CIL2009: Innovation, Services & Practices at the Darien Library

John Blyberg, Gretchen Hams, Sarah Ludwig, Kate Sheehan – all from


They think alot about the future. They decided that traditional library services needed to be completely blown apart and put back together in a different way

Innovate – doesn’t have to ONLY refer to technology. Yes.

Pursuing innovation gives you the ability to fail – and it’s ok. Sometimes things work, sometimes things don’t. EX – they figured CDs would be obsolete when new library opened, so they didn’t have CD shelf space. They were wrong! They fixed it and adapted

Being agile is one of their library’s biggest assets – they are a small library, and that allows them to quickly innovate.

Similar to TSCPL – they have buy-in from staff, management, community – so go for it when you have it!

Wash, rinse, repeat – when you build in a culture of change and innovation, everyone expects that – it becomes a way of doing things…

Darien Library UX:

Users=physical, digital users, and staff.


open-source catalog overlay thing…

real open source thing – invited other developers to be part of the community. Nice.

Gretchen (children’s librarian):

Kids – don’t come to the library by themselves – their parents come too!

Talking about how we force parents to use our call numbers, go to a big shelf… Not set up for browsing – set up for finding specific items by call number … NOT USER FRIENDLY!

Darien got rid of the picture book section – instead, they have a birth to five section that is color-coded in broad topic areas (celebrations, favorites, all about me, stories, etc)

They had to touch every book. Cool! Hard to circulate books are flying off the shelves because of their rearrangement.

They are focusing on the adults, and how the adults use the library for their kids. Interesting.

Microsoft Surface table – using it for kid interaction. Kids are figuring out how to share, take turns…

Creation Station: Apple laptop, camera, Edirol mp3 player in a briefcase.Kids can use them.

Sarah (teen librarian):

they have one room for teens to just hang out – no books, computers… but has games.

One room for computers, public service desk.

next is a tech center where they teach tech classes.

Some study rooms

There are 2 teen tech librarians. Sweet.


They have iMacs – teens think they’re cool. Using photobooth, doing video chat.

movable furniture – handles on back, wheels on bottom.

Erasable markers for windows and doors…


Duh – have to have it. If you’re serving teens, you have to have gaming.

They don’t program around gaming. Instead, they simply set it up and let them go.

Outreach: through facebook. Fan page, teen advisory board pages… the teen advisory page is created and ran by teens (very important).

Create a professional account, and use it for library stuff. She has a professional profile that looks friendly and inviting.

Don’t friend your colleagues! Only friend teens.

Teens and Tech:

Oral history project – the teens are going out into the community, videoing older Darien residents… the teens will edit the videos, mashing it all together, posting it to the library website.

Going to form a teen tech advisory group. Teens will guide the library in what they’re interested in.

Kate (Adult Services):

Reference is dead, long live reference.

Going towards research 1-on-1 projects … where staff invest time into patrons’ projects.

Meet people at their point of need – roam around the library.

How do they make it work? Tiny laptops, wireless phones (ie., asus, the tiny dell pcs, etc)

One big part – having amazing people.

Hard to roam without wireless phone…

They love walking around and engaging with patrons.

Most important tool? Nametags.

Growing pains:

IM reference through Meebo – it has skyrocketed… Meebo isn’t the best tool for those roaming tiny laptops (because of the rollover ads). They are moving to LibraryH3lp

What we’ve learned… this is a permanent work in progress, permanent beta. And it’s ok.

constant asking – “why is this here?”


we stand alot more. we’re all thinking more about the collection. signage has become more important.

CIL2009: Evaluating, Recommending & Justifying 2.0 Tools

Marydee Ojala

New technologies:

* all things 2.0 – web, library, enterprise, etc – empowerment, sharing, communicating, these are the unifying themes
* social networking/media/software – unclear terminology, collaboration is the unifying theme
* Examples – blogs, wikis, tagging, rss, flickr, youtube, etc, etc, etc…

Implications for research:

* magazines & newspapers are adding info to their websites that don’t show up in their archival versions
* what is a publication? what is saved? what are we paying for?

Social Media for research:

* linkedin
* look for company, product, people names
* particularly good for competitive intelligence

What does it mean for info pros?

