ellie <3 libraries

sooooo much!

TLA Conference – Transforming Texas Libraries Task Force April 23, 2008

On Friday, April 18 from 7:30 to 9 a.m., the Transforming Texas Libraries Task Force will have a chance to debrief the comments made during the Thursday afternoon program. Coffee and breakfast breads will be available.

This was a debriefing of the session the day before. We were reminded about the report and asked to keep in mind that this is a draft report. It’s not the 10 things we’re going to do, but some of the big ideas. The agenda wasn’t to discuss the report but we decided to start with that. The report and appendices are all online.

Julie’s initial comment has to do with fine tuning. The report is intended to give big sweeping direction, but people wanted directives – “this is what we’re going to do.” We’re trying to decide how specific we want to be.

A lot of the discussion at the meeting were concerns about wanting to move forward but not sure how. We have a big hole with what comes next because it wasn’t intended to do that. It was just to start things going.

Julie is working on the materials for the “getting excited about it” part, but we need a next step.

We heard people asking, “tell me what to do,” but we’re trying to tell them how to have a discussion.

We’re hoping that the document will foster a culture of change. Fostering that broader culture is where we need to be looking. We’re not talking about a cookbook. This isn’t Access Texas. It’s a much broader harder thing to get to because it’s much less tangible. It’s going to be a journey, not a destination. If we stop having the conversation, if we say we finished, we did it, then we failed.

We think having the wikis and sharing what others are doing will be helpful.

We need an interim step of 3 or 4 scenarios of what’s next.

People think transform and they think 2.0, but it doesn’t have to be about technology. Some people left confused.

We want to create a 2 page executive summary – “Texas is talking about.” We’ll put that up and then send out a blast email. We’re struggling with how much info to leave in the report. Julie used a cruise analogy – we went on this cruise and had such a wonderful time and now we want to show you all our pictures, but no one wants to see all your cruise pictures. We need to pick out the best ones. We need to figure out how to use the appendices and lists.

They want a hook to hang their hat on, which is why she was saying district meetings. We think we need to be more specific in the scenarios.

We need to shift to concentration on user. The future of Texas is not, “If we can just get them to use the databases…” There’s the broader issue of switching from, “here’s what we have for you” to “what is it you need and how do you want to get to it?”

A lot of the thinking needs to be rethinking the questions.

We want to create some scenarios that help people recognize what it might look like when they have transformed. It’s not a best practices it’s a vision.

Establishing relationships with constituents, provide them a list of outside facilitators so they can hold their own focus groups to collect local data. Then have people put those questions and answers in the wiki.

There was talk of the realization that not everyone is starting at the same point – it’s going to be different for different people.

There are so many ways people collect information about what people want. Even the simplest are important – do you have comment card/suggestion cards in your library? – what about online? There are many low-tech non-scientific ways to do things. This is an ongoing process, it’s just part of doing business.

Emphasize that this is different for everyone.

We want our constituents to realize we are motivated and enthusiastic, we have service values.

We need more events that will cause our own profession to evolve. The district meetings are to convert the preachers, not the masses. Julie said that would be the dinner speech approach.

The single most transforming event has been the rally. We need a video with a number of things – we’re changing, we’re excited about what we’re doing.

We have to do a geographic dispersion.

A bunch of librarians liked the general session – great topic, liked the format of conversation, they could see where they could transform here at their own libraries.

Maybe have a staff development focus.

Idaho did a study of digital natives.

ACRL just had a free webcast – Henry Jenkins has done incredible work with teenagers.

I reiterated my emphasis on grass roots – that staff meetings should be started with an open floor, maybe something akin to PLA dangerous ideas session, not with a top down “here’s what we’re going to do.”

Start with things to be done internally with the idea of critical mass pulling you over.

We need to be committed to continuing this dialog. We need to inundate people. We can be a powerful force for change in our communities, for transparency in government for example. So it’s not just libraries changing for constituents, but also helping constituents change.

Next tasks: executive summary 1st, scenarios 2nd


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