Tag Archives: public libraries

#CILDC Day 2

Opening Keynote: Creating a New Nostalgia

2015-04-28 09.20.28

Talk given by David S. Ferriero, AOTUS, and John Palfrey, author, on the future. “Do we still need libraries?” Yes! Even though there are more ways to get information and knowledge we need them more than ever. John is not a librarian, but has worked in libraries. The argument in BiblioTECH, the book, is aimed at regular citizens. There is a sense for some people that the purpose that libraries once served is no longer necessary, but that is not true. Dealing with format proliferation but no additional resources. With more investment, we can increase relevance. Don’t rely on the nostalgia factor going forward, but create new experiences, especially for young people. Combine the physical and the digital. Take the time to ask patrons what they need, ask hard questions. Relate back to yesterday’s talk ‘human-centered design’. The digital divide s now also about a digital literacy gap. Very key. There is a need for social space, quiet space – where information is consumed and content is created. Speak to your funder’s needs, like job creation. Co-creation space, social, study, create all together. Kids creating knowledge. Recommend going the way of an education centres not community centres. Plug for DPLA. How do you sell ‘delight’ to funders? Plug for Knight Foundation. People remember being delighted, helping create nostalgia. Libraries as open, neutral space, and can serve as a keystone of democracy. School libraries and public libraries don’t have a history of collaboration. Need to wok together to offer digital literacy training to teachers. There is a need for copyright and contract law reform. There is a need for professional development to build the skills needed. The people with the skills exist, but might be 1 in 100 in the profession. But have all libraries working together, in order to make a huge impact.

Introduction to Customer Development

2015-04-28 10.49.57

M. J. D’Elia, University of Guelph spoke about customer development frameworks.  There is a lot of jargon in this topic. Examples “customer” and “development”. A four step framework, from idea to execution. The process for testing assumptions, and validating your learning with facts. Speak with customers throughout the entire process. Start by speaking with people. It is about applying entrepreneurial thinking.

Book Rec: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Identify when you are solving a customer need, don’t build things that patrons don’t want. This will help us acquire new customers, as well as help with scaling the resources needed to expand/contract. Use this when you are building something new. “Fall in love with solving a problem, not with a solution.” Challenge assumptions, and when you want and need feedback from the community.

His example is Guelph’s Virtual Learning Commons (working name). There is a need, and need to get real feedback to ensure success.


  • Customer Discovery- Find a product that solves that solves a problem for an identified group of users (problem-solution fit). Talking to people, finding out what the current work-arounds are: testing assumptions, do interviews, build prototypes. Key term: Minimum Viable Product – High or Low Fidelity. This product is aimed at early adopters. This is a difference from current practice. Be hungry for feedback and willing to accept change.
  • Customer Validation: identify the ‘market’.  Is there a big enough need for this? Have a target market, a project plan, and a business plan. How will you grow a user base?
  • Company Creation: Find the audience and use, and start expanding the service. This is the ‘sales’ stage. Also where you devote more resources to this successful product.
  • Company Building: This is the step where you have the successful business – create processes and expansion, and when the product is mature.

There is also the ‘Pivot’ – this is when the customer base doesn’t like the product. What you do when the solution doesn’t work. You have to be able to recognize that sometimes assumptions are wrong and we need to change strategy.

BiblioCommons working Lunch

Full disclosure I love, love, love BiblioCommons and will be talking briefly at this lunch. Their product is awesome, and they constantly improve. Plus their staff are friendly, patient and amazing.

What’s new from Erica Reynolds (who is wonderful):

  • working on the user interface this year
  • shared code and shared investments
  • BiblioCMS is a WordPress based website structure [Chicago/Calgary] a card-based system.
  • VPL uses the events module! Includes real facets
  • One-book-one-community platform (serialized reading adventure) see Chicago. Uses BiblioDigital
  • Summer Sites and Online Badging. Mozilla Open Badge Compliant, and is mobile-responsive. Can feature badges on profile. Looking to expand Summer sites to use year-round programs, such as read local (Johnson County). Looking for beta-sites.
  • New in the Core: Profiles (which are fun and amazing), List Liking, Feature in Catalogue (easy and also fun), featuring staff content, better display of series and awards, new list types, FRBR, permalinks for community activity – like sharing reviews or videos. Improvements to reporting bad stuff.
  • Plug for the Partner Portal (very useful)
  • Coming soon: responsive design (2-column), and list improvements (faceting, sorting, more items, featured image), While you wait. Changes to feature in catalogue. Real read-a-like lists.
  • Lists can help drive up popularity of older titles. (Deliah’s lists, JoCo)

St. Joseph County Public Library spoke about launching BiblioCommons.

Social Media & Community Engagement

All about the tips.

