Posts Tagged public library consultant

Assembling Your Knowledge Management Team

It is good practice to periodically examine the “roster” of your digital or physical library team, to seek ways to improve it. When developing or evaluating a team, each member will have certain characteristics that make them well-suited for a certain role. We run organizational development workshops to help libraries and digital asset teams maximize their human resources.

According to ACA’s 45 years of building program research, successful library organizations are made up of a diverse mix of job titles, which require diverse human characteristics. Librarians and Knowledge Workers can be specialists, reference people or technical services pros.  Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD work with library staff and knowledge management teams to identify and shape the teams and increase effectiveness.

Below are characteristics of each team member; we developed these based on the Belbin team building framework.

Resource Investigator

  • Their inquisitive nature helps them find ideas to bring back to the team.
  • Strengths: Outgoing, enthusiastic. A natural networker – the go-to person to test a new opportunity.
  • Challenges: Over-optimistic; can lose interest once the initial enthusiasm has passed.
  • A good person to follow up and build on research and delivery partnerships.

Team Worker

  • The glue that keeps the team moving, using their versatility to identify the work required. The person that will complete the work on behalf of the team.
  • Strengths: Co-operative, perceptive and diplomatic. A great listener who can avert friction between team members.
  • Challenges: Indecisive in crunch situations; avoids confrontation between strong willed team members.
  • Will be hesitant to make unpopular decisions.

Coordinator

  • Helps the team focus the library service objectives. A person who can draw out other team members and delegate work.
  • Strengths: Mature, confident, identifies talent and builds on it. Goals setter.
  • Challenges: Leaders can be manipulative; they can offload work to other members reducing team effectiveness.
  • Can delegate work others, leaving themselves with limied tasks or challenges.

Management Consultant

  • A highly creative person that is good at solving problems in unconventional ways.
  • Strengths: Creative, imaginative, dynamic-thinking, concept / ideas generator and problem solver.
  • Challenges: Might not be able to focus; may be too preoccupied to communicate effectively.
  • Can forget the good ideas and try to develop additional ones when none is necessary.

Assessment Evaluator

  • Assessment professional; a good person to make impartial judgement when required. A good person to weighs up the team’s options in a dispassionate way.
  • Strengths: Sober, strategic and discerning. A person that can see the options and recommend next steps accurately.
  • Challenges: Can be critical, lacks the drive and ability to inspire others.
  • Not all can make a quick decision. This staff member can be slow to come to decisions.

Specialist

  • The project specialist has in-depth knowledge in a key delivery area.
  • Strengths: Dedicated, a self-starter and always moving forward with work. They will research and apply their knowledge management skills.
  • Challenges: May stick to the technicalities and not address the goals and objectives.
  • Can research a topic and overload if you don’t support their drive to find solutions to information resource needs/integration.

Management Shaper

  • The staff member that will drive the team. This staff member will ensure that the team keeps moving and does not lose focus or momentum.
  • Strengths: Can handle the pressure and deliver. A dynamic staff member that has the drive and courage to overcome any knowledge management obstacles.
  • Challenges: A person who isn’t afraid to get in your face; Can offend people’s feelings.
  • Sometimes  need to get things done and they get aggressive, which can be harnessed to efficiencies when recognized.

Implementer

  • A knowledge manager that can develop a workable strategy and carry it out as efficiently as possible.
  • Strengths: Efficient and Practical, reliable and driving. This staff member turns ideas into actions and organizes work that needs to be done.
  • Challenges: Inflexible nature can be slow to respond to new possibilities.
  • Can slow down positive change if they are too inflexible.

Completer/Finisher

  • Every project needs a person who will polish and scrutinize knowledge management work for errors; Research requires the highest standards of quality control.
  • Strengths: Searching out errors is natural to a conscientious knowledge worker. It is important to finish the project with defined outcomes including key performance indicators.
  • Challenges: Knowledge workers can be reluctant to delegate tasks which slows down progress.
  • Perfection is a strength until it impedes the delivery of knowledge resources.

