≡ Menu
David Lee King

How Can We Change the Unchangeable, or David’s Rant



I learned one other thing at Computers in Libraries this year, and I’d like to share it in the hopes of starting a healthy discussion (and hopefully to collectively start figuring out how to fix this problem).

Here’s what I experienced during my Change Management talk:

Personally, I thought this talk would attract a smaller audience – I was wrong. I believe I had over 200 people in attendance… it was certainly a packed room! When I saw how many people showed up to hear about change, I decided to ask a couple of questions.

First, I asked if attendees had learned something innovative or new at the conference that they’d like to take back to their libraries. Almost everyone raised their hands. Then I followed up with this question: how many will take that cool, innovative idea back to their libraries, and hit a brick wall with administrators when they try to implement that idea.

ALMOST EVERYONE RAISED THEIR HANDS.

This is not good.

Why? Well, during my Q&A time at the end of the session, the whys started coming out. Techie librarians are discouraged. Many have administrators and/or managers who don’t want to change, who refuse to learn new technology and who refuse to implement new ideas.

What happens to those discouraged techie staff? Probably one of two things:

  1. They’ll realize that library customers want to participate online (which should be obvious – just take a peek at Amazon or eBay if you don’t believe me), but their library won’t be implementing online participation any time soon. So they’ll settle back, and either simply stop caring, or wait for the administrators to move on to other libraries or retire. Or worse yet (but great for libraries that actually WANT to innovate), they’ll…
  2. Find a more innovative library, and move on. Some libraries (ie., Darien Library, McMaster University, and Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library are examples of this) are realizing that there’s a huge technology shift happening with online social tools and expectations, and will take steps to meet those changes. Some of those steps have turned into new, emerging jobs that are just waiting to be filled with an innovative thinker… who’s probably working at your library RIGHT NOW.

I have a question for the library administrators who sent staff to Computers in Libraries, but who also don’t plan to do anything with the new knowledge their staff gained from the conference. Why did you send them? Why did you pay good money for the conference, for the hotel, for the food, for the flight… probably $1000 or so – to go to a conference that’s geared towards sharing best practices for implementing emerging technology in libraries?

Why send them if you don’t plan to do anything with their new knowledge?

Now on to the final point of this rant… Readers – how can we change this? Does anyone have any ideas on:

  • Steps to take to convince administrators that the library world is different than it was in the 1970′s?
  • How to convince administrators that constant change and innovation is good, and that it’s also a necessity in our new millenial world?
  • How can we become change agents in a field that’s apparently not used to changing?

I’d like to hear your thoughts – comment here or blog your response. Either way, I think this is a hugely important topic, and I think it’s one we need to tackle NOW.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://gathernodust.blogspot.com/ Jeff

    Its not always just a technology issue, but a usage issue. Many managers don’t get involved in how their library actually works. Much of the time is in meetings or other items outside of the library.

    I was surprised at a recent meeting of other library directors how many of them don’t even have a library card. We were disussing implementing a county-wide computer reservation program and how users would need a pin. Several directors had no idea what I was talking about. One even proudly said that she never has to use her library card, her staff checks out her books.

    Get them to see what it is, how it works, how it can benefit the library, and how it won’t impact all the other stuff the library does negatively.

    Or just wait until some leaves :)

  • http://gathernodust.blogspot.com Jeff

    Its not always just a technology issue, but a usage issue. Many managers don’t get involved in how their library actually works. Much of the time is in meetings or other items outside of the library.

    I was surprised at a recent meeting of other library directors how many of them don’t even have a library card. We were disussing implementing a county-wide computer reservation program and how users would need a pin. Several directors had no idea what I was talking about. One even proudly said that she never has to use her library card, her staff checks out her books.

    Get them to see what it is, how it works, how it can benefit the library, and how it won’t impact all the other stuff the library does negatively.

