Tag Archives: Library2.0+

Library2.0 Is Dead – Finally


It had a good run, and can now take its place (history will judge its significance) in the evolution of the 21st Century Library. It died because it was never anything more than librarians “playing” with Web2.0 technology, and it lacked a coherent framework for incorporating anything into creating a 21st Century Library.

Walt Crawford’s most recent essay at Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large 11:2, regarding “Five Years Later: Library 2.0 and Balance” provides an extensive review of Library2.0, and what has happened to its voracity over the past five years since it was introduced. Since many of my Posts have been a criticism of Library2.0 in the sense that it never was anything more than “playing” with Web2.0 technology by librarians, I was very interested in his perspective, and retrospective.

According to our friends at Wikipedia, “Library 2.0 made its conference debut at Internet Librarian 2005 in October, 2005, when Michael Stephens of Saint Joseph County Public Library addressed the idea in relation to the typical library website.” But as Crawford points out in this essay,

Was there ever a clear, useful, consensus definition of Library 2.0? Don’t quote Wikipedia at me: I will tell you with 100% certainty that the current shape of that article is at least partly due to some of us lacking the tenacity and patience to keep pushing at it, and even then “loosely defined” appears before the non-definition.

My opinion is that Library2.0 died for the reasons already stated; it was never anything more than librarians “playing” with Web2.0 technology, and it did not offer any coherent framework for building a 21st Century Library.

Crawford’s search results of “Library2.0” publications in Worldcat and LISTA, the free version of Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts offered by EBSCO, over the past five years revealed a graph with the following results.

Crawford’s conclusion was; “The term has been used a lot—not always in an actual library context. The peak years for “Library 2.0” as a library topic were probably 2007-2008. The term will stick around, but seems likely to fade into the background in the future.”

IMHO the 2007-2008 peak was spurred by Helen Blowers 23 Learning 2.0 Things. It literally went around the world being adopted by over 1,000 libraries as THE training tool for librarians to learn all about Web2.0 skills. One of her tenets included “playing” with the various Web2.0 tools, which was offputting to some, because it lacked any discernable objective beyond “playing”. It also died for lack of a coherent framework for incorporating any of it into creating a 21st Century Library.

Crawford goes on in his essay to point out that “LITA had one of its “ultimate debates” at the 2009 Annual Conference, this time on “Has Library 2.0 Fulfilled its Promise?” The group sent “starter questions” to “debaters” beforehand ….”, and the result reported by one attendee was that “The panel couldn’t exactly agree on what Library 2.0 was, let alone whether it’s fulfilled its promise, but traditional ways of thinking may not even be sufficient to judge Lib2.0 effectiveness.” Crawford’s response to this review was; “That last clause suggests a classic circular argument: If you’re not a Librarian 2.0, you’re incapable of judging Library 2.0 effectiveness.”

This observation supports Crawford’s introduction to this essay that recounts a dream he had in which a discussion he and a librarian colleague were having regarding a “new library-related service” was soon taken over by others who wanted to impose a bunch of planning stuff on the front end. To which Crawford responded “Please. Stop. Enough with the overplanning and multidivisional task forces. Let a few people try this out cheaply, quickly, easily. Build on those attempts. Don’t make it into A Big Thing before you know whether it works at all.”

While on the one hand, I personally have found that librarians tend to be the most creative and innovative group of individuals with whom I have worked, on the other hand Crawford’s concept may be too foreign for most librarians without the benefit of some business acumen and/or business experience. I think he’s saying “Try something on a small scale and see if it works for you.”

One of the many fallacies in virtually every profession and business endeavor is that one solution fits all. IT DOES NOT! Not everything implemented by Library A is adoptable by Library B successfully. Every organization is unique – INTERNALLY. While external influences (in the case of the 21st Century Library they are technology advances, education reform, and societal changes) may be virtually the same among the library community, internally is where implementation of a model solution either succeeds or fails.

