Building High-Performing Teams

A Community Grows — Cornell University Library

Jennifer Colt, User Experience Designer, Cornell University Library
Melissa Wallace, Web Designer, Cornell University Library
Mary Beth Martini-Lyons, Co-ordinator of Web Design, Cornell University Library

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what make a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. -Vince Lombardi

Very little crossover between IT & libraries. Very linear processes…..

Old patterns don’t need to determine future behavior….

Robert Johnson, Manager of Information and Technology Services, Emma S. Clark Memorial Library and Suffolk County Library Association

Personal communication missing. No feedback… Perspective, too.

Reality check. Taking deep breath. Stopping and determining priorities.

Team building

  • you are allowed to be wrong
  • you are allowed to be right
  • You should stand up and lead. If you can’t find a leader — it may be you.

Team builders…

  • Recognize the skill set and talents of themselves and their colleagues. Bring in folks from other depts
  • Display confidence and take responsibility for their decisions (right or wrong)
  • Build an external network of people
  • Are ready to take the idea or leadership somewhere else

Ellen Druda, Digital Coordinator, Internet Services, Half Hollow Hills Community Library

Lots of differences between IT staff and librarians (stereotyped, maybe, but there is some truth). We need to work together.

A novel idea! \ IT staff work info desk \ learning on both sides.  #cildc via @dblduchess –@darnlibrarian

Library Data Mashups

Samantha Becker, Research Project Manager, University of Washington Information School
Michael Crandall, Senior Lecturer, Information School, University of Washington Information School
Rebecca Blakewood, Research Analyst, University of Washington Information School

First steps.

  • decide what you want to know
  • find out what data is available
  • figure out where you can get the data from

What data to mash?

National data

  • IMLS Public Library Survey
  • Edge INitiative
  • Impact Survey/American Community Survey
  • Census

Local/Regional data

  • Community indicators
  • City/county/data
  • Community anchor institutions or agencies
  • Hospitals & School districts good resources, too
  • Local media outlets — may not share actual dataset, but might share results

Your own library data

  • Library use stats
  • Circ stats, including collection use – other usage
  • Patron surveys

Combining datasets

Conceptual Mash: guide decision making; give roughly right idea of the community; reveal areas for further research; raise qs to validate thru community needs assessment.

National vs Texas vs New Braunfels conceptual data mashup comparison: married/couple family; never married; eleme school (grades 1-5); Hispanic; Of non-English households speak Spanish at home)

Pew Library Typology Report — “Distant Admirers” 3/14/14

Largest share of HIspanics (27%) of any group; less likely to have broadband access at home; more likely to feel overloaded w too much info; less likely to feel finding info is “easy”; 43% say their children have visited the library in past year vs. 70%; 78% know where the library is at.

New Braunfels conceptual mash:

  • Large Hispanic population suggests likelihood of greater population of “Distant Admirers”
  • Higher percentage of married households with young children, plus Pew observation they are more likely to highly value libraries, suggests outreach strategy to Hispanic families with young children.

An actual mash: Edge & PLS

Are there differences in Edge scores that are attributable to library characteristics?

  • Very small (under 5,000 LSA)
  • Small (5,001-15,000 LSA)
  • Medium single location (15,001-65,000 LSA)
  • Medium multiple locations (15,001-65,000 LSA)
  • Medium-large (65,001-175,000 LSA)
  • Large (175,001-300,00 LSA)
  • Extra Large (> 300,000 LSA)

Scores fairly regularly increases as you go from very small to extra large libraries: what does that mean?

The difference isn’t really a true difference. While larger libraries are scoring higher on average, smaller libraries are still managing to get high scores. But there is variability in the scores of the smallest libraries, suggesting something else is going on.

Range in scores 200 –> 800 points range for the very small libraries.

So what is going on?

  • The variances is “real” (ANOVA p=.001)
  • But only between extra-large and other peer groups
  • Could it something to do with community characteristics?

A more complex actual mash: Multilevel modeling

  • State: influences on library support — politics; economy
  • Community: influences on library use: income; education
  • Library: resources and services: per capita funding; square feet

Does these factors lead to +/- Edge Score?

