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Designing Collection Experiences: Concentration


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Workshop presented October 22, 2013 in Waterloo, Iowa. The topic was public library concentration: the strategic practice of aligning a library collection with the interests and needs of readers and the community, so that the collection is strongest in those areas that are of most value to its stakeholders. Fourth session in the Designing Collection Experiences series

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Designing Collection Experiences: Concentration

  1. 1. Designing Collection Experiences: 4. Concentration Roy Kenagy October 22, 2013 Waterloo Public Library
  2. 2. Rhizomes
  3. 3. List as many collection development practices as you can. Which ones do you prefer? • • • • • • • • • • Purchase alerts Make displays – presentation Pay attention to what’s going on in pop culture Format innovation – Nooks, playaway views Looking at other libraries, bookstores, Menards Listening to the readers Consulting core collection sources: Wilson, etc. Looking back at circulations of an author’s previous titles Cleaning up the appearance of the collection • • • • • • • • • Getting the right amount of copies Consulting reports from your scat tables Accessibility Using availability ratings to design your space more effectively Partnering/grant seeking: pursuing money Physical layout of the collection Ensuring readers can find what they want Considering your collection failures Having a purchase request policy/procedure
  4. 4. Cedar Rapids Public Library, a long time ago.
  5. 5. Image from Caitlin at
  6. 6. Lolly Parker Eggers. A Century of Stories: The History of the Iowa City Public Library, 1896-1997. Iowa City: Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, 1997.
  7. 7. What are the advantages & disadvantages of collection management by subject specialists? Advantages Disadvantages • Ownership of the area assigned • Knows the subject area really well • Subject managed by someone who is an expert would have great depth • Won’t have an area of the collection that is neglected • Expert can consult better sources • Frees up time of selectors if responsibility divided • Could be biased toward one viewpoint • Labor-intensive • Financial limitations – less flexible in allocations • Area might suffer if specialist left or took leave of absence • Fabulous collection that is not of interest to your patrons • Uneven collection because of passions of individual selector • Rest of staff may not be aware of what’s in the collection
  8. 8. Guerrilla Selection
  9. 9. Nathan Bedford Forrest. Who, according to Wikipedia, did not say “Git thar fustest with the mostest.”
  10. 10. Concentration leverages the strategic power of availability. Surprise and delight your readers.
  11. 11. Unlike the graphic arts, drawing, or photography, unlike tracings, the rhizome pertains to a map that must be produced, constructed, a map that is always detachable, connectable, reversible, modifiable, and has multiple entranceways and exits and its own lines of flight. It is tracings that must be put on the map, not the opposite. — Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (p. 21)
  12. 12. Pareto Distribution Long Tail
  13. 13. Kinda Long Tail
  14. 14. What are some examples of the Pareto distribution from your public library experience? • • • • • Long tail: Bridge player James Patterson Amish fiction DVDs
  15. 15. Heterogeneous Granularity
  16. 16. Image: Flickr – bibliovox [char booth]
  17. 17. Rhizomes are a flexible and responsive tool for framing your collection.
  18. 18. B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore. The Experience Economy. Revised ed. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2011.
  19. 19. Public Library Service Responses Sandra S. Nelson for the Public Library Association. Strategic Planning for Results. PLA Results Series. Chicago: American Library Association, 2008.
  20. 20. Diffusion of Innovations Based on Everett M. Rogers. Diffusion of Innovations. 5th ed. New York: Free Press, 2003.
  21. 21. Where do you want to be on the innovation curve? • Early majority
  22. 22. How do your policies and plans acknowledge the design frames? • Collection plan reflects service responses: popular fiction; reference collection • Collection development policy geared to defending patron complaints about selection choices
  23. 23. The Narrative / Exposition Continuum
  24. 24. "Raw Data" Is an Oxymoron, ed. Lisa Gitelman. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2013.
