Nina Simon, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History #InternetLibrarian #ofbyforall @ninaksimon

When she started, more people knew the building had been the county jail than knew that it was a museum, and it had been a museum for 20 years.

People ask questions like, how can we get new people into the museum? How can we get girls into engineering? That leads to lazy answers, like *those* people aren’t interested. Ask, instead, what are we willing to change to bring in new people?

In seven years, budget and visitors increased by a factor of ~7.

They try to be of, by, and for the community.

Recent exhibit: invited people to display portraits. : Self assessment for how well your library (and other cultural organizations) is representing your community.

State Library of Queensland, Brisbane: Aboriginal people said they share knowledge through music, rather than books, around a fire. The library made a space for music and dance with a fire pit!

You can’t just put up a sign that says “welcome” and think that you’re done. You need to welcome people as partners.

Groups like punks and bikers: they got them in by partnerships.

Dia de los Muertos event hadn’t partnered with Latinx people. She changed that. Procession from museum to the cemetery two miles away.

Bilingual staff.

When working with marginalized communities, of-by-for is NOT optional (e.g., foster youth). Start with partners you know and ask them, who else should we partner with?

Of By For All Change Network: group of orgs doing these things.


Future Focus Panel #InternetLibrarian @Misty3Jones @BobbiNewman @JDysart @LarryMagid

Misty Jones, San Diego PL
Bobbi Newman, National Network of Libraries of Medicine
Gary Shaffer, USC
Larry Magid, tech columnist


Magid has a guide to media literacy and fake news:

Likes to go to the source, often gets assistance from librarians.

We need to start from the same set of facts.


Saw libraries as a marketing opportunity. Get out of the four walls. Tie-ins with concerts in town (download the music) or movies (read the book).


Made a point of talking to people from different types and sizes of libraries.


Had a psychology background, which prepared her “more than you would believe for libraries.” Made a switch and fell in love with it. We do change people’s lives every single day. Always be an essential, vital part of the community. Changing, redefining to be what the community needs you to be.

After-school tutoring program. The schools had a waiting list of 800 kids.
Got lots of kids. Also parents taking computer classes.


I don’t think technology is the solution to social problems. It’s a tool that helps, but not everything. Collaboration. Everyone wants to partner with librarians. Have the key to your community.


Agree about technology. Technology doesn’t create problems either, but amplifies them. Virtual reality, augmented reality. Google Lens can try to identify buildings from pictures.

On the other hand: Looking forward to car that will drive itself. When he gets older, that will solve a problem for him.

Privacy and security implications.


Inequity is a concern. The self-driving car solves a problem for you, but not for society. Those who need Google Echo the most may not be able to afford it.


Your community is whatever your organization is trying to solve — city, corporation, university. Yes, lots of people want to collaborate with you, but you should be picky. Figure out exactly how it would work. Do a reference interview.


Not all partners are the right ones. Started one with UC San Diego extension. Certificate programs for underserved communities. Library is the educational place for everyone.


High public trust, but you have to protect it.


Library partnering to do education on care for Alzheimer’s patients. Public libraries participating with health organizations (e.g., having a booth at health fair).


Starbucks in a public library. Revenue after royalties went to library. Became a recruiting track: customer-service-oriented Starbucks employees could move into library as jobs open.


Artificial scarcity of electronic media. On a waiting list for an e-book at NYPL.


Our biggest challenge is relevance, staying nimble. Media (Netflix, et al.) are competing for our time. Libraries are competing, too. Make the library an experience. Tie into the community and do what they need from you.


Big money: there are organizations campaigning against public libraries. Stuff that can’t be measured easily on spreadsheets.


Perception: raised $32 million for a library. People kept saying “libraries are going away.” There’s 10,000 people a day walking in the door. Perception that libraries are a book warehouse. Also perception that all information is on the Internet. Staff need to convey the relevance. What is the one thing you can tell your city council? Go to foundations; they have to give away money. But don’t take the money if they want you do something that’s not in your strategic plan.

Jane Dysart:

By the time someone is talking about de-funding your library, it’s too late. You have to build those relationships in advance.


You have to get the word out. Writing articles this week about the conference for CBS News and San Jose Mercury News.


Shove the library down people’s throats. I can turn every single conversation to the library.


Shove it down their throat with kindness. Don’t get upset with people when they don’t understand. Find something that resonates with them. Do a program about how to navigate the Equifax program.


