Thursday, May 04, 2006

Lucky Me

IAG readers, I am off on vacation beginning tomorrow--and I am not taking a computer. I know you'll miss me...actually it's more likely you won't notice I'm gone now that we are rich in IAGers. Five of us means five voices telling stories.

On the drive home yesterday, Alice remarked to me that she thought my presentation about the Perceptions report was better than it was the last time she'd seen me make the presentation, about two months ago. Well, good, I said...how come? She replied that I'd made it a story this time. This was great to hear. Talking about the results of our survey means talking about a lot of data, a lot of numbers, and I had a tough time finding the story in this data the first few times I gave presentations on the report. I had said as much to Jane Dysart after she'd listened to me speak at the SirsiDynix SuperConference as I felt I should have done a better job of presenting.

Story-telling is powerful, much more so than presenting facts, and yet, in business settings--libraries, offices--we rarely weave a "story cloth" out of facts as a way of helping people find meaning in those bare and cold facts. "Circulation rose by 27% last year." "Reference questions dropped by 8% last semester." OK....but what does this mean? Is there a story behind the numbers?

Stephen Abram's Personas project is interesting for many reasons, but one good reason is the story-making potential of the personas as you'll see towards the end of this presentation Stephen gave at CIL in March--the link to the slides is in the post. Much more powerful and useful to make a story about people using libraries than reducing them to percentages. Jane Dysart has some additional resources on personas here.

See you around May 16th. Oh, no secret decoder rings here either.

6 comments:

walt said...

A fine post. Libraries are about stories (among other things), and stories are what brings us together--and you're right, it's easy to get caught up in a narration of facts and fail to communicate (or sometimes to see) the story that makes them live. Enjoy the computerless vacation (the only way to go).

walt said...

A fine post. Libraries are about stories (among other things), and stories are what brings us together--and you're right, it's easy to get caught up in a narration of facts and fail to communicate (or sometimes to see) the story that makes them live. Enjoy the computerless vacation (the only way to go).

Meredith said...

OMG, the Cyclades! That area is at the top of my list of places I've always wanted to visit. I hope you have a wonderful time (how could you not?) and that you don't think a lick about libraries or technology while you're there.

Larry said...

Yes...one of the best statisics presentations that I have witnessed in a long time! (I was the very pleasant, elderly gentleman in the back row, stage left)
I must admit that I was a bit uncomfortable with the "funny hat" segments of the program. I have observed that males make up about 10% of the NOLA classes that I have attended. It is clear that the nice redheaded lady (Alice, I believe) did NOT take this STATISTIC into consideration when she purchased the funny hats. The point being that it is difficult to project a professional PERSONA while wearing a cowhat that was at least three sizes too small!! I better leave before I'm PERSONA NON GRATA on this very interesting page. Have a great vacation...

Alice said...

Ha ha ha, funny hats for all! I will post a photo of Alane in one of the hats...

New York hotel said...

I have lately decided to leave my computer at home when traveling. It is really hard to disconnect from everything, but after a few days you feel so liberated. I think it is very important to do so, as hard as it may seem. Your post made me realize how long it has been since I took a book at a library.