  25. 25. The Product Life Cycle Introductory Stage Growth Stage Maturity Stage Decline Stage Total Market Sales Time
  26. 26. Product Life Cycle Exercise • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Hardcover books Mature, tending toward decline Paperback books Mature, toward decline Graphic novels Mature, Growth, Growth E-books Growth, borderline with introductory Streaming video Intro, YouTube growth DVDs Mature, on borderline decline Spoken CDs Mature, tending toward decline maybe Music CDs Decline, Mature tending toward Decline 16mm film Dead Art prints Decline Puppets Growth?/Mature/Decline Streaming music Growth Blu-ray Growth/Mature Downloadable audiobooks Growth Public access computers Decline/Mature Print magazines Decline Services like Zinio Growth Research databases Decline Genealogy databases/narrative Growth Playaway views Growth Loaning e-readers Intro/Growth
  27. 27. Transactional Budgeting Murray S. Martin and Milton T. Wolf. Budgeting for Information Access: Managing the Resource Budget for Absolute Access. Chicago: American Library Association, 1998.
  28. 28.
  29. 29. See John Carlo Bertot, Charles R. McClure, and Joe Ryan, Statistics and Performance Measures for Public Library Network Services, Chapter 3 (Chicago: American Library Association, 2001), for composite measures combining both traditional and electronic use, as well as possible ratios to put electronic use into perspective.
  30. 30. Decision Matrix
  31. 31. BISAC Subject Classification Book Industry Standards and Communication
  32. 32.
  33. 33. 2013 Horizon Report Shortlists K-12 Higher Education Museums One Year or Less BYOD Cloud Computing Mobile Learning Online Learning Flipped Classroom Massively Open Online Courses Mobile Apps Tablet Computing BYOD Crowdsourcing Open Content Social Media Two to Three Years Electronic Publishing Learning Analytics Open Content Personalized Learning Augmented Reality Game-Based Learning The Internet of Things Learning Analytics 3D Printing Augmented Reality Electronic Publishing Location-Based Services Four to Five Years 3D Printing Augmented Reality Virtual and Remote Laboratories Wearable Technology 3D Printing Flexible Displays Next Generation Batteries Wearable Technology The Internet of Things Natural User Interfaces Preservation/Conservation Tech Wearable Technology
  34. 34. Strengths: What can we build on? What rhizomes are we most proud of in the collection? How does that reflect our strength as a library? What makes our collection unique? What can we be best at in our community? What is our proudest collection achievement in the last year or two? How do we use our collection strengths to get results? How do our collection strengths fit with the realities of the community? What collection services do we do or provide that are world class for our readers, the library community, and other potential stakeholders?
  35. 35. Strengths
  36. 36. Opportunities: What are our stakeholders asking for? How do we make sense of collection opportunities encouraged by external forces and trends? What are the top five collection opportunities on which we should focus our efforts? How can we best meet the needs of our stakeholders, including readers, staff, and the community? Who are our possible new readers? How can we distinctively differentiate ourselves from existing or potential competitors? What are possible new or strengthened rhizomes, products, services, or processes? How can we reframe challenges to be seen as exciting opportunities? What new skills do we need to move forward?
  37. 37. Opportunities
  38. 38. Aspirations: What do we care deeply about? When we explore our values and aspirations for the collection, what are we deeply passionate about? Reflecting on our Strengths and Opportunities conversations: what is the collection, what should it become, and where should we position it in the future? What is our most compelling aspiration for the collection? What strategic initiatives (i.e., projects, programs, and processes) would support our collection aspirations?
  39. 39. Aspirations
  40. 40. Results: How do we know we are succeeding? Considering our collection Strengths, Opportunities, and Aspirations, what meaningful measures would indicate that we are on track to achieving our goals? What are 3 to 5 indicators that would create a scorecard that addresses a triple bottom line of effectiveness, people, and planet? What resources are needed to implement vital collection projects? What are the best rewards to support those who achieve our collection goals?
  41. 41. Results
  42. 42. Insights from SOAR Frames/Rhizomes Practices/Measures