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In the 'Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference' Category...

Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 3:34 pm

I also had the opportunity to serve as a session timer at the Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration conference at UNCG.

The first session I attended/timed was “Going Green in the Library: It’s Not Just for Contractors”.

The speakers for this session were: Michael Crumpton, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Sarah Dorsey, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Beth Filar-Williams, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Mary Scanlon, Wake Forest University; Ameet Doshi, Georgia Perimeter Collegesion.

Several ideas were offered for reevaluating how we do business in libraries. An electronic poll was taken to evaluate the current participation levels of the attendees and their sponsoring insitutions.

Among the ideas:

Try to use environmentally-friendly cleaning products in your library and try to work with your maintainance department to order the best products. A cleaning product was introduced that was not only more “green” but had been produced in a factory that had used “green” techonolgy.

Paper use was another issue addressed. Attendees were encouraged to set their printers to duplex mode when possible.

We were advised that recycling containers are used most often when they are located next to a regular trash can. If someone needs to track down a recycling bin, they are less likely to try to recycle.

It was pointed out that laptop computers use less electricity than a desktop computer and old computers can be recycled.

This session was thought-provoking and hopefully will yield substantive results.

I was able to attend the next session without having to be the timer because they had enough assistance. The speaker was our own Mary Beth Lock. Having arrived at ZSR the Monday afterthe Wake the Library 5K, I was interested to hear the history of the project. A video clip from the other 2 scheduled presenters, Erik Mitchell and Susan Smith, added a nice touch of innovation in keeping with the conference. I’m looking forward to getting onboard this year and doing what I can to help bring about another successful race.

The last session I attended/timed was “Enriching the Academic Experience: The Library and Experiential Learning at Middle Tennessee State University”. I too found this presentation very interesting andwill defer to Patty Strickland’s description of the projects presented. The hands-on approach to the learning process seemed to contribute to the students’ dedication to their projects and the willingness of the library to be a partner/platform/guinea pig showed their genuine interest in the success of each project.

Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration an entrepreneurial conference for librarians

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 1:32 pm

Like Craig and Heather I also volunteered to help with this conference and was able to attend multiple session. The first keynote speaker Joyce Ogburn had an interesting suggestion on the way we think about our profession and an information profession. She suggested we think of it as a knowledge profession. To think of our libraries as place information technology, libraries as an integrated environment for research and accessing technology. With open source information out there we have an open future. To help our faculty and students with integrating the new technology into the classrooms. Joyce spoke of innovation and how to make innovation happen here are her suggestions:

  • Fast Design
  • Adapt and Adjust
  • Step out of comfort zone
  • Create new areas
  • Share Information
  • It takes multiple ideas to make innovation happen.

I also attended Competing for Fun and Funds this presentation was put on by our own Mary Beth with some long distance help from Erik and Susan. I helped with the 5K run last year and wanted to learn more about what happen before I came on the scene. The presentation was full of tidbits of lessons learned and what and where to start to put on an event of this magnitude. It was neat that Eric and Susan where there in picture and voice from their South trip with a video that was sent to Mary Beth. Gotta love the technology.

Enriching the Academic Experience: The Library and Experiential Learning at Middle Tennessee State University was one of the most interesting presentations that I attended. They are partnering with different departments across campus to give the students real life experiences and meet their needs. Some examples that they gave where partnering with the Anthropology Department to have the student do a study that helped the library find out what the students needs were that were not being met. They have already started to implement programs to meet these needs. They also teamed with the Art Department to help bring awareness to the use of paper (the students print for free) by having the are students make art work showing how much paper was being used. They later found out that two projects involing the library also occured. They were some athropology students study the garbology of the library and found that students usually went to the same are to sudy every day. They also found that students usually brought in outside food while workers usually brought food from home. The last thing that was discussed was working with facilities to have a carptenter and a wielder make a replication of Thomas Edison’s printing press. They use it to help educate in multiple departments including history, anthorpology and education. They use it on campus to clebrate our american heritage. They use it for visiting artists and for hands on demonstrations to elementry school childern. They have the thinking that the more they can get the student involved with the library and give them real life experiences it is a win win situation.

Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration – June 4th

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 11:51 am

I volunteered to help with the Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration: an entrepreneurial conference for librarians held at UNC-G. As it was, they had a plethora of volunteer, so I was able to simply attend. However, by the time my dentist was through with my on Thursday, I was only able to attend 1 1/2 sessions.
I hear the conclusion of the session- Horses and Hoops: New Approaches to Oral History in a Digital Environment” given by Doug Boyd from the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky. Mary Beth wrote about this session, which showed an innovative oral history software tool- OHMS- which allows keyword searching. some day, this kind of thing may filter down to us mortals- hopefully after further improvements to voice recognition software. This session was fascinating.
The closing keynote was from Stephen Bell, Associate University Librarian from Temple University in Philadelphia. Bell is considered a rock star of sorts in certain corners of the library world. He was a dynamic speaker and had a lot to say. Bell started by telling us about his Dad, a car mechanic who”could fix anything”. Bell’s Dad devised a way to keep his boisterous kids from accidentally opening the rear door of his 1958 Cadillac by removing the door handle and installing sharp pins (ouch!) in it’s place. I guess this device worked-and I guess it was innovative………you decide.
the next part of Bell’s lecture was video of him asking librarians if they knew any ‘library entrepreneurs’. No one did. They had heard of Bill Gates though, whom most of the video-ees named as an ‘entrepreneur’.
Bell next got to the pith of his presentation and named 7 characteristics of successful entrepreneurs:
1. Opportunistic- example- Israel recycles 70% of it’s waste water
2. Creative Genius- example- intermittent windshield wipers
3. Customer Focus- example given was Zappos shoes
4. Persistence- example- the guy who invented hyperlinking
5. Connect the Dots- ie. spot trends
6. Passion- example- The Blended Librarian community
7. Risk Taking- I can’t remember the example Bell gave-but it might have been his Dad’s back seat child-proofing device

Bell next mentioned a number of ‘design thinkers’. among those mentioned:

Dan Heaton- mountain unicycling
Deep Dive videos- IDEO corporation
Chip and Dan Heath- Made to Stick: Why some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Daniel Pink- A Whole New Mind-Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
Seth Godin- This is broken
To Improve what you Do- Study People- ACRLog, May 15, 2006

Finally, Bell listed 10 tips for “Library Entrepreneurs:

1. Listen/Observe- keep your antennae up
2. Accept hard work
3. Something is better than nothing
4. Break some rules
5. Ask open questions
6. Balance risk and evolution
7. Develop sticky ideas
8. Take time for getting ideas- Google Wave!
9. Keeping up with new ideas outside of librarianship
10. Use the ‘zoom out’ lens look at the big picture
11? (He said there were 10, but…) Know your core values

Bell is intriguing because he is interested in the future of libraries and where we’re goon. I was glad to realize that ZSR is already THERE on many of the points Bell mentioned.

Craig Fansler

IIC Conference, from the view of a Session Timer

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 10:14 am

As a perk to volunteering during the Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration conference held at UNCG last week, I was able to attend some conference sessions.

  • Clemson Connect: Reaching All Incoming Students (Anne Grant and Suzanne Schilf)

Clemson Connect is a program designed to ease the transition from home life to college life for all incoming Clemson students. It includes 4 components that address group work and faculty relationship dynamics (One Clemson: Yours, Mine, & Ours) , an online tutorial of resources and technology available (iClemson), reading comprehension skills (Summer Reading project), and a library workshop (LIB100). Clemson Connect is a one credit, required course that is pass/fail.

Anne and Suzanne discussed the library workshop component, LIB100, and its ties with the larger campus for support, funding, and progress. Before LIB100, the library worked exclusively with the ENG103 and CU101 courses to develop a one-hour bibliographic instruction session. They began with 15 instructors teaching 8 classes each and reached roughly 1943 students in total. As the need for a more solid LIB100 grew, a group of Reference librarians volunteered to develop the program as it is now. Originally the group emerged with 10 outcomes, 43 objectives, and a pre and post workshop assignment/assessment. They collaborated with the Computing and IT department, Undergraduate Studies, multi-cultural programs, and satellite libraries on campus for advertising and program support. In Fall 2008, the 50-minute LIB100 included 19 instructors, teaching 199 workshops, and reaching 3, 681 students in comparison to bibliographic instruction sessions of before.