47% of the public believes the media makes stuff up. We’re in the same information business. People are questioning the legitimacy of knowledge. Make sure that libraries are put forward as a bastion of truth and light. Form alliances with anyone who will listen.


You’re a big effing deal; act like it.

From Stacks to Success #InternetLibrarian

Tiffany LeMaistre and Nathaniel King, Nevada State College

Commuter campus, Henderson, Nev. Diverse.

Bookless library opened Aug. 2015. C. 1.5 million e-books.

Management demanded data for their dashboard showing student outcomes.

Students using library have higher GPA, higher satisfaction (retention).

* Ownership to access
* One-shot library classes to instructional design
* From warehouse to service

“Bookless” is a misnomer. Actually a 600% increase in the number of books students had access to (but e-books rather than physical books).

Study: Estimated 55% of published literature is open access (2015).

Before they went to demand-driven collection development, they had to do a lot more title-by-title selection and cataloging.

Survey on open education resarouces: students agreed it was valuable, but hard to find and that the library should manage it. Textbook cost was one of the reasons students might decide to drop out. Worked with faculty considering changing textbooks.

Instruction wasn’t sustainable: fastest growing college in N. America. Students said they already knew what was being taught. Put library guides in Canvas (educational portal students use for other things). Grades were better for students were participated in a given module, compared to those who didn’t. Moving one-shot content online.

Challenge of not having a physical collection:
Losing the scholarly atmosphere, for example. But that wasn’t going to work for their campus.
Space as a service. In Las Vegas area, a lot of people work in service industry. Inspired by Four Seasons Hotel’s service philosophy. Research shows students who feel well served by college services are more likely to stay. Hiring people who have that service attitude.

Research showing plants make people feel better, so lots of plants in the library.

E-books are accessible on any internet-connected device, but they do lend devices, too.

Do print reserves if necessary, and has a small off-site print collection that doesn’t get used much.

The Story of Telling: Future-Proofing Libraries, Brendan Howley #InternetLibrarian

Brendan Howley, BothAnd

Library asked them to “show me the heart of my community.”

Why are flamingoes pink?  To look stunning, also recursiveness.

Mind-controlling zombifying tapeworms cause crustaceans to turn pink, who get eaten by flamingoes.

It’s a feedback loop (recursiveness)

Tapeworms come out the back end of the flamingoes, where they reproduce.

If you want to grow community networks through storytelling, you have to build stories people want to share. Recursiveness make stories people want to share.

A virtuous circle of sharing and yet more sharing.

When people share stories, they also share behaviors.

How we share stories tell us who we are.  Shared stories are intelligence tools.

Relevancy: why should I care about your library programming?

Currency: Is this story about your library important to me now?

Intensity: Does this story about your library “have legs”?

[Howley promises to post this online, so I will take less detailed notes.]

“The Story Engine”: the best stories aren’t one-offs, they’re non-linear.  Complex stories interweave with themselves.

Libraries have great brands, most trusted than almost anyone.

Sustainable stories keep telling themselves.

Either infectiously funny or so human, so wise, so moving we can’t help but share them.

Idea: Find the funniest person you can and have them make a video about the library.

Make heroes of your users, you cardholders.  It’s not about you, your storytelling should be about your community.  Use on social media and people keep telling their stories.  Recursive, virtuous circle.

“The library digital relevancy index.”

Most library mobile apps have a bounce rate of 50%, which means people come twice and don’t come back.

People don’t care about you, they care about themselves. Empathy is the goal. (See yesterday’s keynote.)

Every company wants to change the world.  Libraries really do change the world.

Regular content updates.  Good content now is worth more than perfect content on Friday.

Don’t sell them news, sell them a relationship.

Think snack size: what people will see on their phones.

Someone needs to own your social media presence.

Created OpenMediaDesk

Agile process, failing as fast as we can to get to success.  Treat Facebook, Twitter, Instagram posts like tests.  Again, a recursive pattern.

“Nobody knows anything.”

Test, fail, reassemble, re-test. Open source photography you can re-use.

Libraries sharing ideas. One library had a comic book giveaway program that drew 12- to 18-year-old boys and shared idea with other libraries.

Friend Brendan Howley or M’lissa Story on Facebook to follow along with what the libraries are doing.

CXI: tool for library data to demonstrate social ROI.

Every expectation and interaction a cardholder has with your library, its services and staff.

The end (flamingo backside)

Another blog post about this session:

Open Access Initiatives: Blockchain #InternetLibrarian @griffey

Jason Griffey on Blockchain

One use: The data source that keeps track of Bitcoin transactions.

