Category Archives: Library Innovators

New White Paper: Think Like a Startup

Please go here ASAP:

to find out all about the new white paper from Brian Mathews:

This paper is a collection of talking points intended to stir the entrepreneurial spirit in library leaders at every level. I think it is also useful for library science students as they prepare to enter and impact the profession. My intention is for this to be a conversation starter, not a step-by-step plan. The future is ours to figure out and I hope that this captures the spirit of the changes ahead.

So here you go:

Think Like A Startup: a white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism 

I’ll be exploring the startup theme for the rest of the year—via this blog, talks, and other venues. But I’m going to leave it at this for right now. It’s a long document, but give it a read. Let me know if something resonates with you or your workplace. I’d love to hear from libraries practicing a similar R&D methodology.

Just a heads-up: my blog will likely go quiet for a bit as I’m heading off to Silicon Valley to meet with some startups as well as with some established companies. This is my quest for an innovation experience—my alternative to ALA Annual. And of course I’ll blog the insights. BTW: I’ve found that entrepreneurs tend to love talking about the future of higher education, largely because it didn’t work well for them and they want to see something different.

Publishing Note: I opted to publish this as a white paper instead of in a journal largely because I wanted to control the design and content. It’s hard to explain, but I didn’t want my initial publication on this topic to be owned, bundled, and associated with a publisher. This self-directed process was much more labor intensive, but also very liberating.


That Human Voice & Connection

Today, I’m enjoying reading the above post from the good folks at Darien Library. This is one of many posts that shares what everyone is reading in the Reader’s Advisors group. The human voice that comes through is pleasant and conversational. This may be something to roll into my courses – practical experience being the human voice of the library!

“Club Milner”

“We cannot keep libraries the same exact way. We cannot hope that our students will use the old technology. Hope is not a strategy for us,” she said. “We need to change; we need to transform; we need to find new ways to deliver information. And we are after the whole person, not just the brain.” Dean of University Libraries Sohair Wastawy

Don’t miss this article about the changes at the Milner Library at Illinois State.

Overcoming e-book ‘stagnation’ by Åke Nygren

Don’t miss this article by Åke Nygren at InformationToday Europe:

Åke explores how Stockholm Libraries are responding to e-book stagnation:

Since 2010 the Stockholm Public Libraries have been working hard at coming to grips with the conflict between a growing public demand for e-books and the devastatingly low percentage of e-books available in their stacks. The overall conclusion: instead of waiting for a print oriented publishing market, paralysed by its anxieties for possible loss of market shares, let’s get the job done ourselves! 


The third step will be to explore the potential with EPUB 3, an open format that has the potential to move e-reading from a disclosed and lonely activity towards an open, creative and social experience.

In brief, Stockholm Public Libraries response to e-book stagnation is to:

  • Cooperate:  we can’t do it on our own, let’s find strategic partnerships, for e-book openness and innovation.
  • Digitise: let’s not just sit and wait. If nobody else seems keen on digitising, well, then we do it ourselves.
  • Integrate: making literature accessible for everybody in 2012 is not just about digitisation, it’s also a question of packaging and integration of the content in user friendly and flexible user interfaces.
  • Engage: let’s explore the potential of co-creating new content together with the users of today: the prosumers.

Library on Wheels – Blogging Gold from Char Booth

Please do not miss:

Just a snippet demonstrates Char Booth’s evidence-based, grounded approach to library outreach and technology:

the mobile shift: not exactly news

Now, down to project business. Mobile platforms and services have become one of the most handily bandied-about concepts in libraryland over the last few years, and for very good reason. Recent research from ECARPIL (pdf), and Pew (among others) documents a mobile shift in personal and academic connectivity, communication, and access among learners. My own research for the Council of Chief Librarians of California Community Colleges in 2011 examined in part the receptivity of participants to mobile library functionality, which resoundingly confirmed mobile trends. Figure 27  shows mobile library interest among smartphone/web-enabled mobile device owners, which represented 56% (N=1,453) of our five-campus survey population (CCL LTES Final Report, p. 36).

Chart showing mobile device receptivity, CCL LTES 2011 Project report

In all categories, a majority of respondents indicated they were very or fairly likely to use mobile library content, research, and support options from their device, significantly higher than other technology applications such as location-based services and social media (with the exception of a Facebook and YouTube). See Figure 26 (ibid., p 34).

Chart showing receptivity to social, etc. library technology services, CCL LTES 2011 Report