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
Continue reading New Directions for Dysart & Jones
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.
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
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
Continue reading Strategy Smackdown: Organization vs. Technology
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.
Credit: keetra dean dixon @ fromkeetra.com
by Valerie Ridgway.
Thank you, Val, for creating this blog post. For those of you who may not know Val, she was formerly Deputy CEO at Pickering Public Library and is an expert in terms of HR practices, policies and management. During the past 15 years she has developed the initial collective agreements for large public libraries, created their staffing competencies and can write role descriptions in her sleep. I’ve had the absolute honour of working with Val on three organizational structuring projects for progressive public libraries who know they must align their organization and roles with their strategies if they ever hope to execute those strategies. In other words, Val knows her stuff, and is delightfully candid, as demonstrated below:
Ongoing reorganization of library staffing structures and relationships is a fact of contemporary life. Or it should be. Libraries embark on new strategies and exciting initiatives, but the restructuring so critical for implementing these is often deferred, diluted, dreaded, distorted, deserted, and with good reason. Employees en masse, in almost all organizations – not just libraries – are inherently conservative: people will agree that change is needed, but when moving from the general to the specific changes for them as individuals, raise objections and barriers. It’s sometimes very difficult for employees to see the “big picture” driving the changes and, most importantly the WIIFM factor, “what’s in it for me”. Let’s face it, even those employees who exclaim “I love change!” only
Continue reading Co-dependency of Re-organizing & Re-focusing Libraries
These librarians co-taught 1st year Pharmacy students at U of Waterloo, focusing on drug and medical information and critical thinking (click on the 1st image for a large view; click on the video below for an interview with Shannon and Kate.)
Thanks to Solomon Blaylock & Kathy Metz of University of Rochester’s River Campus Libraries for sharing RCL’s work in re-envisioning & re-engineering their service model and Patron Services. Here’s their presentation given at OLA 2015 SuperconferenceU of Rochester Service Model OLA2015 presentation, including their speaking notes with many details.For more information, including the Patron Services Service Model report, Kathy Metz (kmetz at library.rochester.edu) or Solomon Blaylock (sblaylock at library.rochester.edu). What a phenomenal job RCL has done in understanding student behaviours and designing their services to match these behaviours.
U of Rochester Service Model OLA2015 presentation:
Vaughan Public Libraries offers many volunteer programs for teens, ranging from Reading Buddies through to more unique opportunities like letter writing for Amnesty International. This poster shows how they have developed programs that cater to a range of tastes and abilities while still focusing on literacy and community service.
ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that helps researchers and scholars distinguish the research activities from those of others with similar names. The identifier is being integrated into key workflows by funders, research organizations, publishers and others. In this poster by K. Jane Burpee see the multi – faceted value of ORCID and explore 6 ways to help you and your library grow ORCID presence with your campus faculty and graduate researchers.