Data analysis and visualization tools

  • Pros and cons — tools vary in:
  • handling large data files
  • Using your own data
  • Attractiveness
  • Technical ability required
  • Smartness
  • Storage Costs

Excel: Pivot tables — good ole pivot tables can help you prepare your data to be visualized using Excel charts or web tools. Dragging variables around in different ways, so you see data in different ways. Need to look into this methodology more! tool

Datawrapper — create widgets from your data to use on your website

Jolicharts — another tool; more simple data sets

Statwing — more complicated datasets

Explore public data resources

Impact Survey Reports

Explore library data app developed — lots of cross tabulation possibilities

Solving Common Issues With Innovative Collaboration

Collaboration & Conversation: Working with Publishers in Canada (eBound)
Michael Ciccone, Director, Collections, Hamilton Public Library
Christina de Castell, Director, Resources & Technology, Vancouver Public Library
Tricia McCraney, Consultant & Project Manager, Tricia McCraney Consulting

Lots of conversations from 2011 -2013 between libraries and publishers around eContent.

Publishers from the larger Canadian independent publishers, eBound, and the libraries. They began presenting at each others conferences — Association of Canadian publishers, ex. Saw they all had common ground. Canadian Urban Libraries rep on Booknet. Regular collaboration with publishers now on a regular basis.

Hot topics: Readers’ Advisory, MARC vs. ONIX, pricing, buying, and promoting Canadian books and authors. Conversations around licensing, access, what had been working in previous years of library digital content purchases.

Publishers weren’t aware of how much libraries were providing readers’ advisory and book promotion services. Distributors became in-between w libraries & publishers — no longer as close of a relationship.

eBook usage and increase of content has increased greatly from 2011-2013.

eBook revenue very little for the most part.

Reasonable terms: MOU

  • one copy per user
  • 40 circ cap
  • bundles of content
  • transferable
  • negotiate archival separately

eBook lending pilot


  • Canadian publishers were concerned with discoverability — that was their number one concern
  • Also, build more direct relationship with libraries (diminishing role of vendor in terms of selection and marketing of titles).
  • Make titles discoverable — and visible.
  • Greater control over pricing and terms; for publishers, ebook vendors are controlling the pricing and terms. A few key players were dominating things. Canadian publishers wanted to work more directly with libraries.
  • Seamless patron experience.
  • New technology solution — RFP to launch this — new platform


  • Cost
  • competitive market
  • lots of established vendors
  • need to integrate w existing vendors
  • high rate of innovation and flux in the market

Project Timeline

  • RFI in June 2012
  • RFP in March 2013
  • VEndor selection in June 2013
  • Negotiations through November 2013

Negotiations were very difficult. End with the successful and now unsucessful vendor. Rather than going to the next vendor from the RFP, they ended the RFP process and explored other alternatives, instead. They wanted to focus on Canadian content…

There was a lot of disappointment, but decided to change course. That meant the need to partner with existing vendor to offer a limited time sale, collections of Canadian eBooks, May-June 2014, identify what libraries have and what they need.

What they learned, they were working in a competitive environment, and waited too long. RFI set back significantly. Negotiate with 2 vendors at once.

Publishers + Libraries — enjoyed working together

  • Learned a lot talking to each other
  • Learned they had a lot in common
  • Growing respect and admiration

Lessons learned

  • Simplify the process
  • Trust your gut(s) –> including following the red flags
  • it’s okay to admit that it’s just not working
  • Future collaboration opportunities (including with existing vendors)
  • ReadersFirst Project

Local Music Project from Iowa City Public Library


Iowa City Public Library’s Local Music Project

Jason Paulios, Senior Librarian, Adult Services, and Brent Palmer, Coordinator, Information Technology, Iowa City Public Library


Iowa City works with local musicians to license their music and distribute the music to Iowa City PL card holders for 2 years. Packaged deals (missed the pricing). 140 albums from over 100 artists.

UNESCO City of Literature. College town. Local music scene.

Director saw lots of local musicians, wondered why lots of music was being bought outside the area, but local musicians weren’t getting known. Started asking local musicians if they wanted the libraries

Partnerships that support community and build community. Local bar scene and local artists and local musicians partnerships.

Innovative PatronAPI connector

Complicated upload, MARC, metadata, audio files, admin app, etc.

Admin app

  • built in-house
  • FLAC files are ripped and stored on a local server; album is cataloged
  • App pulls MARC fields and populates admin web form (creates bib record)

Web form, tracks, titles, web-editing form. Cover image pulled in as well.

App stores this metadata in XML for web display and adds metadata to song preview clips and ZIPs and App generates song previews.