    Or just wait until some leaves :)

  • http://tehlibrarian.wordpress.com/ Kelley

    I’ve found, most especially with administrators, is to break things to them slowly. Most of them really don’t seem to know much about Web 2.0 or new and upcoming tech and just tossing a list at them usually makes them back off pretty quick. The majority of our administrators have taken the Web 2.0 class we developed for the staff specifically created to introduce non-tech savvy staff to new technologies. In this way we were able to present a handful of utilities, show their ease of use, and show their applications in a library setting. We’ve had some very positive feedback from them after the class which will hopefully tame some of this tech phobia. So, again, going slowly and just making sure they understand what your talking about, in non-tech terms, is very important.

  • http://tehlibrarian.wordpress.com/ Kelley

    I’ve found, most especially with administrators, is to break things to them slowly. Most of them really don’t seem to know much about Web 2.0 or new and upcoming tech and just tossing a list at them usually makes them back off pretty quick. The majority of our administrators have taken the Web 2.0 class we developed for the staff specifically created to introduce non-tech savvy staff to new technologies. In this way we were able to present a handful of utilities, show their ease of use, and show their applications in a library setting. We’ve had some very positive feedback from them after the class which will hopefully tame some of this tech phobia. So, again, going slowly and just making sure they understand what your talking about, in non-tech terms, is very important.

  • http://librarybytes.com Helene

    I think CIL/IL could use a whole track on this issue. But not only that, the profession needs more conference opportunities like the SirsiDynix Executive conference where Admin types can all be put in one room and be hard hit over the head with all this 2.0 stuff for two full days. :)

    Perhaps a gentler approach would be conference sessions on “How to be a staff hero and influence the library’s destiny too!” I think many administrators don’t know what they are missing out on if they’d only say “yes”

  • http://ksstatelibrarian.blogspot.com/index.html Christie Brandau

    I can’t say it often enough: things will continue to change and the good old days are not coming back… period! The opportunities we have today for reaching people and providing library service are greater than ever before because of technology and social networking tools. There is no monetary excuse for a library to not employ marketing and communication strategies in order to connect with people.

    My suggestion is for staff to continue to press/teach/share about social networking via technology. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your administrator will say no. And even if they do say no, they are one conversation, one meeting or one conference away from hearing about Library 2.0…. after which they will probably seek you out to say “tell me about that again?”

  • http://ksstatelibrarian.blogspot.com/index.html Christie Brandau

    I can’t say it often enough: things will continue to change and the good old days are not coming back… period! The opportunities we have today for reaching people and providing library service are greater than ever before because of technology and social networking tools. There is no monetary excuse for a library to not employ marketing and communication strategies in order to connect with people.

    My suggestion is for staff to continue to press/teach/share about social networking via technology. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your administrator will say no. And even if they do say no, they are one conversation, one meeting or one conference away from hearing about Library 2.0…. after which they will probably seek you out to say “tell me about that again?”

  • http://www.gvpl.ca/ Mike Sainsbury

    At MPOW the development of an “eBranch” was included in our most recent strategic plan. The definition of this term was up for discussion, but the basic concept was agreed to. So this was an acknowledgement, at the board level, that we had many online users, and that their needs had to be met through our online branch. (BTW, the number of holds placed outside our IP range, and their increasing numbers, was one broad measure of this user group’s significance.) From this item’s inclusion in our strategic plan, it became the assigned responsibility of one librarian (me) to create an eBranch report for the Management Team: How eBranch might be defined, how (if conceptualized as our web site and our 2.0 presences) it would be staffed (by a working group, headed by the equivalent of a branch manager whose job it is to project-manage all the pieces), and the user benefits it would create (a more flexible response to web-based change, more user-responsive content and services, less diffusion of responsibility). So now, two years on, I’m pleased to say, I’m the eBranch Coordinator at MPOW. And if there’s a brick wall—I’ve only got myself to blame! ;-) I hope this brief blueprint of our experience can help others.

