Professional Development

In the 'LITA' Category...

ALA Annual 2014 Las Vegas – Lauren

Thursday, July 3, 2014 4:08 pm

Three segments to my post: 1) Linked Data and Semantic Web, 2) Introverts at Work, and 3) Vendors and Books and Video — read just the part that interests you!

1. Linked Data and Semantic Web (or, Advances in Search and Discovery)

Steve Kelley sparked my interest in the Semantic Web and Linked Data with reports after conferences over the past few years. Now that I’ve been appointed to the joint ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards Committee and attended a meeting at this conference, I’ve learned more:

Google Hummingbird is a recent update to how Google searching functions, utilizing all the words in the query to provide more meaningful results instead of just word matches.

Catalogers and Tech Team take note! Work is really happening now with Linked Data. In Jason Clark’s presentation,”Schema.org in Libraries,” see the slide with links to work being done at NCSU and Duke (p. 28 of the posted PDF version).

I’m looking forward to working with Erik Mitchell and other Metadata Standards Committee members in the coming year.

2. Introverts at Work!

The current culture of working in meetings (such as brainstorming) and reaching quick decisions in groups or teams is geared towards extroverts while about 50% of the population are introverts. Introverts can be most productive and provide great solutions when given adequate time for reflection. (Extrovert and introvert were defined in the Jung and MBTI sense of energy gain/drain.) So says Jennifer Kahnweiler, the speaker for the ALCTS President’s Program and author of Quiet Influence. Another book discussing the same topic is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Many ZSRians attended this session!

3.Vendors and Books and Video

I spent a lot of time talking with vendors. Most notable was the meeting that Derrik, Jeff, and I attended with some of the publishers that are raising DDA short term loan prices. This will affect our budget, but our plan is to watch it for a bit, to develop our knowledge and determine appropriate action. It was helpful to learn more from the publishers. Some publishers are able to switch to print on demand, while others cannot because traditional print runs are cheaper than print on demand and their customers still want print. Print-driven publishers have to come up with a sustainable model to cover all of the costs, so they are experimenting with DDA pricing. DDA overall is still an experiment for publishers, while librarians already have come to think of it as being a stable and welcome method of providing resources.

Derrik and I also started conversing with Proquest about how we will manage our existing DDA program in regards to the addition of ebrary Academic Complete to NC LIVE.

“The combined bookshops of Aux Amateurs de Livres and Touzot Librarie Internationale will be called Amalivre effective July 1, 2014.”

Regarding video, Mary Beth, Jeff, Derrik and I attended a presentation by two Australian librarians from different large universities (QUT and La Trobe, with FTE in tens of thousands). They reported on their shift to streaming video with Kanopy and here are a few bullets:

  • Among drivers for change were the flipped classroom and mobile use
  • 60% of the DVD collection had less than 5 views while streaming video titles licensed through Kanopy averaged over 50 views
  • 23% and 15% (two universities) of DVDs have never been viewed once
  • 1.7 and 1.8 (two universities) times is the true cost of DVD ownership
  • They have a keyboard accessibility arrangement for the visually impaired
  • Usage is growing for PDA and non-PDA titles in Kanopy [reminds us of our experience with e-books]
  • Discovery of the streaming videos came largely through faculty embedding videos in the CMS
  • Other discovery is not good for video, so they had Proquest add a radio button option for video to Summon to help promote discovery [can we do this?]
  • They concluded that because of greater use,online video is the greater value for the money spent

 

LITA Nationa Forum 2012, Concurrent Sessions

Sunday, October 7, 2012 9:48 am

Members of the LITA Forum Planning Committee also serve as moderators for the concurrent sessions. I chose to moderate the sessions that had not been claimed by other members of the planning committee, rather than choosing based on topic. This has served me well as I’ve found myself in some great sessions I probably would not have chosen on my own! I’ve described my top three sessions below:

Persona Most Grata: Invoking the User from Data to Design; Alexa Pearce, Nadaleen Tempelman-Kluit

This presentation focused on the use of personas, an idea I’ve heard about at several conferences, but what made this presentation different was the extensive use of data to create those personas. In most examples I’ve seen, the personas represented faculty, staff, student and graduate student users, but these librarians gather data from chat transcripts and looked at users across variable such as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and research or process oriented and graphed the data along an x and y axis, then made a persona around the results of each quadrant. These personas became shorthand at the library for various types of users. The advantage being that there was data behind these personas that backed up that perspective.

