Retooling for the Rise of Local: From Collections to Connections

Garry Golden

Resources will be here

Library: Place, Community, Learning

How are we framing the nuanced challenges of improving local life conditions for literacy? (e.g. role of food; insights from brain science)

The USAF is exploring the development of a Social Radar dashboard… to aggregate sensor and sentiment data in order to forecast what’s coming.

What is unique about your local community? What dynamics might be missing to reach its full potential? What are gaps that exist?

  • Leavenworth: Prison city; 6 jails in 5-mile radius; huge socio-economic gap.
  • Johnson County: wealth; well-educated; poverty is increasing (but county doesn’t try to admit that)
  • Basehor: growing community; median age is 40-something; existing community groups falling apart from older generations; 40-something isn’t interested in the existing structure. How to reach those people? Civic organizations having trouble transition between generations
  • Hiawatha: school districts are struggling — cutting programs. After school programs.
  • Linwood: small, isolated community that’s really not isolated. Similar issues as Basehor.
  • Papillion, NE: gap of leadership; growth
  • Bonner Springs: drawing from the all the area towns, lots of different populations are using the library. How to bring that all together?
  • Olathe: county-seat; diverse population; 40-50 language groups; boosterism is strong; kind of conversation
  • Atchison: high poverty — use computers, check out DVDs; affluent, parents bring their kids in, but won’t come for adult programming; friends group much much older. Hard time to get Friends group going

Many areas, it’s hard to keep people local. People leave to do things elsewhere in larger communities.

Library as Third Place

Retooling –> Perception Gap

Poverty is growing in suburbs; many reasons why. Perception gap of the conditions.

Lots of different angles on local.

Why does retooling local communities matter? Capturing the Local Economic Premium

Louisville, KY

  • Local recirculation of revenue at National Chains retailers: 13.6%
  • Local recirculation of revenue at Independents retailers: 55.2%

Milwaukee, WI — 3.24* more. 

Understanding communities & institutions at crossroads: Knight Soul of the Community project

Building Connections: Social graphs — the pattern of social relationships between people (direct/indirect/social link/person)

Emergence of ‘Citizen’ Tools — Project Noah

Does the library promote this? Add it to the collection

What kinds of citizen tools can you create? Marine Debris Tracker

Civicware: Engagement & Data-driven insights —

These are applications that are being built in communities that inform individuals that inform citizens about civic participation throughout their communities.

Role of Reference: Libraries and Local Dashboard — what’s getting better/worse — color coded

  • The way we move: traffic and roads
  • The way we live
  • The way we green
  • The way we Grow
  • The way we prosper
  • The way we finance

Does the information exist? What institution would be responsible for pulling it all together? The library? Trusted institution. Closing perception gap; showing interconnectedness.

How might dashboards empower entrepreneurs, citizens and/or policy-makers?

Even if you can’t do data dashboard, go to other sources to get data understanding of your community.

Measure of America

The Collaborative economy Coalition

Anticipating Pull & Push Factors of Economic Localization: The New Innovation Battlegrounds are city hill and the state house

Is the library a place that should promote the local economy? Libraries play an active role in building community awareness on key indicators driving quality of life and the economy and/or libraries actively support collaborative economy activities.

Technology creates the capabilities that create the social change. Tech is enabler of social change.

The Geo-Web: Location-based Services

Helping people find books?

Community experiences & transformation of place: guest lecture tonight; on my way to the library then home; starting a local reading group; join me, photographing city; play date at playground.

Creating reference services based off of location?

How do we leverage place-based discovery and sharing?

  • place as storytelling (community as setting)
  • connecting places to programs
  • community members as ‘authors’ of place
  • place-based learning discovery

Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue

Strategy: Local Discovery-based Learning Experiences


LIbrary Layers: unique content…

Retooling Local Places:

Learning Art of Process & Relationships

  • Most uncomfortable = ex. Revitalization vs Gentrification
  • Most Inspired =
  • Biggest Opportunity =
  • Biggest Risk =
  • Advocacy, Programs, et al

What role do libraries play on the policy side? We provide resources to communities. If the self-interest of the community vs the company interests conflict, what do we do?

