More than the walls have ears! Have you experienced enjoying a conversation with a friend and then receiving ads on Google or Facebook related exactly to what you were talking about—even though you’d never done a search on that topic?
Special librarians need to keep our eye on the Internet of Things, since it not only reduces the friction between user and their goals for turning on lightbulbs, meeting with each other, and managing their viewing habits, it’s already a long way into exploring the content universes that they rely on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ll bet you’ve done SWOT a lot. It’s a classic technique but one which benefits, I believe, from fish bone force field diagramming. It’s easy to do and, with good facilitation, mines the brains in the room quickly.
In this third post in my series about interesting frameworks and tools for thinking about the value-add we can provide in our product and service design, I’ll outline three tools I use all the time—sometimes alone, and sometimes in collaboration with others.
In my previous post, I wrote about how analyzing the ways in which thinking and decision-making happen offers interesting frameworks special librarians can use to strategize about the added value we provide in our product and service design. In this post I outline one of my favourites—Dr. Edward De Bono’s Six Thinking Hats.
Sometimes special librarians struggle to define the right level of value-added service to deliver. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and considering what are the most important frameworks and ways to add value.