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Modern Library Design Can Spark Innovation

In our evolving digital world, change to library spaces is inevitable—and necessary.  Many times, programming and planning can seem like challenge with lots of risks: familiar spaces change as bookshelves, staff offices and seating is replaced, technology is updated, and daily library functions are disrupted. But it is a good time to embrace change:Library spaces that are reorganized to encourage collaboration can spark innovation.

Library programming provides many benefits, whether the space is an academic, public or school library.  Our programming clarifies the functions to support libraries: we provide a list of the services and square footage needed to develop every type of space from a modern 3D visualization area to a traditional quiet research space.

Each new library/learning space that we program is informed by user behavior. We make sure the layout and services are flexible, and that users are offered more collaborative encounters, group work and creative experiences. Contact us to find out more.

  • We develop programs for all types of users: academic researchers, public library patrons, students, families and more
  • Our analysis allows for new ways of working in the digital age
  • We have a vast portfolio of programs and plans that reflect today’s modern design

samsung environment

Contact Library Consultant

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Make Your Library More Relevant Than Ever

Even in the digital age, public libraries remain a vital community resource. According to PLA’s latest study on user awareness in libraries,  53% of the public see the library as a source of community pride, and 61% of voters are willing to donate money to support their library.

Communities with great public libraries can draw more people in and continue the cycle of growth. However, this often means a redesign is in order. Communities  that need to raise money for their library require specialized help (Contact Library Consultant).  This work is essential to changing the building, enabling your library to grow.

A good design can increase usages of your library; when a new library is built or an existing one is renovated, there is an increase in educational programs and amenities.  Our library programming results in new user experiences, because space is allotted for various patron activities: quiet reading, education, digital resources and group meetings.

The OCLC and PLA report outlined current perceptions and support among US voters and how they may have shifted over the last 10 years; it showed that libraries are still relevant today.

The update of the original study – From Awareness to Funding: A Study of Library Support in America,

Additional Outcomes:

  • 58% feel that public libraries advance education
  • 51% believe libraries enhance the quality of life of any community
  • 70% of library users visit the library building
  • 52% of library users visit the library’s website

We are both digital librarians and a library space planning consultant group. We can help libraries that need to:

  1. Engage with the public to determine space and service needs, resulting in responsive buildings.
  2. Offer digital services to a social-media savvy public through inventive library services and operations.

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A Golden Opportunity for Knowledge Management

In the knowledge management world, demand for library services are not always directly observable. It’s worth emphasizing that digital collections are revealed through the use of communications and technology not on their own. This lack of a predictable user experience is a struggle many libraries confront of a daily basis. What about in the corporate world? Are they experiencing the same type of disconnection between the research product and the availability of that collaborative / sharing database product?

No matter how much excellent work the project team may be doing today – tomorrow their work will be left unorganized. It is up to knowledge management professionals to educate their users and raise the profile of digital collections (marketing or business related). It is time for the project team to build in a collaborative library services that can be used as a repository of working knowledge.

The structure of library communications can be modeled after our five modes of learning – reflective (self guides), collaborative (webinars), presentation (workshops), social (games) and touchpoint (service questions) to be modeled.

OUR SERVICES
Our knowledge management research team offers capabilities and institutional knowledge to help institutions develop their physical or virtual the service point, repository and collaborative work areas. We use communication strategies to build on the clients vision, creating an opportunity for the library user to explore and share. We build knowledge service priorities – capabilities to develop the library service plan.

We use user experience stories, surveys and space planning diagrams to understand the knowledge management interactions and user needs. We develop libraries with the behavioral workflow patterns in mind. Below is an outline of our work.

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Library Standards: Research Links

Librarians around the world continually develop standards for services. We are interested in their assessment techniques as a way of assisting communities that want to model their future library. The academic library standards are essentially links to further reading on the subject. The links were developed by Philippine Association of Academic/Research Librarians (PAARL) to develop standards for library services.