* does your management appreciate the power of social? Do you want your boss as a friend? What to do when they friend you?
* does your staff appreciate the power of social? Same questions with staff – do you friend them? What if they friend you?
* do you?

Personal vs Business

* some social tools are useful for research
* you’ll get little pushback when using sites like linkedin, digg, furl, etc
* if downloading software or using java is involved, you may have problems with IT
* keep your personal life out of worklife – did you REALLY want to know “that” about your colleague?

internal vs external?

* will it be inside or outside the firewall?
* etc

common sense

* would you add your library’s collection of proprietary materials to librarything? No…
* would you use twitter to complain about a patron? No….


* would you superpoke your boss? etc

Social in a business setting

Evaluation: guidelines not different from past criteria. peer pressure … also not just a library thing – it can go way beyond libraries.

Why add these? customer expectations, marketing, sharing info, reputation management, etc …

Recommending: get outside your comfort zone. Not just a library decision… opportunity to join a larger conversation. Talk to your community!!!

Position your library as tech experts and social media experts.

Justifications: some organizations just ban them… Does management even know if you’re using these things?

Enterprise social tools: there are a number of behind the firewall social networking tools, just for an intranet. Sharepoint, yammer, Jive, Vignette are examples.

Ask what problem does this solve? ask what are you trying to accomplish, then how can you best accomplish it? THEN hunt for tools…

Will it survive? As companies get bought out, with economy, etc… Is there tech support? Who owns the data, look at the pros and cons.

Common Objections:

* this social stuff just wastes time – comeback – it’s a management issue, not a tech issue. Doesn’t matter if you got something done because of facebook or because you’re just incompetent…
* invasion of privacy – not an issue…
* security violations – IT says it’s dangerous… Our government has authorized blogging … etc. If government can do it, then we can do it. There’s a map of where Hilary Clinton is traveling
* employees could give away corporate data – another management issue. You have policies in place already – has nothing to do with tech.
* It’s just a fad… Oh, talking to people is just a fad!
* Sarbanes Oxley? another management issue, not a tech issue

Ex – a wiki has nothing to do with credibility. It’s all up to the guidelines for the project – has nothing to do with tech.

These aren’t trivial: don’t be too quick to brand people luddites. Theya re real and serious concerns. some are deal killers, some aren’t. You need to know the difference and be able to explain the difference.

Don’t say Yes, but – say Yes, And…

counter arguments: need to be constructed with the understanding that some of the objections are valid. Understand the tech ramifications of introducing new tech. Management responsibilities include setting policies.

Stakeholders: IT, marketing, HR, strategic planning (ie., some things can’t be shared), managements, etc – there are others… you have to approach each one differently.

Each has different worldviews and worries

Understand dynamics: is your organization risk-adverse, do they like to take risks? Etc.

Business case:

* align with org’s goals
* understand internal decision-making process
* build case based on outcomes
* deflect criticisms in advance
* anecdotes or stats – it depends on who you’re talking to

tailor your argument: timing is important…

Money: everything costs – time, maintenance, etc… ROI, non-monetary benefits…

Delivery – will vary. powerpoint, executive summary, brief narrative, start with benefits (problem to be solved, need or opportunity), then move on to technicalities

management buy-in: never guaranteed. Do you really need to ask permission? Make sure to communicate. No surprises is good managmenet mantra.

Measure success: marketing is essential. measurement over time determines if you should continue. Keep your eyes open for the next new thing.

CIL2009: Helene Blowers’ Presentation

OK, you caught me – I was updating my presentation, so missed the first part of this… so starting notes now.

Showing connections in LinkedIn – Helene is one person away from Barack Obama.

Showing the friendwheel on facebook – you can see the lines, see where your relationships are congregating. Interesting to see who knows who.

We need to think about social networks as we create these connections and sites for our customers

Cultural consumers thrive on info and ideas …

93% of teens are online… nearly 2/3s of online teens are content creators.

Showing how there’s a switch from authoritative control of content to collaborative control – wikipedia vs britannica – wikipedia won (britannica added a wiki)

Trusted Media Index – digital natives trust their networks and experience more than older people

Digital safety: only .08% of all students say they’ve actually met someone in person from an online encounter without their parents’ permission.

