Now, that’s a packed goodie hour!

Library community members recognize Joan Frye Williams as a deep and fluent source of observations and analyses of where and how library services are going, from nascent development through their stages of emerging best practices. The free webinar she provided through Infopeople today, Life After Desk: Implementing the New Service Models, offered those of us in the “live” audience more than a handful of ideas already in practice, with good reasons on offer as to why and how to bring them to our home libraries.  Of course, not everyone can get to a webinar at its scheduled time, so another shout out is in order that, as with all Infopeople webinars, the recording, as well as the slides and even the text chat by those who could attend the presentation, wil be available for any-time review in archived form (The slide sets are already there, with the rest to come later this week).

There are take aways here for both public and academic libraries, for staff concerned with reference staff locations and for those interested in the integration of makerspaces–and maker activities–as well as traditional information services.  Among the issues that lit up the chat among the audience are:

  • How to identify library staff as such when we aren’t behind desks
  • How to organize library space so that it makes sense to users interested in locating the types of services they need with a minimum of confusion that requires staff handoff between designated departments
  • How to deal with staff who won’t engage in new approaches, such as roving

We were treated to glimpses of attainable models, including a “Library Idea Box” in which makerspace meets art display space.  We heard research-based evidence for giving library users more comfort by working with them side by side instead of face to face.  We were reminded that “excellence is defined by user experience” rather than by staff decisions of what is convenient from our side of things.

While waiting for the archives to get fully loaded, you can get further ideas–or whet your interest even more!–by checking the Twitter hashtag #ifpafterdesk. This hour was so packed that going through it all more than a time or two is bound to create sparks that can lead to action!

George and Joan, Thinking Out Loud about Confluences

podcastIn this edition of Thinking Out Loud, George and Joan discuss a couple of pieces of information that they have recently encountered. The first item is an article from The New Yorker about Clayton Christensen’s explorations into why big businesses fail. The other is the announcement of a new service from ProQuest called Udini. This new service provides consumer access to ProQuest’s huge database of articles.

So what’s the connection between these things and libraries? Listen and find out! Mentioned in this podcast:

George and Joan, Thinking Out Loud about Bosses

podcastIn this edition of Thinking Out Loud, George and Joan talk about bosses. While it’s easy to gripe about bosses, George and Joan take a deeper look and explore the idea that the problem isn’t always just the boss – it can also be the employee and/or the workplace. Are you using your boss to make it easier for you to not take some responsibility for the problems in your organization? As they point out, it takes both parties, the leader and the follower (or the boss and the employee) to make something great happen – or conversely for bad things to happen. Thought-provoking as always!

Mentioned in the podcast: The Courageous Follower by Ira Chaleff.

George and Joan, Thinking Out Loud about Ideas That Will Change the World

podcastIn this edition of Thinking Out Loud, George and Joan discuss (in their own inimitable way) and article that appeared in Time magazine on March 17, 10 Ideas That Will Change the World.

Looking at trends, they agree, makes us look at how we do things and ask good questions and start conversations that we normally wouldn’t have. It helps us step away from the day to day firefighting and take a gander at the bigger picture. It’s a refreshing listen!

This seems like an opportune time for a (mostly) relevant Infopeople plug: George is teaching an online course that starts on April 3, 2012 titled Libraries and Change: Skills for Successful Change Management. Seats are still available!