After a bit of renovation and editing of the 43 objectives, the Spring 2009 version of LIB100 included 10 outcomes, 13 objectives, 5 instructors, 20 workshops, and a new interactive component to aid in the pre and post workshop assessment. As the Reference librarians continue to adapt and evolve the information/resources covered and the overall workshop itself, they learned some valuable lessons for future revisions:

  1. a pre and post testing/assessment/assignment does NOT work outside of the workshop. As it is a pass/fail, required course and students required to complete the post assignment through Blackboard many students forgot and ended up with a fall on their transcript (which could not be removed).
  2. as the workshop is designed for 50 minutes, the amount of information covered (and deemed important by the librarians) was overwhelming–try to get a student’s perspective on what’s significant for academic research.
  3. it is important to maintain relationships and contact with the ENG103 and CU101 courses, as these were the major supporters and collaborators of the original BI sessions.
  • Competition for Library Services (Larry Nash White)

Larry Nash White, from East Carolina University, discussed the future of libraries in a world of instant, on-demand information services.

Is there competition? Yes–as seen through a decrease in library statistics, nation-wide library branch closings, and the surge of retail book outlets. We’re in a networked world with access to the internet, email, blogs, and social networks at the “speed of transmission.” Not only are we able to access this networked world through hand-held devices, but we’re an increasingly flattened world with the globalization of goods, services, and communications. Therefore, libraries are increasingly facing tangible and intangible competitors.

Tangible Competitors:

  2. Barnes and Noble/Borders/Books-a-Million
  3. LSSI (Library Systems & Services, LLC.)
  4. independent bookstores

Intangible Competitors:

  1. Community literacy programs
  2. daycare
  3. wifi access hotspots
  4. changing demographics of families
  5. entertainment (tv, PSP, Wii)

So with all this competition for library patrons and access to information, how can libraries compete? We need to stop being comfortable–let’s step out of our comfort zones and traditional methods of service and see what is really attracting people to this service providers. We need to do something–don’t let mistakes or fear of failure keep us from trying new services, resources, or programs. We need to be proactive towards technology, resources, trends, and what people are using and how they are using it. Finally, we’re librarians–let’s use our research and resources to our advantage.

Although it was easy to feel overwhelmed or fearful of the future of libraries, the overall message was that although libraries have comeptitors in the information and entertainment services, they are not necessarily a threat. These competitors present an opportunity for collaboration and cooperation which can positively impact the public’s perception of libraries and the profession as a whole.

Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration

Sunday, June 7, 2009 8:44 am

Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration, an entrepreneurial conference for librarians planned by several librarians from UNC-G and Mary Beth, Mary Scanlon and myself from WFU. Mary Scanlon introduced the concept of using google docs to store the many discussion ideas, program proposals and other detailed planning documents. She graciously served as the groups official note keeper throughout the planning process. A debt of gratitude also goes to Kevin Gilbertson for designing the conference webpage and to Mary Beth for working so closely with Kevin transferring the planning groups ideas and suggestions. Together they were instrumental in showcasing the conference to the world. Please take a look if you haven’t already. Mary Beth was also a key designer for the layout of the conference program.Craig Fansler also had a hand in designing the covers. Join me in thanking them for a job well done.The conference captured the attention of about seventy eight attendees, representing 15 different states and even one attendee from the UK. Each was eager to hear and share their own entrepreneurial story. It was clear in the planning stages of the conference that everyone had a different take on just what the concept of entrepreneurism meant within libraries. As imagined the celebration brought together a rainbow of themes and concepts.

Joyce Ogburn, opening keynoter brought together risk and entreprenership. Ogburn compared risk to water. Either you like it or you don’t. For certain you must learn to swim to survive, you can only tread for so long. Jump in the waters just fine. A few of her strategies for dealing with risk included:

Fast track decisions

Be ready for opportunities

Reinvent and reinvigorate

Experiment, shift and adapt

Assume more risk, but manage it

Partner with others

Plan in shorter time frame

I really enjoyed meeting and hearing WFU’s own Jon Obermeyer, our featured luncheon keynoter. I am not sure which I enjoyed more his stories concerning the Institute for Regenerative Medicine and how they can reproduce a bladder in about 6 weeks or his recommended six topic area approach used to describe concisely the viability of a new product or service. His ease and style of delivery both caught my attention and lead me to conclude that he would be an excellent presenter for us here at ZSR and on the WFU campus. Copies of presenter speeches and handouts will be placed on the conference website. When they are, you’ll want to check his out.

