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

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: Professional Development, Special Libraries, Strategy

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: Professional Development, Special Libraries, Strategy

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: Professional Development, Special Libraries, Strategy

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: Professional Development, Special Libraries, Strategy

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: Professional Development, Special Libraries, 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: Professional Development, Special Libraries, User Engagement

Ready to Read: Succeeding in the World of Special Librarianship

1 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 5/29/2018

I’m pleased to announce that my new book, Succeeding in the World of Special Librarianship, is now available from Lucidea Press. You may be aware that I am a regular contributor to Lucidea’s “Think Clearly” blog, so when they asked me to write their imprint’s next book, it felt like a great opportunity to share my perspectives in a more expansive form.

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Topics: Professional Development, Strategy, Special Librarianship

Alexa, Siri, Cortana, Google Home, AR, AI, Machine Learning and the Special Librarian

5 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 3/28/2018

Are we ready for this? Sometimes a new technology simmers for years and then just seems to explode into the present. There are a few things cresting now in the consumer and business markets that we need to pay attention to.

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Topics: Management, Professional Development, Technology

Part Three: Building Your KM Nest – 5 More Strategies for Special Librarians

6 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 3/20/2018

In Part One of this series, we reframed knowledge management strategies in the context of strategies for improving the health of the knowledge ecology. We’re using the metaphor of building a nest (sometimes referred to as an intranet) where our eggs can hatch and ideas grow, and decisions improve in quality. In Part Two we explored five strategies, tactics and frameworks for accomplishing this. Now, in the final post of this three-part series, we offer an additional five strategies.

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Topics: Professional Development, Special Libraries, Innovation, Strategy

Part Two: Building Your KM Nest – 5 of 10 Strategies for Special Librarians

6 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 3/13/2018

In Part One of this series, we reframed knowledge management strategies in the context of strategies for improving the health of the knowledge ecology. We’re using the metaphor of building a nest (sometimes referred to as an intranet) where our eggs can hatch and ideas grow, and decisions improve in quality. Now let’s explore some strategies, tactics and frameworks for accomplishing this.

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Topics: Professional Development, Special Libraries, KM, Innovation, Strategy

Part One: Building Your KM Nest - What Did Einstein Know about Knowledge Management?

4 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 3/6/2018

I once watched a robin build her nest from what was available around my yard. Her choices were interesting. She had lots of material to choose from, but kept picking up the shiny, silver tinsel from the discarded skeleton of our Christmas tree. Her nest was beautiful when done. It was also colder, and non-absorbent, and she was never able to successfully get her eggs to hatch. One of the morals of this story: Sometimes that which we find attracts us is not necessarily what’s best for the purpose.

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Topics: Professional Development, Special Libraries, KM, Innovation

Is There Such a Thing as Information Overload?

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

“Information overload refers to the state of having too much information to make a decision or remain informed about a topic. It is often referred to in conjunction with various forms of computer mediated communication such as email and the web. The term was coined in 1970 by Alvin Toffler in his book Future Shock.” (Wikipedia)

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Topics: Professional Development, Special Libraries

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