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CLA Poster: Professional Development Beyond LIS Education: Building Bridges for Success

Professional Development Beyond LIS Education: Building Bridges for Success

Poster developed by: Marni Harrington, University of Western Ontario and Annick Lapalme

Library and Information Science graduate students are advocates of lifelong learning and access to information. But what happens after graduating from a Canadian LIS-accredited institution? Does access to LIS resources continue for recent graduates to support lifelong learning? Continuing education often means self-directed learning, which includes staying abreast of research and publications available only through costly bibliographic databases. Questions are raised about access for LIS grads and professionals: Who has access to LIS resources and how is it supported?




CLA Poster: Eureka! 2014 TD Summer Reading Club

Eureka! 2014 TD Summer Reading Club

Poster developed by: Lisa Heggum, Toronto Public Library

Stop by the TD Summer Reading Club poster and check out the resources that have been created to help your library offer the TD Summer Reading Club program to kids in your area.  When you participate in the program you receive promotional materials, online resources for librarians and great materials and activities for kids!


CLA Poster: Balancing Tradition and Modernity

Balancing Tradition and Modernity: Keeping the Library Relevant at Bishop’s College School

Poster developed by: Christine Smith; Bishop’s College School

This poster highlights the collaboration tactics, policy developments and key initiatives implemented at the Peter G. Holt Memorial Library at Bishop’s College School. Through a year-long programme, the Library has developed campus-wide collaborations with the aim of best serving the school’s educational and recreational needs. The poster will evidence best practices for balancing an organization’s rich heritage while moving into the future.





Thinking Strategically: good organizationally & cognitively

“Our brains are wired to be inspired,” said Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHeath and Dee Wyly Distinguished University Chair at The University of Texas at Dallas. “One of the key differences in our studies from other interventional research aimed at improving cognitive abilities is that we did not focus on specific cognitive functions such as speed of processing, memory, or learning isolated new skills. Instead, the gist reasoning training program encouraged use of a common set of multi-dimensional thinking strategies to synthesize information.”   Source: Science Daily’s feature article this week, Strategic thinking strengthens intellectual capacity.

Jane Dysart has known this for a long time. Now there’s research to prove it: our brains are wired to be inspired.  Every conference program and workshop she puts together is about inspiring people.  The research cited above not only confirms her conviction about inspiring thinking, it confirms that thinking strategically – “synthesizing information using multi-dimensional thinking” is not only imperative for librarians, information managers and knowledge professionals organizationally, but cognitively too. A bonus.strategy words

Strategic thinking, as Jeff Weiner of LinkedIN says in Fast Company (a journal I highly value), takes time — time we need to aggressively schedule and intentionally pursue. 

“… you (will) require more time than ever before to just think: Think about what the company will look like in three to five years; think about the best way to improve an already popular product or address an unmet customer need; think about how you can widen a competitive advantage or close a competitive gap, etc.”  He then goes on to deconstruct the elements of such horizon-seeking. To do it well, Weiner says, you require:

Jane & I hadn’t even seen this research or Weiner’s comments when we designed Building the Future: Thinking, Planning, Doing. It’s a day for you to reflect, learn practical techniques  for thinking and planning strategically and see “the big picture”.  Join us with Dave Pollard  to practice  ways to consider and understand strategic contexts, and scan for impacts and influences. Then consider these techniques in intensive discussions and apply them in a case study. You’ll leave the day with supporting resources for thinking strategically, aligning services with organizational strategies, and perhaps most importantly, tips for implementing.  

Enjoy the day, including lunch,  at the Vancouver Club on Friday June 6th in beautiful downtown Vancouver,



Tools for Measuring, Influencing & Planning

If you are in Victoria, BC on Wednesday May 28th, Moe Hosseini-Ara and I will be working with a group to use practical tools for measuring, influencing key stakeholders and for long-term or strategic planning.  This is a pre-conference workshop for the CLA and BCLA conference – and registration includes breaks and lunch! It is always such a fulfilling experience to work with Moe. He is on secondment from his job as Director, Service Excellence, Markham Public Library and is currently Director of Culture, Culture Services, City of Markham.  He brings a stakeholder perspective to the templates and approaches for determining and conveying appropriate strategies and measures.  I bring the academic, corporate and government perspective to these approaches and tools.  And Moe and I are doubly proud that Ulla de Stricker, who can’t join us because of prior commitments, has sent along her work for us to use with the group.  No one influences like Ulla!