  • http://www.gvpl.ca Mike Sainsbury

    At MPOW the development of an “eBranch” was included in our most recent strategic plan. The definition of this term was up for discussion, but the basic concept was agreed to. So this was an acknowledgement, at the board level, that we had many online users, and that their needs had to be met through our online branch. (BTW, the number of holds placed outside our IP range, and their increasing numbers, was one broad measure of this user group’s significance.) From this item’s inclusion in our strategic plan, it became the assigned responsibility of one librarian (me) to create an eBranch report for the Management Team: How eBranch might be defined, how (if conceptualized as our web site and our 2.0 presences) it would be staffed (by a working group, headed by the equivalent of a branch manager whose job it is to project-manage all the pieces), and the user benefits it would create (a more flexible response to web-based change, more user-responsive content and services, less diffusion of responsibility). So now, two years on, I’m pleased to say, I’m the eBranch Coordinator at MPOW. And if there’s a brick wall—I’ve only got myself to blame! ;-) I hope this brief blueprint of our experience can help others.

  • http://christinaslibraryrant.blogspot.com/ Christina Pikas

    A new innovation’s got to have (perceived) relative advantage, compatibility, trialability, observability (from Rogers)… it’s important to try a little experimentation, to demonstrate the idea, then to try to pitch changing the world. Excited techies returning from a conference have a hard time spreading the enthusiasm to the management. I prefer to believe that the management wants to do the best thing, but is afraid of risk, doesn’t have a budget, may have been burnt in the past, and honestly doesn’t “get” how these new technologies work. Get permission for a low level trial at little or no risk, show you’ve done some thought/planning, and tell how you’ll evaluate the demo…

  • http://christinaslibraryrant.blogspot.com Christina Pikas

    A new innovation’s got to have (perceived) relative advantage, compatibility, trialability, observability (from Rogers)… it’s important to try a little experimentation, to demonstrate the idea, then to try to pitch changing the world. Excited techies returning from a conference have a hard time spreading the enthusiasm to the management. I prefer to believe that the management wants to do the best thing, but is afraid of risk, doesn’t have a budget, may have been burnt in the past, and honestly doesn’t “get” how these new technologies work. Get permission for a low level trial at little or no risk, show you’ve done some thought/planning, and tell how you’ll evaluate the demo…

  • Pingback: What I Learned Today… » Blog Archive » Follow up on Change in Libraries

  • http://www.dykema.com/ Patricia Orr

    Ask your director for a copy of the complete library budget- both revenue and expense. What are the main sources of funding? Are they stable? Does your library have a fund balance- a savings account? It should equal 5-10% of the annual budget. Public libraries are funded by tax dollars; local, state, and federal. What is the financial health of your community? Once you have that information, you can open the conversation about adopting new technology. In Michigan, our state is in horrid financial condition. State aid to public libraries has been cut drastically. Some public libraries funded through the general funds of their communities- are laying off people. Administrators have big decisions to make, and they should be sharing those choices with you. If, at the end of the day it comes down to professionals with their expertise,or technology with its “bells and whistles”, which would you choose?
    Delayed implementation is not denied implementation. Never stop learning, and keep trying! My best to you all.

  • http://www.dykema.com Patricia Orr

    Ask your director for a copy of the complete library budget- both revenue and expense. What are the main sources of funding? Are they stable? Does your library have a fund balance- a savings account? It should equal 5-10% of the annual budget. Public libraries are funded by tax dollars; local, state, and federal. What is the financial health of your community? Once you have that information, you can open the conversation about adopting new technology. In Michigan, our state is in horrid financial condition. State aid to public libraries has been cut drastically. Some public libraries funded through the general funds of their communities- are laying off people. Administrators have big decisions to make, and they should be sharing those choices with you. If, at the end of the day it comes down to professionals with their expertise,or technology with its “bells and whistles”, which would you choose?
    Delayed implementation is not denied implementation. Never stop learning, and keep trying! My best to you all.

