Opening Keynote: Creating a New Nostalgia
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
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.
- 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
Melissa 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
Sue 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