Ideas & Lessons — fast turnaround on the project

  • Lifetime distribution contract option vs 2-year contract option — musicians not really interested in contracts.
  • Mobile User Solutions — streaming player; mobile apps — iOS struggles with ZIP. Android a bit better, but still not intuitive for average user. Also, no renewal or checkout again. Circ doesn’t match up on usage. Streaming could help on this (but would require rewrite of contract again)
  • Promotion — staff resources not there yet. Bar coasters may be a simple way to promote the service
  • Collaborations: commissioning unique works; selection committee — recording studio partnerships.
  • Other Local Music Projects: sharing code & best practices

What will your project look like?

  • What can others do? Lots of libraries looking into this.

Libraries & the Big Picture: Facts, Trends, & Next!

Kathryn Zickuhr, Research Associate, Internet Project, Pew Research Center
Marydee Ojala, Editor-in-Chief, Online Searcher magazine
Stephen Abram, Principal, Lighthouse Consulting Inc., Dysart & Jones Associates

Slides from Kathryn’s presentation

Pew Research Center: New data from the Pew Research Center on public library engagement

Pew’s Library Project

Twitter: @kzickhur @pewinternet @pewresearch

Pew Research

Pew Internet Project

About our libraries research: State of reading; library services; typology

Typology –> Report Link

Based on: public library use; experiences at libraries; views/perceptions of libraries

Broader context: info & tech habits; other community activities (lots of correlations made)


  • High: library lovers; information omnivores
  • Medium: Solid Center; Print Traditionalists
  • Low: Not for Me; Young & Restless; Rooted & Roadblocked
  • None: Distant Admirers; Off the Grid

High & Medium Engagement Levels

  1. Library Lovers: Frequent library use; high levels of appreciation/familiarity; includes many parents, students, and job seekers; tend to be younger with high level of education (10% of population)
  2. Information Omnivores: high levels of library use, but visits are less frequent than Library Lovers’; highest rates of technology use; highest levels of education, employment, household income — high rates of tech ownership — lots of comfort with lots of different types of information (20% of population)
  3. Solid Center: Medium engagement; about half have used a public library in the past year; most view libraries positively; similar to general US population (30% of population)
  4. Print Traditionalists: Similar to solid center, except tend to live farther away from libraries (61% in rural areas); highest proportion of rural, white Southern (9% of population)

Low Engagement groups

  1. Not for Me: strikingly less positive views of public libraries’ roles in the community; more likely to have had negative experiences in libraries (4% of population); not a group that doesn’t need libraries — they don’t find libraries relevant to them or their communities
  2. Young & Restless: Relatively young group: Median age is 33; few have lived in their neighborhoods for very long; only 15% know where the nearest public library is located [not representative to younger generations, though]. (7% of population)They don’t have libraries on their radar…
  3. Rooted & Roadblocked: Generally views public libraries positively, but many face hurdles in their lives; tend to be older; many are living with disability or have experienced a recent illness in their family (7% of population); have technological difficulties or finding information

No Engagement (14%)

  1. Distant Admirers: No personal library use; Many (40%) say other family members use libraries; Most view libraries quite positively; many also say that library services are important to them and their families; tend to be older; often live in lower-income households (10% of population)
  2. Off the Grid: No personal library use; little exposure ot libraries overall; may be less engaged with community activities and social life; many live in rural areas; just 56% use the internet; low household incomes & low levels of education (only one in ten has graduated from college (4% of the population)

Library engagement typology

  • relationships to libraries are part of American’s broader resource networks
  • library use vs importance; wealthier people are more likely to USE libraries. People with lower household incomes/education RELY on libraries.
  • Groups may surprise you

Coming soon: Library engagement quiz: what kind of library user are you?

National data isn’t substitute for local level data. Important to also understand your local community.

What do Americans want from libraries?

  • More activities, more separate spaces…and print books, quiet
  • Convenience & tech (apps & e-books, kiosks)…and closer relationships with librarians; personalized service. Personalized connections with librarians.

IFLA Trends Report (shared at tables in session) — Marydee Ojala

Riding the Waves or Caught in the Tide — September 2013

  1. New technologies will both expand and limit who has access to information — the world’s information at your fingertips, but what can you do with it? info lit; mobile access; info providers’ business models; copyright
  2. Online education will democratise and disrupt global learning. MOOCs; non-formal learning pathways (what does this mean for self education); open access; network effects. If online education is free, then how much is it really worth?
  3. The boundaries of privacy and data protection will be redefined. Global borderless Internet; profiling of individuals and groups; govt pressure & intervention; levels of trust (including of public institutions); permanent digital footprint. Who’s profiting from your personal information?
  4. Hyper-connected societies will listen to and empower new voices and groups. Traditional political parties weakened; status of women; empower diaspora, migrant communities; simulated virtual environments; evidence-based policy-making. Are you ready for cyber politics? [#ksleg hashtag over the last 7 days…… ]
  5. The global information environment will be transformed by new technologies. When you your phone, your car and your wristwatch know where you are at all times, who runs your life? Mobile devices; artificial intelligence; 3D printing; global info economy; Internet of Things.