Which is what Crawford is also alluding to when he writes;

One truly beneficial result of the whole “Library 2.0” phenomenon is that some (by no means all) library groups and libraries recognize the virtue of small, rapidly-deployed, “failable” projects: ones done without a lot of planning and deployment, ones that can grow if they succeed, die if they fail and in many cases serve as learning experiences.
….
But…and it’s a big but…the Library 2.0 “movement” also had more than its share of Big Deal Projects and Manifestos, a whole bunch of universalisms (“every library should…” and “every librarian must…”) and a fair amount of better-than-thou moments. It also involved more intergenerational misunderstanding and quarrels than should have been the case.

[Emphasis added.]

I totally agree with Mr. Crawford on these points. Nothing lasting came from all the “overplanning and multidivisional task forces” associated with Library2.0 projects – AGAIN – for lack of a coherent framework for creating a 21st Century Library.

Crawford quotes another source that wasn’t clear, but which is worth citing here to emphasize the point it is illustrating – technology for the sake of technology is another reason why Library2.0 is dead.

Here I’m going to quote the discussion paragraph because it’s so sensible:

Just because a shiny gadget or tool is available, it doesn’t mean that there is a need for it in each library. “Anytime we fetishize the container over the information we’re creating a golden idol,” writes Joshua Neff, extending the “sacred cow” metaphor. Amy Buckland agreed, writing, “I’m always amazed that libtechs are so enamored of tools long before they come up with uses for them. Then we try to shoehorn library services into a tool just so we have it.” Experimenting with low-cost or no-cost tools like Twitter will only cost staff time, but implementing expensive (think federated search) or complex-but-free technologies (think Drupal) because it’s the cool thing to do can be a very costly lesson for a library to learn, in terms of budget, staff time, morale and user satisfaction.

Can I get an Amen?

Crawford spends considerable space in the last half of his essay reviewing other commentaries on Library2.0 related issues such as change, technology and learning outcomes, and social media and libraries, with more to be continued in March. His initial part of the essay is more than enough to substantiate my claim that –

Library2.0 is dead – Finally

It died because it was never anything more than librarians “playing” with Web2.0 technology, and it lacked a coherent framework for incorporating anything into creating a 21st Century Library.

Stay tuned, because I intend to provide the coherent framework for creating a 21st Century Library that Library2.0 lacked.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

21st Century Librarianship – Part 2, Technology


So, do I think I can give you the answers to this ill-defined notion? Not hardly!

What I hope to be able to do is summarize some of the 21st Century Librarianship changes and skills that circumstances are requiring in order for librarians to continue to make a significant contribution in this new environment. (Thanks also to the collaborative efforts of my colleagues.)

Now more than ever, there are additional skills and broader knowledge required for librarians to be successful, much more than is taught in Schools of Library and Information Science (SLIS). Keep in mind that I said “additional skills and broader knowledge”, but what SLIS focus on is the librarianship theory.

Masters level education is virtually all theory based, which is highly important, but not all encompassing. My most favorite “truism” I learned many years ago was that: “Theory without practice is empty and practice without theory is blind.” [Kidd, J. R. (1973). How Adults Learn. New York: Association Press.] In other words, an MLS is not enough to be successful as a 21st Century Librarian. Today’s librarians require additional skills, most of which won’t be taught in SLIS.

Let’s begin this series with:

Librarian 2.0+ Skills
This is a derivation of the Learning 2.0 from Helene Blowers that went around the world in 2007 and 2008. It included:

