Tags Michael Casey

30 posts

Revisiting Participatory Service in Trying Times – a TTW Guest Post by Michael Casey

Note from Michael : I am honored to have written over two years of The Transparent Library with Michael Casey. I am pleased he took me up on an offer to do a guest post about participatory service for the Salzburg Global Seminar week. I asked him to explore where we’ve come from 2005 and where we are headed. This was the topic of a blog he started in 2005 and a book he co-authored in 2007. But the world has changed a great deal since 2005. Perhaps the biggest change has been that of the economy derailing many initiatives and […]

The Road Ahead

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens We’ve been writing this column for more than two years, and though it’s been a wonderful experience, it’s time to move on to other projects and topics. We appreciate the feedback we’ve received on the LJ site, via emails, and in person—including all of those wonderful “please keep this anonymous” stories.” Since April 2007, we’ve seen the rise of Twitter, the closing of libraries, and the burgeoning of social applications, among numerous changes. One constant: an open, flowing conversation is best to involve and engage everyone. In closing this column, we present one more […]

It’s Fine to Drop Dewey

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens We think it’s good news that the Rangeview Library District, CO, is experimenting in one of its branches with an alternative to Dewey. MC: I started highlighting Dewey’s failings when I was helping build and open a new branch library. I asked the many contractors and vendors if they used the library. Many responded that they had gone as kids but that they never continued use into adulthood. Many said they went to the book superstores but had given upon the library. Why? Coffee, collection, and classification. Today’s busy, working adults want to find […]

Be Selfish, Promote Service

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens Now, more than ever we need to deliver our best customer service. No library users should walk away feeling that their questions or needs were not fully addressed. No teen should come to the reference desk only to be met by a sarcastic answer and a hand gesturing them to some distant region of the stacks. No senior should be expected to use our newest technology without being offered a training session. Is this hard in today’s tighter economic times? Absolutely. Time is at a premium, as is money, but right now you need […]

Reasons for Optimism

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens These may be tough times, but libraries are more important than ever. We find reasons for optimism and also offer advice to new graduates. Libraries are going through some difficult times right now. What gives you hope? MS: Libraries are forging ahead with low-cost technologies and new initiatives. Many nimble librarians are adapting quickly to the current economic climate, offering access to government programs, résumé workshops, and projects centered around saving money. We can and do think on our feet. MC: I’m encouraged by the number of libraries that offer training classes in various […]

Cheers & Jeers

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens We’ve been writing the Transparent Library for two years, so it’s time for some more thumbs up and thumbs down. Jeers to the five board members at Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, KS, for voting yes to restrict four books about sex. This does not help library users-who shouldn’t have to face barriers in seeking such books-or public perception of their community. Cheers to the director and librarians at the Topeka library for fighting the good fight to maintain a well-balanced, useful, and inclusive collection for all. Cheers to the library in Fox […]

You Can’t Afford Not To Do These Things

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens We’ve written about ideas for improving customer service, boosting staff morale, fostering change, and building a management and communication style that is win-win for both staff and administration. Almost everything we’ve discussed has, as its only cost, time–necessary to plan, implement, and review. There are no expensive technologies to purchase, no cutting-edge software to struggle with, and no $500-an-hour consultants. Our suggestions involve listening, dialog, and transparent actions. Trust is the underlying concept. Communication is its foundation. Economics hit morale On April 1, 2007, when we began writing The Transparent Library column, the nation’s […]

Dear Library Directors

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens We appreciate your feedback, positive and negative. As we move into 2009, even as you grapple with budget challenges, keep in mind that these Five Things We Just Can’t Ignore in Libraries require moxie more than money. Privacy: We really need to rethink our privacy concerns, offer varying levels of opt-in, and educate our users about a networked world in which our life streams are saved through social networks and servers in the “cloud.” We believe the default should be privacy, but if patrons want to share, we should let them. Rethink your library […]

Measure the Silence

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens You make every effort to create a transparent library. You listen to your staff and customers and give them all possible means to talk to you-email, blogs, paper comment cards, telephone numbers, instant messaging, etc. You try to listen in via Twitter and Yelp. You hold community nights for customers to talk to you and go out to where they are and try to hold conversations where it is most convenient for them. From all of this, you try to steer your library on the right course, paying heed to and responding to input. […]

Six More Signposts

By Michael Casey & Michael Stephens Properly handled and managed, adaptation to change ensures our survival Last month, we presented six mile markers for your transparent library. Here are six more. Have an open-door policy. You have to listen to be heard. And you have to be out there to be noticed. Whether you’re a director, leader, or manager, listening to your community and working with other leaders and managers is the only way you will remain relevant and grow stronger as a leader and help build a stronger organization. Seth Godin reminds us in his book Tribes (Portfolio, 2008) […]