How big is local? Region? Neighborhood? Town. It’s geographical. Larger than a square block.

Tapping Your Inner Futurist: Designing a 21st Century Roadmap for Libraries

Garry Golden, Futurist


Futurists look at leading indicators (not politics or culture) but in states (California), places, technology, etc.

No one is stepping up yet to systematically educate the population about digital literacy (it should be libraries) — We’re talking about social data; health data (fit bits; eating); lifelong learning data. We like to complain about privacy, but we need to get up to speed on this.

Elevate Social Norms: Digital Identify Management

  • Owning Your Own Data (OYOD Policies) [like BYOD]
  • Expand use of tools (Ghostery; Account Killer]
  • Education and Advocacy for Opt-In [European Model] — establishes trust with people and also may allow for more enriching experience.

Micro-credentials — digital badging. Manufacturing Institute + Mozilla Badging

  • How do we rethink the role of libraries in certifications of lifelong learning?
  • We need to break down the skills that people know
  • Open Badges

Digital Me: Moving toward portfolios and reputation — not just resume. 

  • Teaching people who ask for help building a resume in a library, but then going beyond that
  • Resume –> Portfolio –> Online Presence (managing identify; your network; what you’ve shared/posted)
  • What stories are people telling the world through their online identity?

Word Gap

  • 30 million word gap between high and low income families on the words kids hear age 0-3.
  • Closing the Word Gap: Aligning Policy, Family Culture and Technology — libraries should own this.
  • Trust factors/creepy line
  • Your e-book is reading you WSJ

Will there be more or less change 2004-2014 vs 2014-2024? 

  • Most everyone in the room thinks there will be more change
  • Globalization; economy; middle class emergence around the world; Kansas needs to be delivering to the world
  • Internet of Things: Devices communicate amongst themselves — books speaking to each other
  • Openness of everything — citizen science; enlightened, scientific culture; more availability of tools
  • Cheaper computers
  • Health care and wellness — consumerization of health
  • Population pyramid shift — aging society
  • Education — skillset gaps; lifelong learning shift
  • Institutions are changing — collaboration all over the place
  • Less driving — Millennials especially; self-driving cars — shifting makeup of rural areas and cities.
  • Food world — local food movement
  • Natural resource constraints
  • Language & Culture — Uniform language
  • Gaps are also accelerated

So much will not change

  • Books not going away
  • Human creativity
  • Desire for facetime
  • Children & Storytime
  • Reading for Pleasure
  • Printed Books

People are more social and mobile than ever before — technology doesn’t dehumanize.

Libraries shifting from Access to Collections –> Outputs: Behavior Changed and Mastery of skills.

  • Digitization threatens collection to some extent
  • Challenge: are libraries in the business behavior change, culture shaping? Debate over this.

Future Studies: Sociology (Foresight 101; Drivers of Change, Place & Lifelong, Bringing it home)

Libraries as intersection of place and lifelong learning — place-based experiences

Raise Expectations for Place-as-service: early childhood (libraries already there!); creative & active aging; 20-somethings, ‘emerging adulthood’

  • Creative aging environments — strategies: libraries & arts experiences; library teams + teaching artists; social experiences; full body — whole person; library collections: creativity focus
  • Why Teaching Art in the Library Works 
  • The way we engage an aging population is going to improve (libraries already do programming), but we will do more
  • Engage — Tim Carpenter — Thrive as we age 
  • Brain Fitness Trends
  • New partners: teaching artists;
  • Products & Collections: Lumosity; Brain Science Podcast; Brain Packpacks
  • Products & Training Pathways: Wearables — Fitbits & Melons — people will be asking for help on these devices. Libraries providing access.