Most teens ignore strangers who contact them online

About 1 in 3 teens are nonconformists, and break online safety or behavior rules … they know what they’re doing (to some extent – they don’t realize the global reach it can have)

Digitally – there are no barriers. the playing field is leveled. access is universal. connection is ubiquitous. It’s all about ME. = a ton of opportunities.

Digital piracy. digital natives think of this as sharing.

talking about remixing of content. Creative Commons, remixing music, fan fiction, etc.

Quote – in the past, you were what you owned. Now you are what you share.

Digital Advocacy

Strategy Framework that Columbus Metropolitan Library is using. Question: what elements need to be present in order for our strategies to support virtual users?

1. young mind
2. virtual users:
engage – enable customers to connect with library staff, services, and with each other in meaningful ways. Goal. Our customers feel connected.
Enrich – to provide customers with a rich online experience that enhances their local branch experience & daily lives. Goal: our customer feel they’re getting value.
Empower – to enable customers the ability to personalize and add value to the library experience and allow the community to celebrate themselves. Goal: our customers feel good about themselves.
3. power users

With this framework, the goal isn’t to answser “should we have facebook?” Instead, they are asking does it engage, enrich, and enable customers?

So the real goal – look for tools that meet these things

CIL2009: Achieving the Dream to Go Green

John Law, ProQuest
Maria Gebhardt, Broward County Library

John Law:
How do you follow Google? Providing a high-quality library search experience

They did a bunch of research … trying to understand how people do research, and how libraries factor into that

He claims people percieve the library to be great, but actually use google, etc. That slightly differs from the OCLC study (ie., users don’t think about us). Aside – This is a proquest guy wanting to make sure libraries continue to buy ProQuest products.

Google – easy, simple, fast

Library – confusing, clumsy, slow

Existing options for getting to library content – library catalog, eresources (article databases), google/google scholar, etc

Better navigation won’t solve the problem …

I think he’s making the argument that google is fast and finds stuff, but doesn’t have the best stuff, while the library has better things, but hard to use. I’m not sure I buy that part about Google. Google finds actual good stuff – I’ve talked to librarians that do telephone reference – they told me 85% of their questions are answered via a google search.

Me – don’t hate google – instead, learn to use it.

Now he’s introducing us to Summon – some new product…

Maria Gebhardt:

Focused on their customers – surveyed them, found out what the wanted and what they’re really using

They used print, web, in person, and impromtu versions of their survey

website and impromtu worked the best

Made an enewsletter – it won an award. Wow – it had a TON of text on it!

And I needed to leave early, so notes are done for today!

CIL2009: flickr commons for libraries and museums

Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, Smithsonian … were approached by flickr to add collections into the flickr commons.

Michelle Springer, LOC

Have to have no known copyright restrictions

22 libraries, archives, and universities have joined so far…

flickr mentions new sites on their blog, which has a LOT of reach

Shelley Bernstein, Brooklyn Museum:

They started adding stuff into flickr … they were flooded with comments

Posted an unidentified photo in paris – archives people would update the description… because of their workload and tiny staff, they couldn’t do this very speedily – they almost left the commons!

Once the community formed around the commons, this changed. One flickr user puts notes around all the buildings on each photo, marking them with names

It’s a great way to work with the community

Community is helping their workload:
– they had some coding feed problems
– she wrote to their community group
– the community scripted a solution for them – nice.

Michelle up again:

They have “history detectives” who figure out names of people and places … and support this with citations and links to the info on the web.

Personal experience adds info – giving examples of community naming things in the photos

Interesting discussion of image titles – they used the original titles, one popular pic is titled “negro boy” – they’ve had their community discussing how the title was part of the times, preserving the language they used when the photo was taken, etc

Lots of then and now photos

Joshua Greenberg, NYPL:

Can’t be a project of the “Digital Group” – needs to be the librarians with expertise

When they posted pics, they hadn’t resolved the issues of who answers the questions from the comments …

His team had been figuring out how to do this technically …

Martin Kalfatovic, Smithsonian Institution Libraries:

Showing their quirky photos – old photos of “white men with mustaches,” micro photos of tiny fish, etc – they had an internal discussion of whether or not people would be interested in these photos. And they were

what did they learn from a social project like this?

Easy – gather a small group of like-minded people, launch the project