Digital screenmedia: Merging technologies, unifying content, May Chang, Michael Blake

This was the surprise presentation for me. It dealt with how to manage digital information screens in your library. ECU was doing the same thing we do now, updating a Powerpoint presentation, but now they use XIBO for digital signage. It allows for a web interface, has the ability for items to expire and leave the presentation automatically, and is open source! May Chang also discussed the best practices for these types of signs, telling the group that any screen within reach of the user needs to be a touch screen and any screen that is not a touch screen needs to be up high so user are not tempted to touch. Additional suggestions included minimizing the amount of text on a screen, showing slides for only ten seconds at a time and including other informative content besides events to avoid over-commercialization.

Data-driven design decisions for discovery interfaces, Erin White

Erin is always a crowd favorite, and even though her panel of three became a presentation of one, she rose to the occasion and gave a great program on using data (such as tracking “hotspots” on the screen) to make major design decision regarding discovery systems. One side discussion that came up was release dates. They released a new interface in December, much to the horror of their users. This was due to setbacks that caused a summer release to get pushed forward multiple times. Something that occasionally unavoidable.

LITA 2012 was a very productive conference for me. In addition to serving on the planning committee, I had the opportunity to moderate and hear many great sessions and facilitate three networking dinners! All in all, a successful trip! I owe Susan Smith a big thanks for letting me serve on her planning committee! Thanks, Susan!

 

Susan at LITA National Forum

Saturday, October 6, 2012 3:12 pm

Columbus Skyline View

Columbus Skyline

As most of you are probably aware, I am the chair of this year’s LITA National Forum Planning Committee. What that has meant for me is that I’ve been working with the planning committee (and I might add, it has been a strong, effective group of people!) for over a year to put together the programming for this year’s Forum that is taking place this weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Some of you who know me also know that I have a long-time issue of “hostess anxiety” so you can imagine that I’ve been working to make sure that everything goes off smoothly and as planned! So far, so good – we are hearing positive feedback about the keynote speakers, concurrent sessions, the meeting rooms, the food (it is really good thanks to Melissa from the LITA staff), and the city of Columbus (it is really a cool town). In addition to coordinating the planning, I’m the self-appointed photographer to document the conference (no surprise there) so I invite you to see what’s happening this weekend via the Forum pictures.

Ben Shneiderman, Saturday Keynote Speaker

Ben Shneiderman

Thomas has already reported on yesterday’s opening keynote address by Eric Hellman. Today, we opened the day with a second keynote speech, delivered by Ben Shneiderman, who is a professor of computer science at University of Maryland, College Park. Many of you might recognize him as the author of the seminal book Designing the User Interface, now in its fifth edition.

Ben talked about three main themes: visual analytics, social discovery and networked communities. His talk is available on LITA’s UStream channel: Ben Shneiderman’s Keynote Speech. If you want to see the “short” recap, take a look at his presentation slides on ALA Connect. There are an abundance of interesting concepts and exciting projects that I’m looking forward to exploring when I get back home and have some quiet reflection time.

Now it’s time to get back to work moderating concurrent sessions and orchestrating network dinners!

Sunday’s ALA Midwinter Roundup from Susan

Monday, January 23, 2012 9:08 am

Top Technology Trends Discussion

Top Technology Trends Panel Discussion: Lorcan, Demsey, Sue Polanka, Marshall Breeding, Nina McHale, Stephen Abram

Sunday was a day of sessions for me with the major one being the Top Tech Trends program. But it came after a day that began at a breakfast session sponsored by Sage (where our former colleague and friend Elisabeth Leonard was the moderator). The event was a big improvement over Saturday’s Ebsco *sales* event – Sage gave us an excellent hot breakfast and then put on a panel program that addressed various issues surrounding discoverability. They did it through a lens of the “scholarly ecosystem” that includes authors, publishers, librarians, and vendors. The panelists were Joseph Esposito (Publishing Consultant), John Sack (Hirewire), Barbara Schnader (University of California, Riverside), Mary Somerville (University of Colorado, Denver), and John Law (Serials Solution). Discussions covered broad topics including “what is discoverabiity?”, “who has the biggest stake in discovery?”, “how should each segment of the ecosystem contribute to discovery?” “are there good metrics for measuring discoverability?” and “what is the cost of discovery?” As you might imagine, there were different perspectives between the panelists but the topic that really seemed to get the highest level of attention was that everyone agreed there is a great need to improve the metrics. Where vendors look at metrics to drive traffic, libraries look at them to determine value. There was consensus that currently there is great difficulty pulling together data so that it tells a story that can help with decision-making.