Implications? For libraries? for info providers? for you personally?

Continue discussion at IFLA trends site

More happened in this session… but I had to leave.

Enabling Innovation (brainstorming session)

Jill Hurst-Wahl @jill_hw

Full session brain-storming list!


Brainstorming rules from IDEO

  1. Defer judgment
  2. Encourage wild ideas
  3. Build on the ideas of others
  4. Stay focused on the topic
  5. One conversation at a time
  6. Be visual
  7. Go for quantity

And….. stick to the rules! Work quickly. No ideas are refused.

Role Storming

What is it? You select a specific real or fictional character and brainstorm from that person’s point of view. Like Darth Vader or Hannibal Lector or Mark Cuban (just throw money at the problem).

Why? Frees you to think of wild and imaginative ideas

Long List

  • Brainstorm as many ideas as possible 100+
  • Early ideas are the easiest and least creative. Real creativity occurs after the easy ideas have been said
  • Ex. Allow patrons to create their own summer programming


  • You consider the exact opposite of what is normal
  • It provides a deifferent perspective and can spark useful ideas
  • Ex. Rather than a lib being a safe place, it is a dangerous place; what if kids were excluded from the library?


  • Take a specific brand and brainstorm from that point-of-view
  • Provides a different basis for your brainstorming
  • Ex. Apple, Lego, Disney, NBA designed a new library, what would it look like? And what services would it have?

Questions about these methods

  • If characters aren’t familiar to the group, in rolestorming, each individual is taking on their own persona. In brandstorming, everyone is brainstorming from that one brand’s point of view. Everyone should be somewhat familiar with it.
  • #cildc  cross dept brainstorming groups can be good but have to play by rules need moderator not everyone plays nice — @mlibrarianus
  • Should facilitators be used, inside/outside: facilitators need to be outside idea generation. Facilitator needs to step out of being part of the brainstorms.
  • Brainstorm tightly focused but also loosely focused — both approaches work.
  • “Everyone at the table gets a voice. This is important because not everybody plays nice.” — @niwandajones

Let’s do it!

  1. Role storming — Design of a new library
  2. Long list – STEAM related services
  3. Opposites Services a library should provide
  4. Brand-Storming new ways of using tech in the library

Ideas are being captured and Jill will share out later.

Long list of STEAM related services (our group’s choice)

  • Lego mindstorm workshop
  • check out flesh-eating beetles
  • insect petting zoo
  • draw a bird day
  • shrinky dinks
  • science fair
  • storm chasers
  • make a shrunken head
  • mindstorm competition
  • what floats what sinks
  • 3d printing
  • musical instrument petting zoo
  • check for mold in library books
  • CSI
  • art gallery
  • sidewalk chart art
  • figure drawing class
  • dance exhibition
  • partner with local arts school
  • partner with local music teachers
  • partner with local engineers
  • theater
  • robotics clubs
  • local engineering
  • pencil rubbings of book jackets
  • origami with your old books
  • book art
  • aletered book
  • blackout poetry
  • poetry slams
  • book spine poetry
  • building forts out of books
  • obstacles courses out of books
  • making jewelry out of old library cards
  • minute to win it programs
  • math tutoring
  • science tutoring
  • checkout a scientist
  • checkout a musician
  • checkout an actor
  • recycled computer parts
  • build a computers
  • math bowls
  • minecraft
  • gardening programs —
  • petri disc cultures from library restrooms
  • petri disk cultures from public accesss computers
  • garden on library roof
  • weather balloons
  • solar panels in the library
  • egg drop
  • RUBE Goldberg
  • bridge building — library cards, toothpicks, gumdrops
  • collages from pressed leaves
  • development psych experiments in toddler storytimes
  • shock therapy
  • tornado in a bottle
  • volcanoes
  • superhero day
  • composing
  • play writing
  • masquerade ball as favorite artist, scientist, etc
  • puppet theatre
  • perform play
  • video screening of science
  • book trailer
  • spontaneous art performance

So what do you do with this long list of ideas after brainstorming. Don’t throw anything out investigate further –@mlibrarianus

#cildc  keep the list look back on it later ideas might work –@mlibrarianus