Category: Library Management

Take your library users beyond Google to trustworthy scholarly resources

Facet Publishing have announced the release of the second edition of Marketing Your Library’s Electronic Resources by Marie R. Kennedy and Cheryl LaGuardia.

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As every frontline librarian knows, if library users really knew and understood how many resources are made available to them online, they wouldn’t go to alternative information providers to do their research. Online library systems don’t make e-resources very accessible nor does simply making users aware of resources solve the problem given the number of resources available so getting the word out effectively means creating strategic marketing programmes.

Newly expanded and updated, the second edition of Marketing Your Library’s Electronic Resources demonstrates how to design and implement marketing plans that will help librarians save time, effort, and money while increasing the use of library e-resources. The book includes guides to writing, implementing, assessing, and updating library marketing plans and features case studies from seven academic and public libraries

The authors said,

“Libraries are acquiring enormously valuable and significantly expensive electronic databases for researchers, but those researchers may not even be aware of them. Marketing Your Library’s Electronic Resources aims to bridge the awareness gap between the library and its user, taking them well beyond the limitations of Google to the heady delights of trustworthy, vetted scholarly resources.”

Marie R. Kennedy is a librarian at Loyola Marymount University, where she coordinates serials and electronic resources. She has written and presented widely on the development and use of electronic resource management systems. Marie also writes the Organization Monkey blog about organization and librarianship. She is the co-director of the Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (http://irdlonline.org).

Cheryl LaGuardia
is a research librarian at Widener Library, Harvard University. She writes the Not Dead Yet blog and eReviews for Library Journal, edits the library selection tool, Magazines For Libraries™ and writes the Magazines For Libraries™ Update blog, and has published a number of books, including Becoming a Library Teacher; Finding Common Ground: Creating the Library of the Future without Diminishing the Library of the Past; and Teaching the New Library. She received the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award from the American Library Association in 2016.

 

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The No-nonsense Guide to Project Management

Read an exclusive interview with Barbara Allan in which she discusses writing her new book, The No-nonsense Guide to Project Management, and offers advice on the skills needed for both small and larger, complex projects.

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What research did you do for the No-nonsense Guide to Project Management?

My earlier book on project management was published by Facet in 2004 and this provided a starting point. A lot has changed since then so I carried out a huge amount of online research in the academic and professional literature, as well as searching the websites of library and information services to identify good case studies. In addition, I researched the current professional project management literature to gain their perspective. Finally, and this is the most enjoyable part, I contacted library and information workers as well as people teaching project management to gain their perspectives.

What is your experience of project management?

I’m lucky as I have had lots of experience of project management and I have always gravitated towards projects and volunteered to get involved in them. Some examples include: closing a library; moving libraries; creating a new library and information service; introducing new ICT systems; designing and developing both e-learning and traditional courses; introducing new working practices and contracts; leading an institutional-wide programme with a budget of more than £2.3M.  Like most people, I have also experienced many projects in my home life: moving house; DIY projects; organizing celebrations and parties; organizing holidays. Basically, the same skills that are used in these domestic projects are essential for professional projects too.

Do you get stuck when writing?

Yes, I sometimes have so many ideas and examples buzzing about my head that it is hard to sort them out. When this happens, I tend to go for a long walk with my dog and think it through. Alternatively, I get out my Post-It Notes™ and takeover the kitchen table as I spread them about and work out the connections and contradictions between different ideas.

 How does the new book differ from your previous book on this topic?

There are many major differences. I think the first one is that standard project management methodologies such as PRINCE2® and Agile are now commonly used in library and information services. In very large and complex projects, library and information services (or their parent organisation) regularly employ professional project managers often on a contract basis and they use these standard methodologies which means that a wider group of people learn about them. Another difference is that a wide range of technologies are used in project management. For example, specialist software packages, such as MS Project, may be used to help manage the project and these provide a wide range of reports which come in very useful at meetings. Collaborative software which enable teams to work together and jointly produce reports and other outputs are very useful particularly in international projects where team members may be working in different geographic regions and time zones. In addition, social media has made a huge impact both in terms of supporting team working and also in publicising the project. Both crowdfunding and crowdsourcing are used by some libraries and I found this a particularly interesting topic to research.

Does this mean that all project managers need to use these technologies?

This is a really good question. It depends on the size of the project. If you are leading a small project involving relatively few people then you can manage it using everyday tools such as your diary and a spreadsheet. However, you may choose to use specialist software as a way of learning how to use it and gaining an additional skill for your CV. In contrast, if you are leading a large and complex project then I think it is vital to use appropriate tools as a means of managing and sharing the project information.

What has stayed the same in project management in the past decade or so?

