Edgy Librarian

Webinar notes | Edgy Librarian | Gina Millsap, Cheryl Gould | Feb 1, 2012 |#edgylib

I just sat and listened and cheered at Gina’s presentation – I’ll take notes when we get the archive. She was talking about how to be successful in tough times.  Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library is a leader in our state and I think her library is doing many things right, like their Non-Fiction neighborhoods, public/private partnerships and giving staff time to play.

While we wait for the next speaker – we’re having a great discussion about changes in the library – how the library is the hub, the library is the ‘happening place’ in small towns, and the library as meeting place.  We talked about using the Library’s calendar as a Community Calendar – put those meetings, sports events and such online as a community resources.  Ha ha – patrons are discovering placing holds online and making more work for libraries!  Oh well, it’s a good problem to have.

Presenter 2:

Cheryl Gould – Culture Shift: How to Create a Library That’s Prepared for the Future (fullyengagedlibraries.com)

  • Poll Results: Yes, libraries need and are ready for a Culture Shift!
  • Her dreams: Library as “the Place” to get connected, make connections – learning opportunities, civic discourse, and embrace change.
  • Our dreams: Adequate building and staff, Community hub, become the 3rd place, and a place that unites the community.  Vital community resource, like Fire and Police.
  • Culture: Shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize an institution.
  • Change the Culture, Change the Game by Roger Connors and Tom Smith.  If you want different results, you’ll need a shift.
  • Kinds of Culture Shifts:
    • reactive to creative
    • individual to team
    • wrong to right
    • expert to collaborator
    • challenges to opportunities
  • What about our Culture do we want to keep?  Image as reliable resources, unbiased, welcoming/open, neutral meeting place
  • What do we NOT want to preserve? Books only, fines and fees, rules, shush/hush, silos, negativity
  • Our culture started with books, then we were digital before the Internet, then we’re on the Internet with its constant changes and ambiguous authority, and now the growth of gadgets/widgets/apps it’s nearly impossible to be the expert or authority.
  • Downside of “Culture of Expertise” – hierarchy can stifle creativity, may stifle community engagement (facilitating discussion doesn’t mean you have to have all of the answers).
  • Innovate and Collaborate
    • Unprecedented pace of change means we need to communicate, be flexible, adapt, and collaborate to co-create solutions.
    • Change Resilience – coping with this rapid change
    • Develop staff to cope!
  • Role of the Library  – Value? Five laws of library science by Ranganathan…what else?  Democratization of society? Safe haven for open pursuit of information? Community gathering place?
    • Librarians? resources? buildings? access? computers?
    • engaging learning experiences, community anchors, access to content (IMLS Susan Hildreth)
    • learning, access for all…but the role is no longer clear or simple
  • Shift requires:
    • trust, communication, improvisation, collaboration and engagement
    • libraries have a more muddled mission
    • shift from top-down to collaboration
    • “If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.”
    • Experiences create belief and people behave based on their beliefs.  So change experience = change behavior
    • How much time do you spend on the foot draggers?  If you spend time on this, you give it value. Instead, spend time on doing, trying, creating!
    • Perform UP to the LEVEL of EXPECTATION!
    • Example is the ONLY thing that influences others (Schweitzer)
    • Model new behaviors – creates trust and belief…and make sure we are AWARE of our own behaviors
  • Global Workforce Study shows barely 1 in 5 employees are engaged!
    • Engaged = passionate and connected. Drive innovation.
    • Not-engaged = checked out
    • Actively disengaged = toxic – undermine engaged coworkers
  • How do you get people to care about their work?
    • Empower, educate, develop passions and interests, fun, listen, pay them, create ideas WITH them, not FOR them.
    • Share the big picture, share the spotlight, have a party
  • Trust – The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey
    • Listen more than you speak – active listening, give nonverbal feedback, ask questions for clarification, think before you respond, don’t interrupt
  • Encourage Creativity and Collaboration – Group Genius by Keith Sawyer
    • Collaboration should be strength based
    • Respect and appreciate others – group results are better
    • It’s a messy process
  • Create a Culture of YES
    • increased trust, improved engagement, fun environment
  • Other Techniques
    • Work through The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
    • Applied improvisation – create a ‘yes, and’ culture
    • reward effort and experimentation
    • Take is seriously – invest time and money in your staff.

Discussion – We’ve been hearing about flattening hierarchies for the last 10 years – Paula remembers a NEST program about this pre-2003.  Regional systems facilitate innovation – the Systems support collaboration, innovation and development. Part of the NEKLS vision is “50 feet from the bleeding edge.”  Community partnerships help the small libraries do stuff with the big-guys – like Independence Public Library winning the Best Small Library.   As the population shifts, are the philanthropic organizations to partner with struggling with membership? Our librarians would like ideas for gathering prizes and partnerships.

Presenter 3:

New York Public Library Labs – David Riordan – How to Make Your Own Library Lab

  • Map Warper – maps.nypl.org – Maps used to be an atlas with indexes.
    • Maps now behave with zoom in/zoom out/stretch forever!
    • They want to connect, not just show, information.
    • Transform paper maps into geo-spacial contemporary maps – stitch together maps
    • Let the map answer questions!
    • Builds a database of geographic history.
    • Digitizing city directories – then overlay – and build a directory of New York lives!  When was a building, not just where a building was…
  • What’s on the Menu?
    • menus.nypl.org
    • library of menus – historical images of the menus (Digital Gallery)
    • Researches wanted to look at data sets – marine biologist tracked price of fish over time – used as an indicator of fish populations
    • People had to review the menus to build the data – built with free time!
    • Crowd-sourced transcribing
  • Stereogranimator
    • stereo.nypl.org
    • Victorian 3D with cards and a viewmaster
    • Stereographs – 40,000 images digitized
    • Without a stereoscope, you can’t see them in 3D
    • Artist ‘raided the archive’ and made incredible animated gifs – captivated the librarians
    • Create a tool to do what Joshua did??
    • Released it last week.
    • Crowd-sourcing again – transform old into new
    • Can you upload your own images??  Will they make the software open source? YES in a couple of months.
    • Kids and Teens? Thinking about 3D printing and maker-bots at the branches…
  • How we can start our own library lab…
    • Start with exciting content – pick verticals and go deep (what excites you – secret treasures)
    • Pay attention to what excites people – and focus on that material first
    • Travel diaries, election documents, valentine’s day cards, etc.
    • LOCAL – matters to YOUR community
    • Get it online – It doesn’t have to be perfect
    • LOVE – love your patrons and community – it’s funding and love
    • Use your community to make these projects happen
    • Team with Colleges & Universities (computer science, art, history, etc. departments as potential partners)
    • Radioactive – Exhibition about Marie Currie and her husband.  http://exhibitions.nypl.org/radioactive/
    • Tech talent – host hack-a-thons, design events, invite technical groups to use the library!
    • Wikipedia, the musical
    • Think long term and get the word out–share them with your community.  Bloggers, leaders, find the public that is interested in the subject-matter.
    • Make sure there is an “interested community of engagement.”
    • Use MLS students as interns – data review, community development and outreach/engagement (build relationships), etc.

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