The bulk of Sunday morning was devoted to helping make sure that things were set for the Top Tech Trends program. The venue was in the far reaches of the convention center in the oldest section of the building (built in the 1950s). When the AV wasn’t set up right, my assignment was to find the AV people and bring them to the room. So I wandered around until I saw a guy with a cart and grabbed him. They got everything fixed so the program was only a few minutes late getting started. Giz shadowed Maurice York who set up the streaming for the event (so that he can replicate it for National Forum this fall). I took notes so that we can provide folks with brief bullet points on the trends discussed (for those who won’t have the time or inclination to watch the 90 minute video that will be archived on Ustream). Each panelist brought two trends that they presented (in two rounds). Round one trends included frictionless access (smartphone technology that provides unfettered access to services without user interaction), the advent of “enterprise IT staff” for libraries (bringing in professional programmers rather than librarians who like programming), the impending demise of the ILS, the trend toward self-service (mentioned a rack to manage iPad loans including re-imaging!), and the rise of personal institutional curation services (library created guides was an example). Round two trends were: on-demand (printing including 3D, CD-burning, a hybrid model to provide the physical experience), web analytics, reintegration of discovery with the backend systems, technologies that take instruction in a different direction (eg touch screens) and the platform wars in consumer space (a library concern with interoperability). I’ll be pulling together more in-depth (well maybe a few sentences for each topic) information for posting onto the LITA blog next week, but this will give you the idea. I thought the session was one of the most successful in recent memory. There were good trends and interesting interchanges among the panelists that made the session’s 90 minutes fly by!

Texas School Book Depository

Texas School Book Depository (now a museum)

After a good lunch visiting with a group that Elisaeth Leonard invited to lunch (thank you Sage for my second free meal of the day), Mary Beth and I took an hour and toured the JFK museum at the Texas School Book Depository. It was very moving, and brought back a flood of memories from that watershed event in America’s history. Photos weren’t allowed (you know that was tough for me!), so afterward we strolled outside where they have two X’s on the street where the shots hit and have a big ugly yellow banner sign proclaiming “grassy knoll.”

After that, it was back to the conference where I joined Roz, Giz and Mary Beth in an Information Commons discussion session. I’ll let one of them report on that, as I am talked out now and have to get ready for a full morning of LITA meetings before we head back to NC this afternoon!

Susan’s Straight Shootin’ Report #1

Saturday, January 21, 2012 5:41 pm
MB Heading to an afternoon session in the Convention Center

MB Heading to an afternoon session in the Convention Center

For me, ALA Midwinter has become mostly about committee work. I am on two LITA committees currently – Top Tech Trends (the committee is responsible for putting together the Top Tech Trends program that is held at each ALA conference) and LITA National Forum Planning Committee (I am chair of this committee this year). This means I have two business meetings this weekend and will help at the TTT program tomorrow morning. I also have become more appreciative of the great networking opportunity that the Friday evening LITA Happy Hour provides. It is a first chance to renew face-to-face connections with people you have been working with virtually the previous 6 months, and meet new faces who are interested in becoming more involved in LITA.

As Lynn reported, I also manage to rustle up (when in Texas, use Texas cliches) some sort of athletic activity. This year, ALA brought back the 5K Fun Run that I had loved years ago, but that had been on a 8-year hiatus. Lynn and Mary Beth were good sports and joined me on a 6 am shuttle bus to the race site which was held in Reverchon Park. I am sure that MB and Lynn were glad it was dark when a sprint coach led the racers in warm-up exercises because it was too dark for me to snap pictures of us as we did stretches on the cold ground! The group was small but enthusiastic and the course was a nice flat one that included a long staircase at the beginning and end (that was a first in my racing experience).

My morning meeting today was the Top Tech Trends Committee Business Meeting. There were a few members who were unable to attend Midwinter, so I had scheduled a WebEx meeting so they could be there virtually. ZSR now has a traveling WebEx kit that contains a camera, speakers and a mic and this was the first chance to test it out. Giz got it all configured earlier this week and volunteered to attend the meeting and handle the technology and facilitate the participation of the virtual attendees. It all turned out very well and I appreciate his willingness to take this on. It freed me up to take minutes for the meeting (we didn’t choose to record the meeting). We will be replicating this for our Forum Planning meeting on Monday morning.

