Digital Transformation or Die!

Dying flowers & dying enterprises?

All organizations, yes every single one including libraries has to change and embrace digital transformation.  Our society has – just look at Amazon, AirBnB, Uber and most of other successful businesses.  If we want people’s attention (and support) we have to easy-to-use applications that engage our audiences online.

Consider the Forbes article suggesting that Amazon take over for libraries in US (which of course is no longer online because of the big backlash).  If that tweaked someone’s thoughts about visiting a library, would they go to a bricks and mortar location near them?  NO!  They would go online first, and would they be impressed with what they see?  Would it draw them into your programs and services? Ask some non-customers in your area to test your site and see what they say.  I bet you will be surprised.

If bricks and mortar destinations are dying, how are we improving digital experiences?  Are we changing the way we finance our enterprises? And how are we enriching our staff’s knowledge and ability to support customer digital experiences?  Are we helping them learn and grow?  Be attentive to digital shifts in our fast evolving world?  Certainly not by supporting continuing/lifelong learning, staff training, etc.  That’s the first, and in my opinion, worst thing to go from a budget!  Are we partnering with digitally aware partners? I sure hope so! Would love to hear good examples of thoe who are!! We have some big challenges ahead, and I hope we survive!  Suggestions welcome!

Communication, Presentations & Influence!

Lauren Baker, Artist at HowTheLightsGetIn,
Hay on Wye May 2019

‘Tis the season for conferences and conference planning! I was thinking back to Lynda Braksiek’s fabulous talk at APQC’s KM event where she sang the opening to her talk, Broken Road, and then tied that to he journey in KM and related it to big ideas. Fabulous. She worked with coaches to produce such a wonderful polished presentation.

I learned many years ago from PR folks at the large Internet World events about some of the tricks of communicating with audiences. I know I’m not an expert & have lots to learn still! Here’s a recent blog post from the company that coached Lynda, and reminded me of some of things that I learned in the past about getting your ideas across, communicating & influencing. First — who is the audience? What do you want to accomplish?Here are some key tips: take control, use memory-driving words, don’t hedge with iffy words, prepare responses to tough questions. In other words, keep on point and get your message across in many different ways! And of course, personal stories resonate the best with most audiences!

Post-Secondary Ed’s Coming Crisis

Dr. Tony Bates, Research Associate with Contact North/Contact Nord has posted a 3-part series, “The Coming Crisis in Canadian Post-secondary Education“. This is must-reading for anyone in Canada’s libraries. Not just college, school or university libraries – LIBRARIES.

I know, I know, I’m always saying something is a “must read”, but put it in the context that I’m not a reader. I’m a scanner & listener. I read only a few items and I pass on even less. I’m passionately passing this on.

Part 1: External Developments

Part 2: The Canadian Context

Part 3: Strategies for Survival

This is a topic everyone in libraries should be monitoring and, most importantly, discerning and discussing. Why? What does it mean for public libraries if the post-secondary institutions are under threat? It means social, economic and education upheaval, winners, losers, and opportunities. As life-long learning institutions, all libraries need to be following this and engaging in this research, debate and strategies. Since most of the upheaval is coming from technologies and economic vulnerabilities, other education-related organizations will feel the ripples. Or the shakes and cracks.

I wish Dr. Bates went a bit deeper with his posts, but they are posts, not academic papers. They give us a taste – and we know need to book a reservation and eat some full course meals in these issues.

We’re in a profession of curiousity. We, whether we are in a post-secondary library or a public library, should be curious about these developments. And we should be readying for action.

Oh – before I forget. Subscribe to Contact North/Nord’s newsletter. I scan it, faithfully and more often than not, I read it!

Did You Know 2019

The latest update that I can find of this 6 minute video. It’s a quick way to see the technological and demographic developments. And it’s a good way to consider the implications for individuals, communities, campuses and organizations. #Mustviewing for those in libraries and any type of information-intensive work.

Want to practice #strategicthinking? Start with this. And then discuss it.

Workplace of the Future – Hah!

Here I thought we were working with laptops, mobile devices, ubiquitous wifi, working asynchronously with others, having access to good information for decision making, and the flow was great. No way! 

Too many organizations have only desktop workstations for staff. This grounds a person to one place, inhibiting them from fruitful participation in meetings since they don’t have mobile devices to access e-documents, and decision-making depends on other people for credible information (never at work, on vacation, sick parent or child… life). However, there are organizations who do provide the digital tools for their employees which have real consequences for creating innovating ideas, closing business, getting things done, and responding promptly to customers. So, after 25+ years of Internet and moving into IoTs, we have a lot of work to do!

“It’s not about the money, it’s about spending money on the right things – all about leadership.”


Serious Play. Seriously.

