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

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

Part Four: Aligning Research Results with Decision-Making—SWOT and Fish Bones

2 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 7/17/2018

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.

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Topics: Special Libraries, Strategy, Professional Development

Part Three: Aligning Research Results with Decision-Making—Tools to Inspire Creativity and Encourage Divergent Thinking

4 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 7/10/2018

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.

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Topics: Special Libraries, Strategy, Professional Development

Part Two: Aligning Research Results with Decision-Making—Thinking About Thinking (Edward de Bono)

3 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 7/3/2018

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.

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Topics: Special Libraries, Professional Development, Strategy

Part One: Aligning Research Results with Decision-Making—SWOT, 4-Squares, Fish Bones, and More

2 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 6/26/2018

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.

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Topics: Special Libraries, User Engagement, Professional Development

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