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Libraries: Rewiring our Thinking

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My “must” reading for the past 15 years has been Harvard Business Review. About 6 years ago I added Rotman from University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management to the “must” list. To be honest, there’s nothing else on that list. Just these two journals. The articles are often based on solid research, usually incredibly interesting, and frequently force me to think differently. These journals target business and management leaders. Many of the influential stakeholders for libraries in the public, academic, government and profit sectors are business and management leaders. We need to know how they think. And we certainly need to think differently.

Joe Rotman, a highly successful, respected businessman and philanthropist died recently. Roger Martin, renowned management author and thinker, and the 1st dean of the Rotman School, wrote in the Spring 2015 Rotman issue of how Joe Rotman “rewired” Martin’s brain. Given that the library sector is essentially shifting below our feet, it behooves us to consider the 4 fronts on which Rotman changed Martin’s thinking and use these to change our own thinking:

Nothing is Not-doable

There’s 2 parts to this truism: first, that if you want to “do” it, then do it. In 1998 when Martin became dean of Rotman, that management school wasn’t even in the rankings or the radar with its competitors. Joe and Roger envisioned it in the top 5 – which most people thought was crazy – ‘not-doable’ for sure. Yet Joe taught Martin that anything is doable so long as

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Understanding customer perceptions: Part 2

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Discovering Emotional Triggers And Hidden Truths

On May 29th we introduced you to Eunice Hogeveen, former information professional and now a marketing strategist & Partner with Innerviews.ca. InnerViews is a Toronto-based research firm dedicated to uncovering how customers think – and, most importantly, their emotional triggers related to a product or service. They use “innovative metaphor-based research to gain new perspectives on what lies below the surface, so that business leaders are able to maximize opportunities by getting to what really matters to their customers.”

As a marketing strategist, Eunice works with clients to determine their marketing messages and positioning. At SLA’s 2015 Annual Conference Eunice described how metaphors provide insights into what people think and feel about specific topics, images, situations, services and products. The essence of a metaphor is to understand one thing in terms of another thing. Now you can hear her this week – July 17th – at Customer Service for Libraries at the iSchool (July 16th & 17th).

What took Eunice on this path? 23 years ago when she was working in a publishing firm where she was responsible for moving products from print to online, Eunice commissioned market research and was frustrated that they never seemed to get to the real thinking behind people’s purchasing decisions. She decided to go into market research herself, and to pursue more innovative techniques.

Innerviews uses Zaltman’s Metaphor Elicitation Technique, an intensive interview process that uses photos to surface people’s thinking, emotions and attachment to brands

Continue reading Understanding customer perceptions: Part 2

Understanding customer perceptions: Part 1

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Eunice Hogeveen, MIS; Co-Founder & Partner of Innerviews Inc.

SLA’s Consulting Section of the Leadership & Management Development Division is incredibly fortunate that Eunice Hogeveen will be talking with them at the June 15th/15 Breakfast Meeting (8:00 a.m. @ Boston’s Convention Ctr Rm 252A). If you don’t have a ticket – get one. Every information professional needs to spend some time with Eunice. I’ve been lucky to know Eunice – and even luckier to have worked with her – for almost 30 years. Eunice introduced me to market segmentation; process mapping; storyboarding to test service concepts; and various ways of gaining a deep understanding of client’s information-related behaviours, preferences and applications. She’s a librarian who has been a senior manager in e-content publishing, and is co-founder and partner of a niche market research & business strategy firm focusing on Fortune 500 organizations. I continue to learn from her — about customer perceptions and beliefs, about managing a business, about thinking differently and strategically. This is the first of 2 blog posts about Eunice and the firm she co-leads, Innerviews Inc., and why information professionals need to take notice.

Me: Eunice, I met you when you were a solo librarian in a corporate library in the early 1980’s. How did you move from that career to metaphor research and business strategy?

Eunice: After receiving an MLS, my career journey began in special libraries at the Board of Trade and a major accounting and consulting firm. The era of content

Continue reading Understanding customer perceptions: Part 1

Ontario's Perceptions of Public Libraries

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Carol French, CEO Market Probe Canada, presented the latest study for the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries at the Defining New Metrics for Libraries Success symposium at the iSchool (University of Toronto) this week. These statistics are hot off the press. Carol’s presentation is at the bottom of the post. I encourage you to read it, and to prepare to be engaged with FOPL’s discernment of these statistics. I’m sure there will be position papers coming from FOPL on this very soon.

Here’s the key points I heard:

600 telephone interviews were conducted over a month in 2015 (this is about 1/2 of the # conducted in previous telephone surveys because, given the challenges of conducting telephone surveys today, this survey was augmented with an online survey) 1102 online surveys were conducted during 5 days in March using Delvinia’s Asking Canadians online panel.

