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While working with the Chicago Public Library, one of our tasks was to develop a broad list of projects that could be implemented using a range of resources and time. Our goal was to harness technology for the purpose of:
enabling libraries to have greater impact on their communities
engaging with a wider range of patrons
cross-collaborating with other city/ county departments
bringing a more diverse group of people back in to the physical library space for a variety of purposes
expanding the number of library supporters and sustainers
readying the libraries for change as the media landscape continues to evolve
We developed an initial set of 70 different projects. The CPL staff selected 20 of those projects for us to outline. We drafted project descriptions using the following template:
Description: short explanation of what the project is
Recommendations: why we advocate this project
Objectives: what a library can achieve with this project
Task Description: what steps need to be taken for this project
Beneficiaries: who, besides the library, will benefit from the project
Challenges: what known or potential obstacles are there
Partners: who could the library partner with to make this project work
Rating: how much time will the project take to plan and launch, how much will it cost, and how many people will it impact
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1. LIBRARY PROJECTS Scalable Projects and Ideas For Public Libraries Libraries: Scalable Projects and Ideas Updated1 © 2012 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com 1.5.2012
INTRODUCTIONWebbmedia Group worked with the Chicago Public Library to re-imagine alibrary for the future. One of our tasks was to develop a broad list of projectsthat could be implemented using a range of resources and time. Our goal wasto harness technology for the purpose of: • enabling libraries to have greater impact on their communities • engage with a wider range of patrons • cross-collaborate with other city/ county departments • bringing a more diverse group of people back in to the physical library space for a variety of purposes • expanding the number of library supporters and sustainers • readying the libraries for change as the media landscape continues to evolveWe developed an initial set of 70 different projects. The CPL staff selected 20 ofthose projects for us to outline. We drafted project descriptions using thefollowing template: • Description: short explanation of what the project is • Recommendations: why we advocate this project • Objectives: what a library can achieve with this project • Task Description: what steps need to be taken for this project • Beneﬁciaries: who, besides the library, will beneﬁt from the project • Challenges: what known or potential obstacles are there • Partners: who could the library partner with to make this project work • Rating: how much time will the project take to plan and launch, how much will it cost, and how many people will it impactThis report includes three of those projects. The can be scaled and replicated byany library. Libraries: Scalable Projects and Ideas Updated2 © 2012 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com 1.5.2012
Project: Adopt a LibrarianProposal DescriptionLibraries are not places to get books; they are places to get information. Inrecent years, as more and more people get information through technology, andexpect that their librarians are experiences with information technology.Furthermore, as Americans struggle in a down economy, many people look tothe library as their only connection to technology.However, decreased budgets and staff have led to a workforce that isunprepared to provide patrons with guidance around accessing and usingtechnology.The Adopt-a-Librarian program will pair technology whizzes with branchlibrarians in a program that will keep librarians up to date on emergingtechnology trends.RecommendationsLibraries should create a program where patrons who have experience withtechnology can “adopt” a librarian and mentor them on emerging technologytrends. It is something of a reverse reference, giving librarians access toinformation they might otherwise not have.The technology mentors could visit the library once per month to meet withtheir adopted librarian in an “office hours” like setting, demoing new productsand tools, and answering questions that the librarian might have.Objectives • Keep librarians up-to-date on emerging tech trends, giving them the tools they need to serve their patron’s needs • Create a broad community of technologists who are invested in and become strong supporters of the libraryRationaleLibrarians need to stay up to date with emerging tech trends. It is a ﬁeld that isalways changing and adapting, and Libraries needs a systematic way of keepinglibrarians engaged in this world.Furthermore, Libraries need to build advocates and proxies within their localcommunities, and giving technologists a way to give back creates a strong bondbetween the individual and the agency. Libraries: Scalable Projects and Ideas Updated3 © 2012 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com 1.5.2012
Task Descriptions Program Development • Develop program timeline • Prospective adoptive technologists enters the program each year • Adoptive technologists (ATs) are provided with a packet of information about the library and its challenges • ATs come into the library at least once a month to have an “office hours” session with their librarian • After each session ATs and librarians complete a feedback form Beneﬁciaries • Librarians who will better understand technology • The patrons who they serve • Libraries would have increased brand and fundraising potential Challenges • Volunteer organizing takes at least a part time staff person, which might be difficult to allocate given recent budget cuts • Libraries may mitigate this challenge by creating an “adopt-a-librarian” kit that is distributed to branches that might want to take on the challenge Partners • Local technology ﬁrms • Google (local representative) • Facebook (local representative) • Twitter (local representative) • Microsoft • Local universities Rating Cost: $10k - $50k initially, then minimal Time: 3 months Community Impact: 3000+ Libraries: Scalable Projects and Ideas Updated4 © 2012 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com 1.5.2012
