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The Future of Libraries

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The first day of our University of Toronto symposium, The Future of Libraries, was filled with talks and discussions about challenges for libraries; what boards, provosts and city managers are saying about libraries; what surveys and research are telling us; what our competitors are doing (and how we might partner with them or learn from them); how we can streamline our operations and gain efficiency; how libraries are dealing with change; and more. Here are the top challenges this group articulated:

* Promotion of library services

* Staff competencies, resistance, culture

* Competitors – alignment vs duplication

* Rationalizing services, sacrifice, stop doing

* Making our case in municipalities

* Balancing Act — electronic vs print, staff in or out of the library, service points/back room

* Future of the profession

I found it every interesting that the top challenges weren’t funding or money. We recognize that we have choices, even if they are difficult, but we can choose where we put our resources.

Brandan Howley gave a thought provoking talk and I’m still thinking about his statement, “Future proofing libraries means managing disruption while proving relevancy.” He discussed how libraries are cultural triggers that activate networks — very powerful! He recommended the book, A Pattern Language, about UX (user experience).

“More libraries & their staff “get it”, understand that serious change is necessary, and ask for our help as partners not just vendors” Edmund Salt, President, Whitehots Inc.

Ken Haycock framed the event by starting us off thinking about

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Gadgets, Makerspaces & Innovation @ Internet Librarian 2015

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Guest post from Brian Pichman, Director, Strategic Innovation, Evolve Project

There is still time to register at Internet Librarian 2015 in lovely Monterey, California; October 25th – 28th. If you haven’t registered yet, be sure you do to check out some of these Internet Librarian exclusive events:

This year join Nate Hill, Tod Colegrove, and Brian Pichman as they launch an entire interactive workshop on Makerspaces, Idea Labs, and Hackerspaces. Joining them are individuals from littleBits, Hopscotch, LightUp, Twenty One Toys, Brown Dog Gadgets, and more. Get a chance to not only talk about makerspaces, build strategies for success, but also get a chance to play with some leading edge technology that is featured in makerspaces around the world. Learn about code writing, engineering, learning by failure all in this full day jam packed workshop. This workshop offers an opportunity to collaborate with other start-ups and help build your library into an incubation space for start-up culture.

Looking for something to do Sunday night? Join in on the first ever Games and Gadget night hosted in part with Monday Morning’s Opening Keynote Panelists. Get an opportunity to talk to Ilana Ben-Ari, founder of the innovative way to learn empathy and failure from her company called Twenty One Toys. Have a chance to meet Erin Mulcahy who manages the strategic initiatives of littleBits education. Talk to her about prototyping and creating using circuits to help foster innovation in your library space. Explore programming with Liza Conrad, head of community and partnerships

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Apps, Engagement & Putting Digital First

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Star Touch Tablet App

Just watched this great video of John Cruikshank, Publisher, Toronto Star which screamed libraries to me — looking at new ways to reach people, in particular young people. Here’s a few snippets, but do watch it!

future of news — engage a broad audience print newspaper still there and making a profit $25 million start with ipad newsroom focused on storytelling re-engage people in a digital world at a deeper level, immersive level video capacity huge, far more graphical — different way of approaching the news agena bringing it to another generation in a different way can tell marketers how long people spend on their add & if they interact with it

Fall Events for Libraries

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I can’t believe it is now September which begins the busy fall events for libraries. Here’s some exciting events, one on the east coast and lots of the west coast, that I want to share with you and hope to see you participate!

Monday & Tuesday Sept 28/9 at Vancouver Club Outcomes, Value & Impact: Metrics for Libraries

Thursday & Friday Oct 1/2 at University of Southern California in LA Outcomes, Value & Impact for Library Success

Monday & Tuesday Oct 19/20 at University of Toronto iSchool The Future of Libraries: Ours to Create, NOW!

Mon-Wed, Oct 26-8 at Monterey CA Conference Center Internet Librarian 2015 & Library Leaders Digital Strategy Summit

 

Customers First!

