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22 Feb 2007 / Julie

2007 eVisioning: the future of Maryland libraries

early in january i got the opportunity to go to the 2007 eVisioning conference (which seems to have no web presence?). The topic was “the future of Maryland libraries.” Anyone who has the opportunity to go to this conference (held every 2 years) should go. the energy in the room for the two days was amazing. everyone was supportive of each other and had great ideas.

our speaker was futurist and PopTech curator Andrew Zolli. an Italian from Brooklyn, the man has presence. and passion. he helped sustain the high enegery level of the room. highly suggested speaker.

carrying energy like that from it’s original space (the ballroom of the Annapolis Sheraton) to our own spaces in order to turn that energy into real change. i’ve always struggled with that. ever since my days at Arcadia, taking classes with Dr. Ana Maria Garcia (what’s with ppl not having web presence?) who lit a fire under my tukas so big I ended up melting because I didn’t know how to channel the energies.

well, i know how to channel energies. first step: infect others. the bigger the flame, the more you can do. so in the interest of my first step:

you can take a look at a pdf of the notes i took during the conference (10+ handwritten pages) for the meat of it but here’s the jist:

  • you need to have the people in place that will initiate change. Hire the attitude, train the skill. On the same note we need to be weeding our own collections of staff and get rid of the dead weight. You’re only as good as your weakest link.
  • you need to be flexable enough to not only anticipate change, but actually reposition yourself to accept it.
  • bring your customers in on the conversation. you are, after all, in existance for THEM! Let teens paint their own teen space, talk to constituents and see what THEY want. then LISTEN and ACT.we may not be able to keep up with content, but we can give ppl a PROCESS.
  • libraries are businesses. think like one. hire marketing people.
  • find out what causes your customers pain. fix it.
  • institutionalize innovation
  • make things easier. there is no reason why things need to be hard.
  • give up a little control.

final thoughts from Andrew Zolli. things you CAN do (#’s are his, bullets are mine):

1. Pick Targets that matter. Targets that will have the MOST impact


2. Address fear of change and the need for control (loss of control)

3. Don’t fear constituents permission

4. Look outside the field for help and inspiration

5. Don’t look to confirm your vision of reality- try to change / uproot it

6. Involve stakeholders in both metrics and design

  • We organize the world around the way we see it
  • Dissolve distinctions

7. Create a culture of permission (to fail)

  • Learn from what works and what doesn’t- don’t reinvent the wheel

8. Define a model of accountability

9. Support and Celebrate each other

10. Focus, connect, and commit to ACTION

other people blogging 07 eVisioning:
(that can’t be it… comment if you’ve got a blog to share)

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