  • http://www.newjackalmanac.ca/newjacklibrarian.html Mita

    At my MPOW, we are lucky to have a very supportive administration. But I think every library has librarians who tend to think of technology in terms of a duality with books planted firmly on the other side. Computers are fast, shallow, and meaningless; books are slow, deep, and meaningful. I think these librarians feel that in order to provide some sort of balance that they become steadfast in their alliance to the old tools of book culture.

    So how does one deal with peers who tell you that there is already ‘Too much Flickring in the world’? I think we need to make the case that the people who share themselves online tend to be the same ones who are engaged in politics, their community, are passionate about ideas. And that many of them are bibliophiles. That’s my feeling anyway. I don’t have the stats to back this up. I guess my next step is to read the Pew Reports and begin to make the case.

  • http://www.newjackalmanac.ca/newjacklibrarian.html Mita

    At my MPOW, we are lucky to have a very supportive administration. But I think every library has librarians who tend to think of technology in terms of a duality with books planted firmly on the other side. Computers are fast, shallow, and meaningless; books are slow, deep, and meaningful. I think these librarians feel that in order to provide some sort of balance that they become steadfast in their alliance to the old tools of book culture.

    So how does one deal with peers who tell you that there is already ‘Too much Flickring in the world’? I think we need to make the case that the people who share themselves online tend to be the same ones who are engaged in politics, their community, are passionate about ideas. And that many of them are bibliophiles. That’s my feeling anyway. I don’t have the stats to back this up. I guess my next step is to read the Pew Reports and begin to make the case.

  • Tired

    MPOW went through a much lauded strategic directions process and the new forward thinking goals were laudable for the technology vision that appeared throughout.

    Now, one year later, we have achieved the feat of creating one committee and one task force. There is much patting on the back for our “success.” I see none.

  • Tired

    MPOW went through a much lauded strategic directions process and the new forward thinking goals were laudable for the technology vision that appeared throughout.

    Now, one year later, we have achieved the feat of creating one committee and one task force. There is much patting on the back for our “success.” I see none.

  • http://christinaslibraryrant.blogspot.com Christina Pikas

    wrt #8 — our participants clearly stated that innovative is not equal to expensive. Innovation can be about process improvements or using open source software or working with existing software to make it do things it wasn’t intended for. I think financial crises are exactly the times we need to be innovative — to maintain or increase the level of service to the community with less money and fewer staff. If the community is in crisis, then how can the library help? A recent Maryland study showed that libraries build economic growth in the communities. Clearly the whole library will be in a funk about problems like she’s facing, but there are always ways… (and I understand and agree with everything she’s saying)

  • http://christinaslibraryrant.blogspot.com/ Christina Pikas

    wrt #8 — our participants clearly stated that innovative is not equal to expensive. Innovation can be about process improvements or using open source software or working with existing software to make it do things it wasn’t intended for. I think financial crises are exactly the times we need to be innovative — to maintain or increase the level of service to the community with less money and fewer staff. If the community is in crisis, then how can the library help? A recent Maryland study showed that libraries build economic growth in the communities. Clearly the whole library will be in a funk about problems like she’s facing, but there are always ways… (and I understand and agree with everything she’s saying)

  • http://www.librarianinblack.net/ Sarah Houghton-Jan (LiB)

    w00t. heck yes. i’ve found that showing administrators what they can’t imagine is important. in other words, don’t just say you want to buy this advanced calendaring software because it’s way better than what you have and will give your users options. show them screenshots. give them a demo. show what other libraries have done successfully. i’ve found that i can talk for an hour about a detailed project plan i created, and still hit resistance. but i show one picture, and boom–buy-in.

    it’s funny you raise this now because in the online class i’m teaching about building a successful ebranch, one of the discussion board items for this, the last week, is to present a challenge we’ve each faced with administration, and try to help each other by making suggestions about each other’s situations. this is a major problem, and i think the reality of techies burning out and leaving is evident in the huge amount of turnover we’re seeing–look at all the techie positions posted at any given time!