I think the basic idea of following the project cycle and working through each stage in a systematic manner is essential. The detailed process of documenting each stage is important as it means any change in personnel can be relatively easily managed. In addition, making sure that you have considered all the risks that may adversely affect the project and thought about how to reduce or eliminate the risk is important too. Finally, following standard procedures for managing the project budget is vital.

 

The project life cycle

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Managing risks sounds a little scary. Is it?

I always enjoy the risk management side of any project. Basically, it involves thinking about five questions: What can go wrong? How likely is this to happen? What is the likely impact on the project? How serious is each risk? How can the risks be managed?Identifying the risks can be fun and sometimes teams come up with extreme examples which cause laughter. A key lesson is to allow time for unexpected events. For example, I was once involved in a library move and the initial movement of furniture resulted in an epidemic of fleas. Quite revolting and we had to call in professional pest control people to sort it out. Overall, we lost a lot of time but we had built that in as our contingency so the project still met its deadline.

What about the people side of projects?

Leading and managing the people side of projects is vital if the project is to be successful. It is particularly important in strategic projects such as merging two libraries or developing shared services where major changes are taking place. These strategic projects may take 2-3 years to implement and there needs to be a management of change process in place to help support everyone through the change.

In all projects, the project manager needs to identify and think about all the stakeholders who are involved in the project or may be affected by it. She then needs to work out (with her team) how to work with and communicate with this diverse group of people who will all have different needs, expectations and concerns. In the No-nonsense Guide to Project Management, working with different groups including virtual teams and also volunteers is explored with practical guidance on how to work effectively. Nowadays, many projects involve partnership working, e.g. working with local, regional or international partners, and it is important to pay attention to establishing, developing and maintaining the partnership if it is to be successful.

What is your advice to librarians entering the profession?

My advice is to gain as much experience as possible. Take up opportunities to be involved in project work and, if possible, sign up for training courses on project management. Project management is an important skill for all library and information workers and it is essential for anyone wanting to move into management and leadership positions. Finally, it offers very interesting opportunities to shape your library and information service and the services and products on offer.

 

Barbara Allan is an author and trainer. Her background includes managing workplace and academic libraries. She has spent many years working in business schools where her focus was on enhancing learning, teaching and the student experience, and the internationalization and employability agendas. Her qualifications include a doctorate in education (on the topic of e-mentoring and women into leadership). She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2008.Barbara is a Member of CILIP and the author of several Facet Publishing titles including, Emerging Strategies for Supporting Student Learning (2016), The No-nonsense Guide to Training in Libraries (2013), Supporting Research Students (2009) Project Management (2004) Supervising and Leading Teams in ILS (2006) and Blended Learning (2007).

 

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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A practical guide to project management for library and information professionals

Facet Publishing have announced the release of Barbara Allan’s new book, The No-nonsense Guide to Project Management.

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Project work is widespread across the library and information sector ranging from small-scale and local such as introducing family history workshops within public library services, or large complex schemes, such as developing shared services across a number of libraries. Simple projects may be led by an individual working alone or in a small team whilst complex activities may involve people from other professions and may be managed by a team of professional project managers.

The No-nonsense Guide to Project Management completely revises and updates the author’s classic 2004 book Project Management to incorporate recent developments including; the evolution and wide-scale acceptance of formal project management methodologies; the use of social media to communicate information about projects; the use of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing to develop and maintain projects and the large shift in the types of project library and information workers may be involved in.

Barbara Allan said, “This book provides a pragmatic guide to managing many different types of projects and using common project management tools and techniques. International case studies will help the reader to understand the practical realities of managing projects whether they are an individual working in a voluntary organisation on an extremely limited budget or someone involved in a large-scale international project”.

Barbara Allan is an author and trainer. Her background includes managing workplace and academic libraries. She has spent many years working in business schools where her focus was on enhancing learning, teaching and the student experience, and the internationalization and employability agendas. Her qualifications include a doctorate in education (on the topic of e-mentoring and women into leadership). She is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2008. Barbara is a Member of CILIP and the author of several Facet Publishing titles including, Emerging Strategies for Supporting Student Learning (2016), The No-nonsense Guide to Training in Libraries (2013), Supporting Research Students (2009) Project Management (2004) Supervising and Leading Teams in ILS (2006) and Blended Learning (2007).

Sign up to our mailing list to hear more about new and forthcoming books. Plus, receive an introductory 30% off a book of your choice – just fill in your details below and we’ll be in touch to help you redeem this special discount:*

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Copyright, privacy, makerspaces & more! – a preview of the CILIP Cymru Wales Conference

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The CILIP Cyrmu Wales Conference 2017 in Llandudno is three weeks away but places can only be booked until Thursday 4th May. Our pick of the sessions are below along with some useful resources from us to help you prepare for what is sure to be a memorable event.

