28 January 2009

Positioning SLA for the Future: Alignment Initiative Results and Recommendations

There is an interesting presentation of a report on the Special Libraries Association's plans for positioning itself and the profession for the future. It was presented 13 January 2009, SLA Winter Meeting in Savannah, Georgia. Here is its introduction:

For almost 100 years, SLA has served as the leading association representing special librarians and information specialists around the world. As SLA prepares for its second century of service, it does so amid sweeping technological changes that are not only reshaping the information industry, but redefining the role that the Association and the profession will play in the future.

The need to generate a sharper focus on the perceived value of the Association and the profession is even more pressing as SLA prepares for its centennial in 2009. This significant milestone provides a unique opportunity to establish a shared vision for the future and the role of information professionals in it.

To respond effectively, SLA has embarked on a thorough examination to bring clarity and unity to the core identity and values of the Association and the profession. We are working with a multidisciplinary team of research and communication professionals, led by the international communication firm, Fleishman-Hillard, and supported by futurist Andy Hines of Social Technologies and the information analytics firm, Outsell Inc.

This alignment project will not only help refine our current positioning in the marketplace, but provide a framework for discussing the inherent value in the profession and the Association in a clear, compelling and cohesive voice.

URL: http://www.sla.org/pdfs/FH_PositioningSLA0113090-Notes.pdf

22 January 2009


Computers in Libraries 29(1), January 2009

The entire issue is on Providing Access When & Where They Want It, which is good reading anytime, but there are two articles that think are especially important:

West, Jessamyn, Checklists for the Distributed Librarian (tech tips for every librarian column), pp. 38-39.

West provides good ways to make sure you are getting to your customers via the website, the catalog, and social networking services. I like that she ends with a section on “counting what counts.”

Chudnov, Daniel, Practical Geek-Keeping, or, How to Hire—And Keep—Good Technical Staff, pp. 25-26.
Librarians and IT people are often at odds, so making sure you hire good ones and can communicate with them is critical. He emphasizes the importance of communication in the hiring decision.

07 January 2009


RIPS Law Librarian is published by the Research Instruction & Patron Services Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from RIPS members are highly encouraged.

URL: http://rips-sis.blogspot.com/

Mike Kujawski [Centre of Excellence for Public Sector Marketing, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada] has created the
Government 2.0 - Best Practices wiki with the intent “to compile a central list of current initiatives (and eventually “best practices”) involving social media and government. These can be internal or external, marketing, HR or IT, it doesn’t matter.” It covers the Canadian, US, and international governments.

URL: http://government20bestpractices.pbwiki.com/FrontPage


There’s a great video on Public Sector Marketing 2.0 on What Would Happen If the Stop Sign was Invented in 2008. If you’ve ever sat in a marketing meeting, you’ll really get this.

URL: http://www.mikekujawski.ca/2008/12/17/what-would-happen-if-the-stop-sign-was-invented-in-2008/

06 January 2009


The American Academy of Family Physicians has unveiled its improved website, FamilyDoctor.org, complete with videos. You can search by condition, or symptoms, look a term in the dictionary, find a physician, locate drug information, or search in the following categories: healthy living, women, men, smart patient guide, advocacy, parents and kids, seniors, health tools, and a guide to over-the-counter medications.

An authoritative, attractive, and easy-to-use health portal.

URL: http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home.html

02 January 2009


As usual, Rachel Singer Gordon has put out a great issue of Info Career Trends Newsletter. She introduces it thusly:

Happy new year, all! And what better way to start out 2009 than with an eye toward alternative work arrangements — why not make flexibility your mantra for the new year? Today’s contributors share several ways in which alternative work arrangements have benefited both them and their institutions; use their stories as inspiration for working out your own alternatives or helping build flexibility into your own library.

There are also some book reviews and links to library jobs and other resources. You can even subscribe (free!) and get it delivered to your email box automatically.

URL: http://lisjobs.com/career_trends/

01 January 2009


Landau, Herbert B., The Small Public Library Survival Guide: Thriving on Less, Chicago: ALA Editions, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8389-3575-0, US$38.00 (members: US$34.20).

Landau, Director of the Milanof-Schock Library in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, has written a small but useful book. There is not a whole lot new in this guide, but it brings together many ideas that he has used to keep his small library alive—and to help it to expand its offerings and services.

I especially like the first and last chapters. Why This Book is Necessary and Conclusion: Is It Worth All the Effort explore the role the public library can and should serve in small-town America in the twenty-first century. He rightly concludes that yes, it is worth the effort to afford the opportunity to access information by all—including the poor, the young, the rural, and the elderly—who may have no other option.

Except for those chapters, the book follows the usual management book arrangement with chapters on creating a strategic plan, funding the plan (with ideas specifically for the small library), marketing, programming, staffing, and purchasing. He provides some ideas not found in most such books, such as bake sales, taking passport applications (increasing both funding and traffic), and face-to-face marketing and soliciting of funds. There is a bibliography and index and eight appendixes: institutional sources of information, sample survey questions, sample direct mail solicitation letter, how to evaluate old and rare books, sample memorial gift form, sample research grant agreement, press release guidelines, and sample Friends of the Library bylaws.

If you run a small public library, you have already found out that the lofty ideas in most management or marketing books exceed your time and financial constraints. Your problem is solved by this book—it was written just for you!

(The fact that Landau recommends both my blog and one of my books had no effect on this review, although it does indicate that he is a man of good taste.)

URL: to order the book: