Light ‘em Up The Future of Libraries: Stephen Abram, MLOregon Library Association Conference Bend, OR April 26, 2012
ChangeThese slides are available at Stephen’s Lighthouse blog
We Only Get So Many Once-in-a-LifetimeChances To Do Great Things
News Flash“The Internet and technology have now progressed to their infancy”
Lies we tell ourselves Libraries are a big market for fiction Libraries are closing in large numbers Teens don’t read anymore & Boys don’t read The education issue is intractable We serve everyone People want to search Free is all-important Social institutions don’t need their staff to embrace the social tools
Speaking of e- Books...
Borders Kobo, B&N Nook, Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad, Sony, etc. . . .
On a limb:There is no scenario where public library circulation will increase.
Can we frame the e-book issue inlibraries so that it can be addressed rationally?
Be More Open to the Users’ Paths - Filtering
So how must library strategies change?
First:1. Focus on memberships and audiences 2. Then focus on penetration though engagement 3. Measure (and communicate) impact
Conclusions Up Front1. Prioritize Programs not Collections (align)2. Drive ‘Reference’ with Data and Know Your Top Questions3. Re-Balance of Physical and Virtual4. Invest Time in Demographics & Analytics (Measurements not Stats)5. Put the newer Technological Tools in Context6. Build Recreational Reading Away From Effort and Get Real About the eBook Issue7. Homework: Deal With It8. Transliteracy is a Key Opportunity9. Partnerships are everything and essential
Specific Challenges1. Setting Priorities and Making Sacrifices (Program Hiatuses)2. Innovation Culture, Pilots and Diffusion3. Fix our Backroom and Front Room Balance through more Cooperation4. Alignment with Community Goals & our Values5. Measuring the Right Stuff - Impact6. Investing in HR Development & Generations7. Admit we have Sacred Cows (desks, books, …)8. Promotion, Marketing, Communication, Advocacy
Change can happen very fast
What is an EXPERIENCE? What is a library experience?What differentiates a library experience from a transaction? What differentiates public libraries from Google/Bing?
The Evolution of Answers
Why do people ask questions?Is your library experience conceptually organized around answers and programs? Or collections, technology and buildings?
Why do people ask questions? Who, What, When, Where How & Why Data – Information – Knowledge - Behavior To Learn or to Know To Acquire Information, Clarify, Tune To Decide, to Solve, to Choose, to Delay To Interview, Delve, Interact, Progress To Entertain or Socialize To Reduce Fear To Help, Aid, Cure, Be a Friend To Win A Bet
What are your top 10-20 questions?What is the service portfolio model that goes with those?
The Baker’s Dozen: 1 Library System’s Top 131. Health and Wellness / Community Health / Nutrition / Diet / Recovery2. DIY Do It Yourself Activities and Car Repair3. Genealogy4. Test prep (SAT, ACT, occupational tests, etc. etc.)5. Legal Questions (including family law, divorce, adoption, etc)6. Hobbies, Games and Gardening7. Local History8. Consumer reviews (Choosing a car, appliance, etc.)9. Homework Help (grade school)10. Technology Skills (software, hardware, web)11. Government Programs, Services and Taxation12. Self-help/personal development13. Careers (jobs, counselling, etc.)14. Readers Advisory was 14th
Top 12 Patron Hobbies Recreational Reading Cooking & Recipes Computers Movies & Film Exercise, Cycling & WalkingTraveling, Tourism & Vacations Top Hobbies? Music Top Homework Questions? Pets Top Travel Destinations? Gardening What do you know? Television Shows Arts & Crafts Knitting & Needlecrafts 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
What are your demographics?Did you know… The dominant household is singles Next is couples Then families with children Poor neighborhoods use smartphones and broadband at higher levels Poor neighborhoods use the library more Hispanics have more smartphones, etc. Virtual user is dominant and different than in-person Challenge all assumptions . . .
News Flash News FlashTech Shift Happens
Seth Godin on Decisions (June 8, 2011)o Which of these are getting in the way?o You dont know what to doo You dont know how to do ito You dont have the authority or the resources to do ito Youre afraido You believe that money matters mosto Once you figure out whats getting in the way, its far easier to find the answer (or decide to work on a different problem).o Stuck is a state of mind, and its curable.o Turn Excuses into Reasons
Deer in headlamps slide here.
What Are Libraries Really For?• Community & Social Glue• Learning• Discovery• Progress• Research (Applied and Theoretical)• Cultural & Knowledge Custody• Economic Impact
What Are Librarians For?• Expertise (We ARE Experts!)• Relationships• Transformation• Professional Service (not servant)• Vision & Leadership• Economic Impact
Columbus, Cook, Magellan and Libraries:Searching for the corners of the earth, the edge of the oceans and discovering dragons ...
Columbus, Cabot, Cortes
Magellan Columbus Cook
Questions for Libraries Today:1. Are our priorities right?2. Are learning, research, discovery changing materially and what is actually changing?3. What is the foundation of future library success . . . Books? Meh…4. What is the role for librarians in the real future (that is not an extension of the past)?