See more: #CILSM #CILDC

  • Use Meetup to reach out about programs. Very useful.
  • Pay for ads
  • Know who the central nodes are in the community and foster connections with them.
  • Post comments on more popular pages
  • Cross-posting Instagram to Facebook leads to more hits

Building Community Partnerships

2015-04-28 14.50.06Melissa from Chesapeake Public Library, head of Reference. Works with workforce development. Job help at your library, resume assistance and creation, job searching, and job applications. Also, computer classes, notary services, and proctoring services. Use video conference equipment, and use to help with partners. Some classes aren’t great for staff to offer, but use partners instead. Have mock-interviews for teens, worked with a youth centre to offer these. Leverage Starbucks who need to do community service. Partner with Community College to offer a certificate program at the library. Be where the people are. Library supplies the space for the partners, the partners do classes. Knoow your capabilities, create a “Memorandum of Understanding” it is important. Share your experiences and say “Thank You”. And you will get more opportunities from this.

Nancy, from Baldwinsville, Outreach librarian. She reaches out to the community to engage. Slightly smaller than our library. All librarians have to do outreach abilities. Near everything. Have a history of outreach. Mix PR with outreach.  They count going to care homes as outreach, and have rotating collections. Find groups to donate titles to. And these organizations can then create new opportunities for the library. Help out Friends Group with Social Media. Takes time to build an audience. Have an audiobook club for dementia patients. Get booklists  from local movers and shakers.

Makerspace: Community, Partners & Impact

2015-04-28 16.01.21Sue Considine, Executive Director, Fayetteville Free Library.  Building on the themes of making, and assessment. She also brought handouts! Fablab, makerspace, and digital creation lab. It is about building community not the technology. Started with maker open houses. Have tools to capture conversations, and a volunteer applications (great idea!). These volunteers have replaced their program budget, and ensuring relevant topics. Share skills: 1-on-1 appointments, monthly clubs, weekly clubs, and more. This a community-centred approach to making. Learning from one another. Put out a call for volunteers, and then got supplies and teachers that way. They collect stats and stories. Sewing club also makes things for local charities. Hold an interest meeting first. Great approaches to reporting. Before and after Geek Girl camp asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” There was an impact. Have a certification programs for all tools. Collect video stories of big successes. Found that they were helping local businesses, and helping kids learn skills. Have no departments, just have 4 topical meetings per month for all staff. Programs, collections, outreach, etc. Director then looks at proposals that are created and then approved. They only charge for materials for 3D printers. They are about accessibility, free and open access. Libraries are about discovery and initial inspiration.

See more: www.fflib.org

2015-04-28 16.22.45


#CILDC Day 1

Happy 30th anniversary Computers in Libraries!  You are (slightly)  older than I am!

From the intro two nice quotes

  • “Technology to help communities”
  • ” Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. ”  –  Stephen Hawking

Opening Keynote: Continues Innovation and Transformation

Keynote cil2015Steve Denning was the speaker,  who has experience with knowledge management and is a writer on leadership and Storytelling.  Also writes for Forbes.

To delight your user base,  have managers who enable their staff. But,  there is a need to be managers of the Creative Economy.  Our current technologies are hugely disruptive and are impacting various industries hugely. “the computer age is about the change in mindset brought by computerization.”

New management styles are emerging,  now we have managers as coaches,  with self-organzing teams,  where they are enabling their teams and encouraging  continuous improvement.  Now we are focused on users,  with a horizontal ideology which is a all about adding value to the user experience,  and make sure everyone in the organization can see how they add value to the user.

Principles of New Management of the Creative Economy

  1. Delight customers,  move to outcomes (not outputes)
  2. Role,  managers as enablers
  3. Coordination of work is now iterative,  sprints,  short cycles. Be Agile.
  4. From value to values, be about continuous improvement and transparency.
  5. Interactive communication,  have horizontal conversations.

This system fits together and is self-reinforcing. Need to move to this system completely to be successful. This change is being driven by economic and expectations of the users. This paradigm shift is not going to be easy for many organizations.

Writing for the Modern Web

David Lee King on improving your website writing. 2015-04-27 10.58.49

People: write for your users,  look at community and Web analytics to know who your audience and write for them.  Also realize that you have 8 seconds to hook them.

Product: Writing is your product,  and you are also writing about your product.  So it is important.

Process: Titles should be 5-6 words,  and have them filled with keywords. Use the inverted triangle of writing.  Most important details at the top (think sports articles). Use lists,  keep things short. Including sentences.  Heading are also useful.  Think scanning. Only think about 1 or 2 ideas per page. Edit away the “blah blah blah” such as welcome paragraphs and transitions. Get to the point. Sentence fragments are great! Don’t put essential items in a sidebar,  because responsive design will drop that content to the bottom of the screen.

Tool: www.hemmingwayapp.com

Don’t use non-browser pages.  Such as PDFs,  Word docs,  Excel docs. If it is one the website,  use HTML.

Write conversationally. Read it out loud to yourself as a test. Use “i”  and “we” and use second person. Think like social media.  And use active voice. And use (relevant)  pictures. It is important to use keywords,  and hash tags when relevant. Check for errors! Share and re-use your content.

