Keynote: Brendan Howley on libraries, networks, and culture #internetlibrarian

[Jane Dysart recommends Intertwingled by Peter Morville]

Internet Librarian keynote: Brendan Howley

investigative journalist, “data-driven brand storytelling solutions.”

I design stories that actually incite people to do things.

Hired to work for little Carnegie library in Stratford, Ont. Used to focus groups to have people talk about libraries.

* Hubs of participatory culture
* etc.

* Why stories work (KPIs that really matter)
* Why networks form (power that works)
* Why culture eats strategy for lunch (Peter Drucker)

The Internet means libraries are busting out of their walls.

Exchanging stories

* Stories relax people
* Stories start conversations
* Stories spark emotions
* Stories are about teachable moments

“Maybe stories are just data with a soul.”

Jaac Panksepp studies how stories affect the brain.

Libraries are about their communities.

Meaning: storytelling hinges on meaning.

Librarian’s stock-in-trade: librarians give meaning away, everyday, all the time,

Values: People want to know what you stand for and why.

People under 35 want librarians to do what they’ve always done: provide “the straight goods,” unbiased.

Share the why of the how of what you do.

Shared stories lead to people trusting you.

Got people to invest in a sheep’s milk cheese company by making it about changing the conversation about the politics of food in Ontario.

Networks: emotional connection, co-create value.

Finding “your people,” your “tribe,” online.

A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander, et al.

Patterns rule: understand the patterns in your community.

Libraries are cultural triggers that activate networks: media, literature, art, film local history, archives, databases.

In networks, weakness is strength. The weak ties are the strength of the network. Find the “bridge people,” the influencers.

M. Yunus looked for the entrepreneurial female in villages in Bangladesh and Kenya and handed her a mobile phone.

Making a scene: art scene, rebels, coffehouses, later moms with strollers. Culture makes it happen.

Libraries give context away. Libraries are in the cultural context business.

Improving the culture means improving the economy, etc. It’s a virtuous circle.

Hamilton Library (Ont.) promoting “open media.” People can go there and create their own media.

Eye beacons (Internet on the wall): they’re using it to give people messages on their phones as they head into a concert.

“Community mapping”: staff share their ideas in graphical form.

Scale up “open media” to a national level.

Library becomes a repository of local media.

Libraries as small business development engine. Women entrepreneurs share their stories.

Data into maps to improve tourism, public health, etc. Transform cities.

Mapping Detroit proved that there are some neighborhoods with a net increase in population.

“Thought leadership.”

A “big hairy audacious feedback loop” of data, etc.

“Culture eats strategy for lunch.” If you want to reach people, tell them stories that resonate with their cultures.

Why aren’t libraries local financial hubs (like post offices in some countries)?

Why can’t libraries become publishers of local culture?

Why aren’t libraries’ archives rented as unique media resources? (e.g., banks could get the history of houses for their customers)

Why aren’t libraries embracing community newsrooms?

Get your library to the place where story meets data meets culture.


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