Friday, July 31, 2009

CLiC Webinars

The nice folks at Colorado Library Consortium will be hosting two "Lunch Lessons with CLiC" webinars featuring the Colorado State Library's Sharon Morris and me. The two half-hour programs, on September 1 and 2 at noon Mountain time (that's 2 pm Eastern, 1 pm Central, and 11 am Pacific for the time zone challenged), will be distillations of the programs I did in Colorado back in February, March, and April, focusing on the From Awareness to Funding report.

Registration for the programs is open now, free of charge, and you don't need to live in Colorado to participate.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Retail Grumpiness, Wholesale Unhappiness

John Petric is a music critic for one of Columbus's alternative newspapers, The Other Paper. He also apparently has spent too much time working in retail, primarily in a record store (shades of the movie High Fidelity). In his rant in last Thursday's edition of the paper, he takes off on his customers. At first I was amused, then I was dismayed how much his caterwauling reminded me of the way we talk about library users.

Bottom line: if your store is set up to make your users feel stupid, and if you use your own jargon instead of speaking their language, don't be surprised if they don't come back.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Credit Where It's Due

If you are applying cutting-edge technology of which you are particularly proud, here's an opportunity to show off what you're doing. No cash seems to be involved, but the bragging rights could help lift staff morale!

For Immediate Release
June 29, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) is soliciting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology.

“We want to showcase libraries that are serving their communities with novel and innovative methods and provide the library community with some successful models for delivering quality library service in new ways,” said Vivian Pisano, Chair of OITP’s America’s Libraries for the 21st Century Subcommittee.

Nominations should be sent to the American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy, 1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW, 1st Floor, Washington, D.C. 20009 by September 1, 2009. Details about the nomination process and an online submission form are available on the OITP Web site.

The America’s Libraries for the 21st Century Subcommittee will review all nominations and conduct selected interviews or site visits to identify those libraries that are truly offering a best practice or most innovative service. Libraries or library service areas selected will be publicized via the OITP Web site, highlighted through ALA publications, and featured in a program at the ALA Annual Conference in 2010.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Last Call for Support Staff Institute

Registration closes soon for the Ohio Library Support Staff Institute, coming up August 2-4 at Denison University in beautiful Granville, Ohio. New speakers and programs have been added, but you need to act fast to take advantage of one of the best bargains in library continuing education.

Today (Wednesday, July 15) is the published deadline, but I have it on good authority that if you get your registration into the Institute a day or two late, you'll still be welcome!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

New venture

As some IAG readers may know, as of July 1 I took on reduced responsibilities at OCLC in order to develop a consulting practice in library strategy, implementation, staff development, and governance.

The first fruit of that new practice is, a joint venture with Joan Frye Williams.

Please check out our site, and leave some comments there!

OCLC Blog Salon location updated

News flash: We've been upgraded from the Hilton Boulevard Room C to Boulevard Room AB. Spread the word. And if you're not attending ALA, we'll post lots of photos and videos after that fact. The Shanachies will definitely be creating some memories.

Facebook event link.

Friday, July 10, 2009

OCLC Sympsium on Leadership Beyond the Recession

Cathy De Rosa kicks off the OCLC Symposium on maintaining leadership and thinking about how to deliver great customer service.

People are thinking differently about their choices today--no longer trading up but trading off. Libraries have the opportunity to differentiate.

The future can't simply be "more of the same."

Joseph Michelli
How do we drive a change experience with sustainability? (If we increase our foot traffic, we have to increase the funding.)
When Fish Fly
The New Gold Standard
The Starbucks Experience

Example from the Pike Place Fish Market: if you approach it only as a transactional business, you will lose. The first act of love is to listen: Let's treat people who come up to the Fish Stand as being World Famous. (An experiential brand was born.)
They focused only on creating the experience that the customer was really something special. (They stopped worrying about selling fish.) The product is exactly the same as it was before...

It's not about being interesting, it's being interested in people. The relevance goes up. It's not about entertaining people, it's about being relevant.

Experiential Brand Statements:
Ritz-Carleton Hotels. "Create the home of a loving parent." Things magically pop-up and show up. Every employee from the first day is told that this is the brand experience. Everyone on staff is given $2,000 per day to increase people's experience. They put a process in to deliver this experience.

Starbucks. "Create a third place--the living room of the community."

What We Know from Consumer Behavior
*Even in difficult times 50% of consumers will pay more for a better experience. --2009 Harris Interactive
*50% of customers leave businesses because of bad experiences.--Accenture
*Companies ...successful in creating both functional and emotional bonding with customers are [much more successful].

Can we build experiences that reinforce the library as a transformative place?

We have to live the brand on the inside first. For employees--this is a place for you to personally transform and for you to help others. (Example of employee experience in a production only model--Finnish Tax man died in his office. No one knew for 2 days.)

Ritz-Carleton. Selection process for employees (not hiring--being selected, we're going to listen to you.) Day 21 check on employees. Day 365 birthday celebration of staff being with them. This is a designed touchpoint map.

What experiences can we drive to help make it clear: this place is where you go to have life-changing experiences.

Designing Different Experiences Based on Actual Customer value.
RBC Bank rates each of its 2 million customers. High value customers get special treatment. Customer attrition is down 50% in the last 5 years. Unprofitable customers down by 6%, too.

Questions to ponder:
Is your brand promise experiential? Does it reflect transformation? Infrastructure? Necessity? the future? ROI?

Have you created staff, user, politician, academic leadership, and community experience touchpoint maps?

Can your staff articulate an experience--or a transaction?

**It's all about Service.**
Service is a flawless product, Delivered exactly as a member wants, in an environment of caring.

Create an experience so people can't resist the urge to pull the lever for "Yes."

Getting ready for the OCLC Symposium

We're getting ready for the OCLC Symposium here in Chicago at the Hilton Grand Ballroom. The presentation is ready, movies queued and backups made. I'll be blogging/tweeting as much as I can, although there's no internet in the ballroom. (Hilton FAIL)


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Saturday, July 04, 2009

"This We Believe"

Joan Frye Williams and I have posted a new podcast. It's different from our usual fare, in that it follows the format of the radio program "This I Believe." We invite you to add your comments, and even your beliefs, to improve the conversation on the future of libraries.