    • Set up your own blog, locate a few useful library related blogs and/or news feeds.
    • Explore Flickr and learn about this popular image hosting site.
    • Have some Flickr fun and discover some Flickr mashups & 3rd party sites.
    • Learn about RSS feeds.
    • Play around with an online image generator.
    • Take a look at LibraryThing and catalog some of your favorite books.
    • Roll your own search tool with Rollyo.
    • Learn about tagging and discover a Del.icio.us (a social bookmaking site)
    • Explore Technorati and learn how tags work with blog posts.
    • Read a few perspectives on Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the future of libraries.
    • Learn about wikis and discover some innovative ways that libraries are using them.
    • Add an entry to the Learning 2.0 SandBox wiki.
    • Take a look at some online productivity (word processing, spreadsheet) tools.
    • Explore any site from the Web 2.0 awards list, play with it and write a blog post
    • Discover YouTube and a few sites that allow users to upload and share videos.
    • Discover some useful search tools for locating podcasts.
    • Review the titles available on NetLibrary, learn how to download audiobooks.

[I didn’t add any hyperlinks since this is relatively old information, and most librarians are already familiar with these skills.]

In the past three years there have been other technologies that have hit the market that also require knowledge and understanding among librarians. Most of this technology is “mobile” oriented. Michael Porter presented “Gadget Checklist 2010 for WebJunction, that included Peripherals, Mobile Devices, and E-Books and Digital Audio Books. The session is archived at http://www.webjunction.org/mobile-devices/-/articles/content/106452201, and reviewed at my Post of October 12, “21st Century Libraries Include “Gadget” Technology”.

NOTE: I am not suggesting that ALL librarians must know or understand ALL of these technologies. What I am suggesting is that when 21st Century Librarians recognize a service need their customers have, they should know how to find out what technologies can fill that need and which (if any) will best satisfy their library’s mission.

The important thing about librarians understanding technology is the application to fulfill a customer service. Past models proposed “customer service responses” (Sandra Nelson and June Garcia’s New Planning for Results) that presumably described the “core” library services. 20th Century libraries could pick and choose those service responses that met their community’s needs and incorporate them into their strategic plan.

21st Century Library models (of which there are no comprehensive ones) would outline the services in terms of delivery, as well as type, and customer segment. Delivery is a paramount concern in this new technology rich environment, where delivery was pretty much standard in previous decades – not too many alternatives – but, delivery options now range from traditional to digital to mobile, and who knows what in another 5 years. Also, services are now more specific to customer segments as well. A service for a Digital Fugitive customer would be very different for a Digital Native customer. It makes a difference!

What other Librarian2.0+ technology skills would you recommend for 21st Century Librarianship?

More to come…………………
Next up: 21st Century Librarianship – Part 3:
Determine your relevance to your community

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

21st Century Librarianship – Part 1


Obviously, I’m assuming that there will be several parts to this subject (since I didn’t actually get too far “on topic”), so there will be more.

I have NEVER considered myself a “progressive” and certainly not an “activist”, both terms with unpleasant connotations to many in my generation. But, I am seriously upset and concerned at the lack of conversation among the librarian profession in general regarding the 21st Century Librarian, and by a lack of leadership of this conversation within ALA specifically. The justification for my upset and concern was borne out by a recent speech at “A 21st-Century Vision for Libraries” conference held in Islamabad, Pakistan last month.

The Keynote address by Leonard Kniffel, Editor and Publisher of American Libraries, addressed Libraries Now More Than Ever.

He began his speech with the opening remark that “The message of the American Library Association can best be summarized in one word, a word we all understand, a word that holds us together as librarians. That word is “Read.”

SERIOUSLY? THAT IS THE 21ST CENTURY MESSAGE FROM ALA?

He followed that with:

“Why do we need libraries when all the information in the world is on the internet?” It’s a tiresome question that American librarians are still being asked despite all our efforts to explain that libraries are needed now more than ever. It’s a tiresome and irritating question. It is especially exasperating when the question is being asked by an agency that is funding the library. [Emphasis added.]

IMHO this is a painful admission (that unfortunately Mr. Kniffel doesn’t even recognize as such) that ALA is not only NOT answering the question (otherwise it wouldn’t be constantly being asked), but that ALA’s “message” has not changed in over 100 years. My first ALA conference was in Chicago in 1995, and my last ALA conference was Washington, D.C. in 2007, and the session topics and general topics of conversation had not changed! In 12 years – NOTHING HAD CHANGED! STAGNATION!

