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

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: Professional Development, Special Library Management, Applied 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, Library Strategy, Innovation, Special Librarianship

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, KM, Library Strategy, Innovation, Special Librarianship

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, KM, Innovation, Special Librarianship

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

Access is Not Equal to Know-how

5 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 1/30/2018

Are you still hearing that hackneyed old comment, “Most everything’s available on the web now, so exactly why do we need librarians?” I certainly am! Arghhh! It’s coming from all quarters and other professionals too. In financially tumultuous times, when every cent is being scrutinized to within a centimeter of its life, we can expect this ugly example of shallow thinking to raise its head again and again. It’s time to remind ourselves of quick ways to respond to these comments.

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Topics: Library Marketing, Special Libraries

Future Ready: The Emerging New Library/Librarian Experience

6 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 1/23/2018

Libraries and librarians are all about experiences. How would you describe the experience of dealing with you? What are the benefits? In this post, I’d like to explore the knowledge experience and how it has changed over the years with respect to the library/librarian value proposition. As we enter an era of new opportunities it’s wise to see how we got to this point.

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Topics: Professional Development, Special Libraries

Openness and the Embedded Library Experience

5 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 1/16/2018

What is open? In order to be embedded librarians, information professionals must be open-minded and open to new experiences. On a personal basis I have had many conversations with embedded librarians who report that the experience is, in addition to being a growth experience, also quite enjoyable, professionally satisfying and exciting.

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Topics: User Engagement, Library Professional Development

Innovation: No Excuses

6 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 1/9/2018

I have been asked to speak on innovation many times. I've also led the innovation teams at a few major library corporations, which is fun, frustrating and rewarding. I've thought about the topic a lot and I've come to a couple of conclusions which I'll share here.

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Topics: Library Professional Development, Innovation

Blogging as a Special Librarian

6 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 1/2/2018

Are you a blogging newbie? I doubt that! Been blogging for a while and now you’re feeling stuck? Has the dreaded writer’s block virus hit you? Feeling uninspired, all out of ideas, or not feeling very creative? Simply don’t know how to blog in your sector? Fear not; blogs still have some life in them!

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Topics: Library Marketing, User Engagement

Elevator Speeches: No Magic Beans

4 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 12/19/2017

Over the past few years we have heard a lot about the special role of elevator speeches—those sound bites you practice in case you have the ear of a key decision maker or influencer in your organization for a few floors. I love this tactic, but let’s remember that it’s just a micro-skill and we can’t leave our communication strategies up to chance encounters. Let’s learn how to make our own magical moments.

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Topics: Library Management, Library Marketing, Library Strategy

Part Four: Client Engagement in Special Libraries—Simple Tactics to Build On

4 minute read
Posted by Stephen Abram on 12/5/2017

Our first three posts defined customer engagement and focused on our clients/colleagues. We suggested a strategy for identifying and connecting with the colleagues we serve. We looked into gaining a better understanding of ourselves as people, and we reviewed the core skills for listening. In this post we design a roadmap for engaging colleagues in the various specialized settings of information professionals.

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Topics: Library Management, Small Library Management, Stephen Abram, Special Libraries, Client Engagement in Special Libraries

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