Following an EBSCO luncheon where many ZSR colleagues showed up (and the sales speeches lasted a full hour!), Mary Beth and I headed to the Exhibit Hall to meet with Crowley, the company that sold us the Zeutchel scanners. She wanted to discuss the long promised Illiad-friendly driver and I wanted to see if they might have an appropriate book scanner for Special Collections. Then she headed off for an afternoon session (as pictured at the beginning of this post). As I write this, sipping on a Starbucks, I am building up the energy to head back in the Exhibit Hall to ferret out other scanner vendors so I can bring home some comparative products.

I’m sure I’ll have more to report tomorrow!

 

Susan’s ALA Annual Conference Report: Days 2-4

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 10:10 pm

This ALA Annual conference was a different experience for me. I am now on two LITA committees, Top Technology Trends and the 2012 LITA National Forum Planning Committee (which I am chairing). This means that much more of my conference time was scheduled to perform the duties this entails.

As a chair of a LITA committee, I found (thanks to Lauren P.) that I should attend a joint committee/IG chair meeting first thing Saturday morning. Because LITA holds its National Forum Conference annually, I also needed to attend, in addition to my planning committee, the one for this year’s conference so I can get up to speed on what’s planned for this year.

View Looking Down on the Crescent City Brewhouse Bar
View of the Crescent City Brewhouse Bar from Above

Much of the work for Top Technology Trends takes place throughout the year because it is a programming event that takes place at both Midwinter and Annual. Last year, we decided it would be a good idea to plan a social gathering with the committee and the “trendsters” so that they would be acquainted prior to coming to the podium the next day. My assignment was to find a restaurant to hold the “get acquainted” dinner and if you know me, you know I have “hostess anxiety.” This meant that I spend a long time finding a place that would be a good one: with New Orleans atmosphere but not priced in the stratosphere. I settled on the Crescent City Brewhouse which was reasonably priced, centrally located on the edge of the French Quarter and had a live jazz band! It turned out to be a nice networking evening. The actual event took place Sunday afternoon. We had a great venue this time with the session taking place in one of the main auditoriums. This time there were 5 trendsters, Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC; Clifford Lynch, CNI; Nina McHale, Univ of Colorado, Denver; Monique Sendze, Douglas Country (CO) Libraries; and Jennifer Wright, Free Library of Philadelphia. You might want to note that, for the first time, the female trendsters outnumbered the males. As Erik mentioned in his post, the trends included social reading, the death of the mouse, proximity marketing, “mashing down” print, and computational photography.

Top Technology Trends Panel

Top Technology Trends Panel at ALA Annual, New Orleans

This was the first time at ALA that I also had a presentation. I participated in the ULS/CLS Program with 9 other presenters. The format was a Pecha Kucha, a presentational framework where we had to do 20 slides for 15 (preprogrammed) seconds each for a total of a 5 minute talk. My topic was “From Department Director to Race Director.”

I have to admit that this was the most challenging presentation I have ever made. I am more of an ad-lib speaker. I like to make a broad outline and go from there, depending on what stories come to me in the moment and how the audience reacts. The Pecha Kucha format is very regimented. I had to know exactly what I wanted to say in the 15 seconds that each image projected. They even had a cow bell that they said they would ring if we went over. It was very intimidating, even for a seasoned pubic speaker. However, I survived and had positive feedback on my content.

I always enjoy attending the Alexander Street Press breakfast. This year, the speaker was Stanley Nelson, the award winning documentary filmmaker. HIs most recent film is Freedom Riders. After several minutes of audio technical snafus, he showed a ten-minute clip about the second wave of freedom riders. It was extremely moving. I was particularly drawn to the fact that he produced the documentary The Murder of Emmett Till. In both of my “south trip” experiences, the story of Emmett Till played a central part in starting to understand the complex issues of the black experience in the south.

Those of you who know me also know my belief in the importance of embracing the local culture of the places we go for conferences. This was not hard to do in a town like New Orleans. I’ve been there four times now, three of them post-Katrina. During our Monday French Quarter Neighborhood Bike Tour we learned that only 70% of the population from pre-Katrina is now there post-Katrina. The bike tour is an example of another belief I have about conferences. It is the perfect opportunity to make a different type of connection with your colleagues. Interacting with colleagues in a different setting is conducive to getting to know each other in a unique context. With 12 people attending ALA New Orleans from ZSR, there were plenty of chances to connect with each other in ways that resulted in higher understandings and appreciations of each other!