To register, contact Wendy Walton at CLA: 

Below is one of the templates participants will be working with. Come join us!

Strategy, Influence & Measures: Practical Tools

Information professionals and all those in management roles in libraries use a range of technical tools in their daily activities with our customers. What tools, though, do we use with our stakeholders or decision-makers to move forward progressively – and successfully?  This workshop covers the components of four practical, critical tools and invites participants from government, corporate, academic, public and non-profit sectors to discuss: 
1. Influencing with Information Audits & Business Cases
2. Strategic Planning
3. Performance Measures

Participants have the opportunity to take away:
• an understanding of the roles of, and relationship among the tools 
• templates and guidelines for using these tools 
• pointers for using the tools in planning, managing, measuring, and communicating now

Stakeholder Template 2014_Page_1


Measures bloody measures

Dr. Bill Irwin I owe you. You talked about performance measures and the logic model work by the Kellogg Foundation in February at OLA’s Superconference, and I didn’t follow up on it. Thankfully you were one of the highly informative speakers at Designing New Metrics for Libraries this past week and you again talked about Kellogg. This time I looked into it. BAZINGA!

Moe Hosseini-Ara @ City of Markham and I have been working on measures and, more specifically the logic model, for libraries for the last number of years. In fact, we are teaching a course on planning & measures at CLA on May 28th, and as a “working” course those attending will actually “work” on measures for their library (academic, public, government or whatever type of library).


There are many sources and tools to refer to as you are assessing services and programs, including articles Moe & I wrote for libraries using the logic model last summer.   But it is so important to see how other organizations offering similar information-based services develop their measures. Have a look at the report shown here: IMPACT: A Practical Guide to Evaluating Community Information Projects by the FSG Knight Foundation.  Better yet, follow FSG’s works.

Impact – that’s what we want. Community Information – that’s the business we are in, and certainly want to be seen as being in. So what can we learn from FSG? Lots.

“This guide will take you through the essential steps for designing an evaluation of your community
information project. These steps explain what to do and consider at different stages of the
evaluation process.”  The difference in how they design and develop their program or service from the way that many libraries develop their program or service is that they build evaluation and measurement in at the design phase.  If you already take this approach, then congrats – you are ahead of the curve.  But many libraries do not.  Evaluation is a critical element of any program or service.

The questions FSG asks as they develop a program can be, and should be asked by all those in the community change business – and that’s libraries, correct? In fact, the project FSG addresses is one that is so dear to the heart of many libraries: “residents are hungry to contribute to local news and information and engage in community issues but lack the tools to do so…… the project will  provide training, platforms and support to residents in order to empower underrepresented voices among the people of the specific community.”  

The questions they address as they design the program are the questions libraries address:

  1. What change do we want to see in the community? 
  2.  What is the issue? Who is affected by it? Why are you taking action? 
  3.  What will we do to address the issue?  And, I’d add here – Who else should we work with to address this? 
  4.  Although FSG asks “If the project is successful”, we should ask “When the program succeeds, what change, among which members of the community, do you hope to see?

And then we must ask:

What resources do we need?
How do we best use these resources? 
What activities need to occur? What are the tangible products of these activities?


FSG doesn’t ask some of these questions, but I encourage you to ask,

What’s our pilot phase? 
What changes do we expect to occur within the short term? (and define “short term” – 3 weeks? 3 months?)

 What changes do we want to see within the mid-term? (define mid-term)

What changes do we hope to see over time? (yep – define long-term or over time) 

This tool, and many of the tools from FSG are very valuable as we learn from other, community focused organizations.  Keep FSG in your sights. Keep Bill Irwin in your sights.

Oh – and don’t forget.  The last question you should always ask as you design a new service or program is:

“How will we celebrate when we complete our pilot phase? ” 

Just as we tend to forget to factor in evaluation and pilots into the design, we also overlook the celebration. And in this profession, we need to celebrate. A lot.


