Online Degree Programs does it again with an infographic that gives a snapshot every public library should pay attention to. The Internet Access Gap in Education cites Pew Research among other research reports of the impact the lack of Internet access is having on the education of low-income students. What’s even more interesting — and what should ring alarm bells for public libraries —- is that these students head for McDonald’s and Starbucks (and I would add most malls) to free wifi. Combined, not only do McDonald’s and Starbucks have more free-wifi locations than all the public libraries put together, but no library card is required to access the wifi and the location is open after 8:00 p.m. or on a Sunday in the summer. I have left a public library myself to head for a Country Style Coffee Shop or McDonald’s where I could easily access wifi because, as a non-resident of the town I was prevented from doing so at the public library.
Looking at this infographic was a smack in the face to me that those of us who are advocates for public libraries as critical levers for learning in our communities need to reflect on this research and, most importantly, take action.
Please include attribution to OnlineDegreePrograms.com with this graphic.
YaHOO! Look whose grin greets you as you walk up to the Faculty of Information at University of Toronto? Our own Stephen Abram – alumni, friend, colleague, mentor, party guy, smiler, contributor – the list goes on!
You deserve this banner, mister!!
Jane Dysart and I have been busy planning a 2 day Summer symposium for the University of Toronto’s Faculty of information iSchool Institute. We’re focusing on building a series of Symposia on hot topics in libraries and this first one is on creative making in libraries and museums. We’re hoping to have something of interest to everyone in research, museum, academic, and public libraries. We’re also highlighting the work and research of the Semaphore Institute at the iSchool@Toronto including a tour of their research lab. I am really excited about this and we should have the registration site open soon but I wanted to get a save-the-date note out to you all today. So, if you’re looking into the opportunities in your program strategies for 3D printing and scanning, Arduino robotics, gaming, creative making (including publishing!) and the links to learning, business, entrepreneur incubators, curation and collection, and more,please consider registering. We think we’ve assembled a great team of experienced research and program leaders in North America and that the learning and interaction with others will be a key part of the symposium design.
University of Toronto iSchool Institute Symposium
in partnership with Dysart & Jones Associates
Creative Making in Libraries & Museums
Monday & Tuesday July 22 & 23, 2013
One of the hottest trends today is FabLabs, 3D printing, Makerspaces and the connection of libraries and museums to creation and invention. It’s time for a symposium on the current landscape and a look at the opportunities for research, programs, practices and experiences of pioneers in this space. Dysart & Jones Associates have assembled a stellar crew of the leading thinkers and innovators in the fields of critical making. Attendees will tour the University of Toronto iSchool Semaphore Research Lab, hear of international innovations in FabLabs and Makerspaces in libraries, explore the use of maker technology in museums and cultural institutions, and learn the connections to strategies for research, community and education.
When one of Time magazine’s top 100 thinkers, Chris Anderson, a famed journalist, and editor of Wired magazine and entrepreneur, writes his third book (following librarians’ favorite, The Long Tail) on Makers: The New Industrial Revolution in 2012, you know the maker revolution is on the way! The book describes how entrepreneurs using open source design, and 3D printing as a platform are driving a resurgence of American manufacturing. The innovations portrayed, crowdsourcing of ideas, utilization of available lower-cost design and manufacturing tools, and reviewing options to outsource capital-intensive manufacturing were also highlighted in the February 2012 Harvard Business Review article, “From Do It Yourself to Do It Together”.
Many industries, libraries, and museums have embraced the maker revolution. This two-day symposium illustrates the breadth and depth of the revolution, puts it into the context of libraries and museums, shares exciting programs already being pioneered and suggests areas for future endeavours. It features leading edge thinkers and practitioners, includes a tour of the University of Toronto’s Creative Making Lab and focuses on strategies for libraries, museums, K-12 and other education and academic institutions.