From Mr. Kniffel’s remarks, it sounds to me like ALA doesn’t even recognize that we are in the 21st Century, or that current environmental factors have changed the way libraries MUST do business to remain relevant and survive. Totally unlike IMLS, “an agency that is funding the library” with MAJOR $$$$, that has already recognized that “… the delivery of library … services will be impacted by technology, education reform, and societal … changes …” (Dr. Anne-Imelda M. Radice, Director, Institute of Museum and Library Services) and that has published The Future of Museums and Libraries: A Discussion Guide. IMLS wants to help GUIDE the discussion!

Out of over 3,500 words, Mr. Kniffel’s only 21st Century words of wisdom were; “Information specialists can no longer afford to operate passive repositories. They must be aggressive navigators and aggregators who anticipate the needs of their clients. Our schools cannot be only schools of LIS, they must be schools of LIST: Library and Information Science and Technology. No librarian can afford not to graduate from an LIST and know how to create a website, how to publish an e-newsletter, and how to utilize social networking to deliver library service.” OK. And, which graduate schools are offering that education TODAY?

Mr. Kniffel speaks as if he is revealing a great and wonderful unknown treasure stored within your local librarian when he attempts to visualize the future library.

So what is the future for libraries? What is our vision for contemporary libraries going to be?
Stop for a moment and imagine something. Imagine that you have a personal librarian, one who can tailor a daily reading delivery to your specific tastes and needs, showing you the latest and most interesting writing on your work and for your pleasure and delivering it in a format that allows you to read it onscreen, download it to an e-book, or print it out. The day is coming for us all. In fact, you can start planning now for how you are going to actively deliver information in various media to your community of users before they even know they want it.

He is obviously unfamiliar with “push technology” (explained WAY back in 1997 by Dr. Kenneth W. Umbach, California Research Bureau, for the California State Library), or publish/subscribe news aggregator services like Google Reader, or HyperSuper personalized news aggregator, or any of a myriad of aggregator technologies listed at NewsOnFeeds, NOT to mention simple RSS feeds, and other basic technologies already in fairly wide use in local libraries.

Mostly Mr. Kniffel’s speech included more justification for the 19th and 20th century librarian role:

Let me give you 12 timeless reasons why libraries are good for the country and why librarians cannot be replaced by search engines:
1. They inform citizens and help them find not just information but accurate and authoritative information and knowledge.
2. They break down social boundaries by being open to all.
3. They level the playing field between the haves and the have-nots, the rich and the poor.
4. They value the individual and independent thinking and learning beyond the classroom.
5. They nourish creativity.
6. They open children’s minds to the world around them.
7. They return high dividends on a relatively small investment.
8. They build communities and can be the intellectual centers of the communities they serve, whether that is a town, a university, a school, an organization, or a business.
9. They challenge you to examine controversies, to understand, and to make your own decisions.
10. They offer opportunities for lifelong learning.
11. They provide a safe haven, a sanctuary.
12. They preserve the past, the record of human existence.

SERIOUSLY?

He apparently is also unfamiliar with the “education reform” (to which Dr. Radice refers) in the form of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, because he offers justification for the indispensable librarian as educator by saying: “Try this experiment: Sit down with a 10-year-old and do some Googling. Ask the child to analyze, interpret, and assess the results of a search. Will the child know what to do with the answers that come up? Can children explain a play on words? Can they identify internet myths? Scientific lies? Medical scams? It is essential that they learn how to tell the difference between a fact and a hoax.”

The answer is: “Maybe not all 10 year olds today, but VERY SOON!” And how is ALA preparing librarians to deal with that new wave of information literate customers? With a pat on the back and saying “Keep up the good work. You are very valuable.”? WE KNOW WE ARE VALUABLE! WE NEED SKILLS TO PROVIDE 21ST CENTURY SERVICES TO 21ST CENTURY CUSTOMERS THAT DEMONSTRATE THAT VALUE!