Thank YOU!

St George dayOver the last several weeks I have had a tremendous number of “thank yous” for putting together programs for recent events — Computers in Libraries 2014 in DC with the  theme Hack the Library! and Defining New Metrics for Library Success in Toronto.  It really gives me a blast when topics resonate, conversations abound, and directions are influenced!  Learning and growing is so important to me just like the image of today’s Google doodle for St. George’s day — it’s my dragon.  I am so lucky to have the opportunity to put together events that make that happen.   It is gratifying to see comments on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs about the events — positive comments are really appreciated but also suggestions or gaps — I really do try to build on feedback!   At this moment, on an event high,  I want to thank all those who help me put together programs, speak about their experiences, insights and ideas, lend their expertise to communicate and share with others, suggest topics for new events, attend the events and find them valuable.  You know who you are — almost everyone I know!  Thank YOU!

Reframing our approach to measures

A great day at Defining New Metrics for Library Success, organized by Jane Dysart & Stephen Abram at the iSchool on April 22/23 this week. With 100 people attending (the room couldn’t accommodate any more!), this is still a very hot issue for libraries. Here’s the presentation I was honoured to give with Joe Matthews.  Joe is now working with PLA to develop common outcome measures for all public libraries regardless of their size or geography.


Startup Weekend for Library Innovation!

StartupWeekendTO_LibraryEdition_v1-1024x418Dysart & Jones is a sponsor and has been observing and participating in the world’s  first library edition of Startup Weekend!  Very exciting!  With global sponsors like Google, Coca Cola and Amazon, Startup Weekend is all about action, not talk.  We heard the pitches for MVPs — minimally viable products — on Friday evening;  and teams of librarians, designers and techies have been working on those MVPs ever since.  I’m looking forward to hearing the presentations later today:

1. Space Valet

2. Sticky Bookmarks

3. theBIKEproject

4. Raise Your Reader

5. Maker Library

6. Project Eeyore

7. SignWave

8. Hub

9. PixelBook

10. CCBB

11. Brooklist

David Weinberger, author of lots of terrific books, and soon to be the opening keynote speaker at Computers in Libriaries 2014 in Washington DC, April 7-9, is one of the judges of the MVP presentations this afternoon.  Other judges are Beth Jefferson, CEO, Bibliocommons;  Michelle McBane, Director, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund; Chris Eben, Partner, The Working Group; and Candace Faktor, GM, Wattpad.  It will be interesting to see what they have to say and who wins prizes for this weekend’s creative and innovative library product designs.  We will be sharing more about this exciting one-of-a-kind event.



Bridging the Future with the Present

Great piece by Bruce Rosenstein on bridging the future with the present called, Leaders must Meet their Future Selves.  It includes interesting research:

“In experiments with undergraduates, Hershfield discovered that students who were shown a digitally aged image of themselves allocated twice as much to their retirement accounts as those who didn’t see themselves as they aged. Hershfield says that “looking ahead in time and feeling a sense of connection to one’s future self can impact long-term financial decision-making, converting a consumer into a saver.” People with this “future self-continuity” also accumulate more assets than others, including owning their own homes and having bigger bank accounts.”

A tip for bridging the future with the present: Write “post-dated letter from your future self to your present self about specific achievements and successes in the future.”

“For leaders, it’s especially important to bridge the present and future. Leaders have to define the future not only for themselves but also for their organizations. Still, with the extraordinary demands and difficulties of each present day, it’s easy to let the urgency of today cause you to squander the opportunities of tomorrow.

Odds are, the success of your organization will depend on how well you figure out the future. Here are five strategies to help crystallize the future into the present moment and draw you closer to your future self.

  1. See yourself as the leader you could become.
  2. Create your future in the here and now.
  3. Design a better tomorrow for others.
  4. Resist going only for quick wins.
  5. Think with a beginner’s mind. “

Rebecca and I have used a number of the techniques that Bruce mentions in his piece and can attest to the fact that they work!  Check the entire article.  Good for those thinking and wanting to plan their future and those of their organizations!