• Matt Ratto, iSchool Professor; Director, Critical Making Lab, and Director, Semaphore Research Cluster on Mobile and Pervasive Computing University of Toronto http://www.ischool.utoronto.ca/faculty/matt-ratto
• Susan Considine, Executive Director, The Fayetteville Free Library FabLab; ALA LAMA Division Councillor, NYLA PLS President, NYLA Councillor at Large
• Richard Hulser, Chief Librarian, Natural History Museum Los Angeles County
• Nate Hill, Assistant Director for Technology & Digital Initiatives, Chattanooga Public Library
• Jason Griffey, LibraryBox
• Other innovators will be video-conferenced in as well
• Jane Dysart, Senior Partner, Dysart & Jones
• Stephen Abram, Consultant, Dysart & Jones
For sponsorship opportunities or a chance to demonstrate technology please contact: Juanita Richardson, Juanita@dysartjones.com
Watch this blog for information about registration. Plan a nice trip to Toronto this July!
Rebecca and I have talked stepping in our customers’ shoes for years as a way to think about customer service, customer experience, and “delighting them” as Tom Peters used to say. Rebecca ran across this article on mapping out customer experience and wished she’d written it. We thought we’d share part of it, but do have a look at the full thing: Mapping Out Customer Experience Excellence: 10 Steps to Customer Journey Mapping @ mycustomer.com
“A quick guide to customer journey mapping
This allows us to step into the customer shoes. It shows us the customer’s perceptions and the larger context in which we play a part. It lets us be emerged in their world, their reality. Get a deeper insight into customer needs, perception, experience and motivation. It will answer questions like: What are people really trying to achieve? How are they trying to achieve this? What do they use and in what order? Why do they make a choice? What are they experiencing, feeling, while trying to reach the desired outcome?
A customer journey map is built up layer by layer. We start ‘above water’, with the customer and slowly dive deeper and deeper into the organisational structures and context. The tool can be used with customers or management, employees and other stakeholder or, even better, in a mix.
A customer journey map (e.g. used by front-office employees) in its simplest form will contain the following:
- Context or stakeholder map. We list all stakeholders and we order the hierarchy in circles of influences around the centre, where you are. When working with customers you’ll have the customer in the centre. Describe all relationships on the map by answering the question: what do we do for them; what do they do for us? This map shows you the landscape or force field you are dealing with. And you can discuss how this influences the quality of your work and how a customer benefits or suffers from it.
- Persona. We need a rich customer profile or persona. Describe his/her personal and business situation now (present situation) and in the future (ambitions).
- Outcomes. A description of his/ her desired outcome - what is he/she trying to achieve?
- Customer journey. We list all actions (as far as possible) the customer has to take to reach the outcome (placed in a horizontal line). Don’t start listing actions when the customer uses your service the first time. Start before the moment he/she decided to use your product or service. This way we visualise behavioural patterns.
- Touchpoints. Underneath every action we list all channels and touchpoints services the customer encounter. Not just yours! This way you’ll discover the landscape you are in form the customer’s perception.
- Moments of truth. Then we identify the moments the customer encounters your touchpoints and channels. We start focus on those (you can move them down a bit). Identify the most important ‘moments of truth’.
- Service delivery. Underneath every touch point, we write down who delivers the service. Who is directly responsible for it (e.g. front office personal)?
- Emotional journey. Then give every vertical line a grade for the experience (Actions -> touch point -> who delivers the service -> grade). Don’t grade the functionality, grade the work. For the emotion, how do you think the customer felt at that moment? Use a scale from 0 to 10. The higher the number, the better the experience. This can be visualised (e.g. by a line going up and down), and is very effective as a conversation starter. It can often be a real eye-opener.
- Blueprint. Now, to make a long story a bit shorter, we can go on listing the organisation underneath, writing down who supports the people delivering the service (backoffice), and in turn who influences the back office (we link back to the stakeholders map), until we have a complete organisational blueprint, a complete picture of the working of an organisation and emotional journey, from the outside in.
