Libraries - organization and services

The decentered library network presence

Think of two trends in the development of the library’s network presence. These have emerged successively and continue to operate together. A centripetal trend producing a library network presence centered on the institutional website, as the library wants to offer an integrated service. A centrifugal trend, unbundling functionality and placing it in a variety of … Continue reading The decentered library network presence

Three challenges: Engaging, rightscaling and innovating

I was in Australia recently, primarily to attend the conference intriguingly entitled ‘The edge of the world‘. The presentation I gave is here, and is embedded below. This was the latest Theta conference, the Australian parallel to Educause. I very much enjoyed the host city, Hobart, not least because of the smell of the sea … Continue reading Three challenges: Engaging, rightscaling and innovating

Defining the library … reflexively

It occurred to me recently that the library definitions I most like have a reflexive quality … Dan Chudnov, for example, is admirably succinct and direct: My professional mission as a librarian is this: Help people build their own libraries. That’s it. That’s all I care about. [One big library] This is from 2006. Interestingly, … Continue reading Defining the library … reflexively

Systemwide organization – sourcing and scaling redux

Libraries are increasingly taking a system-wide perspective of their roles and services. This can take different forms. Think of the close collaboration within the Orbis Cascade Alliance for example, where academic libraries in Washington and Oregon are moving to a shared systems infrastructure. Or think of the various initiatives looking at managing down individual print … Continue reading Systemwide organization – sourcing and scaling redux

Two things prompted by a new website: space as a service and full library discovery

Drawn by a Tweet I looked at Stanford’s very nice new library website just now. I only spent a few minutes there but I was immediately and strongly struck by two things. Each makes so much sense that I imagine they will become routine. The first was the foregrounding of library space as a service. … Continue reading Two things prompted by a new website: space as a service and full library discovery

The enterprising librarian …

I participated in an interesting event at the School of Information and Library Science at UNC a while ago. It was a symposium to consider the ‘information professional’ of 2050. Yes, that is 2050 There was a mix of people. Some in LIS education; some in libraries; and some in industry. One word that was … Continue reading The enterprising librarian …

Collections are library assets

I quite like using the word ‘assets’ with reference to library collections. We tend to think of assets in positive terms, as things that are valuable. More of that later. I was interested to see Rick Anderson remark on the vocabulary used by my colleague Constance Malpas a while ago. This was in the context … Continue reading Collections are library assets

Gamification: services and libraries

I have been interested to see more notes in my tweetstream about peoples’ exercise or diet regimes. They are typically generated by network services as a by-product of some activity, running or cycling, for example, and are part of a motivating framework. The Withings bathroom scale is connected to the network, allows you to set … Continue reading Gamification: services and libraries

Sourcing and scaling: the University of California

I was interested to see Heather Christenson describe The Hathi Trust as a collaboratively sourced web scale research library in a recent article (Hathi Trust: a research library at web scale. PDF). This reminded me of an entry I wrote a while ago about sourcing and scaling (which is referenced in the article). In a … Continue reading Sourcing and scaling: the University of California

Advocacy: public library as amenity and necessity

Downward pressure on the cost of public services creates issues for public libraries. A growth in advocacy is a natural response, and this in turn creates pressing questions about value, and in particular about how different stakeholders potentially perceive value differently. Who one is addressing, and with what message, has become very important. These topics … Continue reading Advocacy: public library as amenity and necessity