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Such stimulating conversations today around customer service at the University of Toronto iSchool Symposium, Customer Service for Libraries: Upping our Game! Moe Hosseini-Ara, Director of Culture for the City of Markham, started off setting the framework for the event. He talked a lot about our competition in libraries from other video, book, and community services, and also how positive customer service makes a big impact.

Vilayat Ahmed, Store Manager at Starbucks Coffee Canada’s flagship store in the financial district in Toronto talked about the company’s mission: to inspire and nurture the human spirit one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time. He said they are in the people business and serve coffee, they provide a service and experience. He talked about the 44 year history of the organization and how they create an environment to encourage conversation. Yes, enjoy the coffee but have a sense of community and conversation too! Vilayat talked about customer service as an attitude where workers need to anticipate (drop what they are doing & put the customer first), make it easy for the customer (they are guests!), connect with customers (eye contact, pleasant conversation), personalize the service (name on the cup in Starbucks) and own your experience, take ownership i f you make a mistake and acknowledge with immediate action (oh, I made that wrong, let me get you another one & take this one too). Basically, Starbucks wants to keep loyal customers, keep them coming back. They want to be a third

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Providing Excellent Customer Service

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Providing excellent customer service and delighting the customer is the top of mind for me lately. At Computers in Libraries 2015 keynote speakers emphasized delighting the customer. You can read more about their presentations & see the videos:

Steve Denning, Author, The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management

Blog Post: http://www.libconf.com/2015/04/27/continuous-innovation-and-transformation-the-opening-keynote/

Video (you can skip the promo at the beginning!): http://www.libconf.com/2015/04/27/continuous-innovation-and-transformation-the-opening-keynote/

John Palfrey, Head of School, Phillips Academy, Board President of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) & Author, BiblioTECH: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google

Blog Post: http://www.libconf.com/2015/04/28/creating-a-new-nostalgia-the-tuesday-keynote/

Video: http://computersinlibraries.infotoday.com/2015/Video.aspx

But why is customer service or delighting the customer so important? Customer service fosters a good relationship between customers and the organization and leads to keeping or engaging those customers. Without customers there is no business or support in the case of non-profits like libraries. Reducing a customer’s stress, giving them a pleasant customer experience, and providing information that can solve their problem is all important to keep positive customer satisfaction (the overall contentment with a customer interaction). Excellent customer service involves providing outstanding service that meets (or exceeds) the customer’s expectations — it delights the customer. Excellent customer service also includes having a great attitude and being people centered or customers focused. So in addition to knowing your customer really well, and understanding their true expectations (making no assumptions), what do you need for good customer service?

Develop the skills to be successful Assess the current level of customer service (customer satisfaction surveys,

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Games & Gadgets!

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If you are attending Computers in Libraries in Washington DC next week, you should check out Games, Gadgets, and Makerspaces on Sunday, April 26th from 5:30-7:30PM. Brian Pichman, Director of Strategic Innovation for the Evolve Project, is bringing the attendees of CIL a chance to experience all the latest and greatest in innovative technology. Come for refreshments, laughs, and a quick tutorial on how to build robots, circuits, 3D print, code, and so much more! Within minutes, you will be creating and making.

Along with Brian are several special guests: Ginger Butcher from NASA, Joshua Zimmerman from Brown Dog Gadgets, and Tod Colegrove and team from University of Nevada – Reno.

Ginger will be building NASA activities with the littleBits components. In 2014, she worked with littleBits Electronics to co-develop NASA activities to accompany their commercial Space Kit product. These activities are excellent springboards for engaging kids in science both in formal and informal education settings.

Joshua invites you to come create your own custom light up name tag courtesy of BrownDogGadgets.com. Etch your name into an acrylic blank and light it up with colorful LEDs. This simple project is just one of many hands-on electronics projects designed for young learners. Joshua will be sharing some of his other fun activities that are extremely affordable and engaging.

Tod will be showing off augmented reality through the Oculus Rift , displaying open source computer boards called, and much more! If you want to chance to experiment with some extremely high tech

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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

 

 

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.