KM Today

Make Big Things Happen!

Taking pplNow this book looks good.  Written by a long-time practitioner from Yum.  Great suggestions.  Here’s the gist:

• Get inside the heads of your people. You can’t convince them of anything until you see the world from their perspective.
• Think big. If your sales growth last year was 3.5 percent, don’t aim for 4 percent this year, aim for 15 percent. Even if you fail, you’ll probably do better than you would have with a smaller goal.
• Practice “extraordinary authenticity.” Show occasional vulnerability and admit when you don’t have the answers.
• Look for good ideas in unexpected places. Novak’s team came up with Cool Ranch Doritos for Frito-Lay during a field trip to a grocery store’s salad dressing aisle.
• Choose a can-do mind-set. There’s a huge difference between a boss who says “We can try this” and one who says “We can do this!”
• Cheer for first downs, not just touchdowns. Publicly recognizing and rewarding small wins keeps everyone motivated for the long haul.
• Get rid of cynics. In many teams one person will reject your values and spread negative energy. Moving that person out will show everyone else you’re serious.

Learning in Victoria BC with CLA!

Yes, we’ve barely finished the super Ontario Library Association SuperConference, and I haven’t even had a chance to write the several blog posts bubbling in my brain about that event!!  However I wanted to point out that the Canadian Library Association annual conference program is now available online.  Rebecca Jones is doing a pre-conference workshop with others on Strategy & Persuasion: Tools for Info Pros on Wed May 28.    The opening of the trade show follows with a reception.

Change and change management are big topics for CLA this year.  Paul Takala, Chief Librarian/CEO of Hamilton PL & John Pateman, Chief Librarian of Thunder Bay PL talk about change management on Wed May 29.  For more on both, see Erik Boekestijn’s interview with each of them at OLA last week!  Just click on their names and the link should be there!

On Friday, May 30, Stephen Abram is facilitating a discussion by CLA President Marie De Young and a panel of industry experts on Building Bridges to the Future — Colleagues, Collaboration, Consultation (3C’s).

I am very excited about putting together a new one day workshop for CLA on Sat May 31!  Driving Change for Community Impact.  Many exciting and interesting speakers including Andrew Wells, University Librarian from Australia, and Dave Pollard, former Chief Knowledge Officer & creator of process facilitation cards.  Check out the full workshop program and wonderful speakers — and join us!


OLA Poster: Level Up! Designing a Gaming Lab at Carleton University Library

Poster developed by: Emma Cross and Robert Smith; Carleton University Library

In November 2013 Carleton University Library unveils an extensively renovated building including a new Library gaming lab, part of a digital Discovery Centre. Carleton University is now the only academic library in Ontario with a collection of over 450 video games and a uniquely equipped gaming lab.
This poster will discuss planning a Library gaming lab, illustrate the equipment and services needed by faculty and students and analyze how this innovative Library service is integral in supporting courses in Information Technology, Computer Science, Digital Humanities and other courses across campus.

ID# 45 level up OLA poster cross smith feb314-page-0

OLA Poster: Pocket Reference: The AskON Text Pilot Program

Poster developed by: Lauren Bourdages and Stacey Nordlund; askON Text Interns

askON, a collaboration of public and college libraries in Ontario, provides a real-time chat information service that offers immediate, interactive, and knowledgeable online research/reference help. From September to December 2013, askON ran a text message-based virtual reference pilot program alongside their regular chat program, with the participation of 14 of their 28 partners (8 college, 6 public). The Pocket Reference poster session presents the past, present, and future of this pilot program, articulating its origins and staffing; analysing the data from the 4 month pilot; and exploring its future.

ID# 71 askonPosterFINAL

Library CEO's Worry List

An impressive panel this morning at OLA: Rebecca Raven, CEO Brampton Public Library; Jeff Barber, CEO question confusedRegina Public Library, Rose Vespa, Director Library Services for Mississauga; Maureen Sawa, CEO Greater Victoria Public Library.  They are addressing key questions that “keep them awake at night.”

Q: Are we wasting time & money building new physical libraries?

No, we need physical buildings, and we need to figure out: how do we plan for that space? how do we determine the square footage required. The # of ppl coming through the doors is increasing, not decreasing.