Clearly Mr. Kniffel is out of touch with the 21st Century Library requirements or 21st Century influences driving those requirements. sad……………….

I much prefer progressive lists of 21st Century librarian skills like AASL has offered ( 21st Century Skills in Action in School Libraries), like SLA has offered (Special Libraries & 21st Century Competencies), and EVEN 23 Learning 2.0 Things. I also prefer to listen to implied experts who know what they are talking about in today’s reality, not yesterday’s glory.

So, I never saw myself as a “progressive” or as an “activist”, but I’m committed to this 21st Century Library effort.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

21st Century Library Strategies


So, how do you get from where your library is now, to become a 21st Century Library? Good question. Huge question, but one that deserves an answer. Simple answer: develop a strategy.

Hopefully, your library is using a strategic plan to guide your activities and resource allocation to support those activities, which in turn accomplish objectives, goals and eventually your library mission. The below diagram outlines the essential elements of a quality strategic plan.

Strategic Plan Model

Strategic Plan Model

So, having a strategic plan that points the way toward a vision of your 21st Century Library seems kinda like a no-brainer. But (you say), “What are the goals, objectives and activities of a 21st Century Library?” To which I say, “That is for you to decide.” But, seriously, what other approach would you use? (Not a rhetorical question!)

If someone has a better approach to beginning to move toward becoming a 21st Century Library, I would love to hear it. A strategic plan provides ALL of the elements necessary to make it happen, not just allow it to happen, but to MAKE it happen. Without a strategic plan any organization will flounder because they have no rudder to guide their activities toward a goal, no system to allocate critically limited resources to complete activities that achieve goals and objectives that ultimately achieve the mission. Allocating resources here and there as current pressures sway decisions leads nowhere, except to the expenditure of those resources without accomplishing any specific goals. Think about it.

I’m interested in hearing from anyone who has already done any of this hard work, or has done it another way.
Please share.
Thanks.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A 21st Century Library is NOT Library2.0: It’s More!


Yesterday, a library director colleague shared her experience at her state’s library association conference recently. I’ll quote her email (some things just can’t be expressed well in a Tweet).

“So as I sit in “mobile technology at your library”, I thought I would send you a quick note. I am finding the 21st century library tag to be pervasive in this conference. And no one has the slightest idea what it means. Nor are they trying to define it. It seems to BE defined by the technology. Twitter. Facebook. Texting. E-Reference. etc., rather than any particular service or part of the mission. It seems to be more the idea of “Look at all this cool stuff I get to play with at work. Now, how can I make it fit.”, if that makes sense. And, it isn’t that it isn’t useful, texting late notices is very useful. Twitter…ummmm. That’s a stretch.

But it seems discrimination is out the window. It’s all the bundle of technology or nothing. If you embrace it you are (be default) 21st century. If you don’t…well, you’re behind, or you must not get it. There is certainly a bit of the “Emperor’s new clothes” feel as I sit here (feeling confident in my own techsavvyness) watching these two 20-something IT MLS kids tell all the librarians how to Twitter. And, if they dare ask “Why?”, then they must not be able to see the Emperor’s clothes. So people have stopped asking why. At least that is my feel after two days. And, it could just be here. People want to think about anything but their budget. So maybe it is a bit of lala-land syndrome. “Twitter is more fun”, “Twitter makes me vital”, etc., and, of course, insert any technology in place of Twitter.”

Her frustration with balancing real world keeping the doors open vs. creating a 21st Century Library is heartfelt all over the profession right now. If there is no library to provide 21st Century library services, it’s kinda a moot issue.

Another colleague with a few decades in the trenches also provided some insight into the situation the director was experiencing. Here’s her text reply.

