Author Archive

This and Last Week’s Tweets, Pins & Tumbls

August 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:

Keep calm... seriously, you're in a library


Angry parents criticise Julia Donaldson for ‘inappropriate’ smoking scarecrow – Telegraph #kidlit

Author and illustrator Ashley Bryan comes of age – The Portland Press Herald – #kidlit

‘Creepy’? New ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ book cover confuses readers – Books #kidlit

George R.R. Martin’s children’s book gets re-release #kidlit

It’s time to rethink what children’s non-fiction could be – Telegraph #kidlit

J.K. Rowling reaches out to shooting survivor who quoted Dumbledore – CNET #kidlit

Picture a Novel from Lane Smith #kidlit

Starred reviews, September/October Horn Book Magazine – The Horn Book #kidlit

Top Ten Novels in Verse by Katie Strawser | Nerdy Book Club #kidlit

What are the best books for children who feel ‘weird’ or different? | Children’s books #kidlit


Macmillan’s Full Catalog of Ebooks Now Available to Public Libraries | American Libraries Magazine #ebooks #libraries

The Way Upward | Design4Impact #libraries


Google partners with Barnes & Noble for same-day book delivery | The Verge

James Patterson: If I were Amazon’s Jeff Bezos (Opinion)


How Rainbow Rowell Turned A Bomb Into A Best-Selling Novel #yalit


"Attention is a scarce resource in this century" #wils14

Don’t just do things right, do the right things. #wils14

Don’t sacrifice good for the perfect. #wils14

If you aren’t risking failure, you aren’t moving the library forward enough. #wils14

Innovation can happen in a time of reduced funding. You don’t need additional resources. #wils14

Measure success via serendipity rather than productivity – look at things in other ways than industrial measures. #wils14

People overwhelmed by choice and full library shelves. #wils14

Relationship with publishers – do libraries pay more or walk away? #wils14

Start very small and very quickly to hear immediately from potential customers and react and reprioritize – #wils14

Your library catalog is very expensive real estate so use it to promote library events. #wils14

Categories: Recommended Links

Job Jumping

August 6, 2014 Leave a comment


Employers are overlooking candidates who may be amazing, because they are biased against applicants who work in different fields and change jobs more often.  But this is often not a reason to dismiss a candidate since it doesn’t reflect what a good worker they are.

It’s also interesting to look at job jumping through the conservative lens of hiring, since we are told that younger workers are changing jobs and fields more often than older workers.  Perhaps this bias will shift as more young workers become hirers in the future.

Categories: Leadership

WILS World – The Kitchen Library: Fostering Creativity

July 30, 2014 Leave a comment

WILS World – The Kitchen Library: Fostering Creativity

Jobs are changing on a regular basis

Hands on learning philosophy began with children at Madison Public Library and expanded to adults

New library was designed to allow creativity to happen, flexible spaces and fewer shelves

The Bubbler –
Part Makerspace and part programming philosophy of bringing in community experts to connect with the community
Cheese making, beer brewing, maker activities, artists, electronics, etc.
Platform to bring creativity and expertise to community
Library as connector and marketing
Experts bring in their own audiences as well
Take programs out into community a lot – festivals, juvenile detention centers, farmers market, etc.

Emphasis on connection and sharing is in Madison’s mission and vision
Established a lot of new partnerships
Wisconsin Book Festival now run by Madison Public Library and they put hands on spin on the festival
Change your policies to allow creativity and new programs to happen – local designers worked together in teams and did nonprofit projects for free – fashion show in the library

Artist in Residence program in Bubbler space
Allow artist to make the space their own
Art throughout library that changes regularly – pop up version

Meet Your Maker series with Sector 67 Makerspace

Animation workshops – learning digital literacy skills

Media lab – sound booth and mixing boards, green screen
Experts run the lab and do pop up workshops
Open to the entire community to use at no cost

Built in screens in all conference rooms and teen area that allow people to use tech in their own way and time

WYOU local access channel works out of library

Yahara Music Library
Partnership with Murphy Music
Licensed for all of South Central Lib System

People become library advocates in the community due to these services
Letting people play and open spaces to explore, get messy and try new things
People are eager to connect with others

Successful partnerships breed more partnerships

Kitchen will be put into their Meadowridge Library with a shared space with the community center next door

The Library as Incubator Project – The Book to Art Club
Take a book club where everyone reads the same book, and then add a hands-on creative component.
Process of art making is more important than the product
Read. Talk. Make.
Story time for grownups

New book featured every month and site offers all the info you need to run the program yourself
Link to WorldCat
Links to online resources
Pinterest board for ideas and inspiration
Discussion questions
Facilitator’s guide

Works with any age group
Basic art supplies

What do you talk about?
What we’re making today – set project or people can bring their own
General discussion of the book
How we arrived at our project
How the book to art idea affected our reading of the book

Categories: Uncategorized

WilsWorld – Big Changes, Big Rewards

July 30, 2014 Leave a comment

WilsWorld – Big Changes, Big Rewards

UW Oshkosh Polk Library
What is so obvious that we should be doing?
Why do we only concentrate on doing things right?
Don’t just do things right, do the right things.

Big Challenges identified in 2010
Technology services
Electronic resources management
Information Literacy
Distance learning

In 2 Years
2 staff budget lines not funded
Staff shrank from 26 to 24
5 new Position descriptions created
7 existing positions altered

Tried to make the best of large period of change

Big Results in Technology
Library Technology Services Department – not a single person
Time to develop and innovate
Leader on campus and beyond

Big Results in Electronic Resources Management
Better coordination from start to finish with fewer people touching it
Better customer service and response time to issues
Clearer responsibility
ERMS – CORAL : Electronic resources management system

Big Results in Information Literacy
New University Studies program
Dedicated librarian for information literacy on campus
Increase in instructional sessions
ANVIL – information literacy modules for video and assessment modeled on bar games; platform has been open sourced recently

Big Results in Distance Education
Enhanced support for Nursing and Life Long Learning
New emphasis by College of Business with focus on providing majority of course material on Kindles

Big change was inevitable!
Learn from mistakes
All staff and areas are critical to big change
Very easy for people who aren’t part of the flashy new services to feel left out, but they are critical to the success of the changes.

Innovation can happen in a time of reduced funding. You don’t need additional resources.
Where can you reduce your effort. Where do you need to put more effort.

Beloit College

Doing more with less since 2008 with loss of one staff position out of staff of 10
In 2011, doing incremental changes

ILS changes needed to keep functioning
Growth in use of archival program
Tight space issues on campus
New curriculum being launched
Change in use of summers

Staff retirements
Donor funded new position
Surprise staff departure in 2012
Recruited in 2013: Collections coordinator, Digital archivist and Consulting librarian
Accelerated ILS changes

Environmental monitoring
Focus on community goals
Balance efforts to match outcomes
Prompts, reminders and accountability

Streamlined operations and collection management workflows
New digital archives program
Increased capacity for one-on-one support
Reconnecting with campus on new ways
Created workgroups for core processes
Faster work pace and higher energy, developing higher confidence for team

Madison Public Library

Renovated Central Library at same time as new director

First six months learned about organization and community
Changed policy to allow food and drink in all libraries
If you have 100% buy in, you aren’t making a big enough change.
Brought back All Staff Day
Changed Mission and Vision statements

Building had already been completely designed but added Makerspace to ground floor instead of regular meeting room
Needed to engage all of community on many different levels and that involved staff
Allow staff to explore, try things, and create connections in community
It’s about risk not change which happens anyway. Risk had to be promoted. Challenge staff to fail.
You won’t be successful without a couple of really good failures. If you aren’t risking failure, you aren’t moving the library forward enough.

Opportunities for people in their 20s and 30s – local bands, cocktails, art openings, etc.
They return and see the value in the library

Started doing more private functions at the library with more after hours events
15 weddings, corporate events

Collaborative environment
Libraries in past developed the content but want to offer platform to allow community to create content
44 albums of local music with licensed music
Creating history of music in Madison

Categories: Uncategorized

WilsWorld – New Project Workshop

July 29, 2014 Leave a comment

WilsWorld – New Project Workshop

Common challenges
Resource constraints
Customer alignment – don’t lose sight of customer needs and changing landscape
Perform across diverse requirements – any of which could trip you up

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Business Model Generation

Lean Startup Concepts
Start very small and very quickly to hear immediately from potential customers – very steplike manner

MVP – Minimal Viable Product – smallest thing you can put out and get input from it
Challenging process for your ego, but very powerful process
Much more flexible for funding
Easier to learn from changing dynamics of marketplace

Business Model Canvas
Forces broader perspective
Start with fundamental value proposition
Channels lead to revenue model
Activities, resources and partners lead to cost structure

Art of Collaboration

Why bother?
Fills gaps in experience and expertise
Expands capacity
Adds intellectual rigor and creativity to projects and process
Strengthens existing relationships
Builds new relationships
Favored by funders

Identifying and Selecting Partners
Who do you know?
Relevant experience and interest
Compatible mission or similar audience
Interested in partnerships
Have fun with them

Concrete contributions
Honest feedback and new thinking
Be open to new ideas

What you bring
Willingness to work with people
Get buy in from within and without organization
Workable timeline
Who is the right person to make the call?
Make the call and make the ask

Look for partners all the time
It’s much easier to call people you already know
Invite them for coffee or to visit the library
Stay in touch

Identifying Potential Funders

Must have a plan
Research process and funders
Write proposal
Communication is important throughout the process

Getting Started
Are you a credible nonprofit or do your have a fiscal sponsor
What kind of support do you need?
Do you have enough time?
Do you have an active board?

Potential funding partners – like forming a partnership, get the right fit
What are your subject areas?
Who will it benefit?
Where are you going to do it? What is your geographic focus?

Finding funders
Start with people you know
Print directories
Databases like Foundation Directory Online
Grant maker websites
Grant maker documents
IRS information returns on FDO Free or Guidestar

Make sure you are eligible
Read their most recent guidelines
Have pre-proposal contact with them – email to request a phone appointment
Use form as they wish
Deadlines, follow up and expectations

Categories: Uncategorized

WilsWorld – Daniel W. Rasmus Keynote

July 29, 2014 Leave a comment

Daniel W. Rasmus Keynote – How Do You Think about the Future

How you think about the future is dangerous
The Believing Brain – book
Reinventing Discovery by Michael Nielsen – book
Attention is a scarce resource in this century
We shape our tools and then our tools shape us – just in beginning stages with tech

Future of Library location – centralized and virtual or decentralized and local

Licensing approach – fragmented and independent or centralized and unified

Organizational dissonance – more horizontal and networked now with less hierarchy

People overwhelmed by choice and full shelves. Limited reference collection.

Does information start finding us?

The Innovators Dilemma – What do you hire a library to do?

Pew Study on Generation Like

Libraries converting to community centers

Preservation or access or something else?

Librarian and library uncertainty. Librarians as curators of things like open source textbooks.

Too Big to Know by David Weinberger

Relationship with publishers – do libraries pay more or walk away?

Who will document the trust and who will censor?
What rights management model will predominate?
Will “offensive books” be cleaned like rap music had been?

Scenario Planning
At least 4 versions of the future to stretch the edges of the future in different ways
Name the uncertainties and create and early warning system
Outside-in thinking
These are not about predicting but about conversations
Measure success via serendipity rather than productivity
Black Swans – things you couldn’t imagine like quantum computing

Future of book
Social aspect with authors that ties you to them and others mentioned in book
Meme tracking and fad info
Resell digital books with DRM passthrough
Upgrade fees for new versions
Transfer between platforms
Keep notes yourself not on platform

Categories: Uncategorized

CNN10 – Better By Design

July 29, 2014 Leave a comment

Looking for some new ideas or a glimpse of the future?  Well, the new CNN10 is sure to inspire you.  These design ideas are specifically about public spaces and so have a lot of ideas that could inspire change in your library.

There are ideas for new office designs that increase collaboration and creativity.  Perhaps we can’t afford a swirling single-surface desk that defines the entire space, but we can incorporate these new private/shared spaces in our work areas.

Playgrounds that kids build themselves can inspire libraries to make room in their buildings for interactive play areas, perhaps even on a large scale like this.

Pop-up living rooms can be a new model for outdoor public spaces that libraries can offer. 

Even more ideas can be gleaned from less obvious connections.  Hospitals that set patients at ease can speak to the need for libraries to do the same.  Hint: huge public service desks are not designed to make our patrons comfortable. 


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