When talking with politicians, this question is very real.  So what is it about the library that requires a physical space?  We are carving out space as physical materials decline. But libraries are legislated to be a community place, and we are fewer community places for ppl (youth, seniors, students, etc.) to go.  Libraries need to be careful about how they position themselves as community spaces — let’s be honest, there are much cheaper community spaces that don’t have the cost of digital and physical materials and staff.

Q: Are we really prepared for serious service disruptions (like the ice storm), and are virtual services sufficient? 

The recent closures due to floods showed that it is the physical space that was really missed by the community.  Our website, digital resources and e-books are important components but are in no way replacing the physical service spaces.  The library is such a part of ppl’s routine — Library as Place is critical, so we have to be prepared for service disruptions.

This isn’t necessarily a question that keeps all CEO’s awake at night. Yes, loss of service is serious, but the question that does keep more CEO’s awake is that the library’s online presence.  That presence isn’t good enough. We need a longer term view of the profession — a profession that is not so divided.  (Me: we really need to use the word discipline — that’s what librarianship is, a discipline). We need public libraries to agree on a common cause and agree to move forward.

That’s really the question that keeps CEO’s awake is how do we lose these divisions in the sector?  The number of associations and “groups” is problematic.

Q: Public libraries are frequently referred to as safe? What does that mean? 

We are as safe as a public space can be. What’s worrying is how staff are interacting with patrons in those spaces.  Public libraries are open for everyone, and yet the reality is that some people make other patrons and staff very uncomfortable; staff needs to be on the same page about this; if someone is sleeping and using us as a lounge — is that ok?  In trying to be everything for everyone public libraries have situations that are really uncomfortable with some people. There is an underbelly to being a community space; where do we draw the line — does the person with the nauseating body odour trump the comfort of other people? Public libraries have to be tolerant of all people AND have policies for drawing the line.

Public libraries aren’t equipped to work effectively with all ppl  – we aren’t spending enough time discussing how we have social workers and youth workers on staff to work with the marginalized sectors.  Brantford Public Library employs a social worker and their work with at-risk youth has made the Library a much safer place, and made a difference in youth’s lives. Some libraries have redesigned it’s main branch redesigned the entrance to be very open and this removed the closed space where people would ‘hang’ and others would be intimidated.

Q: Would you recommend this profession to young people? 

Librarianship, like all professions, is changing dramatically – so yes.

Q: How do staff work with people who have very limited literacy?

Jobs aren’t disappearing, they are morphing and elevating.  There’s more jobs that are “heads up – eyes to meet the patron” rather than the former jobs like circulation which had “heads down, eyes on the task rather than the patron.”  Libraries need to position themselves much more aggressively in digital literacy.  What keeps the CEO awake is designing the right job — is the training required – and reassuring staff that their roles are changing. How do libraries continue to provide good employment opportunities?  Jobs are much more of a customer service model — working 3 nights/week and weekends.

Q: What are the HR strategies?

Staff need to be flexible and excel in customer service — everyone (IT, technical services, etc…). (Me: actually, the more ppl are greeting by staff, the less likely ppl are to be problematic.)  Library core competencies include problem-solving, trend identification, applying trends to services and processes, etc.  Teachers and many other professions require professional development — what about librarians?   Ultimately there isn’t a common denominator of professional development across the country — no standards.

My comment:  once again people began to talk about being educated to be “librarians”; we really need to look at the broad discipline of the master of information science or master of library and information science.  We are not going to effectively manage and eliminate the sector silos within the library sector if the education looks at developing “public library managers” or “academic library managers”. The education is to teach people the underlying tenets and theories of information science for them to apply in myriad ways of information-intensive environments, ONE of which may be a public library.

Excellent session — and full.





Reframing Situations to Generate Solutions

Thanks to Catherine Steeves (University of Guelph), Catherine Davidson (York University) and Barb BolmanMcDonald (Brock University) for an excellent session on Sense Making & Solving Problems: Leveraging the View “From the Balcony”.  They talked about Olman’s work on Reframing Organizations – seminal work by Olman that they studied at Harvard Institute for Academic Librarians.  Here’s my notes:

Leaders fail for 2 reasons:

  1. they don’t take ppl with them and 2. look at the full situation  - with the facts

Major schools of organization thought:

  •  Structures
  • HR
  • Symbolic
  • Political

Leaders need fluency in all 4, but the truth is that everyone has their own “natural tendency” frames – what comes most naturally to you; we all find it difficult to look at situations through different frames.  Go to Link to complete the assess/identify your own frame:  to determine your natural frame 

Structure Frame: How do you know if structure is at the heart of the problem? Bolman’s advice – if the characters change & the plot remains the same, the structure is the problem.