20-somethings ‘emerging adulthood’ 

  • Millennials Engaged in Civic Conversations
  • TNT Basehor Community Library
  • Alt+Library
  • Escape the Room [not library, but cool] — must solve puzzles to get out of the room.
  • How can libraries change their programming to meet this group where they’re at?
  • Families, as well

Places to hold niche collections: art, audio, comedy, objects, time capsules, Tumblr blogs

Libraries & the future of lifelong learning

  • Era of Apprenticeship –> disruptions of books & industrial work cycle –> Era of Institution [school especially] –> disruptions of web & knowledge economy –> Era of Learner (not teachers responsibility; but learners)
  • Era of the Learner can be supported by schools. Learner is the 15-year-old; the 70-year-old
  • MOOCs: Udemy; Coursera; Edx; Udacity; University Now
  • Who could lead this effort? The library

Libraries build the local learning communities who build the MOOC

  • Summer Reading
  • Parents & Families
  • Workforce Training
  • Internal Training
  • 21st Century Skills

Everyone has something to teach someone else. Problem to solve: Lack of learning communities. Build the base of community instructors. SkillShare

Coursmos — micro-content based. Not just theme and topic organization, but also how long it takes to finish something.

Culture Lag: Anonymous Web (portal for info) –> Social Web (social environment) –> Learning Environment

Are libraries in the business of information delivery? Connections? Behavior change? Getting better at things?

Lifelong Learning & The Personal Data Revolution.

Data is not end game. Data –> Knowledge –> Wisdom.

Connected Data = Insights & Wisdom

Experience API

Learning Graphs –> Learning Record Store –> Activity Streams –> Library delivers Adaptive Learning Experiences)

Learning Activity Streams — “I did this”

This allows library to create a greater experience for their users.

Library Experiences based on a learning map

Connected Experiences from Learning Graph — Map of My Ignorance: History of Jazz (Basic Level; In Progress; Expert Level)

“Every day I make an effort to move toward what I don’t understand.” –Yo-Yo Ma

Three times of people

  1. I want to become a Futurist — socializing ideas; signals team
  2. I want to encourage others (interesting) — intrapreneurial culture; lower barriers to pilots & partnerships; fail fare; risk-taking
  3. I am not convinced by this snake oil salesman — show how futurist scenarios can be wrong; challenge these assumption; rally existing partners & stakeholders to return to golden era of libraries

#CILDC wrapup and index of notes

I had a very good time at the 2014 Computers in Libraries conference, learned a lot, and had a lot of great conversations with colleagues. I blogged throughout the conference, and thought an aggregate index of links to each of my session notes would be very helpful.

Others blogged throughout the conferences — lists of those people can be found:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Next year’s conference (the 30th one!) is March 23-25, 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Stop Being Generic: On Demand & On Target

Julian Aiken, Access Services Librarian, Yale Law Library

Becoming more like Amazon Prime/Netflix (but for free)

On-Demand services: Scanning, Collecting, Delivering.

  1. Scan on demand: way to get print into users’ hands, not just digital; print collections opened up; remote access to local print collection; ready access to print holdings would be very valuable to off-site students and staff. Illiad used to manage this. Getting word out not difficult — 1,000 students. Electronic signage, orientation sessions, emails. Feedback was tremendously positive. Unsolicited feedback. People loved it.
  2. Deliver on demand: accessing other libraries’ collection isn’t always straightforward. No other academic libraries were doing delivery on demand, except for remote online students or homebound. Illiad used to manage this in ILL dept. Shipping costs only additional cost. Direct existing staff into a better service for the students.
  3. Collect on demand: Kind of patron-driven acquisitions. Patrons don’t directly request purchase; instead, patrons analyze requests made through ILL, and decide whether or not to purchase. Trends through ILL and off-site requests. No precise formula, repeat requests are good indicator of interest in a title. Faculty member ILL requests are handled immediately; 90 percent of faculty ILL requests are purchased, instead of ILLed. Developed without any extra funding; redone budgets to meet patron needs. Careful analysis and dynamic response to patron requests make the library more proactive to patron needs.
  4. “Many thanks! You are super responsive, often thinking of student needs before we even anticipate them.” –unsolicited student response

I left this session earlier to take care of some work business. 