Cookbooks, Chefs . . .
Cookbooks, Chefs . . .
Let’s chatWhat is a meal in library end-user or educationand learning terms? End users want to find Their goal is a transformational experience They don’t see the library as inventory and logistics Our generational assumptions need updating Sometimes they don’t need help Listen to the stories
The newbibliography and collection development KNOWLEDGE PORTALS KNOWLEDGE, LEARNING, INFORMATION & RESEARCH COMMONS
What areyour user’sreal goals?
Chefs, counsellors, teachers, magiciansLibrarians play a vital role in building the critical connections between information , knowledge and learning.
ProgramsWhat are the components of a program focus? What lifts Libraries beyond our foundations?
You have the tools.
Stop Making it So Hard!
Trans-Literacy: Move beyond reading & PC skills Reading literacy News literacy Numeracy Technology literacy Critical literacy Failure Information literacy Social literacy is not an 100% Media literacy Computer literacy Adaptive literacy Option Web literacy Research literacy Content literacy Academic literacy Written literacy Reputation, Etc.
E-Learning Do you know the new curriculum and the goals?
List of content farms and general spammy user generated content sites: Experts Exchange (experts-exchange.com) All Experts (allexperts.com) eZine Articles (ezinearticles.com) Answers (answers.com) Find Articles (findarticles.com) Answer Bag (answerbag.com) FixYa (fixya.com Helium (helium.com) Articles Base (articlesbase.com) Hub Pages (hubpages.com) Ask (ask.com) InfoBarrel (infobarrel.com) Associated Content (associatedcontent.com) Livestrong (livestrong.com) BizRate (bizrate.com) Mahalo (mahalo.com) Buzle (buzzle.com) Mail Archive (mail-archive.com) Brothersoft (brothersoft.com) Question Hub (questionhub.com) Bytes (bytes.com) Squidoo (squidoo.com) ChaCha (chacha.com) Suite101 (suite101.com) eFreedom (efreedom.com) Twenga (twenga.com) eHow (ehow.com) WiseGeek (wisegeek.com) Essortment (essortment.com) Wonder How To (wonderhowto.com) Examiner (examiner.com) Yahoo! Answers (answers.yahoo.com) Expert Village (expertvillage.com) Xomba (xomba.com) )
The nasty facts about Google & Bing andconsumer search: SEO / SMO Content FarmsAdvertiser-driven Geotagging
What We Never Really Knew Before (US/Canada) 27% of our users are under 18. We often 59% are female. believe a lot 29% are college students. that isn’t 5% are professors and 6% are teachers. true. On any given day, 35% of our users are there for the very first time! Only 29% found the databases via the library website. 59% found what they were looking for on their first search. 72% trusted our content more than Google. But, 81% still use Google.
2010 Eduventures Research on Investments 58% of instructors believe that technology in courses positively impacts student engagement. 71% of instructors that rated student engagement levels as “high” as a result of using technology in courses. 71% of students who are employed full-time and 77% of students who are employed part-time prefer more technology-based tools in the classroom. 79% of instructors and 86 percent of students have seen the average level of engagement improve over the last year as they have increased their use of digital educational tools. 87% of students believe online libraries and databases have had the most significant impact on their overall learning. 62% identify blogs, wikis, and other online authoring tools while 59% identify YouTube and recorded lectures. E-books and e-textbooks impact overall learning among 50% of students surveyed, while 42% of students identify online portals. 44% of instructors believe that online libraries and databases will have the greatest impact on student engagement. 32% of instructors identify e-textbooks and 30% identify interactive homework solutions as having the potential to improve engagement and learning outcomes. (e-readers was 11%) 49% of students believe that online libraries and databases will have the greatest impact on student engagement. Students are more optimistic about the potential for technology.
What do we need to know? How do library databases and virtual services compare with other web experiences? Who are our core virtual users? Are there gaps? Does learning happen? How about discovery? What are user expectations for true satisfaction? How does library search compare to consumer search like Google and retail or government? How do people find and connect with library virtual services? Are end users being successful in their POV? Are they happy? Will they come back? Tell a friend?
Emboldened Librarians hold the key
So how must library strategies change?
What is Changing?1. Evidence-based Reference Strategies2. Experience-based Portals: The New Commons3. Personal Service on Steroids4. Quality Strategies: Consumer vs. Professional Search5. Social Networks and Recommendations6. Trans-literacy Strategies7. People-driven Strategies8. Curriculum and Research Agenda9. Service and Programs
Recommendations Strengthen Your Personal Brand Reposition the Library and Librarian Don’t Tie Yourself directly to Collections or Physical Space Network with Your Users Socially Measure, Don’t Count Engage in partnerships Know Take Risks
Technology Context Cloud (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS) Laptops and Tablets Mobility / Smartphones Bandwidth (Wired, WiFi, Whitespace) Learning Management Systems Streaming video and audio vs. download HTML5 and Apps – the battle Advertising auction models and ‘product’ New(ish) Players (Amazon, Apple, G, B&N, Uni’s, states/provinces/nations)