I was assigned the task of monitoring Cone A during the conference. I had the joy of hearing some very interesting sessions. One of which was Jennifer Calvo from NCSU libraries.This entrepreneur shared how NCSU launched the Learning Commons After Dark programming. With an average 10:00 p.m. gate count of 700 students, they asked the question,how can we keep this relevant and fresh? Their solution involved using innovative services, dynamic programming and actively engaged staff. They created a series of events, each was to expose the library’s collections, raise awareness of the late hours and foster and further develop the learning commons student community. Some of the events shared included playing a series of older board games, guitar hero, gaming night competitions and a night of making sock animals. Calvo’s shift begins at 9:00 p.m. and ends at 3:00 a.m.

My next session featured Kem Ellis, Director of the High Point Public Library and Mark Livingston, President Transformational Library Partners. This dynamic duo was instrumental in planning the 2008 North Carolina Library Associations’ Leadership Institute. There session entitled “Developing Entrepreneurial, Customer-Focused leaders” was a recap of the founding principles they applied to creating the week long event. They designed the institute using these three beliefs and practices.


Authentic leadership starts with passion and purpose.

Libraries offer significant value and can make a measurable difference in the communities they serve.

The ultimate test of leadership is earning and keeping the loyalty of employees and customers.


Think and act “Outside in.”

Strengthen relationships and loyalty.

Focus on the total Library experience.

Lead with purpose and authenticity.

On Thursday the final day of the conference, I did not feel well and left the conference early. However before leaving I was able to hear Anita Norton share Johns Hopkins University’s story of entrepreneurism. For a fee (not disclosed to the audience) Johns Hopkins provides the library resources needed by the faculty and students at Excelsior College. Together they integrate both library services and resources into their online courses.Librarians from John Hopkins join forces with instructors and course developers to create the structure and content of the classes offered. They have collaborated on 63% of the courses developed.

Planning this conference was a wonderful experience, one I truly enjoyed. I would love to see us do it again and this time have Wake serve as host!

Entrepreneurship Conference

Friday, June 5, 2009 1:32 pm

Congratulations to the ZSR-UNCG team who organized “Inspiration, Innovation, Celebration: an entrepreneurial conference for librarians,” held June 3-4 at the Elliott University Center at UNCG. Wanda, Mary Beth and Mary Scanlon worked hard for over a year and the results paid off! I’m sure they will blog about specific programs. I will give an overview because my job at the end of the conference was to give a few remarks tying it all together.

From the beginning of conference planning, people wondered about the difference between innovation and entrepreneurship. Was money the distinguishing characteristic? In the end after two days of conferencing, I came to the conclusion that it didn’t really matter. What mattered most was encouraging and celebrating creativity and innovation in all forms. And from the number of times ZSR was mentioned throughout the conference, it was apparent that we have achieved some success there.

The three keynote speakers were excellent. Joyce Ogburn from Utah started the conference off by discussing themes of risk management and knowledge management. We met Jon Obermeyer at lunch, who actually works for the WFU Institute for Regenerative Medicine and is thus a resource we can use here. The final keynote speaker was Steven Bell, who is familiar to many of you for his work on the blended librarian.

There were 20 contributed papers that fell into four distinct themes: 1) outreach (both to internal and external audiences), 2) the green movement in libraries (including our own Mary Scanlon and my own Bill Kane), 3) innovative fundraising (with Mary Beth Lock filling in for the virtual Erik Mitchell and Susan Smith) talking about our 5K), and 4) innovation through renovation.

I thought the quality of the programming was very good. Attendance was not quite up to expectations largely due to the global economic collapse and lack of travel funds that no one saw coming a year ago. There is a rumor that we might hold a second conference here at WFU in two years or so. We’ll see…

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