Project: Backstage ToursProposal DescriptionMost library patrons engage with the things we want them to see: our publicbuildings, books, records, computers, and workspaces. However, there is awhole other side to libraries that remains hidden to the general public, but whichis of upmost interest to many. The library’s “backstage,” where books are storedand sorted is endlessly fascinating to many, particularly those in the technologyand information sectors.Libraries should create a backstage tour to bring in high-proﬁle technology andinformation leaders throughout their regions. This type of activity would helpthem better understand the complexities, challenges, and opportunities inrunning a large library system, provide them with networking opportunities withpeers, and potentially turn them into library advocates.RecommendationsLibraries should organize quarterly tours for members of the local technologyelite. These tours will take approximately two hours, and end with a mini-reception in a big space within the library. The mini-reception will be a place todiscuss what was learned as well as some of the challenges that Libraries face inimplementing technology projects. These tours will have an element ofexclusivity and intimacy, and build up a community of library proxies within thecommunity’s technology elite.ObjectivesTurn members of the technology community into library advocates, proxies, andﬁnancial supporters.RationaleInternet entrepreneurs and librarians are in the same business: connectingpeople to information they want and need. Technologists are also very activeonline, and tend to have their own audiences. Building up supporters in thiscommunity could lead to advocacy for library services and direct and indirectﬁnancial support. Libraries: Scalable Projects and Ideas Updated5 © 2012 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com 1.5.2012
Task DescriptionProgram Development • Develop tour content • 2-3 hours • Experts describing the most interesting elements of “Backstage at the Library” • Designate a staff person to be a historian who can record and take photos during the tours (doesn’t need to be a professional) • Designate a hashtag for the event • Create tour handouts • Develop mini-reception talking points • Develop training session for tour guidesParticipation guidelines: • Each participant needs to write a blog post or tweet or take photos or develop some kind of content related to their experience • Each participants should bring a guest – someone who is similarly awesome in the technology spaceLogistics: • Develop tour calendar (quarterly tours for a select group) • Develop Eventbrite to manage registration • Each person invited can come, but has to bring someone else in the tech community with them • Develop form to collect feedback (use library computers so that participants can get a sense of tech)Marketing: • Develop press packet and social media content to promote the series of Backstage Tours • Reach out to partners to promote the event (universities, etc) • At the end of the year, create a video using the content captured during the toursBeneﬁciaries !Your budget !Technology community !Senior leadership Libraries: Scalable Projects and Ideas Updated6 © 2012 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com 1.5.2012
ChallengesOutreach to this community might be difficult at the beginning of the project.Partners • Librarians • Other local city/county/university departmentsRatingCost: $500 - $10kTime: 3 monthsCommunity Impact: 3000+ Libraries: Scalable Projects and Ideas Updated7 © 2012 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com 1.5.2012
Project: Geeks in ResidenceProposal DescriptionProvide access to shared workspace to local geeks and start up technologyentrepreneurs in exchange for time volunteered to train staff and engage withpatrons.Recommendations • Identify available space. Identify a library branch with available space that can be dedicated to co-working for a selection of geeks. Start with one branch with the view to scale based on success. • Identify geeks for the program. Create a nomination form where geeks can nominate themselves and others - requires references/ recommendations. Use a digital platform to source nominations (eg. Google Doc and Forms). Cross promote with local media/social media.ObjectivesEngages a new audience of tech savvy, entrepreneurial geeks to spend time inthe library • Creates a reciprocal arrangement of mentoring • Positions the library as a hub for ideas and engagementRationaleAs information needs shift, it is important to start to position the library as a hubfor geeks.Task Descriptions • Identify available space. Identify a library branch with available space that can be dedicated to co-working for a selection of geeks. Start with one branch with the view to scale based on success. • Identify geeks for the program. Create a nomination form where geeks can nominate themselves and others - requires references/ recommendations. Use a digital platform to source nominations (eg. Google Docs and Forms). Cross promote with local media/social media. Libraries: Scalable Projects and Ideas Updated8 © 2012 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com 1.5.2012
Beneﬁciaries • Libraries staff • Libraries patrons • Geeks and local tech entrepreneursChallenges • Identifying space • Sourcing geeks • Policing volunteeringPartners • Offices of entrepreneurship/employment/labor • Local CTO office • Local UniversitiesRatingCost: $500 - $10kTime: 3 monthsCommunity Impact: 500 - 1000 people Libraries: Scalable Projects and Ideas Updated9 © 2012 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com 1.5.2012
Key Company Info Contact Us • Webbmedia Group launched January 2006. Site: • We’ve worked with Fortune 500 and http://www.webbmediagroup.com Global 1000 companies, foundations, Tel: media organizations, governments, (267) 342.4300 universities and tech startups worldwide. • We offer strategy and training services. Email: • Webbmedia Group staff are ﬂuent in firstname.lastname@example.org Japanese, Russian, Ukrainian, Spanish, French and English. Twitter: • All of our research, client work and @webbmediagroup training is personalized for each individual group.About Webbmedia GroupWebbmedia Group, LLC is an international digital strategy consultancy thatadvises Fortune 500 and Global 1000 companies, media organizations, law ﬁrms,foundations, associations, governments, startups and universities worldwide. Westudy disruptive technologies and track the emerging digital trends that willprove most game-changing in the near and mid-future. We advise our clients onhow to take best advantage of whats next, giving them critical insights andpoints of view to push them far ahead of their competition. The company isdirected by Amy Webb, CEO.Webbmedia Group includes specialists and experts in technology trends, mobile,tablets, technology/ law, gaming, social media, SEO/metrics, digital mediabusiness development, product development and digital media training.Headquartered in Baltimore, Webbmedia Group has team members in more thana dozen cities, including Miami, NYC and Kyiv (Ukraine). We also partner withBYO Consulting and iStrategy, community engagement ﬁrms that specialize ingaming and high-proﬁle participatory events. Our virtualized office anddistributed platform allows Webbmedia Group to draw on a wide variety ofdisciplines to serve our worldwide client base. Members of our staff are ﬂuent inSpanish, Russian, Japanese, French and English. Libraries: Scalable Projects and Ideas Updated10 © 2012 Webbmedia Group, LLC http://www.webbmediagroup.com 1.5.2012
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