Community Impact: Tactics & Recognition

Patrick “PC” Sweeney, Branch Manager, San Mateo County Library

SuperPAC Hacks and Voter (Public) Advocacy for Libraries

@everylibrary @pcsweeney

What is EveryLibrary? A superPAC — political consulting for libraries; local ballot measures; teach people how to run a campaign. Campaign around voters, not general voters.

How is EveryLibrary different from ALA and Urban Librarians Unite? They can only work in public advocacy and lobbying — 501c3. EveryLibrary is a 501c4 — can advocate in elections.


  • Santa Clara, CA campaign
  • Franklin Co.
  • $15 million total dollars voted for libraries through EveryLibrary’s work
  • $1,475 raised for every dollar spent

From Pew Research (but no specific citation):

  • 37% of Americans will for sure vote for libraries
  • 37% of Americans will probably vote for libraries
  • 26% of Americans won’t vote for libraries at all

What Doesn’t Matter

  • Party Affiliation doesn’t matter for libraries — right/left will vote for libraries
  • library card stats don’t matter
  • library use doesn’t matter (from Pew & Gates foundation research)

What does matter

  • People’s relationships with librarian
  • Idea of the librarian — everyone who works at the library
  • Librarian IS the candidate (when you run for political office, you’re sent to candidate school)
  • Your library IS the campaign — but libraries can’t say vote yes/no in the library
  • Platinum rule — The platinum rule: people don’t help you because they like you, they help you because they perceive that YOU like THEM
  • Tell the Stories that Matter (Joe the Plumber); people care very little for numbers and statistics; they care about how people were helped. Talk to the public and politicians — talk about impact stories of libraries
  • Develop your message (and control it) [how many can state your mission statement?] Continually communicate to public
  • Build a coalition of supporters (friends groups; chamber of commerce; business groups; people who care about library day-to-day)
  • Keep people engaged online — social media — put message out as often as possible
  • $25 ad – you can reach 8,000-10,000 people….
  • Give me an email list long enough and a program from which to send it and I can move the world. –Archimedes (email lists — and how important and powerful they are); no more than 2 communications a week; tell stories. MailChimp
  • Get out of the library
  • Door-to-Door Library Card Campaign
  • House Parties — dinner, tea, wine & cheese event, and have candidate in house to talk.
  • Letter writing and earned media (editorial calendar)
  • Advertising and Paid Media (Jonesboro Library billboards)
  • Community meeting attendance (city council; chamber of commerce; Kiwanis; Rotary); civic duty participation — building relationships with decision-making
  • Networking opportunities (Network after work)

Michele Farrell, Senior Library Program Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Kimber Fender, CEO, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Candace Main Rush, Library Media Specialist, Park View High School Library Media Center

National Medal for Museum and Library Service – extraordinary education, civic, and economic contributions to community by libraries and museums — 5 of each recognition.

Can your library be a winner? $5,000 award; Washington DC ceremony; National exposure and recognition in media and on Capitol Hill

StoryCorps visit: 40-minute interviews with 18 pairs of community members; winners receive audio files, digital photos for exhibits, media outreac; edited interview posted on IMLS website

Additional benefit: can leverage national medal — more grants, funding, building project approval, more recognition; on-demand speaker.

Application process

  • nonprofit museums and libraries in US and territories are eligible
  • Anyone can nominate
  • Members of Congress can nominate
  • Deadline is Oct 15, 2014
  • Info on [soon]

Cincinnati Public Library

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