2014

Optimizing Materials Handling on the Cheap: How to Lean your Workflow

Infopeople webinar to introduce attendees to some key principles of Lean and to provide some tips on how to apply Lean principles to library materials handling workflows.

Focused on some traditional library practices that get in the way including how libraries use bookcarts to define batch size, reliance on staging areas, acquisitions practices, and rigid staff roles.

Hopefully people came away with a new way to think about workflows from the customer perspective and not just from a staff productivity perspective.

2014

On Creating a Public Library Consortium

Presentation at the Black Hills Area Librarians Conference addressing the types of services being provided by consortia around the country. This group was considering forming their own consortium but wanted to have a better sense of the pros and cons.

Slides 

2014

Radicalize Your Catalog with Ebooks Your Patrons Can Keep Forever

Presentation about our Pitch-an-Idea grant project in which we worked with Internet Archive to provide links in the Santa Clara County Library District catalog to freely available, out of copyright ebook files which patrons could download without leaving the catalog.

Information about the project, where to access our code repository, and how to get started is available at& https://foss4lib.org/package/openlibrary-utilities-sccld.

Slides with presenter notes are available at& https://www.slideshare.net/loriayre/radicalize-your-library-catalog-with-ebooks-your-patrons-can-keep-forever.

2014

Using Technology to Increase Community Engagement

Conference presentations are a lot about bragging rights. Libraries do something awesome, they go to conference and brag about their awesomeness. Nothing wrong with that! This is how we learn from each other. As Program Co-Chair for the California Library Association’s Annual Conference, I review all the proposed sessions, and as a result, get to see not only what California libraries are doing but also the initiatives of which they are most proud.

2014

Top Trends and Libraries - 2015 is our Year

I always enjoy those end-of-year activities that provide a synopsis of important things that happened, important people who died, and the endless lists of top ten songs, books, movies, and of course, trends. I particularly enjoyed the “10 trends shaping consumerism in 2015” put out by trendwatching.com. Although the title may be off-putting for some librarians, there are plenty of good ideas for libraries in that document. In fact, many of these new trends have been trends in libraries for decades, and it’s the rest of the world that appears to be catching up!

2014

Keys to Self Service Success

Presentation at CLA Conference on the keys to implementing self-service technologies. It's more than choosing a nice self-check machine. Here's what we came up with:

  1. Involve staff in redefining the patron experience and their new roles
  2. Make sure changes result in enhanced/new services
  3. Take needs of affected customers into account
  4. Keep initiative aligned with strategic goals
  5. Modify spaces, policies, and collection to support goals
  6. Support patrons with training and positive messaging
  7. Provide information throughout the library so customers have the information they need, when they need it
  8. Make it a happening! Be bold and colorful and have fun!
cover image of "Keys to SSS" presenation
2014

The Skinny on RFID and Automated Materials Handling in Libraries

This presentation was part of a three-day workshop that I delivered to Dayton Metro Library with my colleagues, Cheryl Gould and Sam McBane Mulford. Dayton is remodeling and building new libraries as well as consolidating some of the smaller branches. They have been looking at automated materials handling and RFID as possible technologies to incorporate into their new buildings.  

Rather than focusing on the requirements of the technology and letting that drive the project, we wanted to help them focus on their core library values and envision how they might change the patron experience for the better.

It was an intense three days of very hard work for the group but it went very well. They not only learned more about RFID and automated materials handling (and other self-service technologies) but they also came up with core service elements that they want to see as part of their new service model. They made informed decisions about the technologies they would like to see implemented and they even made a tentative staffing plan.  That's a LOT to accomplish in three days!

2014

Leaning Your Library's Material Handling Workflows

Presentation at ALA Conference in Las Vegas (2014). Sponsored by the Public Library Association. I really enjoyed doing this presentation because the crowd was very engaged. Got lots of good ideas from them. Thanks to all who attended!

The presentation introduces Lean and provides some ideas about how to look at library materials handling workflows with a Lean, customer-centric focus where the customer may be internal (co-worker) or external (patron).  Introduced concepts of Visual Management and 5S from Lean and identified where "waste" happens in libraries.

2013

RFP Development – Iterative, Collaborative and Empowering

I’ve done my share of software and hardware procurements – not as many as some consultants – but enough to know my way around an RFP (Request for Proposal).   And the truth is that RFPs are really horrible. They are full of contract language that few people understand and, unfortunately, they are often loaded with requirements that the Library doesn’t understand; or worse, requirements that the vendors themselves don’t understand!

I’ve seen the same RFP issued by many different libraries. Some of these RFPs were actually created by the vendor and has a few gotcha requirements that ensure their competitors will get the boot. I’ve also seen RFPs that have conflicting requirements – this happens when the Library doesn’t understand the requirements they’ve included.

But the development of an RFP has the opportunity to be an empowering experience for the library if it is done correctly. However, this requires leadership and time. It’s not as simple as doing a couple focus groups and checking off the requirements from someone else’s RFP.

 

2013

The Golden Ratio and Community

The latest issue of Collaborative Librarianship is out along with my Technology Matters column entitled "The Golden Ratio and Community."  

My column begins like this....

"I recently read The Secret Code: The Mysterious Formula that Rules Art, Nature, and Science by Priya Hemenway. It is a book about the Divine Proportion or the Golden Ratio. The Golden Ra-tio is roughly five to eight (more precisely the square root of five). It turns up in nature in nu-merous ways and you see these proportions over and over again in art and architecture be-cause it resonates with us in some mystical way.