“Well tell the little twits that it’s not that hard to figure out, but you have to do it on a phone and old people can’t see the keys, and I think you have to have an iPhone or at least a Blackberry. Twittering is really just telling the whole world what you are doing hour to hour all day and night.

I have learned if nothing else that I don’t want anyone knowing my business let alone every time I go take a xxx, or have a nose bleed, etc…. From what I get that’s what it is to Twitter, you can only do 140 letters at a time, and it is all about being the one who Twitters and has the most followers or friends. I personally think it is reality TV on your phone.”

Reality TV on your phone! How awesome an observation is that! This Digital Native generation is also a product of reality TV. Do they remember TV before reality shows? Survivor. Big Brother. Kate & John-type shows, and a whole host of others on cable channels that most adults don’t even know exist. That is a total facet of their preferences that has never been addressed, as far as I know, but it certainly seems to have had an impact on them. Obviously, my friend from the trenches is not technology illiterate, but has a healthy skepticism of its application in library services.

This exchange brought up two issues that I wanted to address in this post.

First – 21st Century Library is NOT Library2.0 – It is much MORE! Library2.0 only encompasses the technology. 21st Century Library encompasses the application and integration of technology into library services, and developing technology skills among library staff for appropriate implementation in library services. It includes library policy, which includes Library Boards (in all public libraries anyway), and appropriate governance agents. As much fun as it is to play and experiment with technology, when it comes to making an impact on library services, that is not play. Every library director is painfully aware that whatever the library does has consequences. Application of technology has to have purpose and goals. Library2.0 is part of the strategic plan, not THE strategic plan.

Which brings me to my second observation.

Second – 21st Century Librarianship is NOT the domain of the GenY librarians coming into the profession, but maybe Library2.0 is. While they have tremendous skills, creativity and desire to contribute, they don’t always see their Library’s big picture into which their skills and ideas must fit. No organization can function well or for long with individuals going off in all directions that suit their personal interests. Individuals are a part of the whole organization, and every organization, in order to operate successfully, must operate as a total system with all its elements in sync. Library2.0 seems to have started out as play, and the GenY are certainly into that!

It would be very encouraging to see, read, or hear conversation about 21st Century Library in the broader vision than simply Library2.0. I think it’s time we evolve to the next level of progress beyond Library2.0 into 21st Century Library. How about you?

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The 21st Century Library is More: Business-like


As you read the following excerpts from various businesses, consultants and sources, think in terms of your library, and how these ideas could apply to your library operation. Mentally replace terms like; “executives” with your decision makers (whether Board, Director or managers), “customers” with patrons, “business” or “company” with library, and “technology” with something akin to Library2.0. I believe you will find that virtually all of the ideas and business principles discussed are applicable to making your library more – more 21st Century.

Here are some of the ways a 21st Century Library can operate more like a bottom-line type business, in addition to incorporating selected Library2.0 technology tools, in order to be more competitive. (Knowing your competition is a whole other story, and if you don’t think you have competition for library services, you really need to think more outside the box.) The excerpts are not intended to be definitive, but just exemplary of the principle listed.

Continuous Assessment –
“The control comes from measuring performance through a set of “Key Performance Indicators,” or KPIs. … Most companies already measure their performance in sales, profitability, and other areas they consider “key.” The two major differences between traditional business measurements and KPIs are their connection to the business strategy and their ability to measure processes and activities rather than just financial results. … your business processes should be designed to work away at those Critical Success Factors [Goals and Objectives from your Strategic Plan], every day of every month of every year. But here is one part of the mystery revealed-many entrepreneurs develop a good strategy and do not adjust their processes to fulfill it. How would they know their processes are thwarting their strategy? They wouldn’t, unless they had a set of Key Performance Indicators that measured the progress of their CSF. … Non-financial measures of time, activity, inventory, etc., are often more difficult to obtain, but they can connect much more strongly with CSF in the business strategy. They often make better KPIs because they actually drive the financial results. KPMG International Cooperative (audit, tax and advisory firm)

