Design Your Way to a Future-Proof Library

Notes from 2009 COMO Conference in Columbus, Georgia

Design Your Way to a Future-Proof Library.

Presenter: Steven Bell

What is the meaning of organizational fitness?

Describing an area of Pennsylvania and the lumber industry in the 1920’s and how they clearcut the forests. When the lumber industry took all the trees they could take, there was nothing left.  Thy didn’t think about future-proofing. as a result, those areas that once thrived are now sparsely populated.

When was the last time you excercised with books in your library?

There are connections between personal fitness and organizations, it requires discipline and commitment to changing yourself/organization.

This year is the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s Origin of the Species.

Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest and natural selection.

Library Journal article: Future-Proof Your Library.

Identify problems and solutions in an appropriate way and try to put a system in place for the future.

It’s vital that you look ahead but you can’t over-plan for the future.

Design Thinking is a way to approach, analyze, and find solutions to problems.

Explaining Design Thinking.

Jim Collins: How the Mighty Fall. It’s good to be paranoid.

Andrew S. Cline: Only the Paranoid Survive


Always cycle of improvement and decline; some cases, improvement and improvement.

Jim Collins: The 5 Stages of Decline.

Some new product or service comes along and can disrupt your service.

Disruptive technology for the library was Google, it ate out lunch.

A Silver Bullet.

Focus on the user experience, not the technology.

Deep Dive.

The ideas for a fitter library:

  1. Listen/Observe
  2. Create and Innovate
  3. Go local
  4. Engage the User
  5. Fix What’s Broken
  6. Master Adaptability Master Adaptability
  7. Keeping Up
  8. Create Passionate Users
  9. Be a Problem Finder
  10. Build Relationships
  11. Know Your Core Values
  12. Think Like Collins

For more about Steven Bell.


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