HR frame: looks at the impact & implications for ppl & relationships

The Political frame: a metaphor for this frame is the jungle; the key resource everyone is vying for is power; the organization is formed thru coalitions that are marked by stark different in values, and this leads to conflict;  conflict is seen as driving innovation and sparking new ideas; political leaders bargain & build relationships

Symbolic frame – it is the least written about & discussed in academic environments; yet symbols are very powerful – it is about culture – seeing organizations as theatres, temples or circuses; it assumes that ppl will use symbols to clarify situations

  • culture is the sum of how pppl behave
  • ceremonies are how organizations demonstrate their values
  • these leaders construct powerful narratives

Speakers used a case study based on PPP (program prioritization process) that is occurring at 15+ Cdn Universities right now; all programs being reviewed to determine those the university will continue to focus on, initiate, etc.; the “writing is on the wall” that the government will require of universities: quality assurance, differentiation framework, strategic mandate agreements, etc.

- Frames are based on notion of going to the balcony to see the full situation – need multiple tools & the skills.

As Catherine D. said, it’s “liberating to know that there is always more than 1 solution to any issue.”

OLA Poster: Systematic Reviews and the Evolving Role of Librarians

Poster developed by: Rebecca Hutchinson and Shannon Gordon; University of Waterloo

The demand for systematic reviews (SR) in research intensive health related departments is rapidly increasing, and academic librarians have the expertise necessary to support these comprehensive reviews. In Summer 2013, three uWaterloo health librarians surveyed faculty on their current and future systematic review work. Through this process we determined researcher expectations of librarian support and identified multiple ways to meet their needs. Our poster will illustrate possible librarian roles in the systematic review process, and how our expertise can be used towards knowledge creation.

ID# 75  Systematic Reviews and Librarians

OLA Poster: Information Use & Reuse

Community Collaboration with Open Source Web Mapping

Poster developed by: Kim Pham; University of Toronto iSchool

Open-source technologies are creating new avenues for community engagement. Web developer tools are empowering librarians and users alike.  This project utilizes open-source GIS and JavaScript libraries to visualize data from the Scarborough Historical Society photo collection in an interactive app.  Ongoing developments will invite users to contribute their own stories, comments, and pictures that build community history.  The success of this project led to its adoption as a teaching and literacy tool in the Scarborough Archives.  Learn the challenges and considerations for integrating open-source tools for service use.  Initial project designed for iSchool instructor and map librarian Marcel Fortin.

Checkout the original demo site for more information.

ID# 55 shsmap-posterlayout-2.2.5

OLA Poster: Core Journals in Canadian Aboriginal Studies – Academic Library Perspective

Poster developed by: Michelle Lake and Kirsten Huhn; Concordia University Libraries

Aboriginal/Indigenous/Native/First Peoples studies is a growing field in academic intuitions across Canada.  Academic libraries need to respond by providing the best possible scholarly resources to our communities.  Our research focuses on identifying core journals in Canadian aboriginal studies, to enhance collection development and research in this discipline. We hope to create a list of core journals in Canadian Aboriginal Studies by comparing collections at different academic libraries, compiling an inventory of current publications in the field and investigating what journals are faculty’s preferred venues for publishing their research.

ID# 74 Lake_Huhn_OLA2014_Poster_Core Journals in Canadian Aboriginal Studies

OLA Poster: Mobile Access to Academic eBook Content

A Ryerson investigation

Poster developed by: Josephine Choi and Naomi Eichenlaub; Ryerson University

Like most academic libraries, Ryerson provides access to ebooks on many different platforms. This project will report on our investigation into mobile accessibility of Ryerson library ebooks. For each of our ebook platforms we will test mobile ebook access on different devices including iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle and Kobo. We will also determine which platforms allow for online/offline access to content. Results will be presented in a spreadsheet / table with related graphs and background information.

ID# 52 Choi_Eichenlaub_OLA_Ebooksposter_FINAL-page-0