Stephen Abram

Stephen Abram is a popular Lucidea Webinars presenter. He is the past president of SLA, and the Canadian and Ontario Library Associations. He is the CEO of Lighthouse Consulting and the executive director of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries. He blogs personally at Stephen’s Lighthouse (www.stephenslighthouse.com). Watch for his new book from Lucidea Press on management tips for librarians, coming soon!
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Recent Posts

Predictions for Social Media in Libraries: Technology Trends that Aren’t “Out-There” Anymore!

3 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 2/12/2019

Social media is not a static creature. As we have seen, it is a powerful force for both good and bad. And it’s just a toddler now. What is coming up? There are quite a few trends in social media that can be used in special libraries to promote services and products.

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Topics: Special Libraries, Professional Development, Technology

Machine-based Learning in Special Libraries: Tech Trends that Aren’t “Out-There” Anymore!

3 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 2/5/2019

We’ve all heard of IBM’s Watson. Whether winning at Jeopardy or diagnosing medical conditions, it shows great potential and already has proven itself as a partner for humans. Honestly, I believe that it’ll do nothing but grow and develop as a learning machine. Machine-based learning in special libraries is an interesting area to explore.

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Topics: Special Libraries, Technology

Augmented Reality in Libraries: Technology Trends that Aren’t “Out-There” Anymore!

5 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 1/22/2019

Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. What you may not know is that you can implement augmented reality in libraries, archives, and museums for free in less than five minutes.

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Topics: Special Libraries, Technology

4 Ways Special Librarians Can Demonstrate Value and Impact

2 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 1/15/2019

Special librarians too often hide much of the true professional added value of their work. To mitigate that, I think the following activities should be added to communication with end users—either collectively or individually—so librarians can demonstrate value and impact.

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Topics: Special Librarianship, Professional Development, Strategy

Client Engagement in Special Libraries—What is it?

3 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 12/18/2018

This blog post on client engagement in special libraries is inspired by a reader comment. Thanks!

“I appreciate Stephen Abram's tips. Could you talk more of 'engagement'? How can special librarians 'engage' employees? THANK YOU!”

This reader comment has inspired me to think more deeply about how special librarians and information professionals need to behave differently on the customer engagement front. Yes, special librarians are different!

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Topics: Special Libraries, Customer Engagement, Professional Development

Artificial Intelligence: Technology Trends that Aren’t “Out-There” Anymore!

10 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 12/11/2018

In a recent post, I listed nine newer technologies not just on the horizon but quickly having an impact on both the consumer space and coming fast into our spaces—libraries, archives, museums, and galleries (the so-called GLAM sector).

For the next nine posts I’ll highlight some of the trends in each and explore the impact they may have on our profession and sector(s).

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Topics: Artificial Intelligence, Technology

Tech Trends: Moving Beyond Transactions to Interpreting Behaviours

4 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 10/23/2018

We scan the horizon—not just for survival—but for fun and professional development. We have entered a period where massive convergence is stepping up its game. We are no longer just dealing with the convergence of physical technologies into a standard device, as in the past decade where we saw phones, cameras, wallets and payments, loyalty cards, music players, video players, and gaming devices appear along with so much more on our ‘smart’ phones.

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Topics: Special Librarianship, Technology, Professional Development

Capstone Post: Part 6—How do We Align Research Results with Decision-Making?

4 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 10/2/2018

As special librarians, we connect clients to information and data. Our struggle is influencing the overall process of knowledge creation and the best behaviors for successful decision-making.

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Topics: Special Libraries, Professional Development

Knowledge Ecosystems and the Pivotal Role of the Special Librarian

4 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 9/25/2018

Nancy Dixon has written a great post about what special librarians can do in strategic support of their users, titled Three Eras of Knowledge Management. It fits nicely with my own position that it’s not possible to actually manage knowledge. I may be being a bit heretical here—but I believe we need to understand this deeply to know the difference between data professionals, information professionals, and knowledge workers.

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Topics: KM, Knowledge Management, Special Librarianship

Cialdini: The Rules of Influence

6 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 8/21/2018

In Special Library Land we often refer to marketing or advocacy. I do not personally like those words as frames for such activities. I like to call it what it is: INFLUENCE.

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Topics: Special Libraries, Marketing, Professional Development

Community and Asset Mapping for Special Librarians

5 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 8/14/2018
Community and Asset Mapping for Special Librarians

Community Asset Mapping is a great tool for looking at your potential partnerships, markets, audiences, and more. While it is widely used in the public sector—public libraries, healthcare, social services, urban planning, etc.—it promises to be a potentially very strong tool for special librarians to ‘map’ their internal and external communities.

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Topics: Special Libraries, Strategy, Professional Development

Part Five: Aligning Research Results with Decision-Making—Mind Mapping and Boxes

4 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 7/24/2018

In my country (Canada), mind mapping is in the curriculum from a very early age. This skill is a foundation for critical thinking and, indeed, project and report creation and development—as well as beginning the research, discovery and exploration process.

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Topics: Special Libraries, Strategy, Professional Development

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