French Quarter Neighborhood Bike Tour

Excellent French Quarter Bicycle Tour

Susan’s Final Day of ALA Midwinter 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 2:00 am

This morning I completed my participation in the 2011 ALA Midwinter. Most years, I have headed home on Monday morning since my committee obligations are usually done by Sunday. However, because I am getting more involved with LITA, I needed to attend the LITA Town Hall Meeting. This is a breakfast session for LITA members to have discussions about “about how LITA responds to and involves its membership in the larger information, association, community-building, and technology-related landscape.” Last year LITA finalized its Strategic Plan and specific goals and objectives from this plan were assigned to each of LITA’s committees. At this morning’s meeting, each committee chair reported on their group’s activities and accomplishments as they related to their assigned objectives. It was the first time I’ve really heard specifics about what each committee does (which is very useful to understand). As in other years, some time was spent in breakout discussions to generate suggestions and ideas for future direction of the organization. Each table captured their discussions and the results were given to the leadership group. Learning all of this has become somewhat important as I was asked to chair the 2012 LITA National Forum Planning Committee and accepted. I need to gain a better “big picture” view of the structure and culture of LITA if I want to be successful (which I do!). To that end, following the Town Hall meeting, I met with the LITA President-Elect Colleen Cuddy to start brainstorming about potential committee members for the planning committee. I’ve served on the committee two different years, but it’s much different being a member than being the one responsible to lead the entire endeavor. It felt good to get a bit of a jump start and learn more about the time table for keeping the conference planning on track.

Hotel del Coronado

I finished up by noon, but our flight doesn’t head us home until tomorrow (and I am crossing my fingers that all goes smoothly!). So this afternoon, we took advantage of the weather and the fact that I’m a strong believer in the educational benefit of travel to new places. We hopped a water taxi and headed over to Coronado, which is on the ocean side of San Diego Bay. Once we arrived, we walked over a mile to the ocean side to visit Hotel del Coronado, which was built in 1888. At that time it was the largest resort hotel in the world, and the first to use electricity (Wikipedia). It was the location used in Marilyn Monroe’s movie “Some Like it Hot.” It was a perfect afternoon and a wonderful way to recharge in anticipation of a grueling travel day tomorrow :-)

Susan’s Day 2 @ ALA Midwinter: Top Tech Trends

Sunday, January 9, 2011 6:41 pm

Top Technology Trends
I am on the LITA Top Technology Trends Committee this year and the main purpose of this group is to put on this popular event at each Midwinter and Annual ALA Conference. Top Tech Trends took place this morning with a panel of “trendsters,” who discuss current technology trends and often predict future trends. The panel this year had some familiar faces and some new ones, including our own Erik Mitchell! The other panelists were:

  • Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President and Chief Strategist, OCLC
  • Rachel Frick, Program Director, Digital Library Federation
  • Monique Sendze, Associate Director of Information Technology, Douglas County Libraries, Colorado
  • Jeffrey Trzeciak, University Librarian, McMaster University

This year each panelist presented two trends and then the audience interacted with questions and comments. Being such a techie group, the committee did a live feed of the session (which was watched by about 40 viewers and recorded it for later viewing. My job this morning was to monitor the twitter feed in case questions were posed for the panelists. My “mopup” assignment is to view the recorded session and work up a list of URL’s and websites cited by the panelists to share over the LITA site.

Immediately following the conclusion of the event, the committee met to start planning for the ALA Annual event, in New Orleans in June. I got an assignment I can sink my teeth into: find a restaurant for the committee and panelist to meet and get acquainted the night prior to the session. Having visited New Orleans three times now, and having never eaten in the same place twice, it will be a fun assignment!

Right now, I am writing from the LITA emerging technologies interest group meeting. I was hoping for some new and exciting ideas, but the talk is centered around technologies that we are already working with: QR Codes, augmented reality, location based services, Evernote, Dropbox, etc. It was nice to see folks get introduced to these handy technologies, but, for me, the real new tech ideas came in this morning’s Top Tech Trends session.

Susan at LITA National Forum 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010 9:57 am

Welcome to LITA National Forum

This year’s LITA National Forum is being held in Atlanta. There are 5 of us here from ZSR Library, probably the largest representation we’ve ever had at a single Forum. One big impact of this fact is that we were able to take advantage of the new library van to transport all of us down the road. There is nothing better than a road trip that starts in the back parking lot behind ZSR at 4:30 am!