Where to start?  Do a content audit. Look into consolidating pages,  look for duplication,  and get rid of it. For databases tell people what they are going to get- what is in it for them. Use analytics to show what pages aren’t  working.

Web Redesign for better UX

2015-04-27 12.02.23

With Elaine Meyer of MCLS. Need: way finding,  help,  and marketing/communications. Treat your website like a beach,  same care and thought and revision. [find and insert link to slides].

She interviewed 5 libraries about website redesign. For user research,  look at content (what is important),  and look at other libraries,  interview patrons,  and test before launch. Use search terms to help know what your users are looking for or what they think you are offering.

Building Ebook Platofrms: By and For Libraries

Tool/Tip: www.imls.gov

IMLS has been purchasing ebooks,  most are using Overdrive. Concerned about Overdrive purchase. “AWE Stations” for young children.  Funds are also used to train staff.

Douglas County Libraries

4 years since launch,  and have seen an impact.  3 things drove them to create their own platform,  content,  pricing,  and lack of platform competition. Also wanted integration. First steps were to go after small,  mid-list,  and self-published material. 45 publishers and 45,000 titles through their platform.  Using open source software. This then was scaled to the state-wide project,  funded by the IMLS grant. Partnered with Odilo and VuFind,  hosted in the cloud,  and own their own Adobe Content Server. Launched in 2014. Called E-Voke.

3 Things to keep in mind; you  need people,  technology,  and processes (project planning).

It is very expensive,  don’t go alone!  Consortia are the way to go. Would need at least one person who can negotiate with publishers. And the time commitment on-going is significant. They get to keep all their patron data.  Tip,  outsource the development needs- otherwise,  you you become a software developer.

Resource: Aspen Report

Suggestions: who owns content (Library or consortia)?  Partnerships are very important.  You need to balance ownership and access.  Patrons have expecting of content,  which is important. Establish success metrics. Go beyond circulation, customer feedback,  industry impact. For MARC records,  they developed a program to create the records.

Califa enki platform


Based off of Douglas County,  have people working on it 6-10 who have other jobs as well. Launched in beta in 2013. Shared collection,  hold ratio of 4:1, epub format of choice. Have teired pricing. Still working on getting the bonus content,  such as book covers.  Content includes self-published materials.

Resource: ebooks are forever 

Goals: national ordering platform,  and ILL

Douglas County has workshops “Library as Publisher”  to create good ebooks.

E-voke platform can handle ebooks, audio,  video,  music.

The Ebook Effect: Three Community Experiences

2015-04-27 15.29.33

Liz Philippi, School Librarian.  School Library Media Specialist. Capstone books,  MyON  approached them about a free pilot for ebooks for kids. Ask the kids to read 5 books. Focused on the Lexie levels,  tracked number of books read,  and minutes spent reading.  Easy to work with,  a based. Launched with the Summer Program,  imported student data (login info),  and sent home flyers,  and had contact info.  Shared also with Public Library systems.  Successful uptake,  and worked with the nor reps,  and advertised one-to-one as well. Some kids read 500 hours over the summer.  Really loved the data, which helped make the argument to keep n the program. 

Monica Babaian,  Elementary Librarian,  pilot school.  Low reading level school. They wanted to motivate kids to read.  She wrote a post on her experience.  Offered orientation during Library visits,  trained teachers as well.  Guided kids through interest inventory and reading level assessment. Included recommended reads,  creating own lists,  reading journals,  and review and rate books,  also there are book quizzes. Teachers can also add in lessons. 

Robert Cagna from West Virginia University. His slides are at slideshare.net/cagna He discussed how a classic book has thrived as an ebook,  as well as possible impacts of the format.

New Catalogues: From Scratch &  Social

2015-04-27 16.31.42

Amy &  Amy,  Hennepin County Library, Senior It specialist and Systems Services spoke about the catalogue that they created.  Used to developing their own content,  their discovery layer is responsive and accessible.  Launched in October 2014. Focus of presentation is on search. Their search includes ISBN, Call Number, and barcode.  It is an iterative process. They do not use the label “catalog”.  They prompt to keep search limits.  Work with relevancy and indexing. Includes popularity books- number of copies and holds on a title.  People expect forms a work to be together.  Cross-references are good. Colour-coded formats with no covers. Most people do not go past results page.  So,  they added a hover-pop-up. Constantly working to improve labelling and removing jargon. Call numbers only show up in-house. You can se on results page what you have checked out and on-hold. Have a customer support plan I place effort launch. 

See: https://hclib.org 

 Abby,  launching their OPAC product . They have the metadata and get to use it. This product is for tiny libraries (churches,  law firms,  etc.).  $10 a year.  Needed a way to track circulation,  hard for patrons to search. They are building an OPAC layer.  Will be available summer 2015. Will not have a patron database. Will be mobile friendly and FRBR-ized. And will have stable URLs. IIt will be simple and familiar,  and use the existing bonuses that Librarything already has. The users will stay within their catalogue.