Theory

Simplicity Is Not Merely The Absence Of Complexity

Simplicity Is Not Merely The Absence Of Complexity: A post by Steven Bell over on the Designing Better Libraries Blog. Steven asks "How do we resolve the need for complexity with the desire for simplicity? I don't quite have the answer, but I do like to read about this issue as it helps to better understand the issues."

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If Libraries had shareholders...

Over on The O'Reilly Radar Peter Brantley takes a look at some stats. Though, he says, they do not reflect on the total value of libraries, and they surely do not pass judgment on the highly skilled information specialists that staff them. They do suggest that something momentous has changed in the fundamental environment that libraries operate within. And one has to think: if libraries had shareholders, would they, like newspapers, be in the midst of a gut-wrenching, brake-screeching exercise in redefinition?

Digital Reference: Will there still be a desk?

Digital Reference: Will there still be a desk?: A good collection of links from Stephen Francoeur on the future of "the desk." Librarians have been busy this year debating the future of reference. The blog posts all offer a rich set of comments that gave him quite a few ideas, not so much prognostications about the future but instead a vision of how he would like to see our college library's reference desk changed. In his next post, he'll tackle that.

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Tech Friday: 26 Tips to Keep Your Computer Up and Functioning

"When I loose productive time at work it is usually because of a problem I have encountered with my computer. And any time I have a computer problem it is usually related to one of the following items. In order to be a little proactive I have build this little checklist. I have automated as many of them as I can and if much of your livelihood depends on your technology functioning smoothly I suggest you consider doing the same." 26 Tips to Keep Your Computer Up and Functioning

Are Librarians Totally Obsolete?

zanne writes "Are libraries and librarians obsolete? No way, man! Courtesy of degreetutor.com,
here are 33 reasons why we still kick tush!"
Will Sherman says I Was Wrong, As libraries' relevance comes into question, they face an existential crisis at a time they are perhaps needed the most. Despite their perceived obsoleteness in the digital age both libraries and librarians are irreplaceable for many reasons. 33, in fact.Society is not ready to abandon the library, and it probably won't ever be. Libraries can adapt to social and technological changes, but they can't be replaced.

Services in a Service Oriented Architecture

Anonymous Patron writes "This post is the second in a series about the application of the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) system design pattern to library services. The first post in this series focused on defining "Service Oriented Architecture" using the analogy of a transportation network. This post goes into some detail about what makes a "service" in this architecture and offers an example using a hypothetical use case: a union library catalog (Open WorldCat) making a statement about the availability of a book."

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Co-creation in libraryland revisited

Jill Stover revisits the idea of co-creation in libraries and how best to make it work for us and for patrons. "I've been thinking about it quite often, but so far have generated a collection of ideas, rather than a coherent philosophy, but at least it's a start. I would agree with one marketer's statement that services make tricky candidates for co-creation because many services exist because customers don't want to take on the task of performing those services themselves."

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Library lessons from unlikely places

Steve Lawson has been doing some great writing lately, Library lessons from unlikely places is no exception. This one is two little observations of library lessons learned in non-library places that have been kicking around in his head for the past few years (really!). "Usability and the drive-thru window" and "How not to give a reference interview at the DMV">

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Are We Trying Too Hard? Remember Department Stores?

Remember Department Stores? Stephen Abrams Asks Remember department stores? They tried to be everything to everyone. He also asks: "Do libraries try to be everything for everyone? Are we too diverse and unspecialized? Can we build a community presence that engages people in a positioning of libraries that isn't overly homogenized? What positioning do you want for your library brand? Who do we want to excite?"

Are Libraries Placing Value on Technology Innovation?

Eric Schnell asks Are Libraries Placing Value on Technology Innovation?. He says Job postings alone are not evidence that libraries are not placing a high enough value on innovation. If position recruitment can be an indicator of the the value libraries are placing on services, it appears we are continuing to grow our sustaining services (ah, the Librarian's Dilemma yet again) such as reference, technical services, and instruction. The administrative percentage may indicate the retirement bubble.
In the end, library organizations that do not place a value on disruptive technologies, and do not allocate resources and processes to deal with them, may find themselves faced with serious challenges in the coming years.

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