I am on the conference planning committee again, so most of my weekend is involved with introducing speakers, helping with logistics and hosting a networking dinner tonight. Giz is attending his first Forum and Erik/Kevin/JP came to do a presentation on our cloud project.

We arrived in time to settle in and be ready for the opening keynote by Amy Bruckman, who talked about “How Wikipedia Works and What This Means for the Nature of Truth.” She talked about Wikipedia in terms of being a constructionist learning environment but said it has produced a epistemology crisis. With a source that is collectively created, how do we understand what to believe, what is objective or subjective? She believes it is through social agreement, or peer review. And this is what Wikipedia does through its framework of authors, editors and administrators. She offered several interesting perspectives in support of the value of Wikipedia and it was a great start to the weekend.

Q & A's Following the Presentation

I was fortunate to be the one to introduce our cloud experts for their session (OK I admit I arranged to do it!). I’m sure each of them will give their perspectives, but the 70 minute talk was well received from a room that had standing room only. Often, the real test of the success of a presentation is how many questions are generated, and how many people hang after to talk to the speakers. Using those criteria, the talk was a resounding success with plenty of thoughtful questions posed (and good answers returned) and plenty of post-session conversations.

Today promises another full day with a keynote by Roy Tennant and concurrent sessions. So more to come!

Susan’s Final Morning at ALA Midwinter 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 8:31 am

I had two sessions on my itinerary this morning, both at the Convention Center. So my roommates and I checked out bright and early and hopped the shuttle down to the BCEC one last time. It was a snowy ride, as the wet weather W-S experienced yesterday made its way to New England and turned wintry.

I attended the LITA Town Hall Meeting for the first time. It is a discussion gathering where members get to provide input on what they would like to see from their organization in the next year. What I didn’t realize is that it is a breakfast meeting (with real,hot good food) so I wasted $11 buying a fast food meal from the convention hall vendor. Oh well, it wasn’t too hard managing two breakfasts :-)

It turns out that LITA is in a strategic planning process and used this meeting to ask the members to look at what has been created so far and provide input. Each table was assigned a “theme” area (ours was “innovation”) and we reviewed the goals and suggested others. It was an interesting process as most of us were coming in fairly uninformed as to the history of the planning process and how it is anticipated this will fit in with the larger ALA organization. Still, it was a lively discussion and I believe several good ideas were generated by the various groups.

My final session was one that Lynn recommended. It was titled “From Ideas to Reality: Trends to Embrace in 2010″ and was led by Arnold Hirshon, LYRASIS’s Chief Strategist & Executive Consultant. He cautioned that every topic discussed in the session would not necessarily become a trend but all bear watching.

Three broad areas that drive library trends were discussed: technology, content and people. The presentation was engaging but the content didn’t surprise me as many of these ideas are ones that we have have under discussion or for which we actually have existing projects.

The summary of the technology trends he discussed were:
*computing is migrating to the cloud
*Open source software market is moving to maturity
*devices portability is diversifying
*social networking is experiencing growing pains
*bandwidth demand is insatiable

In the area of content, the economics of information is shifting. There will be a shift from free web content as ad revenue models are failing. Providers will be looking to augment ad revenue with other approaches, for instance, raising the cost of mobile applications. Currently free content may not continue to be free. Another content-related trend concerns the devolution of crowdsourcing. The decrease in Wikipedia content authors may be a bellwether of things to come. It might be that many topics are already covered, the rules discouraging participation have turned people away, or boredom has set in as the newness of participatory authorship fades. The biggest content trend concerns e-books. Roz has discussed this issue at length, but I’ll just add that Hirshon believes that e-books are at the tipping point and predicts they will continue to see rapid deployment, innovation and adoption.

People are numbered among library directors’ biggest problems (along with the economy and speed of change). However, some assumptions about staff are not borne out.

Studies on age-related traits find that when comparing under-30 and over-50 year old staff:
*over 50′s are more cooperative, contributing, and risk-taking.
*Under 30′s are slightly more more competitive.
*both groups are looking for flexible work arrangements and opportunities to give back to society.
*the best teams are ones that include both age groups.

Another staff trait that is important to understand is that achieving results and receiving support in that endeavor is the top motivator for most staff (over recognition or incentives).

Hirshon concluded by cautioning that it is hard to innovate and transform by embedding change within your existing operation. It is best to create a separate group to get an initiative started and then move it into normal operations after it is established. Finally, he encouraged us to stop believing that everything must be perfectly prepared and analyzed before you take action.The final advice he had for the room filled with library directors was: Act!


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