an old library mindset?
A Verb . . . an Experience, enlivened for an audience
A Noun . . . A foundation but not sufficient with professional animation
Retail Sales Down?Teen Reading Down?Titles Down?Circulation Down?Reading Down?NONONONONOFocus on the REAL IssuesNot BOOKS! The experience
Cookbooks, Chefs . . .
Cookbooks, Chefs . . .
Library LandWhat changes, disruptions andshifts are already in theenvironment?
Forced public sector Mergers and AcquisitionsWhat if state and municipal governments changefunding models?What if higher levels of consortial cooperationare mandated?What about shocks to the economy?
If all users are ubiquitously connected withbroadband, have downloading skills for booksand movies, own smartphones, whitherlibraries?What about the ‘digital divide’If the school system (K-12 and HigherEd) changesradically …? Common Core / 21st C
What if all music, audiobooks, and video movedto streaming formats by 2018?What if the DVD and CD go the way of vinyl, VHS,and cassettes?Obviously that’s already the plan…
What if all books are digital?What if book services move to a subscriptionmodel of unlimited use for $7/month?What about next generation e-books?Is your frame too Big 4-5 fiction oriented?
What if all books are ‘beyond text’?Can we support books with embedded video,adaptive technologies, audio, updating, softwaretools, assessments, web-links, etc.
Could your library support advanced highereducation and offer accredited courses orsupport universities and colleges for distanceeducation? Have you catalogued them?Can you see your library offering diplomas?Certificates? Degrees? GED? With 800 stafflecturers?Is everyone trained to use LMS and deliver lessonlevel content and experiences?
Can your library support distance high schooleducation, credits, and home schooling on a muchhigher level?What would be the economic impact of creditrecovery in your community and its capacity forsuccess?
• Can your library support any kind of mobiledevice experience?• Are you fully ready to deliver, agnostically todesktops, laptops, tablets, phablets,smartphones, televisions, appliances, at amuch higher level?
Are you prepared for new forms of content?Real multimedia? 3D objects and databases?Holographics? Enhanced media?Can you be ready for makerspaces, creativespaces, writing labs, business and start-upincubators, etc.Can you publish for your community?
What kinds of real community spaces are neededin the future?Can you support learning spaces, communitymeeting spaces, performance spaces, makerspaces, real advisory spaces, true relationshipand consultation management . . .?What performances are in your library?
What if everything was in the cloud? (software, ILS,LMS, databases, metadata, content, 3D objects, . . .)What would you do with those ‘old’ system skills onstaff?
What if search immersive resource discoverybecomes as ubiquitous as search engines?Are you ready to differentiate from consumersearch aggressively?What if schools and public libraries partner ondiscovery services (a la NYPL, BPL, QBPL, andNYED with their Bibliocommons initiative)
What if all metadata and content discovery isfreely available using open APIs through theOCLC WorldShare vault and the Digital PublicLibrary of America / Europeana vault of open andfree metadata?What does your experience portal look like? Topquestions?
And what would you sacrifice?
Up Your Game• Know your local community demographics• Focus on needs assessment and social assessments• Prioritize: Love all, Serve all, Save the World means nothinggets done. . . FOCUS!• Priorities are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable,Relevant, & Time bound• Look for partnerships that add value
AmazonChapters/IndigoBarnes & NobleBN BookBrowserBordersSuggesticaInside a Dog (teens)MySpace BooksBooks We LikeOCLCs FictionFinderAll ConsumingLibraryThingNext FavoriteStoryCodeRating ZoneHypatia and AlexLitWhichBook.netAllReaders.comReaders Robotgnooks
Being MoreOpen toComment
Being More Open to Criticismand Feedback
Up Your Game• Align with Collections – every collection must be justified byprograms• Force strategic investment budgeting• Look for partnerships that add value• Don’t go it alone. Focus on large scale sustainable programs• Connect to the longer process not just events• Virtual and in-person• In the Library and reaching out with partners
What are the real issues?• Craft versus Industrial Strength• Personal service only when there’s impact• Pilot, Project, Initiative versus Portfolio Strategy• Hand-knitted prototypes versus Production• e.g. Information Literacy initiatives (LibGuides)• Discovery versus Search versus Deep Search• eLearning units and program dissemination• Citation and information ethics• Content and repository archipelagos• Strategic Analytics• Value & Impact Measures• Behaviours, Satisfaction• Economic and strategic alignment
The Library as Sandbox
Being More Open Experimentation,Pilots and Innovation
Up Your Game• Align with Collections – But add virtual experiences• Look for partnerships that add value• Ensure the program delivery person is embedded includinglibrarians• What are your top 20 question domains? Start there.• Don’t go it alone. Build scalability and sustainability.• Look for replicability – every neighbourhood
The newbibliography andcollectiondevelopmentAsk Us, KNOWLEDGEPORTALSKNOWLEDGE,LEARNING,INFORMATION &RESEARCHCOMMONS
Know What Makes Us Different
Up Your Game• Start offering diplomas and certificates• Look for partnerships that add value• Offer real educational opportunities not just adjacencies• What does your community need for economic advantage?• What courses to you offer or recommend? (TED, KhanAcademy, Coursera, Udacity, EdX, Lynda.com, etc.)
Up Your Game• Understand the new Curriculum (esp. 6-8 and 9-12)• Understand Pedagogy in the context of student experiencesand educational goals• Understand human development from early years throughteens• Connect across developmental stages, link• Consider partnerships to put teachers in the library• Consider coaches and tutoring partnerships
Up Your Game• The strong ‘library’ brand – adding dimension• Personal branding – Who are your library’s rock stars?Promote them.• Program branding• Take risks for attention (AIDA)• Embed your brand beyond the library walls and virtually
‘New’ Library CulturesSupport Your Team
Being Open to New Ideas
Be Creative and Attract
Up Your Game• Grow collections investments in strategic areas (forexample economic impact, jobs, early years, hobbies,political alignment, homework, research agenda …)• Develop hybrid strategies that are consistent for digitaland print and programs• Be obsessive about recommendations and advice andadded value• Integrate virtual and physical - hybridize
Up Your Game• Deal with the repository archipelago• Really deal with e-learning and MOOCs• Really up the relationship game beyond liaisons• Really understand your users and faculty
Up Your Game• Dog, Star, Cow, Problem Child/?• Reduce investment in successes• Increase investment• Look at TCO• Look at all costs incurred and not just hard costs• Review opportunity costs in soft costs
Is the library ready to support a worldof unlimited content, multipleformats, massive access, andconsumer expectations of MORE?Yes?No?With Effort, Vision,Leadership?Never?
Do you like change?Does it matter?
What are the risks of not changing?Think carefully – at this point in history not changing is the bigger risk.
We can’t control change…We can control our attitude towards change…
Change can be difficult
Personal changeprecedes organizationalchange
What can you do to deal withchange?
Accept that changeis an attitude
Create a personal visionIn the context of your team
Focus on what you can do………not what you can’t do
velop a perspective of opportunity
Learn to love ambiguity
Tell Your Story:Until lions learn to write their own story,the story will always be from the perspectiveof the hunter not the hunted.
Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLAConsultant, Dysart & Jones/Lighthouse PartnersCel: firstname.lastname@example.orgStephen’s Lighthouse Bloghttp://stephenslighthouse.comFacebook, Pinterest, Tumblr: Stephen AbramLinkedIn / Plaxo: Stephen AbramTwitter: @sabramSlideShare: StephenAbram1