Service Oriented –
Customer Service Competitive Advantage: Competitive Business Solutions “If we strive to only be as good as our competition, we are doing a disservice to our customers – and setting ourselves up to lose some of them. What is needed is for us to go above and beyond what our competition is doing. … If your competitor knows their customers’ names, you should know their names and their birthdays. If your competitor knows their names and their birthdays, you should know their names, their birthdays, and their children’s names. If you want to make a preemptive strike against your competition, make a list of the many things that you’d want a good friend to know about you and start learning that about your customers. Move them out of the zone of “customer” into the zone of “trusted friend.” Go above and beyond what you’re expected to do and you’ll find that your customers will drive past the competition to come to you. … Is it a lot of work? Absolutely it is. But the sooner you catch it, the more likely it is that you can turn it around and take your business to the next level. If it’s left too long, your customer base will erode to a state of “convenience shopping” and you’ll have to work doubly hard to get them back.”
MoreBusiness.com, created in 1994, is an award-winning, one-stop resource website for entrepreneurs.

Marketing Strategy –
“The more difficult the economic climate, the greater the imperative to have systems which provide the firm with market focus, the ability to differentiate itself from the competition through innovation, and the processes to manage scarce resources.” United Kingdom Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Supporting innovation services Executive Summary August, 2008.

Innovation –
“The [2006] study found that today CEOs are focusing nearly 30 percent of their innovative efforts on business model innovation. Some admitted giving it as prominent a place on their agendas as more traditional types of innovation. Even CEOs who did not see a reason to focus on business model innovation before now believe the time has come …” IBM Global Services, Business model innovation – the new route to competitive advantage.

“A blend of culture and operations, this most fundamental element is the cornerstone responsible for making all workflow activity purposeful; and for delivering outcomes that are aligned with your objectives. Brainstorming, ideation, co-creating, collaborating, voting, analyzing, developing, testing, validating, monetizing, implementing and measuring benefits – that’s where the battle for innovation is won.” BrainBank Inc.

Efficient –
“Even with an economic upswing on the horizon, the focus on doing more with less won’t fade away. In fact, some say the paradigm of productivity has changed. Smart companies are moving beyond the basics -empowering top talent to implement creative solutions and finding innovative ways to free up cash and lift operating performance.” Deloitte Development LLC

Flexible –
“A business environment characterized by rapid and radical change puts a premium on continuous business model innovation to deliver novel, sustainable and competitively viable customer value propositions. In establishing the agenda for digitization of their enterprises, technology executives must recognize that their companies can create viable e-Business models only by attending to the fundamentals of agility and flexibility.”
Intel E-Business Strategy White Paper, June 2001.

Responsive –
“…imagine my surprise when today I got a text message from AT&T telling me that one of my family members has exceeded $10 in data/mobile web charges this month. It also had a toll free phone number to call for more information. This is a good example of being instantly responsive…sending me an alert that my expenses are higher than I normally would have expected. The amount, $10, is not much given the total amount on my bill, but I greatly appreciate knowing that this expense is higher than normal. And I’m impressed with this service.” March 9, 2010
AT&T Defies Expectations and Responds Instantly

Also, “Social business strategy is the vision and plan around social media, social networking, social support, social innovation, and the infrastructure components of social technologies and social liabilities.” February 2, 2010
Six Conversations for the CIO around Social Business Strategy
Designing and Leading Instantly Responsive Organizations Blog by Dr. Keri E. Pearlson, an expert in the intersection of information systems strategy, organizational design and business strategy.

Nimble –
“In today’s highly competitive and fragmented business environment, successful businesses must be absolutely customer-focused and market-driven. Otherwise, customers will simply choose to take their business elsewhere. Organizations have to be fully committed and pay considerable attention to what customers are asking for and actively demonstrate understanding and a willingness to change to meet customer needs. Business agility is the ability of a business to adapt to a dynamic environment and provide solutions to ever-changing customer needs.”
ensynch, an award-winning provider of IT infrastructure consulting services.