Webjunction has a wealth of resources — it has healthy serving of planning information to start a self study to improve your library. Whether planning a new building or renovating an old one, the website offers library planning research that will help you develop a detailed space plan that takes into account the space needs to meet the mission and service plan of the library.

Howard University Library developed a simple pdf that will help make planning deliberate. Library Planning should be the preferred manner of preparing services in the future. Library Planning is the responsible means of fulfilling future community needs.

British Library Standards was one of the first and most well-known study of service development. The guide provides standard levels of services that can support library development.

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Library Planning – Knowledge Mapping Using the 5 Modes

A few days ago, one of our senior consultants got a call from a research library in need of a new vision. The library organization structure was outdated and staff/employees were focusing on tasks that were not a priority. The need for improvement was obvious to the administration. Services for the researchers needed to improve – there was a miss-match in the services and operations of the library.

The objective of any knowledge organization is to improve the way users access the collection. What is the touch point? is it physical or digital? What kinds of activities would you like the library staff to focus on?

By developing a services and operations program, you can start to define better ways to make an impact on your community. You can develop a knowledge map program to gain user insights, increase access to resources and enhance library services. The idea is to increase the resources your library has to offer in a managed, phased and structured approach.

Our program model for a library uses five different modes for learning as a starting point.

1. Reflective
2. Collaborative
3. Social
4. Presentation
5. Touch Point

A successful library builds on these areas to ensure both the physical library and the digital one can exceed expectations.

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Four Reasons to Verify Your Library Program

Every year, libraries pour hundreds of millions of dollars into strategic planning, architectural and interior design efforts. At the beginning of these projects, the team should verify the needs and program the user experience. Yet for all the time and expense that goes into strategic planning, architectural and interior design plans, the library staff are typically ill-prepared for the work required.

There are four basic reasons to verify your library program before investing in a new design. Doing so will:

1. Enable accreditation where required
2. Result in enhanced library services
3. Ensure efficiency
4. Reduce risk

VERIFICATION IS REQUIRED
In many cases, library program verification is required by the accreditation body or government. If this is not complete, the service plan will not meet the standards set forth. Although public libraries (PLA) or academic libraries (ACRL) do not have set standards to support program verification, program guidelines can be useful. They can be used to determine the size and scope of library and/or digital librarian services.

VERIFICATION EQUALS MORE LIBRARY SERVICES
Whether a reduction in staff is warranted is the most challenging question for library programmers. With new technology, many staff positions may be replaced by web-enabled services. However, they may turn out to cost more when outsourcing library services. This question requires a verification of the staff positions and a definition of staff job requirements to expand the delivery of excellent library services – both physical and virtual. After library programming, the staff can be better aligned with user needs.

VERIFICATION IS ESSENTIAL TO ENSURE EFFICIENCY
Verifying library service needs has become more important than ever during design. It is vital to understand how virtual services can be supported with flexible spaces. Academic libraries have responded to this need by investing in flexible furniture and new technology. During this transition, hiring a library consultant is a cost-effective way to gather feedback and prioritize what works and what does not work. The verification process creates a feedback loop for architectural and/or library services staff. It gives the team visibility on what can be expanded and what can be consolidated from the plan.

VERIFICATION REDUCES RISK
Lack of verification leads to doubts in the minds of decision makers. This slows down the library’s ability to react to changes in technology and user needs, in order to engage the user in new and exciting ways to use information. Worse still, a lack of verification can put improvements off for years or create a leadership vacuum. The analysis of the library service mix is one critical way to reduce risk and to create a sustainable operations plan.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT OUR WORKSHOP IN NEW YORK CITY ON NOVEMBER 3, 2017

For libraries looking to learn about library planning and programming, join us – FRIDAY NOVEMBER 3, 2017 AT STEELCASE WORKLIFE – 4 COLUMBUS CIRCLE, NEW YORK NEW YORK FROM 9AM TO 4PM – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THIS ONE TIME EVENT.

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The Plausibility of a Virtual Library Concept

Mobile devices once represented a “new frontier” in library service, offering more access and connectivity than ever before. Today, Virtual Reality (VR) applications represent the next wave in libraries. Motion-controlled technology will enable us to step into another world, no longer tethered only to the physical library space. Users will no longer be spectators but participants in the virtual library.