More information about the programme can be found on the conference website

Here’s our pick of the sessions:

Keynote: Copyright Education and Librarians: understanding privileges and rights

Dr Jane Secker, co-author of Copyright and E-learning is presenting this keynote speech.

Useful resource

Jane’s recent blogpost: Copyright and e-learning: 6 tips for practitioners

Keynote: Protecting the privacy of library users

Paul Pedley, author of Practical Copyright for Library and Information Professionals, is presenting the other keynote on the last day of the conference.

Useful resource

Paul’s recent blogpost: The 2014 changes to copyright law were welcome, but there’s still unfinished business to attend to

Session: How we made a makerspace- and how you can too! 

Allie Cingi, Library Manager at Awen Cultural Trust  and Rob Jones, Library Assistant st Pencoed Library present this session on makerspaces; innovative DIY studios known as makerspaces where people can build, invent, share, and learn.

Useful resource

Ellyssa Kroski’s blog on 5 maker ideas for your library, taken from her book, The Makerspace Librarian’s Handbook

Session: Marketing to thrive and survive

In this session, Sian Nielson and Giles Lloyd-Brown explore how they’ve strengthened outreach and engagegement with students and disparate teams at Swansea University’s libraries.

Useful resource

A series of videos that Phil Bradley made to support his book Social Media for Creative Libraries

Session: Supporting evidence informed decision making for public health practice and policy

This session is presented by Katrina Hall, Team Lead, Knowledge Management, Observatory Evidence Service, Public Health Wales.

Useful resource

Sample chapter from Denise Koufogiannakis and Alison Brettle’s book Being Evidence Based in Library and Information Practice

Session: Planning for Disasters or Literally Firefighting?

In this session, Mark Ludlam, Learning Resources Manager at Gower College Swansea describes the experiences and lessons learned from the fire destroyed the college’s library service at the Tyoch Campus last year.

Useful resource

Sample chapter on emergency planning from Alison Cullingford’s The Special Collections Handbook.

Remember, bookings are only available until Thursday 4th May so book your place today!

Sign up to our mailing list to hear more about new and forthcoming books. Plus, receive an introductory 30% off a book of your choice – just fill in your details below and we’ll be in touch to help you redeem this special discount:*


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Take control of your staff’s professional development

Facet Publishing have announced the release of Practical Tips for Developing Your Staff9781783300181.jpg

Part of the Practical Tips for Library and Information Professionals series, this new book offers a compendium of innovative tips and tried-and-tested best practice to enable library and knowledge workers to take control of professional development regardless of the budget and time available to them.

Continuing professional development (CPD) is a key component of a successful and satisfying career and this book, written by Tracey Pratchett and Gil Young with Carol Brooks, Lisa Jeskins and Helen Monagle, offers a wide range of ideas and methods for all library and information professionals to manage the development of those who work for and with them. The flexible tips and handy implementation advice cover everything from appraisals and goal setting to using social media and networking.

The authors explain that the book “has been designed to be dipped into as and when required. Each tip or activity comes with an overview and detail, guidance on timing and some issues to think about when trying out the techniques. The important ‘more’ sections provide the reader with further suggestions and ideas to extend each tip.”

Tracey Pratchett has worked in the health sector for 9 years and many of the tips in this book have been used by her to develop her role and to benefit her team.

Gil Young is the NHS LKS Workforce Development Manager for the Health Care Libraries Unit North. She is a CILIP Fellow and associate member of the CIPD.

Carol Brooks has over 30 years’ experience in training and development and is the founder of Chrysalis Development.

Lisa Jeskins is a freelance training consultant who loves creating and delivering interactive, memorable learning experiences.

Helen Monagle is a Serials Librarian at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is one of the co-founders of NLPN.

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Digital Disruption and Trust in ‘Brand Library’

By Steve O’Connor, Information Exponentials Consultancy

When under attack, defence is the better posture.  Perhaps this is more about survival than defence.

The word ‘library’ is a term/organisation/function that our profession can be rightly call its own. The abandonment of this term in favour of ‘Learning Centre’/’Information Hub’ or whatever, is mistaken and a diminution of the value of the term library and by extension to this profession.

Sun Tzu in the Art of War ( Hawkins and Rajagopal:56) indicates that, “Security against defeat implies defensive tactics; ability to defeat the enemy means taking the offensive.” So defence is crucial and cannot remain a permanent state of being but should always be matched by forward action. It is a balance of risk-management approaches, to defend in the face of attack but to have a retort ready. The organisation which takes a defensive posture hoping that the enemy will pass it by, will more often face an enemy willing to engage with a far greater level of risk exposure. What do they have to lose?