………to be continued………

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

21st Century Library vis-a-vis Library2.0+


Librarians Matter Blogger Kathryn Greenhill of Australia posted an intriguing concept on her Blog way back in April 2007. (And thanks much for permission to quote liberally.) She posited that:

What is Library2.0 and Library2.0+ ?

I think Library 2.0 is used to describe two concepts. One is applying Web2.0 at your library. The other is the flexible, nimble, evolving, user-centered library, kickstarted by Web2.0 concepts and attitudes. One day the second will have its own name.

To me, there are two concepts called “Library 2.0″ – at the moment more or less covering the same libraries doing the same thing, but which will diverge at some point. The second concept will one day need its own name. I have buzzword fatigue and I’m happy to call it Library2.0 for now, but only for now. To differentiate it here, I’m calling it Library2.0+, but I think it deserves something that will date it less and is friendlier.

CONCEPT 1 – Library2.0 – Web2.0 in your Library
In the first concept, Library 2.0 definitely involves the elements taken from Web 2.0 and the attitudes and expectations it brings – but not all of the time and not in every institution if it doesn’t fit their community.
• 24/7 access
• Social networking
• Read/Write web
• The ‘net, not a single PC as a workspace
• User controlled tagging
• Collaborative creation
• “Humanized” institution where you can hear the voices of real people inside it
• Focusing on the needs of the user, not what suits the organization best
• Mashing up and value adding on top of available software
• Focuses on open source, not proprietary software
• Profiles, ratings, reviews, chat, “friending”
• Perpetual beta
• Tools like RSS, wikis, blogs, forums, photo sharing, SMS
• Access via many devices – mobile, handheld, desktop, telephony
So, one version of Library2.0 is “Web2.0 in a library”.

CONCEPT 2 – Library2.0+ – Flexible, nimble, evolving, user-centered libraries
The second concept involves some of what we have always done, and some rethinking. Web2.0 is a catalyst, but not the only element of this.
For years, libraries have worked in a collaborative, user focused way, implementing high usability standards – we are already Library2.0+ in some ways.

Some of Library2.0+ is tossing out a few of our traditional core functions because they have been replaced (e.g. Google and reference work – not quite!) or sharing our core functions (e.g. Google Scholar). We are putting centre stage previously unnoticed functions. The academic library as study hall and social space is an example of this. This fits in with Laura’s idea of “timeless adaptability”.
Ideas like “going where your users are” have been sparked by Web2.0 that created forums and spaces where it’s possible to interact online instead of waiting for our users to come to us. Library 2.0+ extends “going where the users are” beyond our PCs – like Ryan’s suggestion in his Top Ten Zero-tech Library 2.0 “no brainers” for Public Libraries that we volunteer in the community.

Web2.0 brings us the informal voice of blogs and web site architecture focusing on the users’ needs. Library2.0+, sparked by this change, is applying it elsewhere and takes it further. We are changing signage, re-writing paper forms, rearranging our collections, reconsidering our overdue policies and even how we talk to our users.

Restating, Kathryn wrote; “I think Library 2.0 is used to describe two concepts. One is applying Web2.0 at your library. The other is the flexible, nimble, evolving, user-centered library, kickstarted by Web2.0 concepts and attitudes. One day the second will have its own name.

I suggest that the term 21st Century Library may be that term. With the emphasis on 21st Century Skills in education that has been progressing for several years now, it seems that at least school and academic libraries are moving in that direction to support those efforts, and develop services to meet the needs of their staff, faculty and students that support the 21st Century education model.

AND, if we in the public library sector think about it, even briefly, we will recognize that many of our patrons are, or will be influenced by that new education model. Our Millennial patrons are products of an education system implementing 21st Century Skills. It’s no stretch to imagine that those patrons will never flock to the public library if they are confronted by a 20th Century services model.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized