Libraries, learning and the bottom line
Tuesday, 20th March 2012
This month I had the privilege of speaking at two library events. The first was a remarkable response to a lack of budget for employee travel. The New York Public Library system employs hundreds of librarians. Thus, it isn't a great surprise that it can't afford to send many of them to conferences and educational events.
This month I had the privilege of speaking at two library events. The first was a remarkable response to a lack of budget for employee travel. The New York Public Library system employs hundreds of librarians. Thus, it isn't a great surprise that it can't afford to send many of them to conferences and educational events. Yet the need to keep staff informed and up to date on information tools and strategies inspired the NYPL to seek a grant to fund its own two day training event, open to the staff at its many branches and held at the 42nd Street Library (the one with the lions on the front stairs). The theme of the NYPL training event was Engaging Communities, Promoting Learning.
The second event in which I participated was the Associated College Libraries of Central Pennsylvania's Spring Conference. In both cases the panels I was on revolved around the work I did on the book ”Dancing With Digital Natives: Staying in Step with the Generation Transforming the Way Business is Done”. The information community has taken a keen interest in how best to use technology to engage them with, and educate them about, information.
Both audiences brought a range of challenges and insights to their questions, which I always find teach me a great deal. But at the ACLCP conference, one question included a thread woven into almost every discussion about information resources: "Universities with limited funds are competing for students, so how can we use social media to attract and keep students?"
The good news from my co-panellist (and co-editor of the book), Heidi Gautschi, is that she has been quite successful using free and open source tools to teach her Social Media class at Lesley University. Unfortunately, she pointed out that the real cost for many educators is the time investment required to learn to master these tools and how they can effectively be used for engagement and instruction. As the saying goes, time is money. And money is the root of all evil.
It is no surprise that there is increased pressure placed upon workers in roles of all types to make do with less and to rely on free "good enough" resources whenever possible. During the break after one session, a library manager leaned over and quietly asked if I thought that the increasing acceptance of "good enough" information was indicative of a dumbing down of our culture. Perhaps. More likely, though, there is a cycle of cost pressure forcing us to lower our information expectations.
The education of students and library patrons about information can only lend itself to a lifelong appreciation for quality info goods and services. Exploring the budget for, education about, and value of information provides a great many insights that we can apply to the work we do. To this end, we have launched our 4th Economic Impact Survey, sponsored by J.J. Keller. I do hope you will participate in the survey. We all have a lot to learn ... from each other.
"My stakeholders finally understand what we do" – Senior Information Manager, manufacturing industry
Work on information strategy in 2022 with Jinfo if you want to:
- Measure, communicate and improve the ROI of information
- Consistently dedicate time to strategy, despite competing demands
- Build on methods tested and proven in other organisations.
For more on how your organisation benefits and how to get started, check out our "Spotlight on strategy".
- There's no information strategy without stakeholder engagement
Wednesday, 1st December 2021
- Measure the impact of information with Value Chain analysis
Monday, 22nd November 2021
- You know more than you think you do
Tuesday, 16th November 2021
- Centre of Excellence (step five - your evolution work plan)
Wednesday, 11th August 2021
- Centre of Excellence (step four - assess your team’s characteristics)
Tuesday, 22nd June 2021
- Centre of Excellence (step three - envision your Known Fors)
Thursday, 10th June 2021
- Community deck - negotiation role-play for content licensing professionals
Monday, 18th October 2021
- Community deck - teeing up value-based budget conversations for content licensing
Thursday, 30th September 2021
- Community deck - Centre of Excellence - make progress on your evolution, with your peers
Friday, 23rd July 2021
- Stakeholder engagement strategy – tips and tools (Community) Tuesday, 22nd February 2022
- Overcoming the barriers to progress on information strategy (Community) Tuesday, 11th January 2022
- Investment philosophies for strategic portfolio management (Community) Thursday, 2nd December 2021
- Value Chain (step five - putting the Value Chain together) (Webinar) Tuesday, 31st August 2021
- Value Chain (step four - measurement - selecting and collecting data) (Webinar) Monday, 30th August 2021
- Value Chain (step three - your contributions to the Value Chain) (Webinar) Friday, 27th August 2021