Visioning: Stand in that Future


Kathy Dempsey, marketing maven of Libraries are Essential, and I are presenting at Computers in Libraries 2012 on ways to “Imagine and Dream Big About Your Library.“ Creating a vision is an action. It is not sitting at tables wordsmithing a slogan. It is about envisioning the future that you, the Board, staff, and senior management want the library to have; it is really no different than envisioning your home – your meal – your career – your life. Yes, things happen, and that’s no excuse not to envision or design your future. Kathy and I will discuss important and successful it is for libraries to get off their chairs, charge their imaginations, don their dreams and stand in the future they want their library — their communities — their campuses — their organizations — to experience. Here’s my slides. Oh – and here’s one of my favourite quotes about the importance of positive futures – and standing in that future. Richard Seymour, one of the world’s foremost designers of seymourpowell says:

“We make the future; it doesn’t just happen. If you stand in the future and, then, draw the present towards you in a series of stepping stones, then, you’re liberated to a view of what’s going to happen that nobody else has got.”


“Designers cannot be, by definition, pessimists. It just doesn’t go with the job. We’re supposed to be defining the future, aren’t we? […] If we can’t see the world as a better

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Design a f@##ing bright, positive future!


Bet that got your attention! This is what got MY attention:

“Designers cannot be, by definition, pessimists. It just doesn’t go with the job. We’re supposed to be defining the future, aren’t we? […] If we can’t see the world as a better place to live in, than what chance does anyone else have?”

“History tells us that before great business can happen, it first has to be a mission. And a mission starts with a dream. As designers, we potentially hold enormous power. And with it comes responsibility. Wield it imaginatively and wisely. And optimistically. Or f@#k off and do something less dangerous.”

That’s written by Richard Seymour, Futurist & Designer of Seymourpowell in the UK — one of the world’s leading product design & branding strategy firms. If nothing else, do look at their website — it is outstanding, to me — compelling, simple. Love it. Seymour wrote the above in ACM’s Interactions (that’s a site you should frequent as well) in 2008’s “Optimistic Futurism” , in which he “he points to the potential, the role, the necessity and the responsibility of designers to dream and design bright, positive futures.”

I”m working on strategic planning. I work a great deal on strategic planning. It’s not only our work, it’s our passion. We’re passionate about libraries, so how can we NOT be passionate about facilitating their future-directed planning?We always say to clients they SHOULD enjoy developing the plan, especially the vision. If you don’t enjoy

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OLA 2011 Superconference: Strategic, Shopping & Services


Woot! We have a wonderfully busy week ahead at OLA’s SUPERconference (and a super time it is, for everyone!). We are co-sponsoring the Poster Sessions with dmA Planning & Management Services, highlighting our new strategic alliance with dmA & planning thought-leader Jim Morgenstern. Woot!

We’ll be tweeting @ #SC2011.

Check out the Poster Sessions Thursday, February 3, 2011 and Friday, February 4, 2011, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM Each day a set of 16 displays will be set up for viewing for the full 2 hours. Individual presenters will be given a 45-minute presentation time within the 2-hour period.

We are also talking….and talking….and I don’t just mean talking in that restaurant at the Intercontinental (although we WILL be talking & laughing in there too!), but at sessions. These sessions!

Thursday February 3 @ 9:05 a.m. Visioning: More Than Words or Plaques! Stay tuned for those slides.

Later that same day…..@ 3:45 p.m. Thinking Strategically & Critically: Seeing Possibilities. Here’s the slides, but do come & test your critical thinking approaches.

Thinking strategically & critically: seeing possibilities

View more presentations from Rebecca Jones.

Friday February 4 @ 2:10 p.m. Innovative Approaches in Library Service Delivery. We’ll present with Deane Zeeman of Library & Archives Canada about research regarding innovative information services underway in corporate & government organizations.

Innovative Services Research for Library & Archives Canada

Innovative Approaches in Library Service Delivery

View more presentations from Rebecca Jones.

And, later THAT day @ 3:45, Jane will present Change Management: A

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The Olympics!! Watch, enjoy & learn – yep, learn


I bought a new TV for the kitchen last night. Yes, I did. The “big screen” may be in the family room, but the truth is that we are often all parked with our laptops & homework/work at the kitchen island watching the 13″ little bubble. Well, the Olympics starts tonight – right in our own country, and I don’t plan on missing much of it. And, I want my kids to see the Olympians — the athletes & the coaches & the families — and to hear their incredible stories and maybe, just maybe, pick up something from these stories.

We all have much to learn from the Olympians; talk about having vision. Talk about picturing that ideal state & working towards it! Talk about perseverance, and building relationships to make things happen.

When “Six Things We can Learn from Olympians” landed in my Blogger, I was hi-5ing my computer (being careful not to hurt the screen, of course). Here’s their 6 things with my musings:

1. Set a goal and break it down into tasks with timelines. Not a revolutionary idea, but, wow, libraries & businesses somehow get freaked by the big goal & forget that it’s just a bunch of little goals building on each other over time.

2. Cross-train. You use many skills along the way, and you need many different skills to accomplish tasks. Cross-train yourself & others.

3. Workout with Others. You can’t do it alone. Unhuh. Work with & partner with others —

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