Saturday, June 28, 2008

OCLC Symposium part 2: The Mashed Up Library

True Story about a Horrible Business meeting where "we already do that" killed all innovation ideas.

*Intelligence is wildly overrated as a virtue.* What holds us back is not that we’re not smart enough. “Yeah yeah yeah, we do that”—self-delusion is a big obstacle. If we talked about it, it’s happening?

Internet designed to be a network of networks: exchange and share information (interoperable). Exchange, sharing and interoperability.

Real big potential win for libraries: on an organizational level: which partners, colleagues and peers should we interoperate with? For us as an organization (not just as a creator of technologies.)

The most important product of the Mines… (Obligatory Profound Design Quote) is the Miner.
(Not the stuff they did out of the ground. It’s the people. It’s the system. It’s the human capital.)

The most Important product of the network is the networker. The kinds of networks we build…depend on what kinds of networkers we really want people to be.

What’s the most Important Product of the Library?

Mission statements, public documents that answer this question.
(Readers) and (Research)
“A Scholar is a Library’s Way of Creating Another library.”
What SHOULD the most important Product of the Library be?

What institutional innovations and adaptations best boost your chances of getting there? (And who owns the keys?)

“Competition” –like “innovation"—is a means to an End.
Frenemies/Froes? Are people a competitor or a co-marketer?
Spectre of competition—Institutions seek protection, instead of rising to the challenge.

“Competition” is about Perceived Value from Choice.
Newspaper circulation has stayed flat since 1950. Average reader age: 56.
Newspapers don’t know how to compete. Reluctance to creatively compete.
Rupert Murdock always buys the 2nd best—he competes. It’s the perceived value.

Libraries as physical spaces that house books and artifacts= no competition. We’re great.
Libraries as information=huge space to compete in.
Libraries are creatures of subsidy rather than market forces.

How do your uses and user communities brand you as a competitor?
“Serving the community” “Serving the underserved”
Permit Competition
Permit Subsidy

4 particular things as suggested actions
1. Learning from our Lead users. (What is the segment of users that we learn the most from? Not just segments—but segments we learn from.)
2. With Whom Do we want to collaborate to Create value? Why?
(Collaborative—who creates value…what are our organizational protocols?)
3. Nurturing our Best Internal Arguments/Disagreements (be transparent—make your user know what’s going on. Don’t seal off the complexity
4. Establishing “Liberatory” (a mash-up of library and laboratory) that best attract talent and inspire hypotheses.

What does the institution itself stand for? Provoke new thinking and new value.
Success comes not from taking the path of least resistance but the path of maximum advantage.

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