Similar to a ledger or a database.

Many authors at the same time.  They can even write contradictory things.

No centralized location.  No point of failure.  No way to censor it.

Validation: you know the same person made two transactions, even if you don’t know his or her name.

Resistant to manipulation after the fact.

Blockchain being used for:

Smart contracts

Educational projects

“Distributed web”: faster, safer, more open (IPFS = interplanetary file structure)

Three possibilities for libraries:

1. Provenance: chain of ownership

2. Distributed bibliographic metadata, a “decentralized OCLC”. You could see records for a certain library or a certain cataloger.

3. Digital first sale: you could keep track of the owner of a digital book.  Libraries could lend them, people could sell them, etc.

Libraries and the new education ecosystem, Lee Rainie, Pew Research #internetlibrarian #il2015

Lee Rainie, Pew Research

People like and trust librarians.  People think libraries level the playing field, provide services that are hard to get elsewhere, have become tech hubs.

Libraries at the crossroads.

People who used libraries in the last year down slightly from three years ago.  Senior citizens less likely to use libraries. Parents love libraries.

People say the library has a major impact in the community, but fewer people say the library has a major impact on their own families.

People believe libraries have kept up with technology, millennials most of all.

people think libraries promote literacy.  People think libraries help find info in various subjects, including health, new tech, community info, jobs.

new findings from survey still in the field:

most people believe they are lifelong learners.  These are potential library users!

they are reading, going to conferences, etc.

they want to learn something new, help others, earn income, help kids.

people don’t know about many of the services libraries offer, such as e-books.

libraries could help with online certification courses.

other ideas, with various amounts of support: help businesses, have 3-d printers, teach about privacy and security online.

on the other hand: people still want places for quiet and solitude.

No idiot-proof way to march into the future.  Everyone’s struggling with it.

Exploring roles and directions: creating, failing, learning #internetlibrarian #il2015

Ilana Ben-Ari, 21 toys

innovation, etc. hard to teach or assess, but toys are the new textbooks. Creative genius fades in early childhood, but problem solving is most valued by business.

empathy toy.

Not just filling a room with iPads.

Erin Mulcahey, littlebits

tech devices 11 hours a day, but most don’t understand.

empower everyone to invent.

like Lego, color coded.

Liza Conrad, Hopscotch

programming for mobile devices. Drag and drop, no typing.

Response to question: engineering is not just infrastructure and tech, but also art and creativity.  Separating ego from work.  Experimentation, failing and trying again.  First question: why?  People don’t want toasters, they want toast.

Kids don’t necessarily need to be expert coders, but we need to understand what our tech is doing.  Coding is good for jobs, problem solving, even as an expressive medium, a tool for others to create with.

Need to keep talking to customers about their needs.

Word prototyping: tell people about your idea and get reactions.

One teacher objected to kids’ projects on Hopscotch with poop emojis.  Decided that was ok.

Why should libraries think like a startup?

Feeling you have agency to be creative and do new things.

Being scrappy, being creative.

Jumping out of a plane and building the plane as you’re falling.  Have guts, have chutzpah.  Redefining failure as feedback

Virtually Interacting with Books and Exhibits #internetlibrarian #IL2014

[Belated notes from a session at Internet Librarian.]

John Shoesmith, of the University of Toronto rare books library, talked about their efforts to put their exhibits online.  Physical exhibits only work for those who can get to the library while they are going on, but online exhibits can reach people far beyond the library and long after the exhibits are over.


  • Drupal: mirrored existing site (require hand-holding byt IT staff)
  • Omeka: open-source content-management system.  Used its exhibit builder plug-in for display.
  • Islandora: tools.
  • Fedora: repository.

For labor: museum studies students.

Juan Denzer, Binghamton University library

Their library director heard about how the National Library of China has a newspaper reader that works with gestures from the user.  They replicated the system to create 3-D models of rare books, allowing the user to view them without actually handling them.

Library Support for Digital Scholarship at Harvard Business School #internetlibrarian #IL2014

[Belated notes from a session at Internet Librarian.]

Michael J. Hemment of the Baker Library, Harvard Business School

The university is studying the faculty research cycle.  The law library is working on a digital archive on the history of the law school.  The university is thinking about students’ needs 20 years in the future.  Does the library help them get a job?

Question for a (any?) database project: try to get everything or concentrate on quality materials?

The library produces 118 information products: research guides, e-mail newsletters, etc.

Journalists write about Harvard research in a section of the web site called Working Knowledge.