  • http://www.librarianinblack.net Sarah Houghton-Jan (LiB)

    w00t. heck yes. i’ve found that showing administrators what they can’t imagine is important. in other words, don’t just say you want to buy this advanced calendaring software because it’s way better than what you have and will give your users options. show them screenshots. give them a demo. show what other libraries have done successfully. i’ve found that i can talk for an hour about a detailed project plan i created, and still hit resistance. but i show one picture, and boom–buy-in.

    it’s funny you raise this now because in the online class i’m teaching about building a successful ebranch, one of the discussion board items for this, the last week, is to present a challenge we’ve each faced with administration, and try to help each other by making suggestions about each other’s situations. this is a major problem, and i think the reality of techies burning out and leaving is evident in the huge amount of turnover we’re seeing–look at all the techie positions posted at any given time!

  • Pingback: Taking Conference Knowledge One Step Further: Implementing Change « Librarian Like Me.

  • http://utopianlibrary.wordpress.com/ Ruth

    I actually had the following conversation today with one of the Web pros at my library:

    WebPro: What are you doing?
    Me: Working on my CiL conference report.
    WebPro: (laughs) You’re taking that seriously?

    Ouch.

  • http://utopianlibrary.wordpress.com/ Ruth

    I actually had the following conversation today with one of the Web pros at my library:

    WebPro: What are you doing?
    Me: Working on my CiL conference report.
    WebPro: (laughs) You’re taking that seriously?

    Ouch.

  • Pingback: This ain't Ragnarok : Changing the Unchangeable « The Fifth Law

  • Pingback: Information Takes Over » Blog Archive » Brick walls and brickbats

  • steven bell

    Sounds like there is a bit of generalization about “administrators” going on here. I know plenty of library directors (is that what you mean by “admnistrator” – or do you include department heads here too) who are very open to new ideas and having staff experiment with new technology.

    That said, a good administrator may in fact have very good reasons to question why a librarian wants to put effort into a project just because they heard another library is doing it at a conference. How does it fit into the strategic plan? Does it make sense for the budget? How does it impact on other departments? Unfortunately an administrator sometimes has to say no. Of course, if it happens all the time or there is no good rationale for the decision – that can be frustrating.

    Just a final thought. Perhaps the 200 who showed up at your session were there because they needed some help on how to create change at their libraries – so your self-selecting audience probably would all raise their hands. It just might be that the 1500 other people at the conference went elsewhere because they don’t experience problems with change at their libraries (just a thought – but more than likely some of them do).

  • steven bell

    Sounds like there is a bit of generalization about “administrators” going on here. I know plenty of library directors (is that what you mean by “admnistrator” – or do you include department heads here too) who are very open to new ideas and having staff experiment with new technology.

    That said, a good administrator may in fact have very good reasons to question why a librarian wants to put effort into a project just because they heard another library is doing it at a conference. How does it fit into the strategic plan? Does it make sense for the budget? How does it impact on other departments? Unfortunately an administrator sometimes has to say no. Of course, if it happens all the time or there is no good rationale for the decision – that can be frustrating.

    Just a final thought. Perhaps the 200 who showed up at your session were there because they needed some help on how to create change at their libraries – so your self-selecting audience probably would all raise their hands. It just might be that the 1500 other people at the conference went elsewhere because they don’t experience problems with change at their libraries (just a thought – but more than likely some of them do).

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com/ K.G. Schneider

    What Steven said, on all points.

    I would add that in the end it’s all about the people. The right people working together will get somewhere. The comments above make it clear that you can lead a director to 2.0 but you can’t make him blog. On the other hand, you also don’t want to be in the library where any real direction toward change is hobbled by a will-o’-the-wisp approach to technology where the institution flits from one fad to another with no clear, overarching commitment to improving the user experience. It is ultimately more exhausting and disappointing to work in that environment–with its superficial commitment to change, and its core resistance to a disciplined, library-wide approach to the same–than to work in a library where the “admins” have to be slowly, patiently brought to understanding where a library can or must go.

