Strategic Priorities in Libraries: Focus on the Transformations Stephen Abram, MLS Web 2.012 Oct. 3, 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”
So how must library strategies change?
Conclusions Up Front1. Prioritize Programs not Collections2. Drive ‘Reference’ with Data and Know Your Top Questions3. Balance of Physical and Virtual4. Invest Time in Demographics and Analytics5. Put Technological Tools in Context . . . As tools6. Build Recreational Reading Away From Effort and Get Real About the eBook Issue7. Homework: Deal With It8. Transliteracy is a Key Opportunity9. Partnerships are about everything
Specific Challenges1. Setting Priorities and Making Sacrifices2. Innovation Culture, Pilots and Diffusion3. Program Hiatuses4. Backroom and Front Room Balance5. Alignment with Goals6. Measuring the Right Stuff7. Organizational Structure and Governance8. Investing in HR Development & Cross-training9. Sacred Cows (desks, books, …)10. 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 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: Sample 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
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.
What Are Libraries Really For?• Community• Learning• Discovery• Progress• Research (Applied and Theoretical)• Cultural & Knowledge Custody• Economic Impact
What Are Libraries’ Strategies?• Answer Questions• Train & Educate People• Align with curriculum standards• Align with Research Agenda• Improve the community from a social AND economic point of view
What Are Librarians For?• Expertise• Relationships• Transformation• Service (not servant)• Vision• Leadership• Economic Impact
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? Books versus Reading Library or Lesson level Niche marketing – undergrads, faculty, PhDs? How does the user change? Transform over time?
Chefs, counsellors, teachers, magiciansLibrarians play a vital role in building the critical connections between information , knowledge and learning.
Service Metaphoro Cafeteriaso Take Outo Private Dining Roomso Private Chefso Variety
ProgramsWhat are the components of a program focus? What lifts libraries beyond the foundation?
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 Information literacy Social literacy Media literacy Computer literacy Adaptive literacy Web literacy Research literacy Content literacy Academic literacy Written literacy Reputation, Etc.
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 from their POV? Are they happy? Will they come back? Tell a friend?
So how must library strategies change?
Strategic Challenges for Reference and Research Work in the Coming Decade
The BASICS Data Information Knowledge Wisdom NOT Behavior
Death of Reference Who What Where When Why How
How & Why Questions Now that’s research The interview is more involved Transformational not Transactional Expertise counts The position and reputation of the delivery professional is key Expertise is shared mutually Groups and patterns matter
What does all this mean? The Article level universe The Chapter and Paragraph Universe Integrated with Visuals – graphics and charts Integrated with ‘video’ Integrated with Sound and Speech Integrated with social web Integrated with interaction and not just interactivity How would you enhance a book?
What Strategies Should Change?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. HR! People-driven Strategies8. Curriculum and Research Agenda9. Service and Programs
Recommendations Strengthen Your Personal Brand Reposition the Library and Librarian separately Don’t Tie Yourself directly to Collections or Physical Space . . . But access Network with Your Users Socially Measure, Don’t Count, Analyze Engage in partnerships Know Take Risks
Consider the differences . . . Computer Commons Mall Service Commons Information Commons Knowledge Commons Learning Commons Science Commons Centre or Central? Physical / Virtual Hybrid
Living in a parallel world Serving a hybrid world Changing their strategic planning models to add more stretch into the environmental scans, creative thinking and imagination Bringing staff and profession along the curve 12 steps . . .
Differential Adoption The generations are adopting at much different rates and for different purposes Boomers are the primary adopters of e- reading Adult women are a major market for e- gaming Students are resisting e-textbook adoption – for now. Tablet adoption (ownership)
End of CD and DVD More e-Book and e-content formats Dealing with new potential walled gardens for e-content (app stores, e-formats, single device stuff, etc.) Mobility and smartphones and tablets
This is an evolution not a revolution The REAL revolution was the Internet and the Web. The hybrid ecology is winning in the near term for operating systems and content formats. This is good since competition drives innovation. Engage in critical thinking not raw criticism. Be constructive. Critical thinking is not part of dogma or religious fervor or fan boy behavior. Blamestorming is a silly response & not strategic
This is an evolution not a revolution Perfectionism will not move us forward at this juncture. Really understand the digital divide and remove your economic and social class blinkers Get over library obsession with statistics and comprehensiveness. Get excellent at real measurements, sampling and understanding impact and satisfaction. (Analytics, Foresee, Pew)
This is an evolution not a revolution We need to revisit the concept of preservation, archives, repositories, and conservation. Check out new publishing models like Flipboard. Watch for emerging book enhancements and other features that will challenge library metadata, selection policies, and collection development.
Smelly OrYellow SexLiquid Appeal?
There are no knights on horsesin technology. Don’t hide!
Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLAVP strategic partnerships and markets Cengage Learning (Gale) Cel: 416-669-4855 firstname.lastname@example.org Stephen’s Lighthouse Blog http://stephenslighthouse.com Facebook, Pinterest: Stephen Abram LinkedIn / Plaxo: Stephen Abram Twitter: @sabram SlideShare: StephenAbram1