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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Internet Librarian 2010: learning from failure

bobbi Newman, Matt Hamilton,

Bobbi: be aware of who your stakeholders are, know biases strengths and weaknesses. When starting a project, identify stakeholders, they will help you learn from failure. Admitting that you failed can be hard. Bobbi was to create a new site for a digital branch. Had to admit that it wasn't going to work to her boss. Admitting failure is hard work when you've put in the time and effort on project. Immediately folks want. To know what you learned, but you need distance. Some things take time. Plan for fallout for when stakeholders are unhappy. Be prepared to talk about what didn't work and how you will go forward. Then you need to move on, cant keep beating dead horse. Put a timeline in place for the process. Then you have to start over again.

matt Hamilton: anythink's greatest failures. There a some cynics in the library field, heh heh. Matt has encountered that they think this is smoke and mirrors and marketing. Will talk about culture of anythink and culture of risking failure. Three main risks of anythinks. The brand, design. Of buildings and move in, and aspects of customer experience. We change due to inspiration or desperation. They were a conventional library, cross between post office and prison. Old outdated website, featured on front page of paper as worst library ever. Originally part of Adams county government, then formed a district but were unfounded, then in 2006 increased operating budget by a bit, wch was a lot to them (pencils were rationed). In 2006, got excellent board of directors and interested community members. One of Matts failures was to not ask about board of directors and library commission. Got a visionary director who is interested in disruption, and asked them to look at system mat every level. Knows that good place needs happy employees. New district, no what, how do we establish personality of the library? Asked for input, pele wanted imaginative, intuitive, adaptable, etc. But how do you create a system that reflects that ? New mission stament to open doors for curious minds. Then created staff manifesto (love this). Community members have embraced this feeling. Other big risk is becoming Anythink. Shouldn't you be called something traditional like range view library disctrict? People disagreed that they weren't about book, or even collection of stuff. Ended up with the doodle as their icon, a doodle is the start of an idea, anything is experience that anything is possible. Consistency in colors, feeling, the "any" feeling has created a different sense of what library is and what buildings are and what they offer. Big risk was buildings for people. Did not start with x feet of shelf space, number of desks, etc. Started with i want space for x y and. Z. Finding an architect to work with them k ike this was hard. Redeveloped buildings to enhance neighborhood, not just a retrieval space but a resting visiting third place. Built four new buildings in a year due to bond timing, in next year, process of remodeling other three. First building, books got there before furniture, oops. Learned little hints about building and moves along the way. They shoot for eighty percent instead of perfectionism which can be confining and make us aid to take risks. Customer experience. They dumped Dewey. They e xploded concept that there is a single place for a book. Learned about categories. Weddings were in event planning, then they put it under relationships and get checked out much more. Went fine free on feb 14, "your library loves you" now staff aren't bad guys. But they have lost a lot of materials this way. Now they have to implement collection agency. Disrupting conventions in library programming: they took on summer reading, and were shocked when nteen and youth services folks wanted to do this. They brainstormed read, think, do, there were no signups, and no prizes. Programs tied into various subject areas, but community didn't pick it up, parents were upset that they had abandoned reading, signups, etc. People like that comfortable ritual of signing up and belonging. Great ideas, but forgot public wasn't in on that planning. anythink website is minimal, haven't upgraded ILS, catalog almost unusable. They are on horizon four versions behind on the client. For the transformation they want, the ILS is not a god to be worshipped, is just software and no other business holds up software the way libraries hold up the ils. Couldn't find anything that grabbed them while they were busy with buildings. Because of poor funding, they run lean. Staff is forced to be very flexible but also can increase camaraderie. Things get behind. Two Pc techs for seven buildings and one admin over many miles. Don't be afraid to take risks and try something new. Go for 80%, it can be worth it.

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