- Improve and innovate. Use creative, brainstorming and any other ideation techniques for the service opportunities you identified (low grades) and/or design complete new and ideal journeys or services. This usually is the moment people have the most fun. I have been surprised many times by the talent and eagerness of people to engage in this creative process. People are usual a lot more creative than you think. We just need to put them in the right situation and mood.
Don’t wait until the end to collect ideas. Write down all ideas and insights during the building of the customer journeys. These insights will be a rich source for improvements and innovative ideas. And all you need to start are some large sheets of paper, markers and a lot of sticky-notes.”
Jane and I will be focusing on Thinking Strategically and Building the Future at SLA’s Annual Conference on Sunday June 8th. As I think about the points we want to cover, the case study, and questions we’ll use to prompt participants’ discussions and reflection, there’s one issue Jane will have to keep me from harping: strategic thinking takes time, discourse, reflection, and time. Yes, I know I repeated time. And I know I used a no-no word regarding a learning environment: harping. Bear with me. Having been involved in 100+ strategic plans as a facilitator, a manager, a volunteer and a staff member, I know that the factor of time can’t be over-emphasized.
Too often leadership teams, staff and, in the case of public institutions, boards view strategic planning as an activity that can be accomplished in 2 or 3 meetings of a few hours each or a weekend retreat. Yes, so long as they have been preparing for these meetings with deep research, reading, and reflection it is possible for them to make strategic decisions in that time frame. But the sad truth is that management, staff and boards seldom commit the time and energy needed to come to terms with a very uncertain, unfamiliar future. They will review the trends and developments occurring, and probably complete a thorough SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), but will be reluctant to go the next mile (yes, MILE) of doing the strategic thinking by asking, considering and debating, “SoWOT? So what does this mean for us? What are the implications of these trends for our communities? our campus? for faculties’ research grants? for employment in our region? for our services? for our interactions with various community segments?” And yet it is only through these types of intensive debates – sometimes rather heated “discussions” – that further strategic thinking occurs. These discussions should be heated; they should turn up the heat on the the library and force those responsible for the library (or any organization) to truly and strategically think through the various answers to these probing questions. And if it is too hot for someone then they need to get out of the kitchen.
Thinking strategically is not for the faint of heart. It is about looking forward into the unknown. On my lunch today I flipped through the most recent Fast Company and chuckled that there was yet another advertisement for a firm in the protection business using a photo of a man standing on a ladder scanning the horizon. Ever notice how most strategy-related images are of people staring into the distance? I always think we should use images of lifting yucky rocks, or schlepping through a swamp. Researching current and evolving developments can be scary. We find things we aren’t really comfortable with, or we don’t know what do to with – they don’t fit our service model or how we see our role in our community, campus or company. But we need to know where those pesky pests are and “think” about them. Think about what they mean for our programs or technologies. Think about how to avoid them or how to harness them. That’s strategic thinking.
And that peering off into the distance? Well that isn’t about looking in the usual directions. Strategic thinking really depends on looking in swamps you wouldn’t ordinarily go near. Like that issue of Fast Company. I read as many things as I can that have nothing to do with libraries and yet everything to do with the world impacting and influencing libraries and the information sector. The May 2013 Fast Company has articles about Bill Gates’ strategy for education, ReDigi.com (should digital goods be treated like physical goods?) and how techie entrepreneurs are working to revitalize downtown Detroit. These all make me think.
During the next several weeks Jane and I will be writing about strategy, thinking and planning. And I’ll really try not to harp. Just so long as you remember that strategic thinking is about discomfort, digging, probably getting a bit dirty, and time. But it is a good time – a GREAT time, and well worth it in the long run. And the short run too.