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com K.G. Schneider

    What Steven said, on all points.

    I would add that in the end it’s all about the people. The right people working together will get somewhere. The comments above make it clear that you can lead a director to 2.0 but you can’t make him blog. On the other hand, you also don’t want to be in the library where any real direction toward change is hobbled by a will-o’-the-wisp approach to technology where the institution flits from one fad to another with no clear, overarching commitment to improving the user experience. It is ultimately more exhausting and disappointing to work in that environment–with its superficial commitment to change, and its core resistance to a disciplined, library-wide approach to the same–than to work in a library where the “admins” have to be slowly, patiently brought to understanding where a library can or must go.

  • davidleeking

    Steven and Karen – interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing! Not sure I agree, though. Yes, you’re right – my post discussed the 200 or so in attendance to hear me speak about a specific thing at a techie conference, so that room could possibly have been skewed.

    But i also know that I get the same reactions when I speak at non-techie conferences, and I know that my administrators (very cool, hip people) tell me that there ARE many library managers and admin types that simply haven’t grown or learned since about 1970. So I’m more basing my generalizations on experience and on what others have told me – not just on the 200 who agreed with me.

  • davidleeking

    Steven and Karen – interesting thoughts. Thanks for sharing! Not sure I agree, though. Yes, you’re right – my post discussed the 200 or so in attendance to hear me speak about a specific thing at a techie conference, so that room could possibly have been skewed.

    But i also know that I get the same reactions when I speak at non-techie conferences, and I know that my administrators (very cool, hip people) tell me that there ARE many library managers and admin types that simply haven’t grown or learned since about 1970. So I’m more basing my generalizations on experience and on what others have told me – not just on the 200 who agreed with me.

  • Pingback: blyberg.net » The following takes place between 12 AM and 1 AM

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com/ K.G. Schneider

    David, can we split the difference? Of course I know (have worked in) libraries where the atmosphere was change-crushing. But there’s different ways to crush change and unfortunately I’ve seen them all… and I’ve also worked for bosses who were enthusiastically pro-change in a healthy way, understood that change was essential, and helped us navigate through the jungles of resistance and–I think this is Steven’s point–taught us how to pick and choose our battles.

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com K.G. Schneider

    David, can we split the difference? Of course I know (have worked in) libraries where the atmosphere was change-crushing. But there’s different ways to crush change and unfortunately I’ve seen them all… and I’ve also worked for bosses who were enthusiastically pro-change in a healthy way, understood that change was essential, and helped us navigate through the jungles of resistance and–I think this is Steven’s point–taught us how to pick and choose our battles.

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com/ K.G. Schneider

    p.s. what social bookmarking plugin are you using? :)

  • http://freerangelibrarian.com K.G. Schneider

    p.s. what social bookmarking plugin are you using? :)

  • davidleeking

    Karen – sure, I’ll split the diff. I definitely agree there are both admins who realize change is essential, and admins who don’t. And probably all shades of gray in-between, too! I’ve certainly seen both sides.

  • davidleeking

    ANd… I’m using the del.icio.us plug-in for Firefox. It simply rocks.

  • davidleeking

    Karen – sure, I’ll split the diff. I definitely agree there are both admins who realize change is essential, and admins who don’t. And probably all shades of gray in-between, too! I’ve certainly seen both sides.

  • davidleeking

    ANd… I’m using the del.icio.us plug-in for Firefox. It simply rocks.

  • Pingback: The more things change…. : Manage This!

  • Pingback: David Lee King » Blog Archive » Additional Questions to Answer When Changing the Unchangeable

  • http://www.futura.edublogs.org/ Carolyn FooteI

    Don’t feel like you are alone–which obviously you are not!

    I’m a high school librarian and schools are struggling with the same types of issues–in some schools it’s the tech department that’s an obstacle, in some it’s administrators, in some it’s teachers.

    But for those who see that we need to be engaging students with web 2.0 tools, it can be very frustrating.