Information management services: helps other university web sites improve their visibility with taxonomy, etc.

The library is trying to understand customers’ needs and work backwards from there.  “We librarians make assumptions about what our customers need and don’t talk to them on an ongoing basis.  Needs may change.”

Talking to users, observers.

Ongoing analysis on requests: matching them to existing resources.  If nothing exists, they identify a gap.

Web site on the research lifecycle: advice for each point.  Another one on the teaching lifecycle.

Surveys led to a redesign of case studies on their web site.  Also, use speaking with faculty and students, web analytics.

Leader 360: case studies on business leaders.

13 e-mail newsletters to MBA students on major industries.

Column on library special collections items in the Harvard Business Review (“Vision Statement”)

Helping faculty create e-books.

Updates on case studies (e.g., on Internet companies that may have changed considerably in the last few years).

Future of Libraries: Challenges & Strategies #internetlibrarian #il2014

Ken Haycock

Beyond the pandering, nostalgia, etc. Other people moving into traditional library roles: community centers doing preschool, senior programs. University deans say they could let students study in the cafeteria for lower cost.

Libraries are moving into others’ spaces — makerspaces, etc.

We can’t spend two years studying the integration of two desks. Industry would do it in two days.

What is our unique value proposition? Public dollars and a demonstrable return. What is our staff’s expertise that others don’t have?

We are just about the only sector that doesn’t have a common success metric. High customer satisfaction is not enough.

Is the library one system or a collection of neighborhood services?

How can the sense of entitlement of our staff be broken?

Panel: Corinne Hill, Chattanooga Public Library; John Szabo, Los Angeles Public Library; Donna Scheeder, Library of Congress.


Return on investment. People don’t value culture, but they will pay $150 for one football ticket.

Need to align with organization’s goals. Police and fire do better, because fear wins out. Align yourself with education, youth, public safety. Tell politicians, “Let me tell you how you can achieve your goals while you’re in office.”


“Delightfully frustrated at the opportunity to hit homeruns.” Leveraging that warm fuzzy. It’s not the only thing, and it won’t last forever. Leverage points of contact. Become heroes, essential players, special sauce. (Lot of metaphors here.)

Deal with relevance and marketing.


What are the trends in society that impact libraries? IFLA study. The future is now. Personal, educational level; organizational level (aligned with society); national level (e.g., net neutrality); international level (copyright agreements, e.g.).

Any goal includes information: health policy, economic policy, etc.

We provide information to people for free and the guidance to empower themselves to better their lives.


We could have too many opportunities. What’s the best one to go after?


We need to be tuned into community needs, not just air-conditioned places where cool stuff happens. Information empowers people.


Have to say no sometimes. Building adjacencies to things you already do well. The company that makes ATMs went into self-checkin at airlines.


Have to determine what success looks like. You’re helping people be the best they can be. What is the most pressing need? How do I go about doing what my community needs?

Have people who can tell the story of how you helped them.


Staff boots on the ground have to know what the goal is (“take that hill”) and be empowered to make changes as needed.


Using data vs. using stories? Both are good, but you have to know what resonates with your funders. Politicians like to talk about “school readiness.”


Using national educational standards to make decisions about programming. Number of people who came in is a proxy for its value.


Statistics about how people who can’t read are likely to be unemployable and problems for society.


How do we change library culture? We want to study things and roll it out across the system, rather than letting individual branches just do it?


We have to do both. It takes 3-5 years to change the culture. Hire for attitude then train for skill. Get people with tech skills. They know what an Adobe upgrade is and don’t need a training class.


Give staff flexibility to pick from a menu of initiatives. Be as innovative as you can without going to jail.


When new leadership comes in, it’s a chance to try new things. Let a thousand flowers bloom, but you have to make a garden at some point.


The percentage of professional librarians has gone down.


When I interview librarians, I find very few that are interested in taking risks. Removed college degree from library assistant job description.


We get greater flexibility from paraprofessionals. I want MLS people to be flexible and innovative, etc.


Library education is evolving. We should stop making a distinction between traditional and non-traditional librarians. It’s evolving.


Predictions for 5-10 years.


How closely we work with our communities. We will relinquish some of that elitist expertise.


Strategic partners with formal education. 0-5, k-12, MOOCs, lifelong learning.


Academia doesn’t see that MOOCs will disrupt their business, the same way news and publishing have been disrupted. Digital divide can get greater, not smaller. Libraries can make the difference.

Edited to make things clearer.