Too much good information flying around at a fast pace for me to blog on the spot, but hope to have a series of posts from APQC’s Knowledge Management conference. This morning Carla O’Dell , CEO of APQC & Author, The New Edge in Knowledge, shared some interesting facts and thoughts. She asked the room who was new to KM this morning and the reaction was similar to what we find at the KMWorld conference in DC — almost half those at our events are new to KM. Organizations are all at different places in their journey to share knowledge and create smart and productive enterprises. Carla suggested that the way we keep KM (knowledge management) fresh, and reinvented, is based in it’s interdisciplinary roots (organization hehavior, marketing, cognitive psychology, innovation, IT & the web, behavioral economics), the fact that new tools keep coming and add to the complexity, and the effect of crowdsourcing in many different situations and environments. I really liked her list of the knowledge needs that most organizations are struggling with:
- expert and expertise location
- identification of critical knowledge in the organization (whether it’s oill & gas, pharma, etc)
- knowledge capture, transfer & reuse
- search & findability
Years ago a asked a colleague to speak on a panel about how she knew what she knew — what did she know that enabled her to her job so well? She told me it was the most difficult exercise. For most of us, we “just do” things without thinking about how we do them, the processes we use to do them. So it is really interesting to hear the inner workings/thinking of people, especially if we can get them to articulate those workings. Just saw this post by Cisco Chief Futurist, David Evans, about doing just that! He looked inward and here’s what he says:
While predicting the future isn’t an exact science, it can be accomplished with surprising accuracy. Here’s how I do it.
1) Scan by casting a wide net: Once the trends are developed, I use a scenario-planning technique that allows me to envision future states from just a few years to decades. I then use a process called “backcasting,” which, in essence, is the opposite of forecasting. With forecasting, you start at a current state to envision what’s possible. With backcasting, you begin at a future state and consider the events that need to occur to enable that scenario. Once these events are identified, I apply a set of filters and use a weighting system to determine their viability. Filters often take the shape of questions. Will a specific technology exist in that time frame to enable a given event? Are there dependent technologies or events that need to be considered, such as energy sources? Will the future scenario be accepted and adopted because it solves a real problem?
3) Validate, communicate, and learn: Future states that pass the vetting process are then reviewed by a close circle of coworkers, colleagues, and even family members that I trust to provide honest feedback. Each of these groups has a unique perspective due to their current role, past experiences, and relationship to me. Based on their input and additional reflection, I either 1) revise my vision and move to the next step, 2) proceed directly to the next step without changes, or 3) discard and start over.
The future states in which I have high confidence are then developed into thought leadership materials such as white papers, presentations, and even patent submissions that are communicated through various channels, including speaking events, customer discussions, the Internet, and social media. The “final step” is to listen to the feedback and then apply the key learnings to the beginning of the process to start the cycle all over again.
It is important to note that there are dozens of techniques that people use to predict the future. The key to success is determining which processes and tools work best for the way you think and work.
This poster was developed by: Matthew Tremblay & Jami van Haaften; Health Sciences North Library
During 2012 the Library conducted a survey of the information-seeking behavior of nurses, including a large group of newly hired, recent nursing graduates, and close to 100 current nursing staff. We developed our survey tool based on questions found in the literature. The responses showed the most popular sources of information for both new hires and current nurses, and the systemic issues nurses face on the ward in accessing information. Results revealed similarities and differences between the two nursing groups, and offer an interesting comparative to findings from the literature.
This poster session was developed by: Michael Steeleworthy & Pauline Dewan; Wilfrid Laurier University Library
In Spring 2012, The Wilfrid Laurier University Library undertook a review of its online teaching and learning strategy. This examination included an analysis of the library’s teaching and learning goals, tools, and organizational structure, a literature review of current theory and methods in online teaching and learning, and a survey of instructional librarians at post-secondary libraries across North America. Our results, which call for more self-service learning options, a stronger online presence for librarians, and a renewed organizational structure for online instruction, are informing the Library’s wider restructuring as it moves toward a student-centered, digital-oriented service model.