Many aspects of our lives come under one threat or another in political or economic environments. Some touch us and others are more distant. At a work level we, or our organisations, can adopt a defensive, a forward or assertive stance. Another comment from the Art of War (57), “standing on the defensive indicates insufficient strength; attacking, a super-abundance of strength.” Sometimes the position we take is one in which we feel most comfortable with, not one which is necessarily the best to adopt. How do we choose?

In the process of choosing our future path we instinctively use detectors of trust and distrust as we decide on the appropriate course of action. We trust certain approaches.  For reasons known only to us we are affected by distrust factors as well. We trust certain approaches and distrust others.  There is a significant literature on this dichotomy of trust and distrust.

A little while ago I published an article with my supervisor on ‘Attitudes toward technology as predictors of online catalog usage’( College and Research Libraries 47(6): 605)   The research involved using measures of social attitudes toward computers in the particular context of the introduction of the OPAC into a university library.  It was a project of social psychology in action.

“It is clear from the study that although library users, at one level, can give a specific technology a very high level of acceptance, the same users can, at another level, exhibit contrasting attitudes toward computer technology in general.  This view of new computer technology has not been subject to intense investigation and yet may have far reaching implications for library managers and practitioners.  These attitudes of distrust and positive acceptance can be predictors of acceptance and future usage of OPAC’s.” (610).

At the same time, users could experience trust in one approach and yet distrust in another.  Trust and distrust are powerful factors in how we address government, our colleagues, our profession … to name but a few. It also applies to how people, or library users perceive librarians and libraries.Simple concepts of trust and distrust.Trust for what the library was doing but distrust for the technology. Governments can rise or fall on this concept!

Abandoning the name ‘library’ is implying that it is now a distrusted place or term. Rather such actions convey a sense of unknowing; or a sense of bewilderment and confusion in the role of the replacement for the library. It is no endorsement in any future! It is a recipe for an organisation without direction, history or community acceptance.

Time and again, I am reminded that people trust libraries to be safe places. They trust librarians to be trustworthy people. They trust the quality and accuracy of the information and materials they can access through the library. The metrics of library activity vary but it should be argued that overall there is growth and reliance on the library and what it sets out to do. We should recognise the trust that is placed in us and seek to grow that trust.

Libraries are always under one kind of threat or another. Whether it is perceived that they will be replaced by the internet, by some mega company marauding out there or that they meekly go away in the face of local criticism/savage budget cuts. But the perception is there. As one example, many public libraries here in the UK have closed as a result of financial cuts.So many special libraries have been disappeared leaving only traces of past service. The recent EDGE conference in Edinburgh evidenced a number of stimulating developments of new service in public libraries.  These changes are exciting and innovative. The conference was one of the best I have attended in years.

The doomsayers portray the library as dead and irrelevant. The library profession has  accumulated so much trust on which to build. Library users expect libraries to be there and to guide and assist them. The future will inevitably be different but the positions we take should not be defensive but assertive; be informed with profession knowledge, imagination and belief. On the basis of these informed positions and the trust in libraries and their staffs, there are powerful directions in which to grow. We need to create the future for ourselves rather than having it created for us. Build on Trust.

About the author

Steve O’Connor has developed and managed projects and programs to collaboratively serve the library community.

Steve has a recognised reputation for research, publishing, presentation and consultation.  He has held senior positions both in Australia and in Hong Kong while working internationally.

His latest book is a collection of essays on Library Management in Disruptive Times (Facet 2015)

He is currently working with public and special libraries aiming to re-invent themselves as vibrant libraries in their communities and on a Masters of Information Leadership with Charles Sturt University where he is an Adjunct Professor.

He is the Director of Information Exponentials. He is also the Editor of the international peer reviewed journal Library Management.

Is the traditional library business model dead?

Library Management in Disruptive Times: Skills and knowledge for an uncertain future examines the effects of disruptive change on libraries, library management and library managers and identifies the key skills and attitudes needed by the library leaders of today and tomorrow.O'Connor_Disruptive_COVER

With contributions from expert professional library leaders and educators, this edited collection offers thought-provoking perspectives on the challenge of the current operating environment across a range of library sectors, library professional associations and geographic regions. As leading influencers of the professional thinking and management behaviours of the profession, the contributors apply their own unique perspectives to the challenges of disruptive change in libraries globally.

Key topics covered include:

  • leading change
  • management fads and their impact on libraries
  • user engagement
  • the value of collaboration and consortia
  • library management and the global economic crisis
  • agile management techniques
  • the role of professional associations in redefining the profession
  • developing management skills on the job
  • planning for the future.

This dynamic collection helps readers to envision the purpose and value of future libraries and to see change as a rare opportunity to create truly new roles for librarians.

This book will be essential reading for library managers, directors and aspiring leaders throughout the world.

Find out more and look inside the book on the Facet website.