May 24, 2018

Tracey Wong | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Educators

Tracey Wong is not one to take no for an answer. Early in her career as a classroom teacher in the Bronx, NY, she asked the principal to reopen the shuttered school library, since she would soon have her library degree. He said budgets made that impossible. “So I started pretending I was the librarian,” Wong says. “I emailed him articles on test scores and how to change school culture. I brought in an author. I manually checked out books to my reading groups. I did colleague lunch-and-learns on my own.”

Rebecca Stavick | Movers & Shakers 2018 – Digital Developers

In 2015, after five years with the Omaha Public Library (OPL), Rebecca Stavick launched Do Space, a blend of community technology library, digital workshop, and “innovation playground” being touted as the first technology library in the United States.

International, Interactive Innovation | Next Library 2017

Engagement was the name of the game at the Next Library conference held in Aarhus, Denmark, June 11–14. Some 350 librarians from 36 countries gathered at the city’s Dokk1 library to learn and continue to build a global network. Via high intensity, participatory programming such as that offered by creativity expert Christian Byrge and in breakout sessions, attendees were very much part of the program.

Knight’s Move: Investing in Today—and Tomorrow | Editorial

Libraries have long benefited from major donors that infuse dollars as well as strategic perspective at key junctures. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has stepped into that role with signature energy, most clearly illustrated by the Knight News Challenges, including two focused on libraries. By their very nature these call on libraries to speed new ideas to address big needs, and the robust response from the library arena has surfaced and celebrated a range of creativity.

Knight Foundation Issues Innovation Report, Grants

On March 30 the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (KF) announced the award of nearly $1 million to support five innovative library projects. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (CML), NC; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA; Peer 2 Peer University, Chicago; Richland Library, Columbia, SC; and Southwest Harbor Public Library, ME, each received between $35,000 and $250,000 to help realize a range of creative concepts addressing the digital information needs of their communities. Simultaneously, KF released a report, “Developing Clarity: Innovating in Library Systems,” examining opportunities and challenges within the lifecycle of library innovation.

New Library Chapter of Awesome Foundation Accepting Grant Applications

The Innovation in Libraries chapter of The Awesome Foundation is currently accepting grant applications, with an April 15 deadline. Formed in 2009, The Awesome Foundation “is a global community advancing the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time.” Autonomous chapters operate on a local level by raising funds from community trustees that are then given as microloans to projects in the arts, technology, community development, or other sectors, deemed “awesome” according to that chapter’s own guidelines.

How to Innovate | Future Proof

Even for forward-thinking libraries and librarians, who operate in one of today’s most fast-changing and dynamic fields, concepts like innovation and change management may sometimes seem esoteric. If so, don’t be alarmed: Even the world’s most progressive business schools typically offer precious little training in these increasingly vital subjects. Happily for those operating on the frontlines of leadership or administration though, mastering these concepts—the art of staying ahead of the curve—doesn’t have to be a difficult process. In fact, all it often takes to get ahead and continuously go from strength to strength in today’s hyper-kinetic business world is to stay alert, stay adaptable, and stay amenable to new ideas and strategies. Flexibility is, in short, the essence of future-proofing.

Making Room for Innovation

Two library service prototyping spaces, in two very different places, have a remarkable amount in common. Nate Hill runs and operates the 4th Floor in Chattanooga, a large public library loft space operating as a flexible community makerspace and event space. Jeff Goldenson co-ran and operated Labrary, a 37-day design experiment occupying a vacant storefront in Cambridge.

Something Old, Something New: Dicing Data At NYPL Labs | Cover Story

The home base for the New York Public Library (NYPL) Labs is a strange mix of old and new. A bunch of modern cubicles hover incongruously amid the stately marble walls of what used to be a courtyard in the venerable Schwarzman Building, before the need for more space convinced the library to press it into service. It’s not a bad metaphor for what the labs do: turn the library’s substantial historical holdings into something new, useful, and a little bit quirky.

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On Not Settling for Innovation | Peer to Peer Review

OK, I’ve had it. Too many meetings, too many presentations, too many blog posts, too many think-pieces along the lines of  “here’s how to fix ______” (insert your choice of system in crisis: the economy, domestic security, higher education, scholarly communication, the Euro zone, the designated-hitter rule, etc.), all of them breezily touting the same […]