    Some things that have been effective in my district–

    A vision committee. Our campus started one, and it is made up of an assortment of people in our educational community (including patrons(parents) and staff and administrative staff from the district level.) The point of the committee was to discuss how to prepare for students who would graduate in 2020 and what we need to start planning for now. The reason that has been effective is it moved our focus out of the day-to-day concerns into the “big picture” concerns, and by having a mixture of constituents on the committee, it broadened the conversation. It’s been fascinating to hear parent views and student views of the future, as well as staff views. I can see the use of a similar committee in a library system as well as a way of moving the conversation forward. And I think the value of having administrative staff as part of that group has been critical.

    I also think we can do something by presenting at conferences that library administrators attend. Just as in schools, we should be presenting web 2.0 sessions at principal’s conferences or superintendent’s conferences.

    I agree with the comment above, as well, that sharing things one thing at a time, and showing their purpose is another route.

    It’s interesting that this frustration is probably running throughout many professions. But it feels like the shift is that the spirit of web 2.0 has created a grass roots movement, and more of an ability to coalesce around ways to address the frustration.

  • http://www.futura.edublogs.org Carolyn FooteI

    Don’t feel like you are alone–which obviously you are not!

    I’m a high school librarian and schools are struggling with the same types of issues–in some schools it’s the tech department that’s an obstacle, in some it’s administrators, in some it’s teachers.

    But for those who see that we need to be engaging students with web 2.0 tools, it can be very frustrating.

    Some things that have been effective in my district–

    A vision committee. Our campus started one, and it is made up of an assortment of people in our educational community (including patrons(parents) and staff and administrative staff from the district level.) The point of the committee was to discuss how to prepare for students who would graduate in 2020 and what we need to start planning for now. The reason that has been effective is it moved our focus out of the day-to-day concerns into the “big picture” concerns, and by having a mixture of constituents on the committee, it broadened the conversation. It’s been fascinating to hear parent views and student views of the future, as well as staff views. I can see the use of a similar committee in a library system as well as a way of moving the conversation forward. And I think the value of having administrative staff as part of that group has been critical.

    I also think we can do something by presenting at conferences that library administrators attend. Just as in schools, we should be presenting web 2.0 sessions at principal’s conferences or superintendent’s conferences.

    I agree with the comment above, as well, that sharing things one thing at a time, and showing their purpose is another route.

    It’s interesting that this frustration is probably running throughout many professions. But it feels like the shift is that the spirit of web 2.0 has created a grass roots movement, and more of an ability to coalesce around ways to address the frustration.

  • http://grumpator.blogspot.com/ Grumpator

    At MPOW, I don’t think it’s so much of a problem with library directors as it is that an academic library (at least mine) is a lumbering behemoth – Tired @ 10 has it down pat. So many of us little people pushing just to keep it moving in the right direction, with all sort of others (coworkers, outside influences) causing it to veer erratically about. It’s like a big, slow, game of Katamari Damacy.

  • http://grumpator.blogspot.com Grumpator

    At MPOW, I don’t think it’s so much of a problem with library directors as it is that an academic library (at least mine) is a lumbering behemoth – Tired @ 10 has it down pat. So many of us little people pushing just to keep it moving in the right direction, with all sort of others (coworkers, outside influences) causing it to veer erratically about. It’s like a big, slow, game of Katamari Damacy.

  • Linda

    The problem is building up a head of steam, and it’s hard to keep a focus on implementing new technologies unless there is a high-level champion for this. People get distracted by levies (needed as they are), or other projects, and new stuff with no track record gets back burnered. However, it still has more support than useful programs that are “old hat.” Sometimes, those get dumped for no known reason.

  • Linda

    The problem is building up a head of steam, and it’s hard to keep a focus on implementing new technologies unless there is a high-level champion for this. People get distracted by levies (needed as they are), or other projects, and new stuff with no track record gets back burnered. However, it still has more support than useful programs that are “old hat.” Sometimes, those get dumped for no known reason.