Phaedra Boinodiris is an author and Member of IBM’s Academy of Technology, which means she initiates start-ups within IBM. Yeah. That’s right. She’s known as one of the top 100 women in the games industry. Her earlier work in serious games is being used in >1000 schools worldwide to teach students the fundamentals of business optimization.”

She spoke at #CIL2019 last month, and then talked informally with 20 of us in the Library Leaders Summit for an hour. We talked about her PhD, AI and bias, technology and ethics, and using games to shift cultures. I was mesmerized. I’m a board gamer, and have long recognized how games sharpen our thinking, particularly our strategic thinking. I played Risk for days the summer our nephews were 13 and 15. It was sharpen up Aunt Beck or die and I wasn’t about to die on that board. I learned. Fast.

Phaedra talked about using real-time strategy games to think through different scenarios. Or using a game to optimize a process by changing small decisions. Wow. I want those games. Every library management team should want those games. Wow. We need to learn. Fast.

Here’s the video of Phaedra’s keynote (start it 12 minutes in). Definitely worth watching. We need to get serious about our play. Each play libraries make in this society, in this economy, is serious. And check out Phaedra’s Serious Games for Business: Using Gamification to Fully Engage Customers, Employees and Partner. Let’s adapt it for libraries, not-for-profits and academies — or maybe someone already has?

Computers in Libraries 2019: Sneak Peek

The program for Computers in Libraries 2019, March 26-28 in DC is online!  Here’s a sneak peek at what’s coming!  Our theme is User Engagement in the Digital Age. We have many fabulous speakers who share their experience & insights.  Our keynotes:

Tues: Phaedra Boinodiris, IBM Academy of Technology

Wed: Nicole Turner-Lee, Brookings Center for Technology Innovation

Wed Evening: Francine Houben, Architect, Founder & Creative Director, Meccanoo

Thurs: Lee Rainie, Director, Internet & Technology Research, Pew Research Center

#CILDC also includes Internet@Schools and Library Leaders Summit. The #LibrarySummit theme this year is Securing Success: Strategic Thinking & Actions.  The Summit is an intimate setting for senior leadership to take time to think and talk strategy with industry leaders and colleagues, and draft actions to move forward with new insights to secure sustainable library success.  It is facilitated by Rebecca Jones and features CEOs, Directors and former heads of many public, academic and special libraries: Mary Lee Kennedy, Richard Huffine, Mary Ann Marinac, Paul Takala, Amy Burke, Sue Considine, Rolf Hapel, Jill Konieczko.

This year’s Computers in Libraries conference introduces a full day of programming around artificial intelligence (AI) as well as several different robots, including Dewey from Palo Alto, being used in libraries!  It shares a day of Learning from Leaders as well as Management & Metrics. Other popluar streams of programs include Smart Communities & Blockchain, Open Access, Content Management, Tech Tools, Operations & Systems, Community Engagement, Digital Presence, Discovery, Search & Navigation!  Check out the program for more details and to register and join the conversation.  There are extensive networking opportunities to chat and learn from colleagues at morning breakfast, recptions in the exhibit hall, as well as our opening Games & Gadgets evning.

Diverse Thinking: KMWorld 2018

One of the key themes for me at this year’s KMWorld conference held in Washington DC Nov 5-8 was diverse thinking.  Tues am keynote Amy Wilkinson, author of Creator’s Code, first urged us to think of diversity, not by race, religion, or politics, but rather by diverse thinking stypes.  Wed am keynote, Don Pontefract, author of Open Thinking, discussed critical thinking and creative thinking. Closing keynote speakers and long-time practitioners Tom Stewart and Dave Snowden, came back to the discussion of diverse thinking styles in their pithy and often humerous remarks.  I think we had a lot of diverse thinking styles at the conference this year with lots of attendees and speakers from many different countries and experiences — perfect for knowledge sharing which we did for four full networking, learning, and exciting days!  If you were unable to join us this year, check out the presentations and videos (clips on our KMWorld Facebook page) but more will be up at this link soon.  There are many  blog posts about the KMWorld speakers and talks as well, check out those from Mary Abraham!

#KMWorld 2019 will be held same week, Nov 4-7 next year at the same place, JW Marriott in Washington DC — mark your calendars and thinking about sharing your experience and knowledge as a speaker next year — call for speakers on our website in January!  Thanks again to all the speakers and sponsors who helped make KMWorld 2018 so successful!

Did You Know? 2018 Update to Shift Happens

The 4 minute “Did You Know? Shift Happens” video, originally produced in 2008 has been updated to include AI, self-driving cars and current statistics (as current as they can be!).  It’s useful for any discussion in Board meetings, staff meetings, community-inclusion meetings… long as you ask the all important question: “So what does this mean – for our community? our campus? us?”

Take the 4 minutes – it’s worth it: