Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Abram: Top ten things libraries must do

Stephen Abram is a smart guy. But you knew that already. Here's his top ten of what we should really be spending our time on...

1. Know your market
It’s an imperative to aggregate your data (Normative Data Project: http://www.libraryndp.info/)

2. Know your customers better than Google knows customers (Goolge knows data--you can know people)
Personas: understand your customers in terms of their needs, preferences, and desires
MS Personas (in this month's Computers in Libraries)
Millenials are different (and their brains are different)
Usability matters: The "A" frame adopted from newspaper layout isn't working for public library Web sites.
There is a difference between usability and satisfaction
Satisfying vs. meeting Real needs
Transactions vs. Transformation (Value-based impacts: we shouldn't worry about so much numbers--focus on how we're really transforming our communities--with hopes, for the better.)

3. Be where your customers are
How much of your usage is in person?
Simple collaboration (I.M.) 85% of people from ages 14-25 have at least 1 IM account: only 5% of people over 30's do

4. Searching for the target
Federated searches shouldn't look like Google.
Differentiate. Target your searches on specific topics/resources. Don't just be Google-Lite.
Build federated collections
Target your community
Build compelling content
In Context!
Respositories--only with compelling experiences
Understand what compelling is

5. Support your culture
"Get your texthead to nexthead"
MP3's
Streaming media
Voice search (SpeechBot)
iPods & podcasting

6. Position libraries where we excel
Google does who, what, where, when really, really well.
Google sucks at How and Why: everything that is complicated is what we're good at
"Libraries core skill is not delivering information."
"Libraries improve the quality of the question." (yum)
Taking the knowledge positioning between information and behavior
Information Engagement Levels: Read/View --> Act on/Discuss --> Argue/Defend --> Present/Teach --> Stimulate/Live
"It's an information ocean, not a highway." We create discovery and interaction spaces.
"Libraries are an "exploration space" not a collection space."

7. Be wireless
The next massive wave of innovation will start 06/07
HydroBroadband
Nanophone
Smart: DoCoMo phones)

8. Get visual
Google news Maps, visual display of quantitative data and interactions and experiences
Search engines and searching in general need to be visual

9. Integrate
Integrate with your communities
Build community context first
It's not about the library--it's about five very specific spaces, communities:
learning
research
neighborhood
culture/entertainment
workplace

Building portals: it's not a library portal, it's the portals on specific locally relevant topics

10. For Pete's sake, take a risk
Get over your fears and don't let the worry tank win

Focus! Pick something. Do it well, and move onto the next thing.

(Ok, the conference is over, and I'm too tired to spell check. Signing off for now...)

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