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  1. 1. Future Ready Libraries:Strategic Trends in Reference Stephen Abram, ML San Jose State University SLIS Online Course April 17, 2012
  2. 2. The Final Change The Last CowboysThese slides are available at Stephen’s Lighthouse blog
  3. 3. News Flash“The Internet and technology have now progressed to their infancy”
  4. 4. Speaking of e- Books...
  5. 5. Borders Kobo, B&N Nook, Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad, Sony, etc. . . .
  6. 6. GBS
  7. 7. Pottermore
  8. 8.  Consider the effect of the above and this on reference: Chapters and Articles Audio and streaming media Subscriptions, rentals, Read It Later becomes Pocket Other ‘real’ bookmarking tools Quora, Virtual Reference Mobile
  9. 9. Can we frame the e-book issue sothat it can be addressed rationally?
  10. 10. Books
  11. 11. Fiction
  12. 12. Non-Fiction
  13. 13. E-Learning
  14. 14. Be More Open to the Users’ Paths - Filtering
  15. 15. So how must library strategies change?
  16. 16. 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 & Analytics (Measurements not Stats)5. Put 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 about everything
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. Sensemaking
  19. 19. The BASICS Data Information Knowledge Wisdom NOT Behavior
  20. 20. Death of Reference Who What Where When Why How
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. What is an EXPERIENCE? What is a library experience?What differentiates a library experience from a transaction? What differentiates public libraries from Google/Bing?
  23. 23. The Evolution of Answers
  24. 24. Why do people ask questions?Is your library experience conceptually organized around answers and programs? Or collections, technology and buildings?
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. What are your top 10-20 questions?What is the service portfolio model that goes with those?
  27. 27. 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
  28. 28. 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
  29. 29. News Flash News FlashTech Shift Happens
  30. 30. Deer in headlamps slide here.
  31. 31. What Are Libraries Really For?• Community• Learning• Discovery• Progress• Research (Applied and Theoretical)• Cultural & Knowledge Custody• Economic Impact
  32. 32. What Are Librarians For?• Expertise• Relationships• Transformation• Service (not servant)• Vision• Leadership• Economic Impact• Get OK with being an EXPERT and a PROFESSIONAL
  33. 33. 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)?
  34. 34. Grocery Stores
  35. 35. Grocery Stores
  36. 36. Grocery Stores
  37. 37. Cookbooks, Chefs . . .
  38. 38. Cookbooks, Chefs . . .
  39. 39. Meals
  40. 40. What is a meal in library end-user or educationand learning terms?How do you put your meat in the game?LibGuides are 1% of the way there.
  41. 41. The newbibliography and collection development KNOWLEDGE PORTALS KNOWLEDGE, LEARNING, INFORMATION & RESEARCH COMMONS
  42. 42. What areyour user’sreal goals?
  43. 43. Chefs, counsellors, teachers, magiciansLibrarians play a vital role in building the critical connections between information , knowledge and learning.
  44. 44. ProgramsWhat are the components of a program focus? What lifts Libraries beyond our foundations?
  45. 45. 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.
  46. 46. StealThisIdea
  47. 47. The nasty facts about Google & Bing andconsumer search: SEO / SMO Content FarmsAdvertiser-driven Geotagging
  48. 48. List of content farms and general spammy user generated content sites:  Experts Exchange ( All Experts (  eZine Articles ( Answers (  Find Articles ( Answer Bag (  FixYa ( Helium ( Articles Base (  Hub Pages ( Ask (  InfoBarrel ( Associated Content (  Livestrong ( BizRate (  Mahalo ( Buzle (  Mail Archive ( Brothersoft (  Question Hub ( Bytes (  Squidoo ( ChaCha (  Suite101 ( eFreedom (  Twenga ( eHow (  WiseGeek ( Essortment (  Wonder How To ( Examiner (  Yahoo! Answers ( Expert Village (  Xomba ( )
  49. 49. StrategicAnalytics
  50. 50. 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.
  51. 51. 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.
  52. 52. 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?
  53. 53. Emboldened Librarians hold the key
  54. 54. So how must library strategies change?
  55. 55. 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?
  56. 56. 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
  57. 57. 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
  58. 58. 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)
  59. 59. Book Challenges Format Agnosticism Browsers: IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari Devices: Macintosh, PC Desktops & Laptops Mobile: Laptops, Tablets (iPad, Fire, etc.) Mobile: Smartphones (iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Windows, etc.) Container: PDF, ePub, .mobi, Kindle, etc. Learning Management System: Blackboard / WebCT, D2L, Moodle, Sakai, etc. Purchasing (Amazon, B&N, Chegg, CengageBrain, Apple Store, University Textbook Store, etc.)
  60. 60. Should we tie users and students to a specific and proprietary device or operating system?
  61. 61. This era will see a Fundamental Reimagining the BookFor the present there will be those who resist and the resisters will be the majority.
  62. 62. Reimagine ServiceReference and Research
  63. 63. Consider the differences . . . Computer Commons Mall Service Commons Information Commons Knowledge Commons Learning Commons Science Commons Centre or Central? Physical / Virtual Hybrid
  64. 64. Mobility
  65. 65. A 1965 iPhone
  66. 66.  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.
  67. 67.  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)
  68. 68.  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.
  69. 69. What Would You Attempt IfYou Knew You Would Not Fail?
  70. 70. A Third Path
  71. 71. Smelly OrYellow SexLiquid Appeal?
  72. 72. Considering the Whole Experience
  73. 73. Stephen Abram, MLS, FSLAVP strategic partnerships and markets Cengage Learning (Gale) Cel: 416-669-4855 Stephen’s Lighthouse Blog Facebook, Pinterest: Stephen Abram LinkedIn / Plaxo: Stephen Abram Twitter: @sabram SlideShare: StephenAbram1