There were some significant differences between phone & web respondents:

households with children responded to many more phone interviews than web survey (that’s interesting to me…..I have to think about that one…..) those graduated from college or university more likely to respond to web survey than phone those living in Metro TO and GTA more likely to respond to web survey than phone interview (makes sense; the web is still not evenly distributed)

Other points of interest to me (you may have very different points of interest – I’m sure we are going to be discussing the results of this survey for months to come, as we

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Defining New Metrics for Library Success: Slides & Worksheets

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Moe Hosseini-Ara and I are talking with the group at the Defining New Metrics for Library Success symposium at the iSchool on May 11th. Here are the slides, and the worksheets we’ll be using.

I’ll start out by talking about the frames through which many in the library community view measures – and how these are blocking our view of success: Framing & Defining Metrics for Libraries. We’ll have a look at what the Center for Investigative Reporting is doing regarding impact measures for non-profit media – and what we can learn from other sectors.

Moe and I will then lead the group through an exercise to: Determine & Demonstrate Value with the Logic Model. And here’s the worksheets: Exercise Worksheet – letter size

New Directions for Dysart & Jones

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Well, here’s the official press release: I am stepping aside from consulting to join Brampton Library as Director, Service Delivery. Wow. I am honoured, excited, scared and sad. How’s that for a combination of emotions? For those that know me – it fits. I am a combination of emotions. I’m honoured to have consulted with Jane for the past several years. We have talked very openly about the incredible highs & lows of a small firm partnership: first and foremost, it is a relationship and, like all relationships needs to be worked on. I could not have asked for a better business partner. Jane Dysart is a phenomenal mentor, encourager, networker, visionary and an idea and people connector. Thanks Jane.

And I’m honoured to be going to work with Brampton Library. Rebecca Raven has a strong vision (see? I need these people around me with vision), and she too is an idea connector, and the organization is full of bright, wonderful people doing great things in Canada’s fastest growing and youngest community. Wow.

I’m also honoured with the caliber of clients and colleagues I’ve worked with. I can’t mention any of the clients because the list is too long, but, wow. Big university libraries, tiny rural public libraries and leathered global professional services firms. Sometimes my heart would be pounding so hard with fear walking into those imposing, respected institutions that, if I stopped moving, I might be paralyzed. But I always heard Jane’s voice in my head “what’s the

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OLA Posters: David Lankes' Inspiration

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David Lankes gave the Bertha Bassam Lecture last week at University of Toronto’s iSchool. He was, as usual and as expected, fantastic. Outside the event a small group of iSchool students showed their poster inspired by his noteworthy Atlas of New Librarianship. They developed a library-based program for pre-release female inmates to ease their integration back into society through professional and personal development. In essence they wanted to help these women “scape” the atlas of their new lives. Their goal was to create a conversation about the role of librarians in improving society and serving socially-excluded individuals.

OLA Posters: Evaluating & Measuring

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Performance measures – outcomes – impacts – you name it, there is an urgent need for valid ways of identifying if and how library initiatives make a difference in a community, campus or company. 3 posters at the OLA Super Conference addressed evaluation & performance measures:

1. The Health Science Information Consortium of Toronto (HSICT) has created an online toolkit, “Measuring the Value of Health Library Services”:

2. askON compared its virtual reference services evaluative measures with those of other online virtual services – OCUL’s AskALibrarian and BC’s AskAway, presenting both a poster (below) and a presentation (even further below).

 

Plus, a brief audio overview:

Here’s the link to the presentation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. University of Guelph-Humber developed a blended framework to evaluate the effectiveness of their information literacy program.

Three Part Harmony: University of Guelph-Humber Maps Scalable Information Literacy Outcomes

 

 

Strategy Smackdown: Organization vs. Technology

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I spoke at the recent Future Tech Strategies for Libraries organized by Jane Dysart & Stephen Abram on the fact that Technology is one of the Enablers of Digital Strategy, and is to be aligned with the organization strategy. Well, that’s what I was supposed to speak on. I was supposed to remind people that the organization’s strategy drives their technology strategy.

I used to believe that. The organization – in our case, the library – analyzes trends impacting its community or campus or parent organization, consults its markets or communities to understand their challenges & dreams, and then maps a strategy to move the library forward towards a meaningful, desirable future. And where was technology in that discussion? It was an enabler: you determine what you want to do and use technology to do it.

But now I’m not so convinced. Technology not only transforms work and operational processes, it opens up incredible new worlds of service concepts and deliver channels for us. So maybe we establish our technology strategy first? and then map our organizational strategy to align with it? This is the ying and yang of powerful drivers for libraries. There is a positive tension between the technology strategy and the organizational strategy – and that’s healthy for the library. Grasp your hands together and first try to pull them apart; breath into the pulling. Then, keep grasping your hands and push your hands together as hard as you can; keep breathing into it, and

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OLA Poster: University Students’ Perceptions of Services

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In May 2013 University of Waterloo Library introduced a Service Desk Models Pilot to assess student discovery of services, awareness of self-services in both physical and virtual spaces, and the effect of desk models on staff and students perception of service. See below for details of the usability testing conducted on students and staff, the protocols, methodology and assessment. Click on the image to enlarge.