This new technology offers exciting opportunities for knowledge management applications. For example, Kevin He, founder of Midas Touch, is developing physics-based animation games that incorporate real-world movements with the screen view. In the future, the availability of headsets will make it possible for library users to experience different worlds.

VR technology growth is an indicator that things are changing in the research landscape: academic librarians and/or provosts looking to enhance research experiences need to pay attention this topic. Investment in a VR space will enable institutions to offer more value to students; these spaces and technology programs can further enhance student success. For example, a VR program might provide an enhanced experience such as being at the Grand Canyon, adding a new way for students to use information.
Library planning for VR

Planning these spaces will require new program ideas with a flexible library design. This isn’t about individual learning; virtual reality library will be a group space. Additionally, we will need programs and designs that offer safeguards for the distracted. Incorporating this new technology will require a library program that will help drive collaboration, knowledge and innovation in order to meet the needs of tomorrow.

The five P’s–purpose, place, people, programs, and partnership–are a starting point for the library staff and knowledge management business teams. They will need to research how to blend library services in both physical and virtual worlds. They will need to offer cultural and educational experiences in both physical and virtual learning environments. VR technology has the potential to drive innovation, enabling research to happen all in one room or space. ACA can help libraries determine the hardware, software and spatial requirements for the virtual reality library.

Below is a picture of Project Morpheus for PS4

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Value of Academic and Research Libraries

What is the value of the library?

Learning spaces need to be positioned to provide access, skill development and the right context for learning to grow. Come join us on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at Steelcase NYC to learn how to develop highly integrated learning spaces.

Click Here

Modern research libraries perform a number of critical functions: they provide space and tools for learning. The library’s capacity to drive opportunity and success in today’s knowledge-based economy requires proven methods for programming library services and operations. Whether it is change across all facets of the research organization; academic libraries have the potential to greatly impact education and learning. The library’s fundamental people, place and platforms are core to its mission.

mary-idema-pew-library

Reasons for Libraries
1. Libraries offer a buffer between work space and home space
2. They create social capital through group and collaborative learning
3. They provide access to research materials
4. They provide spaces that support all content formats

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Library Space Planning: The Third Place

What is the third place? It is a library or community center, learning commons or co-working space. In a community or campus building, the third place is the library. It provides social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home (“first place”) and the workplace (“second place”). In the library planning world, the third place concept helps the project team search of answers. It helps us develop the library space plan with spaces for students and co-workers – young and old.

According to Nancy Murrey-Settle (YALSA) “When 3rd Place is Good. Empowering Students in the Library” the high school library is one of the few places where students are given decision-making power. ‘ Sure, it is the decision-making power over their own actions, but, that is where empowerment starts. ‘ When they walk through that library door, decisions await. ‘ Where to sit, computer or table? ‘ Do they need to work, or socialize a bit?

We remember Boarders Books and its periodical / coffee bar / newspaper reading areas, than Starbucks with convenient Wi-Fi locations to support mobile work. Now, Staples and Workbar are developing their own ‘third place’, offing co-working membership areas and prescheduled meeting spaces.

The environment for work in the 21st century is changing, requiring academic and public libraries to think about their space differently. The Staples and Workbar project is an example of a high-end workspaces, conference rooms and private phones rooms that is part of the ‘third place’ transformation of work. The retail spaces are programmed to be between 2,500 o 3,500 sq. ft. and offer collaboration spaces as well as wi-fi, printers and ‘bottomless’ coffee and tea to keep the connectivity and productivity flowing.

We think of the library as part of a hub and spoke network of learning spaces on campuses or in a community. Co-working spaces link students to project-based learning activities; they are often convenient locations with extended hours to support study activities on campus. The Pubic Library’s efforts to be a ‘third place’ provides co-working space for small business customers, independent professionals, startups and the mobile workforce. Below is an example of an adaptable Library…

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